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Blake Griffin has hired a shooting coach and has been working with him "every single day."

This is significant because Griffin knows he needs to improve his jumper and appears committed to doing so. When discussing his old shooting form, Griffin said, "it was decent, I guess. But now I've just kind of streamlined it. But I've still got a lot of work to do." Griffin did most of his work down low last season, but he's looking to expand his game in an effort to improve as an overall player. As long as Griffin comes back 100 percent after knee sugery, which he's expected to do, an improved jumper will only help his fantasy value after he averaged 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds on 54.9 percent shooting last year. We'd also like to see him improve defensively after averaging just 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks in 2011-12.
Fri, Aug 17, 2012 09:39:00 AM

Julius Randle played 21 minutes in his professional debut on Sunday, scoring 10 points with two rebounds, three fouls and two turnovers on 4-of-9 from the field.

He signed his contract just before the game and wasn't even on the team bus. In his post-game interview, Randle said today was his first 5-on-5 since the NCAA National Championship Game and he played "decent." The rookie had some nice post moves and was even able to beat his man off the dribble. On the defensive side, he was doing a lot of switching and was very active. He's still probably not 100 percent, but there is a lot to like here. He's certainly worth drafting near the end of a standard-league draft.
Jul 13 - 6:45 PM

Nikola Mirotic will sign a three-year, $17 million deal with the Bulls now that he has secured a buyout from Real Madrid in Spain.

"I am very happy and excited to announce that next season I will be playing with the [Bulls]," he wrote on Sunday. "Today I fulfill a dream." The 23-year-old power forward has enormous potential, as his lucrative rookie contract will attest, but he faces a definite learning curve in the NBA. Tom Thibodeau will bring him along slowly in the Bulls frontcourt, which already features Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson, and fantasy owners should avoid him on draft day.
Jul 13 - 6:33 PM

Free agent PG Mario Chalmers will re-sign with the Heat on a two-year contract.

"Proud to say I'm back [with] the Heat," he wrote on Twitter. "Heat nation we still here." Details of his contract haven't been disclosed, but Chalmers slots in as Miami's default starting PG with Norris Cole and Shabazz Napier backing up the position.
Jul 13 - 6:21 PM

The Rockets have decided not to match the Mavericks' three-year, $46 million offer sheet for Chandler Parsons.

The two teams are discussing a potential sign-and-trade which would create a traded-player exception for Houston, but either way Parsons will start at SF for the Mavericks next season. He gives Dallas a very intriguing starting lineup of Raymond Felton, Monta Ellis, Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler, and there's still a chance that Dallas will upgrade their PG situation before opening night. The Rockets' tempo was ideal for fantasy purposes, but Chandler has shown that he can score in transition or in the half-court, with or without the ball, and he should fare well as a top option alongside Dirk and Monta in Dallas.
Jul 13 - 6:11 PM

Matt Bonner has reportedly agreed to re-sign with the Spurs on a one-year deal at the veteran's minimum.

Spurs beat writer Mike Monroe has confirmed an initial report by Ben Hunt, and fan-favorite Bonner will remain with San Antonio for at least the 2014-15 season. His deadly 3-point shooting gives Gregg Popovich a unique weapon off the bench, but Bonner doesn't have a big enough role to warrant owning in fantasy leagues.
Jul 13 - 5:24 PM

Kirk Hinrich has reportedly agreed to re-sign with the Bulls.

Terms of the deal should soon be disclosed but it's likely a short-term deal worth somewhere around $2-3 million per season. Hinrich will backup Derrick Rose at PG, but even if Rose gets injured there's not much fantasy value to be had -- in 61 starts last season, Hinrich averaged a modest 9.4 points on 39.2 percent shooting, 1.2 triples, 3.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
Jul 13 - 5:11 PM

Free agent PG Brian Roberts has agreed to sign a two-year, $5.5 million deal with the Hornets.

Gary Neal was the only guard backing up Kemba Walker prior to Roberts' arrival, so the backup PG job should fall to Roberts with Neal filling in primarily at SG. Charlotte may have overpaid to acquire Marvin Williams this weekend, but they did well to land Roberts, a solid PG with 3-point range, on a short-term deal.
Jul 13 - 4:11 PM

Lakers rookie Julius Randle will make his Summer League debut on Sunday.

Randle's status came down to the wire but evidently the Lakers had him sign his rookie-scale contract in time for tip-off. He's said repeatedly that his foot is "not an issue" and he should have a big week against inferior competition in the Summer League.
Jul 13 - 4:00 PM

Luol Deng has agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the Heat.

With Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts and Deng under contract and Dwyane Wade expected to sign imminently, the Heat have quickly re-emerged as a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. Deng struggled last season due to an Achilles injury, and never fit in with the Cavaliers, but he should be a decent pick in the late rounds for owners willing to gamble on a bounce-back season with the Heat.
Jul 13 - 2:38 PM

Carmelo Anthony has officially decided to return with the Knicks on a five-year deal.

Following LeBron James' lead, Carmelo made his announcement with an open letter to the Knicks fan base: "At this pivotal juncture in my career, I owed it to myself and my family to explore all of the options available to me. Through it all, my heart never wavered. During this journey I met with some quality organizations who have amazing talent and leadership. I thank them for their consideration, belief in my talent, and opportunity to imagine the possibilities. I will always remember this chapter in my life. In the end, I am a New York Knick at heart. I am looking forward to continue my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams. Madison Square Garden is the mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world."
Jul 13 - 12:32 PM

The Wizards will sign Paul Pierce on a two-year, $11 million deal, according to ESPN.com.

It's expected to be a two-year deal and work as the mid-level exception for the Wizards. He will also have a player option in the second year, which makes sense after he's said multiple times he's likely to play just two seasons. The Wizards did a fantastic job here and were able to come away with a solid small forward after losing out on Trevor Ariza. Pierce will have to change his style of play a little and will likely be catching and shooting more.
Jul 12 - 11:57 PM




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