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Jonas Valanciunas (neck) is still in a soft neck brace and is being considered a game-time decision for Friday night.

Valanciunas suffered what the team called a "flexion extension injury" during Tuesday's game. While the injury and the fact that Valanciunas was rushed to the hospital originally had us thinking the worst, coach Dwane Casey said Thursday the injury is not as bad as first thought. We still highly doubt Valanciunas will play Friday and expect the Raptors to treat the prized rookie with the softest of kid gloves the rest of the season.
Thu, Apr 11, 2013 03:19:00 PM

Al Horford (pectoral) said he is still on track to be ready for the Hawks' regular season opener.

Horford added that he didn't go through contact drills on the first day of training camp, but that news matches up with the Hawks' intended plan of taking a cautious approach with their big man. While Horford has played less than 30 games in two of the last three seasons, he still provides fantasy owners with enough upside to warrant a second or third round selection on draft day.
Sep 30 - 12:37 PM

Isaiah Thomas (wrist) will be limited at the Suns' first two-a-day practice because his surgically-repaired wrist is not yet at full strength.

Thomas underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist on August 14, so this news shouldn't come as a huge shock to fantasy owners. The 25-year-old had a fantastic 2013-14 season in which he averaged 20.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.8 three-pointers per game, but his 2014-15 numbers will take a hit as he plays behind Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic. While Thomas's per-minute efficiency still makes him worth a mid-late round draft pick, fantasy owners should be careful not to get too caught up in his 2013-14 numbers.
Sep 30 - 12:24 PM

Josh Smith said he's feeling better about his prospects entering the 2014-15 season.

"It was real tough. It was very cold and losing on top of it, it got hard," Smith said of his 2013-14 campaign. "But I started off losing in this league so I'm appreciative of the moments of winning." The 29-year-old is focused on playing more like a power forward after taking a career-high 265 three-pointers last year that caused his field goal percentage to drop to 41.9 percent. As long as Smith can stick to his promise of playing more like a post player, he should provide fantasy owners with mid-round value in 2014-15.
Sep 30 - 12:15 PM

Russell Westbrook agreed with coach Scott Brooks' statement that he's the best point guard in the NBA.

After being told that his coach thinks he's the best point guard in the league, Westbrook said, "I'm very honored to hear him say that, but that's how I feel. I mean, I don't know what to tell you." Never short on confidence, Westbrook has a case for himself after averaging 26.7 points, 1.5 three-pointers, 7.3 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 2.2 steals during the 2013-14 postseason. While Chris Paul, Steph Curry, and John Wall all went before Westbrook in the Rotoworld Friends & Family draft, it wouldn't be a huge shock to see RW finish as fantasy's top point guard in 2014-15.
Source: ESPN
Sep 30 - 11:58 AM

The Indiana Pacers are unlikely to trade Roy Hibbert, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.

Kyler said in a chat session that he asked his Pacers sources about trade rumors and was told that a trade is unlikely as the team views the 27-year-old as one of the best defensive centers in the game. Hibbert is coming off a disastrous finish to the 2013-14 season as he averaged 8.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks on 39 percent shooting after the All-Star Break (as compared to 11.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks on 46.4 percent shooting before the break). Hibbert is worth a later pick in standard fantasy leagues, but he's more comparable to Omer Asik than he is to Andre Drummond at this point.
Sep 30 - 11:33 AM

Kobe Bryant (knee) is hoping that he'll be able to to retire when he chooses to retire.

Coming off serious achilles and knee injuries, the 36-year-old turned introspective after Yankee legend Derek Jeter's last game. "The biggest key for anybody in retirement is you always want to retire by choice," Bryant said. "Hopefully, I will be fortunate enough to have that option. You don't want to see another catastrophic injury or something like that. When you walk away, you want to feel like you walked away on your terms." Bryant is expected to be ready to start the regular season and serves as a high-risk, high-reward pick in the third or fourth round of standard fantasy drafts.
Sep 30 - 11:03 AM

LaMarcus Aldridge reiterated his desire vow he made after last season that he will sign a deal with the Trail Blazers next summer.

Aldridge is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season, but sounds committed to staying in Portland as he'll be eligible for a longer, larger contract with Larry Bird Rights. "Me not re-signing [last summer] wasn't a sign I didn't want to be here," he said. "It didn't make [financial] sense on my end. I'm not trying to hide from it. I just don't want that to be the focus." The 29-year-old had a huge 2013-14 season during which he averaged 23.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.0 blocks and is a safe second-round fantasy pick in standard leagues.
Sep 30 - 10:48 AM

Marc Gasol said he's not sweating the fact that he's due to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

"I think we’ve got to take it day by day," Gasol said. "You know how much I love this team and this hasn’t changed, so we’ll see how we feel at the end of the year and we’ll go from there."After being selected in the first-round of most fantasy drafts last year, the 29-year-old only played 59 games due to a knee injury. If his injury-plagued 2013-14 season scares a few fantasy owners away from Gasol, he'll end up being an early-round steal on draft day.
Sep 30 - 10:34 AM

The Orlando Magic envision Nikola Vucevic as part of their future, according to general manager Rob Hennigan.

Vucevic will become a restricted free agent after the 2014-15 season if an extension isn't signed before October 31. "We're in discussions with Nik and Tobias' representatives," Hennigan said about Vucevic and Tobias Harris. "Our hope is to try to get [extensions] done before [Oct.] 31. We don't envision a scenario where either of those players aren't with us moving forward." The 23-year-old had a breakout 2013-14 season during which he averaged 14.2 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.8 blocks and serves as a high-upside early-mid round target heading into fantasy drafts.
Sep 30 - 10:22 AM

The Orlando Magic are in discussions to sign Tobias Harris to a contract extension.

"We're in discussions with Nik [Vucevic} and Tobias' representatives. Our hope is to try to get [extensions] done before [Oct.] 31," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. "We don't envision a scenario where either of those players aren't with us moving forward." While Harris will compete with Maurice Harkless and Aaron Gordon for minutes, the 22-year-old offers the most fantasy upside and is a solid late-draft target.
Sep 30 - 10:15 AM

Ricky Rubio has decided that he will no longer discuss his contract negotiations with the media.

There is mutual interest between Rubio's camp and the TImberwolves on agreeing to contract extension before the Oct. 31 deadline, but Rubio would like to keep those negotiations private. "I don't want to talk to the media about my contract situation," Rubio said. "I think it bothers me on the basketball court, so I don't want to talk to the media about it. My agent's dealing with Flip and Glen and that's it." The 23-year-old's 9.5 points per game on 38.1 field goal percentage left something to be desired in 2013-14, but his averages of 8.6 assists, and 2.3 steals help keep him among the top-50 fantasy players heading into draft day.
Sep 30 - 9:53 AM




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