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Tom Thibodeau has stated "on more than one occasion" that Jimmy Butler will start at SG, but Butler is preparing to fight for the job in training camp.

"I feel like I'm not a starter yet," said Butler, adding that he'd be comfortable with a bench role. His humility and self-motivation are great to hear, but there are no real doubts about Butler's starting role now that Marco Belinelli is gone and Rip Hamilton is an unrestricted FA.
Source: NBA.com
Tue, Aug 6, 2013 01:32:00 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

The Jazz are in contract extension talks with Alec Burks.

He had a solid season last year and entered training camp with eight extra pounds of muscle on his frame. Burks is probably the best weapon for breaking down defenses and could be in for a major role this season. He shot a very respectable 35.0 percent from beyond the arc last season and upped his steals per game to 0.9, so he could have a breakout this year. Don't forget about him on draft day.
Sep 30 - 12:40 AM

Kobe Bryant fully expects to play in the Lakers' preseason opener on Oct. 6, after recovering from a fractured lateral tibial plateau in his left knee.

The Lakers think Kobe can still average about 23 points per game and Kobe said on Monday that his emotions include a "little rage," according to Mike Trudell. "It's just trying to see if I can prove to myself that I can be myself, and all the words of doubt kind of adds to it." Bryant said. Additionally, coach Byron Scott said that he expects Bryant to play in all 82 games this season, according to Mark Medina. And if it happens, Kobe could be a fantasy steal this season. He was taken with the 29th pick in the recent Rotoworld Friends and Family industry draft.
Sep 29 - 10:02 PM

Rajon Rondo said he'd like to stay with the Celtics going forward and Danny Ainge appears to be on the same page.

"The fans, the people here, make me want to stay," said Rondo. "The organization has been great. I can’t say enough about Danny and [majority owner] Wyc [Grousbeck]." Rondo is set to become a free agent next summer and Ainge expects him to get an offer of roughly $107 million over five years. Whether the Celtics will be ready to pony up that kind of cash next season is up for debate, but it is possible that Rondo stays with the Celtics if all goes well this year. He'll miss the first couple weeks of the season waiting for his broken hand to heal.
Sep 29 - 9:56 PM




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