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James Harden tried to put the team on his back in Tuesday's 110-106 loss to the Kings with 38 points, 10 boards, one assist, two steals and five 3-pointers on 12-of-26 shooting in 39 minutes.

The Rockets let this one slip away after being outscored 30-20 in the fourth quarter. Harden had some major shooting issue in his previous three games, making just 32.4 percent from the field in that span. His numbers are a little bit down compared to his breakout 2012-13 season, but that can probably be attributed to his ankle and foot problems. He's playing big minutes again and he could turn in two massive games against the Knicks on Friday and Lakers on Jan. 8.
Tue, Dec 31, 2013 10:20:00 PM

The Orlando Magic have selected F Jonathan Isaac with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Bronx native checks most of the boxes for today’s power forward and there’s a reason why he creates a lot of buzz. He’s 6’11" with a 7’1" wingspan, he made his freebies at a 78.0 percent clip, he blocks shots with 1.5 per game, he can rebound, and he made 1.0 trey per game. Isaac does have a face-up game, but he may have to add some size as he currently checks in at just barely over 200 pounds. He is also a little bit raw, so it could take him a couple seasons to get it going at the NBA level. This was the widely expected pick for Orlando, and it will be interesting to see how Aaron Gordon is utilized moving forward.
Jun 22 - 8:15 PM

The Kings have selected Kentucky PG De'Aaron Fox with the No. 5 pick.

The Kentucky guard gets some comparisons to fellow Wildcat John Wall for his quickness, transition game, and play-making skills. Fox does have some concerns regarding his jumper, but he thrived around the basket with 48.1 percent of his shots within three feet, making an impressive 64.2 percent of those. The 19-year-old guard also impressed during interviews with superb recollection of plays and a very media-friendly personality. His 39-point explosion against Lonzo Ball also tops his resume, so he likes the big stage. The Kings don't have any PGs under contract for next season and their interest in Fox was widely known before the draft, so he has a really good chance to be the starter on opening night.
Jun 22 - 8:04 PM

The Suns drafted small foward Josh Jackson out of Kansas with the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday.

The Jayhawk was widely viewed as the best high school recruit last year thanks to his 6’8" size and explosive style of play. Jackson could eventually grow into a small-ball four, but he will need to be a better screener and likely put weight on his 203-pound body. Jackson did make just 56.6 percent of his free throws last year, but he was able to knock down 37.8 percent of treys and 38.1 percent of his jump shots. He'll have to compete with guys like T.J. Warren and Derrick Jones Jr. for playing time in Phoenix, which will likely dampen his fantasy potential in his rookie season.
Jun 22 - 8:01 PM

The Pacers and Celtics are "engaged in serious talks" about a Paul George trade, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, but they are "still apart."

Here we go. Boston has a heap of young talent and draft picks they can use to lure George away from the Pacers, but keep in mind this isn't a done deal -- it had "gained significant momentum," but may have since cooled off. George isn't expected to promise that he'll re-sign with a new team, given his interest in signing with L.A. next summer, so there's obvious risk involved. Stay tuned, as we should know more very soon.
Jun 22 - 7:56 PM

The Boston Celtics have selected Duke F Jayson Tatum with the third overall pick.

The Duke product comes into the NBA at the right time with his 6’8" size to go with his 1.4 treys per game in his lone season as a Blue Devil. Tatum also really filled it up as a freshman, averaging 16.8 points, 7.3 boards, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks on 56.6 true shooting percentage. Tatum was a little underwhelming around the basket at just 62.0 percent on shots at the rim, so his interior presence will be something to watch.
Jun 22 - 7:55 PM

The Lakers have selected UCLA PG Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick.

LaVarstradamas had it all along. Lonzo’s skills as a basketball player tend to get overshadowed because of his dad, but Ball is one of the best prospects in the 2017 class. Despite an odd shooting stroke, Ball has a nice release point, helping him get to 41.2 percent on treys and 46.2 percent on his two-point jumpers in his freshman season at UCLA. He does get the Jason Kidd comparisons for his size at 6’6" while Ball himself has talked about how he wants to be a pass-first point guard, and he was also a plus rebounder at 6.0 per game last year. With the Lakers unloading D'Angelo Russell to Brooklyn, Ball should be the starting PG on opening night.
Jun 22 - 7:48 PM

The Bulls will trade Jimmy Butler and the No. 16 pick to the Wolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

It's a blockbuster night. Coach Tom Thibodeau helped make Jimmy the player that he is and now he'll get him as the 2017 All-Star version. Butler will undoubtedly see huge minutes and he'll get to play next to the best offensive big man he's seen in Karl-Anthony Towns. Butler was able to sustain a high usage rate next to Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo, so he should still be in the upper 20s with elite scoring and a little bit of everything. The Wolves had better make the playoffs this year.
Jun 22 - 7:46 PM

Zach LaVine will reportedly head to Chicago as part of the trade sending Jimmy Butler to the Wolves.

Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick in the draft are also headed to Chicago, as coach Tom Thibodeau pulled off a major deal to land Butler, whom he's been interested in since taking over in Minnesota. LaVine should have a massive role once he's fully recovered from ACL surgery, filling in the void left by Butler on the wing. LaVine's fit alongside Dwyane Wade will be interesting, but from a fantasy perspective he should still pull down mid-round value once at full strength.
Jun 22 - 7:46 PM

To absolutely no one's surprise, the Sixers made Washington point guard Markelle Fultz the overall No. 1 first pick in the NBA Draft.

The 76ers used Sam Hinkie assets to improve their pick from number five to three, then packaged that with a protected 2018 first-round pick to jump up to No. 1, via the Celtics. Coach Brett Brown should love Fultz’s defense and prototype body with his 6’10" wingspan, 6’6" frame and a 40-inch max vert. Fultz did a lot of work in pick-and-roll and came in at 88th percentile in the NCAA (per Synergy), so he’ll be running a lot of that with this squad. While there's no questioning his talent and he'll be looking at big minutes, along with a starting role, Fultz may not get many shots with usage monster Joel Embiid on board, along with guys like Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and Robert Covington. But at worst, Fultz is still shaping up to be worth a fantasy pick in the later part of the middle rounds in drafts this Fall, with the potential to improve his draft stock depending on how Summer League and training camp shake out.
Jun 22 - 7:41 PM

The Raptors are looking into moving Jonas Valanciunas and the No. 23 pick, according to Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet.

General manager Masai Ujiri talked about a culture change, so don't be surprised to see the Raptors shake things up. Ujiri and coach Dwane Casey have been concerned with Valanciunas not dominating in the paint enough, so they may be looking to go a different direction. Plus, Serge Ibaka isn't much of a power forward anymore, so that could be a factor if they keep him. They also have Jakob Poeltl for some depth.
Jun 22 - 6:54 PM

The Rockets "remain in trade pursuit" of Paul George, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.

Based on the earlier report of the Blazers not having enough ammo, it'll be really tough for the Rockets to get a deal together for George. Unless the Rockets can pull some strings to get other deals going, this seems like it'll be tough to get done for general manager Daryl Morey.
Jun 22 - 6:41 PM




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