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Jimmy Butler stayed hot on Wednesday with 19 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and one turnover in 43 minutes against the Clippers.

He just keeps trending up. Butler is back to being the closer in the fourth with an eye-popping 36.7 usage rate over his last seven fourths, which is even more impressive considering just 0.7 turnovers in those 10.3 minutes. Overall, Butler has averages of 23.6 points, 5.1 boards, 6.0 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.3 treys on 50.4 percent from the field and 88.4 percent from the line on his 6.1 attempts per game over his last seven. Jimmy G. Buckets has been a top-five player in that span and that slow start is a distant memory.
Thu, Dec 7, 2017 01:49:00 AM

The Raptors' conversations with Kawhi Leonard and his representatives since the trade have been "positive," according to Bruce Arthur of The Toronto Star.

Leonard reportedly hadn't wanted to play for Toronto and was focused on joining an L.A. team, but according to Arthur, "[In recent talks] there was no indication of a holdout or even an unwillingness to play in Toronto. So far, it seems like Leonard may have an open mind." If Kawhi is healthy and buys into the Raptors' vision, they could vie for the top seed in the East and he should cruise to first-round fantasy value. We'll get a better sense of his health if he joins the Team USA mini-camp in Vegas next week.
Jul 18 - 9:27 PM

Michael Porter Jr. (back) had surgery last week related to a herniated disk in his back.

Additionally, the Porter Jr. camp believes that they won't need him to sit out next season. However, the Nuggets have made it abundantly clear there is no rush on the No. 14 pick, so there's a very real chance he won't be ready. After missing almost all of last season, one of the best prospects at this time last year has his career off to a tough start.
Jul 18 - 6:08 PM

Nemanja Bjelica and the Kings plan to begin discussing potential deal, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports.

Well, it's an interesting move after Bjelica reportedly backed out of a one-year deal with the 76ers. According to Shams, it could be a better long-term fit for Bjelica, so it's likely for multiple seasons. If not, he could be headed to Europe a few years removed from his EuroLeague MVP season. It would also be an interesting fit, especially with how the Kings are deeper at power forward. Maybe the Kings pull a Bulls and play him out of position at SF, which wouldn't be too bold after Bjelica's play while Jimmy Butler was out last season.
Jul 18 - 3:30 PM

The Hawks and Thunder are reportedly discussing a trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to Atlanta in exchange for Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala.

The Hawks are desperate to rid themselves of Schroder and the Thunder find themselves in a similar predicament with Melo, so this would be a deal that would make sense for both sides. The Hawks would waive Anthony upon his arrival, thus allowing him to sign with a team of his choosing (likely the Rockets), and Schroder's value would take a hit as he'd be relegated to being Russell Westbrook's backup. Muscala would remain a non-factor in OKC.
Jul 18 - 12:39 PM

Restricted free agent Marcus Smart is now "seriously engaged in contract talks" with the Celtics, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Now that Kawhi Leonard has found a new home, we should see some of the smaller dominos fall in free agency. Woj reports that the two sides are discussing a four-year deal in the $46-$50 million range, so it sounds like we could see a deal come to fruition soon. Smart could see a slight reduction in minutes with the Celtics at full strength next year, and with his noted efficiency issues, he won't be the most attractive standard league target on draft day.
Jul 18 - 12:06 PM

The Hawks have reportedly been trying to move Dennis Schroder for weeks, but haven't found much of a market for him.

Through five years of NBA experience, Schroder still hasn't shown much progress with his 3-point shot (29.0% from distance last year) and he seriously struggles on the defensive end of the floor, so it'll be tough for Atlanta to find another NBA club willing to take on his contract worth roughly $46.5 million over the next three seasons. Additionally, Schroder still hasn't been cleared on misdemeanor battery charges stemming from a September arrest, and while Atlanta management has expressed confidence that Schroder will be able to avoid jail time, opposing GMs aren't so certain.
Jul 18 - 11:13 AM

Jakob Poeltl has been traded to the Spurs as part of the Kawhi Leonard deal.

With Pau Gasol entering his age-38 season and likely to again see a reduction in minutes this upcoming season, Poeltl could very realistically be looking at around 20 minutes a night with the Spurs, which would be enough floor time for him to carve out some value as a deep league, shot blocking specialist. We'll be watching the third-year center closely at training camp in San Antonio.
Jul 18 - 9:37 AM

Danny Green is headed to Toronto as a part of the Kawhi Leonard-DeMar DeRozan trade.

Green should be able to start in Toronto, and he could see some more shots falling his way with less competition for touches. The 31-year-old's numbers have been on a steady downward decline since his second-round, 2014-15 campaign, but he could see a slight uptick in value with the Raptors. Still, he won't be worth much more than a late-round selection on draft day.
Jul 18 - 9:29 AM

Updating a previous item, the Spurs have reportedly agreed to trade Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to the Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and draft considerations.

Toronto will be taking a bit of a risk on the 27-year-old forward with just one year left on Leonard's deal and concerns about the health of his quad, but it's not easy for small market teams to acquire a player of Kawhi's caliber, so they'll take the OKC approach and try to woo him during his time in Canada. The arrival of Leonard and Green in Toronto isn't great news for OG Anunoby's outlook, but their departure will be a boon to Lonnie Walker's value. If Leonard can just stay healthy in Toronto, he shouldn't have much trouble churning out elite numbers.
Jul 18 - 8:33 AM

K.J. McDaniels came off the bench and hit 8-of-14 shots for a team-high 17 points, seven rebounds and a block in 20 minutes of Tuesday's Vegas title game, which the Blazers easily won 91-73. He was named the Championship MVP.

The Lakers were gassed and never got into this game, while the Blazers ran out nine players with solid NBA experience to take the title. McDaniels had an emphatic dunk late in the game and played well, but should be nothing more than a role player for Portland once the games start actually counting, and assuming he makes the team.
Jul 17 - 11:57 PM

Svi Mykhailiuk, who was one of the heroes in Monday's semifinal win, hit just 3-of-10 shots and 2-of-7 3-pointers for 10 points, three rebounds and two assists in Tuesday's 91-73 loss to the Blazers.

The Blazers take home the trophy while the Lakers saw their winning streak end at 12 games. Svi was 0-for-6 in the first half and the Lakers were 0-for-10 from downtown in the first half, finishing the game with just three 3-pointers on 39 percent shooting for the game. The Lakers were clearly tired after the winning streak and a double-overtime win Monday. Svi earned second-team honors in Vegas, while teammate Josh Hart earned the MVP Award and first-team honors. The 47th pick in the draft has a chance to be a nice role player for the Lakers this season, but it's hard to see him being a big fantasy factor, as of now.
Jul 17 - 11:51 PM




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