NBA Position Battles: West

NBA Position Battles: West
Ryan Knaus examines position battles and projects starting lineups for the Western Conference in this week's edition of The Numbers Game.
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Team France's doctor diagnosed Ian Mahinmi with a dislocated shoulder, and said the injury could sideline him as long as 2-3 months.

Mahinmi suffered the injury during a practice, and an MRI revealed that the injury was serious enough to keep him out of the FIBA World Cup. He is currently headed back to Indiana for further evaluation, but if the initial diagnosis is correct, he will miss all of preseason. Mahinmi is a back up center and doesn't warrant consideration in standard leagues.
Aug 29 - 9:26 PM

Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca received a text from USAB head coach Mike Krzyzewski praising Marcus Smart's play with the USAB Select Team.

Coach K thought that Smart was "fantastic" as he reportedly held his own against some of the league's top guards. He has been hailed as a great defensive player, but his offense still needs time to develop. Smart could be worth a late-round flier, but with Rajon Rondo in town, his fantasy outlook is bleak.
Aug 29 - 7:58 PM

The Clippers will reportedly make a push to sign unrestricted free agent Ray Allen.

The Clippers will only be able to offer Allen the veteran's minimum (which is also true for the Cavs), but it's difficult to see him landing a more lucrative offer elsewhere. Whether he reunites with LeBron James in Cleveland, or Doc Rivers in Los Angeles, he should not be targeted in standard leagues.
Source: NBC Sports
Aug 29 - 7:06 PM

Unrestricted free agent Gustavo Ayon has reportedly received interest from the Spurs.

Ayon has also received a contract offer from a Chinese team, but he has stated he wants to wait until after the FIBA World Cup before making a decision on where he will play next year. Ayon averaged 4.3 points, and 4.8 rebounds through 17 minutes of action with the Hawks last season, and considering he would likely see even less time on the floor in SA, owners can safely ignore him come draft day.
Aug 29 - 6:51 PM

A statue was erected in Buenos Aires, Argentina in honor of Manu Ginobili.

While Ginobili will not be able to participate in this year's FIBA World Cup, this should serve as a nice consolation prize. Ginobili, a four-time champion with the San Antonio Spurs, was the main reason Argentina took home the gold medal during the 2004 Olympic games, and clearly he is beloved in his home country. Ginobili is at the tail end of his career, and concern of his health mixed with random DNP-CD’s severely limits his fantasy appeal.
Aug 29 - 5:02 PM

Flip Saunders hopes the Timberwolves can improve on their defense this season.

"I'm hoping that the biggest change is going to be defensively," Saunders said. "Always a key in your ability to guard is your athleticism. The quicker you are, the longer you are, the better chance you have to be a good defensive team." Saunders hopes that the Wolves will be able to generate offense with their defense, attacking in the open court, and using some of the freak athleticism they gained in guys like Andrew Wiggins, Thaddeus Young, and Zach LaVine. However, the Wolves have their work cutout for them as they allowed the fifth most points per game last season at 104.3.
Aug 29 - 4:43 PM

Brook Lopez is confident heading into the 2014-15 season, and he believes he'll be better than he's ever been.

"Like I said before, I’m not looking for any restrictions," Lopez told ESPN New York and Newsday Friday. "I’m confident I’m gonna be able to go out there and be better than I’ve ever been." Lopez has had two injury-plagued seasons during his career, but didn't miss a single game during his first three seasons in the league. He'll be a risky selection on draft day, but when healthy, Lopez is capable of putting up truly elite value at the center position.
Aug 29 - 4:24 PM

DeMarcus Cousins explained why he sees himself as a role model during a recent interview.

"I am a role model, absolutely," Cousin said. "I come from a place where there are not a lot of opportunities. People there, they don’t ever really dream big because they don’t think it ever really exists... And them seeing me make it, they believe it is possible. Those people grew up with me; they have seen the struggles; they have seen me fight and work my way to where I am now, so I absolutely believe I am a role model." DMC seems to be a much more matured player now. He showed up to camp for Team USA in terrific shape, and kept his antics to a minimum last season. He'll be a late-first round pick heading into this year's drafts.
Source: USAB.com
Aug 29 - 4:01 PM
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