As we head into August, now is a perfect time to take a look back at the free agency period for the upcoming 2014-15 NBA season.

While there is one big name yet to sign (Eric Bledsoe), a few less-intriguing options still on the market (Michael Beasley, Andray Blatche, Kent Bazemore, Jordan Crawford), and another who’s unsure whether he’ll play or retire (Ray Allen), most of the fantasy basketball world knows where guys will be playing this season.  Of course, that still doesn’t include the possibility of Kevin Love finding a new home by the end of the summer, but that could be the subject of an entirely different article.

There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Love will land in Cleveland, which will make them a huge force in the Eastern Conference — and in the entire NBA.

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So one of my favorite Charlotte Hornets memories was Glen Rice winning the All-Star Game MVP in 1997.  I was still a chitlin, but even then I knew the Hornets were the epitome of small market (and moved just a few years later).  Rice seemed like a fill-in bench player (even though he was pretty nasty in 96-97 with a by far career-high 26.8 a game), but went absolutely bonkers in the ASG second half, putting up 20 in the 3rd quarter.  He was hotter than P.J. Hairston in a “yo mama” contest!  I knew the Hornets had no title aspirations (ending up getting swept in the first round), but it made the whole season worth it.

And the Glen Rices of the world now have another, well smaller, trophy on their mantle with Glen Rice Jr. winning the Summer League MVP.  Actually, I’m not sure if he gets a trophy… Maybe just a stack of $1,000 in Belagio chips… Either way, Rice put up a 6-game line of 25/7.8/2.3/2.5/0.5 boosted by a plain stupid 36/11/3/4/0 line with six treys last Saturday.  “Pretend every game is the All-Star game film I always make you watch, son!”  The Wizards boosted their wings (and headband usage) with Paul Pierce brought in, plus Otto Porter should see a lot of minutes off the bench.  But behind Bradley Beal, Martell Webster just had herniated disc back surgery leaving a big early-season gap for backup SG minutes.  Sure Garrett Temple might be able to fill-in, but off the hot Summer, I think Rice Jr. has got some minutes coming his way.  Plus one of the biggest concerns for Beal is his injury risk, so a deep-league gamble on Glenny Jr. could be an interesting flier.  Here’s what else has gone down with Summer League wrapping up and free agency moves:

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We all know the story.  Cleveland fans burn things, then stage apology videos.  Yeah, let’s put the ashes from last night’s barbecue and put it on top of my LeBron James Cavs jersey and pick it up.  Sooooooooooo symbolic.  Somebody is already halfway through the 30 for 30 special… But I got an advanced look at LeBron’s first press event with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert:

LeBron Gets New Cavs Jersey

I love what Slim said in his reaction as a Heat fan.  “LeBron’s legacy will now be that of a journeyman.”  BURN!  Poor choice of the all caps scathing word, JB!  LeBron is still the alpha dog of the NBA, but he’s now numero tres in my ranking-os… Never was too good at Spanish.  I’m moving Anthony Davis up to 2 and joining Slim’s bandwagon.  Even though BronBron had talent around him in Miami, he never had a point guard.  Which I mean more literally than not since Mario Chalmers‘ assists look more like Billy Dee Williams’ Dancing with the Stars‘ scores than an NBA PG’s!  And now LeBron’s got family on his team!  I don’t mean the city of Cleveland, but Uncle Drew!  They should mish mash one of those videos with drunk uncle from SNL…  Anyway, Kyrie Irving is going to have some balls in his hands (cough), so LeBron will be performing less hernia tests.  Kyrie’s three-year arc has been declining FG% but steadily improving Ast/TO ratios and overall dimes.  More efficient with the ball, but not hitting the shots.  Maybe it’s because the Cavs had no other playmakers… Iso for Anderson Varejao!  Dion Waiters just blocked me on Twitter.  LeBron will be a huge ease on Kyrie’s defensive pressure, however stemming from that – if Kyrie is hot, he shootin’!  Both will have great final numbers, but a little inconsistent game-to-game.  LeBron should see his dimes go down a tick as well.  Here’s a look at the rest of the free agency movement and some key notes from Summer League:

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Free agency is here!  It has been a bit mum since the FA pool is awaiting that LeBron James cannonball, leaving us without a good snapshot of how the league will look in 2014-15.  But we’ve got Summer League getting into gear and a couple interesting FA moves.

With the The Decision 2.0 on hold, even P.J. Hairston is antsy and trying to get some ball in.  According to reports, he got into a fight with a high school senior, literally at the YMCA closest to the one where I play pickup (Chapel Hill).  While some guys are really good at Chapel Hill, there aren’t any NBA players actin’ a fool and calling three in the key!  This is likely a non-story, but it just makes you shake your head.  Almost as much as my former rookie nookie Archie Goodwin getting arrested at an Arkansas skating rink.  Sure, you can tweet “Don’t assume if you don’t know the whole story…” to which I say, “the hell you gonna get into that kinda situation at a skating rink for!”  Man, that pine gonna stay warm this year, Archie!  Here’s some other [actually useful for fantasy] news and notes of free agent signings and early Summer League performances:

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Thursday night’s Draft was as exciting as advertised.  Some of the top prospects we’ve seen come around in a while found homes amongst the NBA’s 30 teams — yet, there were very few surprises, outside of maybe Aaron Gordon getting picked No. 4 overall by the Orlando Magic.

Those of us expecting some big trades to go down were also disappointed.  There was really only one trade that didn’t involve a straight swap of picks or previously picked players, and that was D-League phenom Pierre Jackson getting shipped from NOLA to Philly for Russ Smith.

The big trade news around the league came a few days prior to the Draft when the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks announced a blockbuster deal that sent Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton from the Big Apple to D-Town in exchange for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and two second-round picks, which ended up being Cleanthony Early and Thanasis Antetokounmpo.

Now, how does this affect fantasy basketball owners going forward?

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What a night, what a night!  While we didn’t see the fireworks of say, a QB drafted by San Diego saying he’d only play for the Giants, but we had some interesting reaches, some surprising fallers, and one very happy/newly re-acquainted Hornets fan!

The crew and I had a blast tweeting through the draft, so I have a few other thoughts sprinkled in the first round recap below.  It didn’t go quite (read: at all) like Slim and I’s mock draft, but here’s how the draft went down, with a fantasy outlook for these rookies for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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The Razzball Basketball Podcast is here! And just like anything or anybody you allow to whisper that sweet lovin’ into your ear, it’s going to take some growth in the relationship! After staying up all night to watch the draft, Pete Nice brazens through a caffeine drip, Slim battles a thunderstorm, and I have to contain my excitement that the Hornets got Vonleh! I hope you enjoy our first Pod, and we’re looking forward to podding it up more and more through the off-season.

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