We’re here!  We’ve got ranks!  2014-15 is quickly approaching, and we’re jumping the gun on ranks, projections, anticipating trades… Seriously, one of the biggest trades of the decade is all predicated on a handshake agreement.  “My fingers were crossed Saunders, hah!”  It’s the proverbial dogs playing poker, except the game is the fantasy basketball landscape and the GMs look even uglier than the deformed pug.  “Heel David Griffin, heel!”  Then to top off that soap opera, we have a first rounder from last year (but not in my ranks!) out for the year with a horrific injury in Team USA play.  For all the Paul George banter we had last year, Razzball Nation wishes him a speedy recovery.  Back to happy thoughts!  Anyone see that one of my boyfriends last year, Archie Goodwin, was drunk and resisting arrest at a skating rink?!  He was gonna make my top 10 too!  What a comical situation… He should have his own Archie Comics!  Oh wait… Well despite the innumerable implications of Tony Hawk’s arrest, let’s start ranking!  And as we go through the top 200 in long form, we’ll be updating our master ranks/easy-to-use post linked up there in the rankings menu.  Razzball is so easy!  One crown & coke and I’m out of my Knickerbockers faster than John Starks at a flat top convention!  Here’s my top 10 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

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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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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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The debt has been paid!  I’m not a Lannister, but I did go out and get “High as Greg Kite”, our RCL winner from the past season, shaved into my precious fair-skinned head.  I hope you enjoy the fun little video, and don’t forget to listen to our premiere Razzball Basketball Podcast on Friday Morning!

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Razzball Nation!  You’ve read that right, we’ve got a podcast comin’!  Our first “official” episode will be on Friday, June 27th covering the NBA Draft with Razzball regulars Slim and Pete Nice hopping on.  In our first little foray into the audiosphere, we talk NBA Finals, make our picks for the series with the Spurs up 2-1, and talk our thoughts on what Cleveland is gonna do with that first pick.  Michael Olowokandi!  So be sure to check us out either by listening to the post or on iTunes (links will be filled in soon – will update this post as soon as things are rockin’ and rollin’), and we’ll see ya after the Draft!

Please, blog, may I have some more?