Preseason is here!  Preseason is here!  I’m as giddy as N64 kid on Christmas Day.

But before we got into any action, Nick Young had a rough end of to his week last week, jacking up his thumb on his shooting hand requiring surgery.  He’ll be out 8 weeks, which puts him back in Purp-n-Gold mid-to-late November, optimistically.  You can drop him off your fantasy teams now!  He’s got a plenty big cast to hitchhike his way somewhere else.  I would say to “Scrubtown” but if you say that three times fast it starts to sound kinda like Scranton and I don’t want to offend Scrantonites or fans of The Office.

I wasn’t big on Swaggy P anyway, but no reason to touch him except in the very deepest of leagues.  Pretty empty scoring.  Wesley Johnson gets a minor bump up, and that’s the extent of the impact.  Now back to preseason!  Of course every performance must be taken with a grain of salt, and this early it’s a friggin’ pillar of salt, but it’s never too early to see how players are doing – especially this year’s ridiculous class of rooks.  Here’s what’s gone on across the league:

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If you hadn’t gathered through some comments and a few less articles the past week, I’m back from my adventure in Bavaria and over my Oktoberfest hangover!  Geez those Oktoberfest litre (European spelling!) beers were strong!  If anyone has had the chance to go, definitely share your stories.  Drunk munchies of currywurst and then trying to order steak for some reason (or so I’m told!) was absolutely fantastic.

So indeed I am back, and even though I have a callus on my forefinger from raising my beer glass, my hand is in better shape than Rajon Rondo‘s!  Broke his hand in the shower on Friday, and with surgery will miss 6-8 weeks.  Let me set up the scene as I pictured this incident: Rondo is on the run after ripping off his bank, pulls into the Olynyk Hotel, he starts to shower and the piercing violin theme sounds – with Kelly Olynyk storming in with a butcher knife!  Pretty much Kelly Olynyk anything is scary.  “He’s coming at me with a fish stick!”  Then all the sudden he turns 5 fish sticks into enough to feed the whole crowd… (Of course, I wrote that whole intro before news came out Rondo was spotted on a trampoline at a park, and that sounds more likely a hand-breaking locale.  Maybe he was practicing for a revival of SlamBall!)

I’ve gotten flack for liking Rondo a lot this year, with my rationale him expanding into a perimeter game and likely a career best in points, but as I’ve said before – sometimes injuries can help you from bad ranks!  Moving him way down into 50s or so, maybe even later, even though he’ll only miss the first week or two (report surfaced today 10-15 games so more like 3 weeks).  Here’s what else has gone down lately in the world of offseason hoops:

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1) I’m sure I’ve mentioned this numerable times but JB and I are well known members in the swingers community. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to give away our anonymity but I feel like I can trust you. I go by the Hairless Wonder, don’t ask, and JB goes by the alias… If you would like JB’s alias to be ‘Big Country’ go to paragraph 5. If you think JB’s alias should be ‘The Diesel’ go to paragraph 3.

2) … Twister. I’m sure you’ve been there before, you’ve got your left foot on green, your left hand on red and if someone says right hand blue you know you’re going to be the unfortunate soul who’s going to have the sad face when you’re given your parting gift of a half of a gallon of Purell and sent on your way home. Since JB never breaks character I have no idea if he’s giving me a good spin or he wants to see me end up … For the epic conclusion go to paragraph 6.

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One of me and JB’s favorite forms of philanthropy is the celebrity car wash.  Obviously we aren’t going to fool anyone into thinking we’re famous without a bit of a makeover.  To achieve that ‘celebrity look’ all you have to do is rent a minivan old enough to still have a tape deck, hire a dozen or so hourly day laborers, and borrow your parents/grandparents circa 1980s shoulder mounted video camera.  Now just find a Walmart parking lot with access to water and you have almost everything you need.  I say almost because you still need to stick out from your newly created entourage.  A pair of henna sleeves representing as many religions as possible and as much costume jewelry as weight you can squat is all you will need to complete the look.  Once you’re set up with everything you need to start the car wash borrow a cassette tape from one of your laborers, swing those double rear doors open, and crank it up to 11.  Just don’t forget to make sure your documentarian is recording it all.

We don’t do it for charity per se but I’m sure what we do is still called philanthropy.  You see we don’t charge money either.  We do it for the sheer pleasure our performances gives others.  Although, we still don’t do it just for them.  I know it’s the same for JB even though he doesn’t really talk about it, but I can surely say for me that once the soaps are sudsin’, the water gets flowing, and I’m dancing to the plucking of guitar strings in nothing but my pink string bikini – I feel alive!  So what if my skin turns red from the sun, green from the ‘gold’, and brown from the ‘ink’, the joy, at least I think that’s joy, we see on the faces of an entire car load of Smiths can’t be washed off in a week either.

In fantasy basketball this amount of joy can only be achieved by guessing right on a rookie and being rewarded with an all-star.  The two top rookies this year are unquestionably Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.  Both are as talented as they come and both should receive plenty of fantasy relevant playing time immediately.  You want one, I want one, everyone else we’re drafting with wants one.  Before I decide if that’s going to be me I need to figure out what kind of player they are, or in a dynasty what kind of player they could become.  So I give to you Wiggins v Parker, in all its hip-shaking, beard-drenched glory:

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If you were an 80s baby, your teenage years were flush with great movies such as There’s Something About Mary, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Cable Guy.  Remember the stars of those films, Cameron Diaz and Jim Carrey?  Sure we do.  They were great!  Diaz commanded the screen as a sexy, but funny “everyday” kinda gal.  Carrey contorted his face and gave us belly laughs from role to role.  They even starred in The Mask TOGETHER, which was Diaz’s film debut.  Carrey had a pretty good run in the 90s.  In addition to the aforementioned films, Dumb & Dumber and the Truman Show were also instant comedy classics.  He even ventured into the “serious” with a breakout performance in Man on the Moon (which was the Andy Kaufman bio-pic).  Diaz had a less-than-illustrious early career as far as critical acclaim was concerned, but she was still immensely popular and became one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.

Then came the year 2000.  To me, that year was the end of an era for both of these icons.

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I shouldn’t have waited.  I should have stepped up and said, “Yes JB, I’ve waited 30-some-odd years of my life to get on an airplane because I’m afraid that there really could be a gray furry monster who destroys it while we’re 30 thousand feet in the air”.  Looking back I fear perhaps I may not have been too logical in my thinking and now I have to carry that regret with me for the rest of my life.  Like when I didn’t go to Mexico with JB for spring break.  Even though I never really heard any stories because he claimed he  ‘couldn’t remember anything’, he came back with obvious aversions to Tequila, guacamole, the word ‘labradoodle‘, and giant black dildos.  Don’t ask how I know, I wish I didn’t.  Or when he did that semester abroad.  He told me about going hostel to hostel, meeting new people and learning new things everyday.  If I would have gone with him then I probably would have learned why he gets so strange whenever he hears someone speaking Dutch.  He gets this big smile on his face and his eyes gloss over like he’s catatonic.  If you want to break him out all you have to do is say ‘labradoodle’ and you can tell from the look on his face that whatever day dream he was having immediately turned into a nightmare.

I assume by now you’ve read the title and are asking yourself, ‘Self, why am I reading about Paul George for fantasy?’ Pretty simple really… because I wrote it before his injury.  Doh!  I shouldn’t have waited but I wanted to make sure Melo was going back to New York and then I had to wait on Lance to sign and then…  So what do I do with it?  Throw it away?  Well it’s just a bunch of 0’s and 1’s in a computer somewhere and I don’t know where so that wasn’t an option.  I figure I’ll post it, face the furry monster, and catch the next flight anywhere.  So here it is, Paul George v Carmelo Anthony unaltered and I hereby challenge you to find a more pointless post for fantasy basketball the rest of the year:

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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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