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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Happy draft lottery, Cleveland-ites!  Is having another 1st overall pick enough to lure LeBron back?!  I think chances of that are as good as Anthony Bennett turning out to be a good player…

And now to the fun stuff… Figuring out where to rank the volatile middle-tier guys.  As Paris Hilton once said, “Studs are studs!  Except for when they’re busts!”  Wow, awful.  Needed to get some shock value in here – that was my proverbial watermelon mallet.

After the top 20, things get pretty tricky this early in the offseason.  And until a good bit after the NBA Draft, 50 is as high as we’re gonna go.  The draft class is loaded, and several should proliferate into the top 100, with a few even top 50 guys in the right situation.  Then free agency, old guys retiring, all that hooblah.  But if you’re thinking ahead to some dynasties or formulating some early fantasy draft strategies, here’s my way too early Top 50 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (spoiler alert: still no Jonas Valanciunas):

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Razzball Hoops Nation!  Wow, typing 2014-15 already just feels weird…  I’m not ready to quit you 2013-14!  Although, the disappointing image of the face of the Luminescent Lithuanian makes it easy.  We’re done, ya ho!  I’m just not that into you…

As I do every season during the NBA Playoffs, I think it’s a fun way to kick off the year with some way too early rankings through the top 50.  “Wait a minute, isn’t there free agency and a draft, moron!?”  Shut it, noob commenter!  There will obviously be numerous changes to these early ranks, possibly even some rookies trickling into the bottom end of the top 50, and all sorts of free agency moves to make this a really fun offseason.  Here’s my way too early Top 20 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (spoiler alert: no Jonas Valanciunas):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

…And we’re here!  Finally wrapping up a recap of the top 100 and how much I hated Andre Drummond coming into the year.  It’s not my fault!  He still can’t hit free throws!  Aherm, cough, I think I’m going to miss today’s class with the flu.

So far, and I’m not just saying this for my ego, I think I did the Nation better than I expected.  Sure there were swing-and-misses – I’m not Biff from Back to the Future Part II!  But it’s been a great learning experience recapping my ranks, and our loyal, bearded Slim comes in with his grades.  Rankings are based on my final updated top 200, comparing them to the FantasyPros aggregate Draft Day Rankings along with Basketball Monster’s Total Value for 9-cat leagues on the season.  Slim then recaps JB’s best ranks in the 101-200 range and worst.  Giannis Antetokounmpo for MVP!  To keep it unbiased, Slim picked the best 4 and worst 4, so we’ll have to see who he goes with… Here’s a look back at the Top 100 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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So we’re through my top-50 and now getting into the mid-rounds.  We’re taking this through the whole top 100, but some of these are going to be gold and some fool’s gold.  As in, Larry Sanders‘ gold.  If I got to the end of a rainbow and Larry Sanders was there, I’d ask for a refund…

Through the Top 20 and Top 50, I think I’ve done the rankings pretty well.  They tell you towards the end of high school, “the smart ones get the As, but the most successful get Bs.”  I might have made that up since I never studied for virtually anything and got Bs…  But a 3.00 GPA thus far sounds about right!  Rankings are based on my final updated top 200, comparing them to the FantasyPros aggregate Draft Day Rankings along with Basketball Monster’s Total Value for 9-cat leagues on the season.  Slim then grades me.  I asked him, “will you give me As if I show you my double-Ds?”  He then flunked me…  Here’s a look back at the Top 75 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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Brewers baby!  Best record in baseball.  9 in a row.  Oh yea, this is basketball, but man!  My Brewers are unstoppable!  And it carried over to the hardwood, when Corey Brewer had maybe the most preposterous, out-of-nowhere game all year.  I actually did highlights for the Wolves Rockets game Friday night, and it was like watching a pickup game where one guy was just light years better than everyone else.  Slice-n-dice, no need to take shots.  In the first quarter, I leaned over to a co-worker and said Brewer is having the game of his life.  Made me look smart!  Going in with a career-high of 29, Brewer dropped 51 on like, a trillion layups and pick 6s.  51/2/1/6/0, and just how everyone learned from Oliver, “you’ve got to pick a pocket or two!”  Or six.  And probably 5 of them led to uncontested layups, but he did have some pretty sick and-ones for good measure.  Deeper leaguers that had Brewer probably thought stat tracker was broken Friday night.  I’ve always been a Brewer fan, it was sad to have to trade him to Slim, but when Kevin Martin and Kevin Love returned, it was cool down time for the NBA’s Brew Crew on Sunday, going for only 10 and two steals.  Regardless, I love that Brewer now gets to share a milestone with Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and Rick Barry as the only guys to go 50+ with 6+ steals.  One of these is not like the other!  Good for Brewer, and if the Wolves indeed deal Love and/or let K-Mart walk, Brewer could be pretty interesting next year.  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

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Razzball Nation!  Man, scary to think there’s only a week left of the regular season.  Where has all the time gone?!  While the majority of leagues have wrapped up, we’ve still got some extended H2H finals and Roto players out there who need a pickup for The End of the Road.  And why not Randy Foye after his 30/5/15/2/0 explosion last night?  “Wait, don’t you hate Randy Foye JB?!”  Shut it, commenter who remembers everything!  I do hate Foye, but he’s going to get the volume with Ty Lawson out at least another few games with his bum ankle.   Brian Shaw is saying Lawson probably will return this season, and coaches never lie or deceive us in the NBA, right?!  Cough cough.  With only two games on the slate tomorrow, the 63%-owned Foye (which, yes, is probably lower than it should be given the leagues that are over with aren’t making moves) needs to be scooped up in all leagues still rounding out their finals.  Plus the Nugs schedule the rest of the way is @GS, UTA, @LAC, GS.  He’s gonna heave up more threes than Jimmer Fredette at the BYU Alumni game!  Here’s what else I’ve seen over the last couple of days of NBA action:

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It’s been a year long punching bag.  Larry Drew sucks, he has no idea how to grow a young team, and because he plays guys different minutes every night the Bucks are atrocious and have no cohesion.  But that’s nothing new, as he was awarded the first Razzball Worst NBA Coach Razzie.  It’d be a wonder if he could do anything right!  Yesterday, I said Ramon Sessions might be the best player on that team (and he got a ridiculous 20 minutes to show for it Sunday), and Larry Screw actually paid attention to my advice!  Sessions started last night against the Clips, played 44 minutes, making the most of it.  Shot a ridiculous 13-21 (2-3 3PTM) for 28/6/7.  While this game was nice, and I maintain he’s probably the best fantasy asset on the Bucks right now, he’s not necessarily the best pickup.  The Bucks have only two more games this week, Thursday against the Lakers (which you obviously love) then Sunday against the Heat (not so much).  Plus it’s the Bucks and we all know how Larry Screwballs can jack things up.  I picked him up in one league just to lock down that Thursday game since it’s a light slate with only four games.  If you can afford to do that, Sessions is your man.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

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I imagine if you’re reading this, you have an injury or two on your fantasy roster, and you need promenade left to do-si-do your way into week 2. I don’t know where I’m going with this analogy, I’m more of an electric bugaloo type myself. But while I may not understand the allure of square dancing, I do understand all too well how an injury can derail your playoff hopes. I lost Kyrie Irving, and Jameer Nelson this week, and I will be hard pressed to make it past my opponent. There are more cats out than just those two: LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard, Nikola Pekovic, Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, Jamal Crawford, and the list goes on. So what’s a fantasy owner to do? You already know the answer, and it sucks the sack: Captain Obvious reminds you that you have to look long and hard at your situation, and decide whether you can afford to hold onto your injured player, or to drop him, because he can’t help you if you don’t make it to the semis. Of the few I just listed, only Kyrie, Jamal, LaMarcus and Nikola are pretty much guaranteed to be out for the weekend at least, perhaps into the semi finals week, so take that into consideration. If you do decide to drop somebody, here’s, in my opinion, the best of the waiver:

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Wow.  Last night was rocky.  For a lot of people.  Hopefully your playoff teams came out of the better end!  Lots of guys with minor injuries were forced to sit, and within only minutes of each other Nikola Vucevic and Josh Smith got ejected in different games.  Pretty much like the wild west out there!  Next thing you know, I’m quoting Will Smith from that god forsaken movie… “Let me kindly stand up!”  Probably the biggest benefactor in what will be dubbed “DNP-Day” was Aaron Brooks, who started for Ty Lawson who had “illness”.  Wow, that sounds ominous.  Brooks went all 2009 on us, and posted a redonk 27/6/17 line.  Dude, if you played in a daily league or if you were streaming Brooks for the dimes, you just got a major sign from the fantasy gods.  “You, my son, are blessed with stats that overfloweth!”  Distribute some to us less fortunate ones!  The Nugs play again on Friday, and it’s tough to say what Lawson’s status will be by then.  Ricky Rubio went bonkers on the Mavs last night (more below), so if Brooks does get the start – cue the Pavlovian salivating.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops action (and if you get here early enough, be sure to sign up for the Razzball NCAA Bracket pool with a fun prize to the winner!):

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