With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the final 50.  Sean Connery.  Kevin Costner.  Tons of Great Depression-esque costumes.  I’d imagine if you’re in a deep league and looking at the field below with your last pick or two, you’re feeling something like this:

It’s pretty hopeless, as in 12-teamers these are all likely guys you’re merely starring on your watch list post draft.  There’s some questionable talent, some questionable roles, maybe even someone that’ll give you The Grapes of Wrath, but some untapped upside!  Here’s my top 200 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

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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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Probably because he’s, well, Elton Brand, I haven’t paid much attention to him.  It’s like telling me, “Hey JB, Robert Parrish is on the wire, what’da think?!”  Brand is getting tons of run lately with Gustavo Ayon and Pero Antic still hurt decimating the Hawks 5s (and Paul Millsap out as well), to the tune of 40+ minutes the past two games and 30+ in 4 of 5.  And grandpa Elton topped off his big run with a rainbow line last night, 7/13/3/2/2 in 42 minutes.  That’s like an Andrew Bogut line!  Had a comment last night asking if Brand is a flash in the pan.  More like flash in the bedpan!  Yeah, I don’t see any sustainability here with none of the aforementioned hurt guys really out that long.  But hey, maybe a one-game stream?  The Hawks are going at Boston tonight who lack any sort of consistency up front as well and Brand could get ya another multi-cat gem.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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The trade deadline is here!  Today!  And even though we had a few trades already go down, more are sure to proliferate through the league office.   Hopefully the NBA has faster fax machines than the NFL.  I mean, seriously on that Elvis Dumervil thing?!  BREAKING NEWS!  The Heat trade LeBron James to Cleveland for Anthony Bennett, but the trade was sent just over a month too late.  Reports indicate it was sent on April 1st.  Hah!  Sent from some hooligan named David Stern…  You’ve been punked Adam Silver!  Back to reality, we’ve seen Marcus Thornton get traded to the grandpa Nets for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans and Steve Blake get all his fantasy value decapitated Hershel-Walking Dead style by getting shipped to the Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks.  The takeaways thus far is you can cut Blake in virtually all leagues, and in deeper leagues I actually think Reggie Evans could start at some point as the Kings 4.  Jason Thompson is one of the many rumored on the trading block which would open up that role.  I’m not saying Evans would play 30 minutes or anything, but could maybe average 8 boards a game while doing nothing else in the typical Evans fashion.  So when I say deeper leagues, I mean deeeeeeper.  We’ll recap the rest of the trades in tomorrow morning’s piece as well as in the comments throughout the afternoon to help with your fantasy moves.  Here’s what else went down in NBA action:

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And we’re back baby!  The All-Star break in Nawleans has come and gone, with a disappointing dunk contest, no bounce passes in the skills contest (yeah, what was up with that Prez?!) and All-Star jerseys that made the finale look like an adult rec league game on a Thursday night.  “Help, I think Stanley has a hernia!”  I was constantly thinking to myself about the Major League quote, but the opposite.  Brian Scalabrine or Matt Bonner coming into their first practice with sleeves and a hat on, and their coaches were like, “We don’t wear caps and sleeves at this level son!”  Sure made that coach look stupid on Sunday night!  And if you’re a Cleveland fan, you’ve got to be thinking, “Crikey wtf is going on!?” after seeing Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters go off in their respective ASB games over the weekend.  Then to see neither of them do anything against the 76ers last night!  To be fair, the Cavs let their scrubs do all their damage in a blowout.  So I guess if Cavs are thinking crikey, Philly fans are thinking, “if we don’t win 20 games this year, I’m giving up cheesesteaks!”  Drastic?  Probably.  Be liking asking me to give up that delicious BBQ.  Now I’m all sorts of hungry… How did this get into food?  Let’s just dive right in to last night’s return to action, like how you’d dive into an all-you-can-eat Southern food buffet with mac & cheese, hush puppies, chopped BBQ, whole BBQ, biscuits & gravy, and then, and then…:

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When Glen Davis went to the pre-season Magic weigh-in, the trainer was like, “355 Big Baby, really?”  “These hips don’t lie!”  And in a very full slate of games last night, we had two pretty premiere big men have their hips not lie and go out on them.    “Help I’ve fallen and can’t get up!”  The NBA to start issuing players life alerts to wear around their necks.  DeMarcus Cousins was the first to succumb to the AARP ailment.  Suffered a left hip flexor, but coach Mike Malone said it probably wasn’t serious.  Destiny is like, “wait a ‘left’ hip?  I thought, like, for people we had only one hip!”  No child left behind fails us yet again.  Good thing it’s the All-Star break for Boogie!  An All-Star Boogie!  Dude, that should totally be an event.  Breakdance Horse!  Hah.  Then Derrick Favors went out and re-aggravated his right hip that had caused him to miss games here and there over the past month.  This one is a lot less bueno.  But hey, DeMarcus and Derrick have a pair of healthy hips!  If only they were siamese twins – they’d get, like, 35 rebounds a game.  Favors will likely get an MRI and be brought along very slowly since this is a re-aggravation.  Enes Kanter to the rescue!  Might get some solid run and deserves love in a lot of leagues.  And don’t sleep on Rudy Gobert in deep leagues if you need some blockage.  Speaking of blockage, look at some of the traffic photos of NC from yesterday.  No one learned from Atlanta!  And the best basketball game on the slate, UNC-Duke, cancelled.  Travesty.  Let’s get this global warming going again!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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So, the Feds are after you.  Your Ponzi scheme and billions of dollars are up for seizure.  Well, that, or your $20 league dues and your friends sending you obnoxious texts about how you’re not going to the playoffs.  So if you’re in H2H and in this shortened week, what is a Madoff to do?  How about putting in a quick grab of Chris Kaman, who has erected himself into surging fantasy relevance.  Too far JB!  A raging 25/14/4/1/3 line last night, taking a whopping team-high 24 shots.  That’s now three straight games of at least 17 Pts, 8 Rebs, 3 Asts and 2 Blks.  That’s the floor!  While tonight’s slate is pretty jam-packed, Thursday is a light one.  With the Lakers one of the few teams in action, Kaman could really make the difference this week for ya in Pts and Blks.  While he does have a shelf life whence Pau Gasol returns, if Gasol is indeed traded I think Kaman has played well enough to stick.  Of course you never know with Doh-toni, but Robert Sacre isn’t exactly a guy to be developed for a long-term future and they don’t have any other true 5s.  So don’t be afraid to stash some of your free cash in the Kaman islands.  While he is owned in 43% of Yahoo leagues already (a bit shocking to me it had hopped up that fast), there’s plenty of IRS-free banks left to stash him up.  Here’s what else I saw last night across fantasy hoops:

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As we mentioned a few months ago, the Philadelphia 76ers D is bad.  Like D League bad.  They could use some D league!  At one point, they were close to 8 points a game worse than the the 29th worst team defense.  But with the Lakers having all sorts of problems, they’ve entered the bottom feeders with Philly giving up a league worst 109.9 a game, LA now 29th at 106.2, then third is at 103.8.  Suffice to say – soft D.  Kinda like in the word djent.  Any metal fans out there?  Or in Django Unchained.  The big benefactor last night was another huge game from Jeff Green, who shot 11-18 (5-7 3PTM 9-12 FT) for 36/8/2/0/2.  Should’ve been doing this all year!  Green had that even bigger 39-point outburst two weeks ago against the Wizards, so that’s two biguns sandwiched with cold cuts of bleh.  Kinda like a $5 footlong when you choose meatball but have to eat it later… Stevens said a couple of days ago that they need to get Green the ball in the post and in transition more.  I guess that equals making 5 of your 7 threes!  Hah.  While I do think Green will be better, and the return and minutes exansion of Rajon Rondo to help create better oppotunies will help, if you can get some really solid top-60ish value in a sell-high, run and do it.  You may be saying, “top-60, this JB is reaching too high!”  Heading into the year, ranked 63 in Yahoo and ESPN at 58!  And I had him at… Yeah I don’t wanna talk about it.  So getting draft day value at 100% would be very nice.  Much lower than that and I’m still holding. Here’s what else I saw on a busy night of NBA action:

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Just like a vacation to Cape Cod, Tim Hardaway Jr. got a sabbatical Mike Woodson’s bench at the start of 2014.  “My New Year’s resolution will be… Bench my best players!  Well except Melo…”  Playing under 15 minutes in first 5 2014 games, it looked like it would be a Hardaway Way Back.  But as they say, “slow and steady wins the race!”  Then how come Andrew Bynum isn’t running track?  “Usain Bolt got nothing on me!”  Then starting on the 14th, Coach Woody got Timmy Tim more minutes, capped off with 30+ in three of the last four.  And man, was last night some straight ballin’!  Topping his career-high by 8, Timmay(!) went 29/3/1 in 31 minutes, shooting a sizzling 11-17 FG with 6-12 from deep.  “That means he made every shot inside the arc!”  Thanks arbitrary remark man!  Enough with the quotes this morning JB… This game was virtually over the second Tyler Zeller lost the tip to Tyson Chandler (the ridiculous mismatch on the tip was a nice foreshadowing of the game…) and the Knicks embarrassed the Cavs about as bad as “The Decision.”  But while Timmay(!) racked up some points in junk time, the Knicks have won four straight with him helping to stretch the floor.  Of course no Iman Shumpert factors in, but there’s no way Coach Woody doesn’t have some morning woody seeing 4 straight wins – thanks to a lot less of Timmay(!) on the pine and more of him on… hardwood.  So I think Hardaway Jr. is here to stay as a ThrAGNOF, which isn’t necessarily a derogatory term.  Stream him when you can even in shallow leagues!  Free points and threes!  But not much else… Here’s what else I saw last night in a light slate of Thursday games:

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Breaking news!  Kobe Bryant is injured.  No one has been talking about this.  And in a further Razzball exclusive – he’s old.  Not exactly the best combo coming back from a major injury, followed by another pretty bad one just a few games back.  After a re-examination, apparently the knee bone still isn’t connected to the leg bone, so let’s call the whole thing off!  Will be examined yet again in three weeks, and that’s just another knee rub-rub.  Who knows how much longer it will be after that.  Good news is!  Jodie Meeks is still gonna kill it, Kendall Marshall is still going to hand out dimebags like a Colorado bakery, and with the Lakers still atrocious, we can make a pretty educated guess that Kobe is going to be out A – until he is 100%, no questions asked, no way he could get hurt again healthy or B – the season.  Leaning B.  And even if A happens, it would be so late and in such limited minutes that I don’t think the value is worth it.  Cut him in 10 or 12-teamers.  Just do it.  I know some people will keep holding him, if you’re in 1st or 2nd and fine for the playoffs and wanna stash, I can’t argue much with you, but I think the time is now to use that spot for others.  Tough year for Lakers fans, but hey, you’re not the Bucks… Here’s what else went down across the NBA-o-sphere:

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