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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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):

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Razzball Hoops Nation!  It’s officially the offseason!  Well for fantasy…  And for the Knicks and the Lakers.  And the Pacers!  Haha, sorry matt, just joshin’…

And what better way to look back on the 2013-14 season than to reflect on the rankings.  Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it!  Dammit, that means I can’t ever rank Ricky Rubio highly again even though I know I’ll want to!

So I reflected back on my ranks, and patted myself on the back or immolated myself on what I was thinking so long ago.  Rankings are based on my final updated top 200 and eesh!  Looking back on these some are rough!  I then compared them to the FantasyPros aggregate Draft Day Rankings along with Basketball Monster’s Total Value for 9-cat leagues for the season.  I had Slim come in and grade each of my picks, and man, he’s a harsh grader!  And unfortunately he doesn’t take too kindly to giant pasty men flashing their teetans at him either, so I got no extra help. Here’s a look back at the Top 20 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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Hmmmm, ok, who did you pick in you office “who scores 40 points tonight” pool?  I bet the Vegas odds were… a million to one on Nick Young.  “So you’re saying there’s a chance!”  Too bad Nick Young sucks in fantasy.  You actually have to go back 15 games to find him putting up a 5 in any counting stat other than treys.  The ThrAGNOF fairy strikes again!  Dude went a preposterous 15-26 (6-13 3PTM 4-5 FT) 40/4/1/2/0 and only had one turnover last night.  The Blazers should be ashamed.  I’m pretty sure this game never actually happened, and it was some sort of elaborate April Fool’s joke.  Swaggy P shockingly led the Lakers in minutes off the bench, and with his shoot first, ask questions later attitude, Mike D’Anotni’s rape stache kept curling upwards in facial hair glee.  By the end of the game (and yes, another Lakers loss), D’Anotni’s mustache looked like Rollie Fingers.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

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Yet another start for the Gorgui Apparatus, with Gorgui Dieng going all out with a Goromotaro!  I have to say, definitely the most unexpected Goromotaro since the term was coined.  22/21/4/1/0 and double-doubles in his last three games.  Except this was a double double-double.  There’s so many Ds in that sentence you’d think I was daydreaming about Tyra Banks!  And while Gorgui is out proving that he’s America’s Next Top C, what are doing right now in crunch time of fantasy?  He’s a tough guy to leave on the wire, but the Wolves only have Sunday left this week, and Nikola Pekovic is traveling with the team.  Pek is questionable, but Dieng has given the team every excuse to keep the youngun out there with pretty much no realistic expectations to make the playoffs.  So unless you’ve got a bye with a real scrub and you can stash Gorgui and hope for another big upside game, or your line-up is virtually full Friday and Saturday, you’re probably letting him ride in 10 or 12ers H2H.  Roto he’s worth a spin and if you’re crushing it in week 1 of the playoffs, maybe worth a stache as well.  Oh no, Grey has me daydreaming about baseball!  Mmmmm, Tyra Banks and baseball.  Get out of my head Grey!  What will be really interesting next year is what the Wolves do up front with Kevin Love having an uncertain future and Pek a FA.  Dieng would probably be a really flashy flyer if he projects to start.  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

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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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It’s finally here: All Star Weekend! It’s a shortened week, so you get a shortened article.  Like New Years Eve, I’m getting hyped up to be let down, the most common experience in life. I’d like to say I’m optimistic for the weekend’s festivities, that the changes to the dunk competition will make the product exciting, but I’m not. Nevertheless, it’s all about expectation. Take your fantasy squad: If you’re like me, you enjoy having a player on your roster being named to the All-Star squad. From my  perspective, it increases his value, even though we all know, that it really comes down to the numbers. But I have an expectation that players who have been named an All-Star will live up to that honour.

So now might be the time to buy an All-Star, who has the best part of the season (and his production) left, or to sell high on an All-Star who is overvalued. Understand that there are no steals here. You’ll pay (or receive) for every player listed below.  That said, here are a few names to consider:

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Remember back in the day when you played Oregon Trail every waking moment?  I only sorta remember because I kept getting dysentery…  But I imagine an update should have the mythical creature of LaMarcus Aldridge as some sort of omnipotent deity that you hope comes to your aid.  “Your wagon is stuck in quick sand, use 1 of 3 remaining LaMarcus Aldridge summons?”  Hells yea!  And then I need him to save my oxen.  Huge game from LA last night putting up a career-high points and a sick 44/13/5/0/2 line including 14-17 FT while the crowd chanted “M-V-P” all 4th quarter.  Scored the last 15 points, went 8-8 at the stripe in the last 70 seconds, all in a 5-point win.  The Nuggets just had nothing for him inside when he was crashing the glass, and LA was boarding like a beast.  I know he’s had a lot of Goromotaros, but almost all the boards he got in this one were in traffic.  And the Nuggets were fouling him extremely hard all 4th quarter.  Gonna need an ice bath!  All he has to do is come to the east coast and jump in a lake.  One of my worst calls of the year was my poor Aldridge ranking, but if you can’t get it right, join em!  Or something like that… Traded for him in REL and in another league.  I don’t know why owners were pulling a Kurt Russell and trying to Escape From L.A., but enjoy your huge stats and the first-round value you’re accruing.  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA news and action:

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