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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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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More rankings, more “hindsight is 20-20″-ing!  Damn man, seeing LaMarcus Aldridge carve up the Rockets after his huge season is bumming me out – even before I hop into reviewing 21-50!  Get the red marker ready Slim!  Get that F ready!

Just like we reviewed in the Top 20, 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 busts out his grading pens and reviews for grammatical correctness and how stringently I followed the assignment.  “What if I stay after class for tutoring!?”  This dialogue and mental image is starting to sound like a low-rent porno.  It’s not like that!  Here’s a look back at the Top 50 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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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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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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Oh man, rough night for matt’s Pacers!  Al Jefferson just went absolutely bonkers, adding to his stretch of bonkertude giving Jefferson owners a huge boost for the playoffs.  Owning Roy Hibbert like an Entertainment 720 entrepreneur, Big Al shot 16-25 in a full multi-cat dance party of 34/8/3/1/1 and even hit a three!  Only his sixth of his career to pepper all the cats.  Over his last 3, Jefferson has hit 44 of 65 shots for a very high volume 67.7 FG%.  Jefferson hasn’t played this well since his Minnesota days, and you can even argue this has been a career year.  Which for a guy with the history Jefferson has put down in the stat sheets is really saying something considering how rocky it all started.  Remember the ankle issue that had him sit a lot of games?  Then the slow start?  Because I sure do, and I steadfastly said “Hold me tighter baby!”  Is that a song?  I feel like there’s something close to that… Anyway, hopefully you were able to buy low or weather the storm and now you’re reaping some big man stats like it’s the 90s.  We miss you David Robinson!  Two losses in a row for the Pacers, right after barely beating the Jazz.  The Heat are now only 1.5 games behind, and might be taking the Pacers piece of the home-court advantage pie!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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The All-Star Break is here!  With skills competish, Mike & Mike in the evening, and everyone’s favorite – the Slam Dunk Contest.  It’s exactly what everyone needs during the grind of the regular season, even for us fans who are only nursing such injuries like Larry Drew-ophobia, general malaise, and fantasy bewilderment.  I have all of those symptoms!  Plus we all get four straight nights of not worrying about our fantasy rosters, nights off to spend with ladies (Valnetine’s Day just happens to be during the All-Star Break, who planned this?  Does Jared own the NBA?!), nights off to go out drinking without constantly checking box scores on the iPhone, and nights off to spend working on some Fantasy Baseball rankings…  Oh, and nights off to dig out our cars, sheesh this weather!  So with all that in mind enjoy the All-Star Break, get on twitter and have fun faux-titling the Dunk Contest throwdowns, and I’ll be back on Wednesday next week as we approach the fantasy playoffs.  Here’s what I saw last night in the few NBA games and a few injury updates:

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I could tell what JB was thinking just from the look in his eyes, or what I could see of them, but he had to verbalize it, “Come on I really don’t want to do this.”  I’m sure he didn’t but a lost bet has consequences.  It was time to go play some 2-on-2 tournament basketball and he looked ready.  He was carrying his basketball in one hand, his sandals in the other, and sporting a bright orange and pink spandex leotard, which can you believe has to be special ordered.  I thought the big and tall store would have a couple to choose from but they don’t.  Anyway where was I, oh yeah, and a matching blindfold with a couple tiny holes poked out.  For safety.  At this point there was no escaping our fate, JB knew that what he wanted was no longer relevant.  When we finally arrived we were ready to ball.  I knew we needed to make an impression so in a show of intimidation I threw my shirt off revealing my shiny black Tom Selleck-esque body fur, pulled my socks up high and tight, and mean mugged those fools as hard as I could.

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The Bulls are a lot like the Tanner children.  Whatever the hell the name of the youngest the Olsen Twins played is Derrick Rose – all sorts of famous but now all sorts of a mess.  The middle one is Kirk Hinrich.  Because as soon as he’s not on the Bulls anymore, he’s gonna become so irrelevant that even Tom Thibodeau will forget who he was the next season.  Which leaves us with D.J. who is obviously – D.J. Augustin.  I mean, Bob Saget should’ve just stopped at the first kid! Well I guess there’s still upside with the youngest one.  This metaphor is tanking JB!  I feel as if you readers are starting profanity-laced rants thus far.  Just like Bob Saget’s stand-up “act”!  Hey-oh!  So Hinrich got hurt yet again last night, doing something to his hammy.  It’s almost as if you can predict injuries!  Part of my gravitation to D.J. was not only how well he was fitting with the team, but how brittle Captain Kirk is.  I would make a Star Trek parallel, but it’s TNG or nothing, son!  Besides, the TV show metaphors are a strong 0/1 this morning… Augustin is in line for huge run and in 37 minutes last night went 27/4/4 with 5 threes.  I expect pretty high-teen scoring and 6-8 dimes a night with a couple of treys while Hinrich is out, then maintaining the starting role when Hinrich is back with minimal dropoff.  More-or-less a must own in all leagues, and I’ve been Bull[hah!]ish on him all along.  Hopefully you’ve scooped him up and held on to him.  Here’s what else I saw in fantasy hoops on a busy day of MLK action:

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I’ve got a great idea for a horror movie.  This giant dude with a disheveled afro walks into various fast-food franchises and just stomps on everyone and gives them sub-90 sanitation grades.  We’ll call it, “Andrew Bynum: Franchise Killer!”  Dum, domp, dumb!  Aka, the sounds Bynum makes when he talks.  Oh man, Cleveland hasn’t been this happy since the Cavs beat LeBron and the Heat a couple years ago in Cleveland.  And all this does for Bynum is get him moved to another team so he can be waived for a salary dump.  I wish I dumped salary!  No not celery!  Anyway, the Bulls shipped off Luol Deng in their own celery dump (too many Chicago dogs) to Cleveland, while receiving some draft picks in full rebuild mode.  Hey, if they don’t make the playoffs then no one has to berate Derrick Rose about his knee!  What was Rose thinking saying he might try to come back… I’ve never been a big Deng fan, perils of being in tar heel country, and moving to a team with a lot of shooters (Kyrie Irving) and ball hogs (Kyrie Irving), I think Deng’s fantasy value takes a hit.  Sure Deng still played well with a healthy Rose, but it’s just not a situation where I see Deng being as solid a fantasy guy with C.J. Miles and Dion Waiters also shoot first guys on the wing.  And you can kiss the 7 boards a game goodbye with Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao pullin’ em down.  I wouldn’t panic and give Deng away, but that’s just my take.  Here’s what else I saw from last night in fantasy basketball:

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