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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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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Ohhhhh Brad Stevens.  You look like you’re 12 and coach like you’re… 12.  But at least, unlike Larry Drew, his inconsistencies have been pretty centralized to the… center.  I need to work on expanding my vocab!  First there was the Vitor Faverani early (albeit very brief) breakout, then Kelly Olynyk got some starts, followed by a really nice run from Jared Sullinger.  I at first brushed him off, but then had Yahoo highlights for a Celtics game and was really impressed.  I liked how he saw the floor, played hard, a nice-looking shot, and just overall looked like a guy that would be a must-own.  Then after some flagrant fouls and rough-n-tough play racking up the personals, Stevens threw him to the bench.  From December 22nd to January 8th he was brutal and I had to jump ship as well.  And of course right after that happens, he goes for 21/11 and 14/10 over the weekend, with a pair of treys in both.  The first comment on Friday was asking about dropping Sullinger and I said “12 team with a solid squad I might hold, but if I had injuries or needed production now, he’s droppable. I think he is bad a few weeks, but gets back into the starting lineup.”  That’s me quoting me!  My timetable was off, turned out he was done being bad/underplayed, but I still had some faith.  I think he needs to be owned in most leagues with double-double upside, a perimeter game, and I think the assists come back (only 1 in the past 4, but was at 2.3 dimes a game in December).  Let’s all just hope Stevens doesn’t keep sullying fantasy hoops for us… Here’s what else I saw over the weekend (through tears of sadness after the refs rigged the 49ers a playoff win) in fantasy basketball:

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Before this NBA season I couldn’t look at Mike D’Antoni without thinking of Cy Tolliver, the second-tier villain on HBO’s “Deadwood.”

But I had no idea that D’Antoni would behave like his fictional doppelganger (played by Powers Boothe) and that he would turn the Lakers into the Bella Union Saloon, a place rife with rigged gambling, card games that end in gunfire, out-in-the-open prostitution and inexplicable frontcourt rotations. OK, maybe just the last thing.

There really seems to be no method to D’Antoni’s madness. Jordan Hill got some serious run at the end November and responded with some double-digit rebound games, so of course coach slashed his minutes down to the high teens by the beginning of December. Around the middle of the month he called Hill’s number again, and the results weren’t surprising: He produced some nice games, including a 21-9-1 on Dec. 16 at Atlanta. Now Hill is starting, but his minutes have been crunched down to around 20 per game.

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It was a mere two weeks ago that we were here, in this very space, talking about the living embodiment of a game of “Q*bert,” Nene Hilario.

We knew it was coming. Nene’s gone all screwy on us again, deciding that his foot hurt and that he would need to “step away.” Wouldn’t it be great to be able to do that at work whenever crap went bad? Eh, hey, sorry I messed up that TPS report boss, I think I’m just gonna “step away.”

The chief beneficiary to this mess is Trevor Booker.  Prior to Nene’s latest hiatus, which began three games ago, Booker wasn’t even listed on the Wizards depth chart.

Yet when Nene did his Nene thing coach Randy Wittman reached to the end of his bench and grabbed the beefy Booker. One of the geekiest-looking players in NBA history was rewarded: In the three games that Nene’s been out, Booker has averaged 16-11-1, including a monstrous 24-12-1 in a near-win against the Atlanta Hawks.

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Coming into this year, the fantasy freaks of the world had two guys on their radar as far as Phoenix Suns centers. Would it be one-time fantasy darling and all-the-time Polish Hammer Marcin Gortat, or lottery pick Alex Len, who could either end up as a modern-day Jon Koncak or a white Dwight Howard.

How about neither? Gortat was traded to the Washington Cheese Wiz in a very odd trade where the Suns ended up with a protected first-round pick and a frozen-in-Carbonite Emeka Okafor – which really isn’t that different than Emeka Okafor – while the ex-Bullets got Gortat and three guys they waived.

Len, meanwhile, is injured, and won’t be ready even when he’s ready, if that makes any sense.

And all of this is perfectly fine in the retirement capital of the world.

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Fantasy Championship!  Some leagues have just wrapped up their finals and hopefully you’ve got a nice Shiva for your mantleplace.  But in other leagues the championship has just begun or it’s the last week-and-a-half for roto.

With a lot of big name players (ahem! Dwyane Wade ahem!) not getting on the court, there’s going to be a ton of new fringe guys getting minutes.  It’s been since Saturday since we’ve had a round-up, so let’s look at the weekend’s action (no games yesterday with the NCAA final):

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