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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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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…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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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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The Lakers and dear ol’ coach Doh-toni are just an absolute mess right now.  And just to make things even more interesting, there are injuries, mystery, intrigue, vets returning, and a scheme to divert water reservoir rights.  With Pau Gasol out for two weeks with a bum groin and a good chance out of L.A. before the trade deadline, this whole team is turning into the end of Chinatown.  “Forget it, Jake.  It’s Chinatown!”  And you really can forget pretty much everyone on this team right now, as three vets returned, two guys got hurt, and it’s turning into a bigger Hollywood disaster than The Adventures of Pluto Nash.  I bet Norbit could play PF for the purple and gold!  Since going through everything that happened for the crumbling Lakers would be an 800-word paragraph, let’s hop out of the open and machine gun through em, plus what else happened last night in the world of fantasy hoops:

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Whoa, domino.

We’ve seen it time and again in this year of NBA action, which has looked more like an episode of “E.R.” wrapped inside a scene from “Grey’s Anatomy” inside Nurse Jackie’s scrubs than it has the FAN-tastic exhibition of athletic excellence constructed by now-ex-commish David Stern.

The injury domino effect has wreaked havoc everywhere in real life, wrecking players’ seasons, sending some teams into tank mode while helping other teams tank.

In the fantasy world, the impact of these boo-boos has been equally killer for some owners and the big ones don’t even need to be listed. You all know ‘em.

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Last time I’m gonna mention it, I’m not a masochist, but last week, I suggested that Terrance Ross should be dropped. Well, I think he may read my smelly little article, because homeboy went off for 51 with 10 treys, making me look a fool. Well, to Terrance I say: “I don’t need any help looking like a fool, thank you very much!” I think I won that joust. But in all seriousness, there’s a good lesson to be learned here: never drop slam dunk winners! Wait, whut? No, Daniel-san, the real lesson is no matter how good you are, you’re gonna make mistakes in fantasy. I had Ross, and dropped him just in time to watch him put in a performance that would have won my week. But he had scored 14 points his previous 3 games, with not a lot of supporting stats, the drop was a good move, based on his numbers up to that point. I, like any good fantasy player, have to shake it off, and not beat myself  up too much.  So on that note, if you’re still reading, you may want to know whom to buy and whom to sell, and to that I say, thank you, read on, but obviously, buyer beware!

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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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Waa-Wuuuuh… That is the written version of the sad trombone. This week’s title is a flop, just like Lance Stephenson‘s excuse for flopping, amirite? He essentially said that the floor was slippery, so he embellished the contact. I love you, Lance, but c’mon son! Just say you were trying to draw the charge, no shame in that, and let that be the end of it! Lance has been flopping into our fantasy hearts this year, though, so we can’t stay mad at him. We are at the halfway point in the NBA season, and like mid-winter for us northerners, if you’re not careful, you could catch a case of the fantasy basketball doldrums. It’s harder to find the waiver wire break outs, because most of them have broken out already. You could just pack it if you let the blahs take hold. But don’t brave reader, you’re better than that! Is there still some gold to be mined out there? I submit there is. But adjust your expectations accordingly. You ain’t finding a mountain full of gold, Smaug done got got his, you’ve left picking up what’s left. So what did my pick axe knock loose this week? Have a gander:

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