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It’s nice to live minute-to-minute. Riding the wave of life, experiencing the gamut of emotions, and acquiring a rolodex of memories with nary a stress in the world. A life lived like this is unfulfilling, though. To truly get the most out of life, one must try to achieve. And in order to achieve, one must have a plan. Look at the current NBA. So many smart people running teams, yet they navigate the landscape like a stoned teenager walking through a grocery store. Look! Twinkies! Mmmmm, I’m so hungry. These will taste so good. Oh! Chips. 

Former general manager of the 76ers, Sam Hinkie, had a plan. If you haven’t read his Manifesto, I highly recommend that you do. There’s so much goodness there, but I wanted to focus on this excerpt:

“It is critical to be cycle aware in a talent-driven league. In a situation like yours at the Sixers, where a variety of circumstances left you near a trough in the cycle (and falling), amplifying this cycle became crucial. Today’s outcomes for every team are heavily impacted by decisions past (who to draft, sign, trade, hire, etc.). Jeff Bezos says that if Amazon has a good quarter it’s because of work they did 3, 4, 5 years ago-not because they did a good job that quarter. Today’s league-leading Golden State Warriors acquired Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut, and Klay Thompson almost 4 years ago, nearly 4 years ago exactly, and almost 5 years ago. In this league, the long view picks at the lock of mediocrity.”

TTP. Trust the Process.

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Summer is here and our three favorite B’s are back. Not Big Baller Brand, but Bikinis, BBQs, and Basketball. The NBA Summer League commenced on July 1, so I’m going to highlight some of the guys that balled out in this edition of The Abode. Here’s a little tune to get us going:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr0tTbTbmVA

Before I start, Slim and I are working on projections and rankings. We should start pumping out some serious content around August. In the meantime, I’ll post random thoughts in The Abode every Monday and Craig B has been churning out his Dynasty Deep Dive articles every Saturday, so check those out. If you or anyone you know would like to write for Razzball hoops, email me at [email protected]

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Summer Leagues are upon us and the recent draft class has already left their mark. Jayson Tatum has been an offensive revelation, Donovan Mitchell has displayed his potential on both ends of the floor, and Markelle Fultz has shown the offensive skills that we’ve been drooling over, although he still showed glimpses of defensive naivety. Bam Adebayo has dominated in the paint and surprised us with some big offensive numbers, while Jonathan Isaac has flashed potential, but confirmed that he is still a project.

Yes, Summer leagues matter. Every point, assist, and turnover changes the perception that the other owners in your dynasty league have on players in the pool. But, let’s not delve too much into summer leagues yet.

Here’s what you came for. Part Deux of my Dynasty Rookie Rankings:

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In the wake of the draft, I embarked in many interesting conversations with people in the industry. I wanted to share with you a conversation that I found fascinating with a good buddy of mine, Steve Connell, an independent scout who also happens to be a Boston Celtics fan, on his theory as to why the Celtics traded the No. 1 overall pick and why it wasn’t just to stockpile more assets.

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Wow. What a riveting week for basketball fans. And not a single game was played! It harkened me back to the days of drafting on the PS2, then sitting back and simming the season. Then making my big board for the incoming rookies. Then drafting, with a bite of pizza here and a sip of Coke there. I would zone out for hours, enthralled by the team building process. And that’s what makes the NBA Draft so great. The new crop of players are entering the league and the general managers are filling in the pieces of the puzzle. Hope and optimism pervade fan bases across the country. Sorry Bulls fans. I didn’t mean you. Which segues nicely to my first rant…

How the flying F does Jimmy Butler get traded for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the No. 7 pick (Lauri Markkanen)? AND the Bulls threw in the No. 16 pick (Justin Patton). The only explanation I can come up with is that Tom Thibodeau has a suitcase worth of “things” that he’s been waiting for the proper moment to utilize. I believe I’ve just figured out what’s in the Pulp Fiction briefcase. Remember, back in 2015, the Bulls kicked Thibs to the curb in a rather unceremonious way. Finally, Thibs got his revenge. I mean, what other possible explanation could there be? LaVine is an explosive athlete, but he tore his ACL last season. Kris Dunn….I think this tweet explains it all:

https://twitter.com/markstrot/status/878040700239085569

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Wow, how quickly time flies. Feels like only yesterday when I was sitting here bringing you my Top-60 dynasty league rookie rankings and awaiting the new season with excitement, optimism, and hope. Yet, here we are again looking to delve deep with our diving masks and oxygen tanks to dissect the new crop of fresh-faced hopefuls looking to be the next big thing.

It is no secret, to those of you who have read my previous work, how high I was on this draft class. Now that we know the the destinations that this crop will call home, we can delve deeper into expectations for each players’ role with their new organizations. In the upcoming three weeks you will be privy to my Top-60 rookie rankings, but for now, let’s look at some of the players who might have landed themselves into a new dream destination.

I am sure you have read enough articles over the past several weeks covering Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball. Here is my comparison piece from January: http://basketball.razzball.com/dynasty-deep-dive-the-college-bird-vs-bird. So, let us look at some of the less obvious names, whose long-term fantasy outlook received a nice boost after a dramatic draft night.

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I’m so sad the season is officially over.

I’m still amped from the Finals. KD, Steph, Lebron, and Kyrie all balled the F out.

As I’m writing this….

It’s been reported that the Celtics will be trading the No. 1 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for the rights to Markelle Fultz. Wow.

I love Fultz. The consensus has him in a tier by himself for this year’s draft. 6′ 4″ 195 pounds. Can shoot. Can finish. Can break a defender down with his handles. Condor-like wingspan with the hops of a flea. Just go watch the tape.

Man, the Sixers are going to be the new videogame team, like Run TMC. Markelle Fultz is 19 years old. Ben Simmons 20 years old. Dario Saric 23 years old. The Process 23 years old. Robert Covington 26 years old. I think it’s only appropriate to link this tweet…

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I’ve spent a ridiculously stupid amount of time debating whether it’s better to be lucky or good. So much weed. So much time. Wasted. I never go to Roscoe’s and debate the merits of chicken or waffles! It’s both! Always both! The Celtics reiterated that simple concept last night at the NBA Draft Lottery, where the balls bounced up-and-down, side-to-side, and all-around to give them the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Is that going to be Markelle Fultz? Did you know that Fultz’s wingspan is longer that Josh Jackson’s? Crazy. Anyways, must be nice Celtics fans. Must be nice…As a Lakers fan, it pained me to put that logo up top, but I give props when props are due.

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The weekend is here Razzball Nation, and you know what that means – another dose of prospect talk from across the pond from yours truly. With February nearly upon us, we are getting closer to crunch time and the madness that is March, with the NCAA tourney that will no doubt bring the usual feast of shocks, standout plays from the best college has to offer and disappointment for my Baylor Bears.

So what of this week? If you tuned in last week, you would have seen my updated rankings for 2017 NBA draft eligible players (and if you missed out then no worries, you can find it easy enough here) and as promised, this week brings you a Bird vs Bird style column (as stolen from one of my esteemed colleagues) of my top 2 candidates, Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball.

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Welcome back to ‘Dynasty Deep Dive’ Razzball nation!

Well what a week it has been in the world of fantasy basketball. Hopefully you are not reeling from the news this week on the injuries to Chris Paul and Rudy Gay (Guess who drafted both in their RCL listener league) and scouring the wire for potential replacements. I saw my Baylor Bears gain the number 1 spot in the nation, only to lose it in a week after a devastating loss to a super impressive WVU (Yep, I called it a few weeks back). On the bright side, boy did my boy Jonathan Motley bounce back with performance of the week against the Texas Longhorns with a superb display of 32 points, 20 rebounds (7 on the offensive end), 3 blocks and a steal.

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