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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Yup, bringing that back!  Pretty much my reaction looking at my line-ups last night where I endured a long broken hand heal fest.  Loved me some Kawhi Leonard heading into the season, and even though Pop is still keeping Kawhi’s minutes from full climax, 7-10 last night (2-2 3PTM 2-2 FT) 18/5/3/4/3 in 26 rainbow-licious minutes.  Since returning from the broken hand, Kawhi has gone full multi-cat-hard hitting all 5 cats in all 4 games, a trey in each one, and 9-9 from the FT line.  This is what I envisioned all season!  I’m thinking Kawhi shoulda punched something early in preseason and this would’ve been what we got all year.  It’s going to be fairly tough to pry Kawhi from anyone else’s roster given his torrid return, but can’t hurt to float some stuff out there if the Pop-factor is still haunting any Kawhi owners.  If you’re making your final push for your playoff rosters and can still make a move or two, Kawhi has 4-game weeks in the semis and the championship.  So I for one think you can cry “Kawhi Kawhi Kawhi!” all the way home.  “Thanks Mrs. H…”  My name is JB!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy action:

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Now I’m not sure about this, but when Taj Gibson had a couple good games over the Thanksgiving week, I probably recapped and gobble-gobbled at it.  My jowls flapped around like Boss Nass bein’ all “Hmmpphhherr Rumpity-Doooo, Taj Gibson, rabble rabble rabble!”  At least that sounds like me… Now you see what I deal with in my inner monologue!  It’s like I battle a drunk Kenny Rogers.  Which is to say, I battle Kenny Rogers.  Gibson has been a scrate-up beast the past four, going 23/8, 18/4, 26/14 5 blks, and 19/6/0/1/1 last night.  Bringing big time energy to that front line as the main big off the bench, he’s playing insane out there, shooting 67% from the floor in those past 4.  I watched the game last night and was impressed with his spark, but then again, the Heat bigs are awful.  They got out-rebounded 49-27 last night!  Back in the day, I used to love Taj when Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah battled injuries.  But now… it took some time and four in a row to buy it.  I think it’s because the Bulls are my least favorite team.  Sorry Bulls fans!  Boozer & Noah just yell on virtually every rebound and definitely every single putback attempt.  It’s unreal!  It’s like Maria Sharapova is rebounding.  And Gibson does it at least 50% of the time.  He’s becoming the Bulls Sex Panther.  “50% of the time he’s yelling… every time!”  But regardless of how annoying he/the Bulls bigs are to watch/listen to, he’s playing like a must-own in all formats.  At 33% owned in Yahoo and 24% in ESPN, he’s hot while a lot guys are not.  I don’t think he’s going to turn into a set-it and forget-it guy the rest of the year, he doesn’t do enough of anything else besides score and board (if not for that 5 block game, he’d be under 1 in Asts, Stls & Blks on the year), but I think he’s a ride the wave kinda add right now.  Here’s what else I saw on the light Thursday slate of games and a few updates for tonight:

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When the Obamacare website launched, it was a lot like the Nuggets.  Load errors, mental mistakes, and only 6 people actually showed up because George Karl got fired.  But after JaVale McGee went down (I bet the Nuggets wish their healthcare bills were free!), the 1-3 Nuggets are now 11-6.  Coinky-dink?  I think not!  J.J. Hickson has been great at the 5 fillin’ in for Shaqtin-a-McGee, but it was Timofey Mozgov who has stolen the show the past two games, with 15+/15+ back-to-back including 17/20 against the hapless Nets last night.  But a trend is a-surfacing as Hickson has been under 18 minutes in those games while Mozgov was over 30.  Hickson is still starting, but Mozgov is just being a straight Godzilla out there against opposing B-teams.  I’m not ready to completely hand over the torch – I think Mozzy Bear getting in there was just matchup-based and Hickson gets back to the 30 minute range and Mozgov to the low-to-mid 20s.  But if you need boarding and scoring help, Mozgov is available in a lot of leagues and can still be valuable with that sort of run.  Pete even put him on the radar!  Now he’s in full view.  Even 12-teamers needing the big man help need to take the flyer while they can.  Here’s what else went down last night in the hoops-o-sphere:

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So the Pistons were looking like a playoff contending team with all their offseason acquisitions, but after a 2-1 record with the only loss a close one on the road to Memphis, the Pistons have dropped 4 straight to fall to 2-5.  Plus Memphis looks god awful after that looking like a “good” loss.  The Pistons aren’t very good.  Hire Jim Leyland!  The culmination of the four-game skid climaxed in an ugly 18- point loss to the Warriors last night that sent a few fantasy shockwaves down our fantasy spine.  First Josh Smith was benched before playing 19 minutes and shot 1-6 for 2 Pts and no boards.  That’s like a Robin Lopez line! He reportedly took some bad three-pointers.  Those familiar with Josh Smith are like, “aren’t they all bad three pointers coming from him?!”  Still think Smith will be fine and this could actually help him from killing your FG% on his off nights.  The biggest benefactor to the J Smoove benching was my boyfriend (!) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope getting 24 minutes and going 9/3/1 with a trey and two steals playing a small (literally) forward role at times.  Now I didn’t watch this game, so if he was matched up on Andre Iguodala who isn’t exactly a domineering 3, that makes sense.   Then to top off a terrible night for Pistons fans, Razzball commenter favorite Andre Drummond went down with an ankle injury, playing way too late in the game that was a blowout.  It was like a Booby Miles injury.  He walked off the court under his own power, but ankle injuries are like the fantasy grim reaper’s wheel of fortune.  Sometimes a terrible looking one turns into nothing, and sometimes you’re Tobias Harris.  Hell Tyson Chandler walked off the court with a broken leg!  You just never know… Keep your eye out for updates during the day.  Hey, at least Drummond put up 16/14/0/3/3 for ya!  Here’s what else I saw across the NBA last night:

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Maybe because I didn’t follow the NBA preseason as closely last year as I was working exclusively on Football, but I feel like there’s been a lot more preseason injuries in only the first week of action than in year’s past.  Then again, Rodney Stuckey wasn’t even on the court, and slammed his thumb in his car door and needs surgery.  It’s gonna make for a hell of a hitchhiking thumb in that cast!  What it is with Detroit athletes and getting hurt in their cars?  Not even a month ago Nate Burleson broke his arm reaching over to keep some boxes from falling and slamming into the median.  All Detroit athletes need to avoid using motor vehicles.  Maybe that’s proof right there Obama shouldn’t have bailed out GM.  Give them all mopeds.  Oh wait, yeah that won’t work, will is Monta Ellis?  Maybe segways?  I’ve got it!  Just tell Andre Drummond he has to carry every Detroit athlete to where they need to go until his FT% goes above 50.  He’ll be like a Detroit athlete tauntaun.  See, tell me why I’m not an NBA coach.  I already had moved Kentavious Caldwell-Pope way up before the Stuckey injury with how the Pistons coaching staff was praising him, and look for KCP to move to right around 100 overall in my next rankings update.  Here’s what else went down since we last looked in at preseason action:

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Heading into the upcoming Fantasy Basketball Season, Razzball will be interviewing local NBA beat writers for some actual in-depth basketball knowledge to shed some additional light on our fantasy basketball knowledge. Keep your eye out for an interview for every NBA team through the summer. This installment comes courtesy of Reece Helms from leading Miami Heat blog Hot Hot Hoops.

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