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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“1,000, 1,001, 1,002, 1,003.  Wow, I can hardly lift my left arm I did so many. I don’t know if you heard me, but I did over 1,000.”  Maybe should’ve stopped at like 40!  Kyrie Irving strained his left biceps a couple weeks ago, sending owners into a furious frenzy of wire replacements.  And one of the most fun times of the year (although you could argue most frustrating) is when the fringe or struggling playoff teams make drastic moves.  Well, I would argue dropping Kyrie when news hit wasn’t a drastic move, but I think you all know what I’m saying in H2H leagues.  After a very positive reevaluation, Uncle Drew was cleared for practice yesterday and could return as soon as tomorrow.  Talk about positivity!  While the game tomorrow against the Magic seems questionable, there still is cloudy uncertainty.  Both that game and the Cavs next on Friday at the Hawks are on very busy, heavily-scheduled days.  Of course when healthy, Kyrie is a no-brainer, but I’d imagine his first game back comes with a little bit of training wheels.  So if you’re in your final week in your title hopes, I’m not seeing an immediacy in picking him up.  But if your finals are next week, or a two-week final, go ahead and Cry Uncle.  Wait, that doesn’t mean what I was hoping.  Go ahead and pry Uncle?  Eh…  In Roto, hopefully you held Kyrie as that’s what I would’ve done.  Looking ahead to next week, it’s sadly only three games for the Cavs, but stay positive!  One against Detroit and another against da Bucks.  Gotta like those.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Nation!  We’re here on a special weekend wrap-up where Slim (this is JB speaking) got to the action and JB just snuck in the beginning.  And snuck in the end!  I’m like Brad Pitt at the Oscars.  “Wait, why is he winning best picture!  So confused right now…”  Tomorrow I’ll proudly illustrate what I did over the weekend, but a nice defining touch hoops-wise was another great one from my boy Mike Scott, who while posting great lines, isn’t helping the Hawks win…  And that’s a problem!  Especially with Paul Millsap assumedly back sometime soon this week.  But I thought Gravity mighta gotten best picture too!  After a really rough send-off last Monday, went bonkers on the Suns for 20/5/2/3/0 with three treys and not a single TO.  I bet Philly sports fans wish they had no TO.  BOOM!  Double sports joke.  The main number that got my emoji tats all excited was the 40 mins played.  Millsap is going to travel with the Hawks as they migrate on a 5-game road trip, but very easily could miss the first few making Scott a solid short-term add.  So beam him aboard, win a big week as we near playoff time, and don’t forget to yell over the music if those pompous mf#@*$ng PA guys at the Oscars wanna condescend you by playing the music.  And here’s Slim with what he saw over the weekend:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And we’re back baby!  The All-Star break in Nawleans has come and gone, with a disappointing dunk contest, no bounce passes in the skills contest (yeah, what was up with that Prez?!) and All-Star jerseys that made the finale look like an adult rec league game on a Thursday night.  “Help, I think Stanley has a hernia!”  I was constantly thinking to myself about the Major League quote, but the opposite.  Brian Scalabrine or Matt Bonner coming into their first practice with sleeves and a hat on, and their coaches were like, “We don’t wear caps and sleeves at this level son!”  Sure made that coach look stupid on Sunday night!  And if you’re a Cleveland fan, you’ve got to be thinking, “Crikey wtf is going on!?” after seeing Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters go off in their respective ASB games over the weekend.  Then to see neither of them do anything against the 76ers last night!  To be fair, the Cavs let their scrubs do all their damage in a blowout.  So I guess if Cavs are thinking crikey, Philly fans are thinking, “if we don’t win 20 games this year, I’m giving up cheesesteaks!”  Drastic?  Probably.  Be liking asking me to give up that delicious BBQ.  Now I’m all sorts of hungry… How did this get into food?  Let’s just dive right in to last night’s return to action, like how you’d dive into an all-you-can-eat Southern food buffet with mac & cheese, hush puppies, chopped BBQ, whole BBQ, biscuits & gravy, and then, and then…:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Glen Davis went to the pre-season Magic weigh-in, the trainer was like, “355 Big Baby, really?”  “These hips don’t lie!”  And in a very full slate of games last night, we had two pretty premiere big men have their hips not lie and go out on them.    “Help I’ve fallen and can’t get up!”  The NBA to start issuing players life alerts to wear around their necks.  DeMarcus Cousins was the first to succumb to the AARP ailment.  Suffered a left hip flexor, but coach Mike Malone said it probably wasn’t serious.  Destiny is like, “wait a ‘left’ hip?  I thought, like, for people we had only one hip!”  No child left behind fails us yet again.  Good thing it’s the All-Star break for Boogie!  An All-Star Boogie!  Dude, that should totally be an event.  Breakdance Horse!  Hah.  Then Derrick Favors went out and re-aggravated his right hip that had caused him to miss games here and there over the past month.  This one is a lot less bueno.  But hey, DeMarcus and Derrick have a pair of healthy hips!  If only they were siamese twins – they’d get, like, 35 rebounds a game.  Favors will likely get an MRI and be brought along very slowly since this is a re-aggravation.  Enes Kanter to the rescue!  Might get some solid run and deserves love in a lot of leagues.  And don’t sleep on Rudy Gobert in deep leagues if you need some blockage.  Speaking of blockage, look at some of the traffic photos of NC from yesterday.  No one learned from Atlanta!  And the best basketball game on the slate, UNC-Duke, cancelled.  Travesty.  Let’s get this global warming going again!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man… It just hasn’t been the best few years for Kris Humphries…  The divorce.  The loss of a starting job.  Traded as a dump to Boston.  But he’s actually been a pretty decent fantasy player lately, including getting a surprise starting nod last night, fairly under-the-radar.  Unfortunately, none-a-dat-matters when watching last night’s game!  Man, talk about lucking out with the games I got this week, as I had Yahoo highlights for the Celtics at Clippers, and the now-infamous “Welcome to my Poster” dunk.  Just dirty from Blake Griffin.  If you didn’t see where I cut the highlight, right after Ralph Lawler says “over, and over, and over…” it cuts back to Humphries who gives the easiest to lip read F bomb you could imagine.  Hilarious!  I lost my cookies all over the office.  I shoulda put “And-one” on the highlight too, but my face melted.  Getting back to fantasy, Blake can have his own poster this year, producing at a great rate and a great pick even for the unknowledgable NBA fan in your league who reached for him for the highlights.  As I mentioned a month or so back, Griffin has been really good this year capped off with a 29/6/8/2/0/highlight of the year line last night.  He showed us why fantasy hoops is underrated in the fantasy community.  It beats football by actually requiring skill and not small-sample luck, and gives us the best highlights to shove it in the face of baseball.  “Oh look, I had Ryan Howard on my team and he actually hit a homer, look at this moon shot!”  “Pssshhhh, I had Blake in today and look at him murder Kris Humphries!”  (full disclaimer I love fantasy baseball).  Enjoy the ride if you nabbed Blake.  Here’s what else happened last night in the NBA:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Is it safe?”  Dustin Hoffman was so not type B enough in that situation.  Imagine Jeff Spicoli in that scene.  “Dude, what are you doing with that, man?!”  But nothing beats the end when Hoffman makes him eat the diamonds.  Spoiler alert!  Oh yea, that’s supposed to go before the – – nevermind.  Ryan Anderson last night was sure the marathon man in the triple OT slug fest in Chicago, playing a preposterous 57 minutes for 36/6 with 7 threes.  He’s like a big Klay Thompson!  I was actually texting with my friend who said the broadcast compared him to Larry Bird – Hah!  I countered with the Jazz broadcast in their opener compared Alec Burks to Michael Jordan.  I can’t even make something up more preposterous than that!  These announcers must’ve failed those analogy tests you had to take through elementary school.  “Pizza:delicious::ice cream:????”  “Alec Burks!”  While it’s good seeing Anderson get that kind of run, spoiler alert!  I think his toe could flare up at some point.  He’s playing great, no question, but when he came back from injury he said he was going to manage the pain and the Pelicans were hoping to hold back his minutes a bit.  Sure failed last night!  I’m obviously not his toe, but I’d be like, “Yo, Ryan, 57 minutes be too much and Tough Actin’ Tinactin ain’t gonna fix me!”  I’m buying the nice Anderson stats right now, but think he’s a bit of a sell high and big dudes with big toes that have been big ouchies are big red flags.  Here’s what else I saw from last night’s action and news in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s the time of crazed shopping for discounted electronics. The argument: “At that price, I couldn’t afford NOT to get it!” will be heard all around the country over Turkey leftovers this weekend. I give to you the Buy/Sell shortened holiday edition, free packaging, 70% off, this weekend only! And with that in mind, here are a few guys you can’t afford not to get:

Buy:

Jordan Farmar PG

You got up late, you’re one of the last to the mall, cursing the excessive turkey and alcohol consumption, and you’re scrambling for points, treys, steals and the odd assist. Well, the basketball gods are smiling on you, because although he’s one of the last in the sales bin, Jordan Farmar is still there for you. In the last 2 games, he has hit 8 3pts, with almost 5 dimes per game. He’s only owned 9% of leagues. It’s not a perfect choice, but that’s what you get when you sleep in, mutton-head!

Please, blog, may I have some more?