It feels like each time I have to submit the weekly injury report, someone big gets a last minute injury. The first week it was Victor Oladipo and his facial fracture. Last week, it was Russell Westbrook. Let’s hope that this week no one gets hurt after I hit submit.

Speaking of Russell Westbrook, he will be out 4+ weeks after surgery to repair his broken right hand. This is a huge blow to the Thunder who are already hurting with injuries. They are so desperate for a living, breathing player that they signed Ish Smith as part of their hardship exception. He is definitely not the Ish and should not be anywhere close to fantasy rosters.

Fortunately for the Thunder, and fantasy owners, Reggie Jackson is back from his ankle injury. He already has 36 points and 19 assists in just two games back. Jackson should continue to be a fantasy beast, but expect his field goal percentage to dip with the added pressure as the lead scorer.

Since Jackson is definitely already owned, Perry Jones is the next best Thunder option to pick up. Averaging 15 points and 4 rebounds, Jones should continue to see playing time, while knocking down threes. He’s day-to-day with a bruised knee, but shouldn’t be out for long.

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You might as well set up a Civil War style triage on the Thunder bench, because somebody has the team set of Thunder voodoo dolls and isn’t wasting any time!  Adding to this virtually unprecedented injury wave to hit an NBA team through only week one of the season, Perry Jones knocked knees for the second game in a row; this time in a ton of pain and had to exit.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so check out the Thunder depth chart on Rotoworld, where the red S means sidelined:

Oklahoma City Thunder Depth Chart

Oklahoma City Red S-es!  And while a “knee contusion” usually wouldn’t worry me too much, George Hill had the same deal and he’s going to be out until late-November is sounds…

On the plus side, Serge Ibaka is absolutely en fuego out there.  25/11/2/0/1 and forced to take contested jumpers the whole night, but hit 11-14 including three treys.  And played 46 minutes out of desperation!  The blocks will come, so if you got Serge late round 1 (like we had him) or round 2, you’ve got something of your own surging in your pants.

On the negative side, Reggie Jackson is playing with some ill-advised reckless abandon.  I mean, give the kid some props for playing through numerous injuries last night, but he ended up with his butt on the hardwood more often then Paris Hilton.  Had a fantastic slash of 13/4/14 but hurt his wrist limiting him to 4-14 FG (0-6 3PTM).  Plus the ankle still looks gimpy.  I know the upside is immense the next month, but I might try to sell RJax high after watching this game.  It was like watching Denard Robinson at Michigan.  I’m not a huge college football fan, but my dad went there and I watch parts of most games, and Shoelace is still the most dynamic player I’ve ever seen in Maize & Blue.  But he seemed to leave early almost every game, getting battered and beaten up.

The Thunder need to do everything and anything to get healthy, with three straight off days until Friday.  My recommendations include – every player eating a live octopus chasing it with raw eggs, hiring the Wolverine (Jackman, not Denard) for some mutant healing blood, and calling Mrs. Cleo to figure out which guy will be hurt on Friday and benching him.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy action:

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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 anyone watch the Clippers last night?  Who was cheering for Blake Griffin to go for 50?  BG just obliterated the Suns interior defense in the first quarter, putting up 22 on 11-12 shooting.  Then I don’t know who had their hearts broken more by Griffin not even getting to 40 – fantasy owners looking for a huge start to their week or the Clips announcers who were decorating their trapper keepers with flowery Blake Griffin pictures all game.  P.J. Tucker got a little heart broken too!  Blake went all dog pile on Tucker for really no reason.  Tucker was like, “That’s a clown dog pile yo!” and clocked Blake right in the chinny chin chin .  Pow, right in the kisser!  At one point, the announcer dude said, “See Blake just loses his footing…”  Pshhhhh!  Griffin is kinda like a high-flying, better-at-basketball Tyler Hansbrough.  Burn!  Regardless, ended the night with a ridic 14-16 FG and 9-10 FT 37/6/3/1/0 line.  Did rack up 6 TOs and was limited to only 32 minutes due to fouling out.  Shockingly, one of those 6 fouls wasn’t for tackling a guy… I mean, I’ve seen that sort of tackle flagged in the NFL!  Don’t get me wrong, I like watching Blake, it’s awesome how he can get under opposing teams’ skin, and he’s had a career fantasy year.  Although, I think Slim might like him a little less since it’s probably going to cost Tucker a game with a suspension.  The notice comes from the league office with a letter that reads merely: “You’ve been Silvered!”  Here’s what else went down across NBA action last night:

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The trade deadline is here!  Today!  And even though we had a few trades already go down, more are sure to proliferate through the league office.   Hopefully the NBA has faster fax machines than the NFL.  I mean, seriously on that Elvis Dumervil thing?!  BREAKING NEWS!  The Heat trade LeBron James to Cleveland for Anthony Bennett, but the trade was sent just over a month too late.  Reports indicate it was sent on April 1st.  Hah!  Sent from some hooligan named David Stern…  You’ve been punked Adam Silver!  Back to reality, we’ve seen Marcus Thornton get traded to the grandpa Nets for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans and Steve Blake get all his fantasy value decapitated Hershel-Walking Dead style by getting shipped to the Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks.  The takeaways thus far is you can cut Blake in virtually all leagues, and in deeper leagues I actually think Reggie Evans could start at some point as the Kings 4.  Jason Thompson is one of the many rumored on the trading block which would open up that role.  I’m not saying Evans would play 30 minutes or anything, but could maybe average 8 boards a game while doing nothing else in the typical Evans fashion.  So when I say deeper leagues, I mean deeeeeeper.  We’ll recap the rest of the trades in tomorrow morning’s piece as well as in the comments throughout the afternoon to help with your fantasy moves.  Here’s what else went down in NBA action:

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“Deer in the headlights”.  Makes sense for this team!  And it starts with the pack leader Mr. Larry Drew, who we’ve slammed on ad nauseam here on Razzball hoops.  But to rub salt on the wound, or in Milwaukee’s case I guess it would be to leave out a salt lick, both fantasy relevant Bucks bigs are hurt.  Larry Sanders – who was first reported to just having blurry vision after being poked in the eye – actually has a fractured orbital bone.  Could this have actually happened later that night at a Milwaukee nightclub receiving a right hook from a bouncer?  Maybe!  I’m just excited to see Sanders in rec specs.  All he’ll need to do now is grow a goatee and dye it white and he really will be Colonel Sanders!  Then to top it off, John Henson rolled his ankle last night landing on Zaza Pachulia‘s foot.  Zaza was like, “Henson, is this your ankle?  It struck my foot!”  No updates on the severity, but we saw how long they waited to bring him back from that wrist injury so I’m a little sceered.  For Sanders, I’d try and wait until he sees the specialist today to tell him how jacked up his eye socket is.  It’s been suggested it could be 1-6 weeks, so if indeed closer to the full 6 weeks and you’re barely hangin’ by a thread I think you have to cut him loose.   Tough to take a 0 the last weeks before the playoffs. Henson is another wait and see, but I doubt it will be nearly that long.  But in both cases, if you’re in H2H and really needing a win this week, I couldn’t fault losing either in a All-Star Weekend shortened matchup.  An extra start means even that much more in a week like this one.  Sure someone will probably scoop up your Bucks roadkill to cook into their Chinese Food, but hey, at least it’s not in your dinner.  Zaza is worth a look himself as a streamer in the interim.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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Deron Williams could sell Citizen Eco-Drive watches too!  “Be precise!  Be powerful!  And whatever you do, don’t in-bounds the ball on a terrible underthrown pass when you’re up a point with seconds to go!”  Just an awful way for the Nets to drop a game last night, as one of my favorite underrated guys right now Patrick Patterson stole Deron’s pass and buried a game-winner.  If only that was a fantasy category!  While you may have been suckered in thinking I’m gonna talk about Deron, Pit Pat is who I want to lead with, who ended with a 15/3/1/2/0 night, punctuated by that steal and dos points on that last play.  In 22 minutes he shot 6-11, hit a three, and is playing pretty well in limited time.  In only 23:12 a game thus far in 2014, 11/5.6/1.6/0.8/0.6 with a trey a night.  Dem fightin’ numbers!  Obviously was on the court in the critical juncture last night, and pulled a Richard Sherman defensive play.  Plus he played after breaking his nose Saturday!  Dem fightin’ numbers!  Only owned in 12% of Yahoo leagues, Pit Pat’s strong play should have him on the brink of high 20 minutes a game.  Not like he’s playing for the Bucks or anything!  Sure he’s behind Amir Johnson, but Amir was quiet last night in 30 minutes (8/6/1/0/1) and Tyler Hansbrough is still out with a psycho ankle.  If you step up in an opportunity, rewards shall be reaped!  Just don’t typo that last word without the first “e”.  Like I almost did!  Hashtag edetting.  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

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In Shaq-ramento, when Christmas carolers sing at your doorstep, if it’s deck the halls you must insist a free a Rudy Gay jersey! You better believe Sleep Train Arena is gonna deck their halls with Gay apparel.  That is, if it has power.  Zing!  Last night, the Kings picked up Gay from the Raptors in a 7-player deal with a lot more fantasy impact than just the players involved.  The Kings also picked up Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy, for the fewest letters in three surnames you could ever receive in a three-player haul.   In return, Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes got exported to Canada.  I hope they have winter wear!  Instead of going over all of the impact in the open, it’ll be fettered out and we’ll focus on Gay at the top.  Nothing changes.  Brevity!  Lots of shots, the Kings don’t become any better or worse, but get a good all-around player.  The fantasy impact on Gay seems null.  The trade overall I think it a win-win, both in real hoops and in fantasy.  The Kings dumped guys that don’t really help their rotations for a star, and the Raptors break up their two high-volume shots guys with it not working.  Plus the Raptors are looking to rebuild around the Luminescent Lithuanian.  Then all sorts of fantasy optimism below, along with other action across the NBA over the weekend:

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As an ancient proverb goes – “I’d like to introduce you to an old friend and a new friend.”  Ok, so I made that up.  But it sounds good!

For an old friend I’ve mentioned a few times and pumped up in my last rankings update before the season started up, my boy Omri Casspi had another solid outing last night that probably was under the radar.  In 24 minutes, he went 7/8/5 with no turnovers, 2-4 from the field and 3-4 from the line.  He just looks awesome every time I see him play.  Did you know he was the first Israeli to play in the NBA?  He’s pretty much Chandler Parsons but with Chandler Parsons in his way.  After a ho-hum first two games, his past two have been fantastic – and this last one without hitting a three which is a big part of his game.  Not necessarily a must own in 12-teamers, but definitely worth a look, and needs to be grabbed in 14+.

Then my new friend – Gal Mekel on the Mavericks.  You’re like, “who the eff is Gal Mekel?  I thought this was NBA not WNBA!”  Mekel was signed to a three-year deal by the Mavs this offseason, and became the second Israeli to join the NBA.  Cut to Amar’e Stoudemire going, “Hey, I should count!”  With Shane Larkin dealing with an ankle injury, and no Devin Harris for a while, Mekel is getting full-on backup PG run and playing well doing it.  He got his 2nd 6 assist game last night going 9/4/6 and hitting a 3.  Sure some run was in junk time, but with the oft-injured Jose Calderon the only one ahead of him (hasn’t played in over 68 games since 2007), Mekel could find his way into starts.  Of course, now I’ve ruined my play on him in the REL League.  Let’s just hope no one in that league is reading!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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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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