Even though Trae Young was selected with the number five overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, there were haters and skepticism as to whether he would be able to perform in the League. He’s too small. He turns the ball over too much. He’s going to get abused on defense. All of those things were evident early on. Yet, he showed flashes of why some were infatuated with him. In his third professional game, he scored 35 points and dished out 11 dimes, while turning the ball over only once. Granted, it was against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but that’s a professional team with professional ball players. Hmmm, maybe that’s debatable but they do collect checks for playing basketball so…As the season progressed, there were trials and tribulations mixed in with performances of rapture. Last night was pure bliss.


Yes, the turnovers were high, but he was in total control running the offense last night. The Lakers defense was/is truly offensive, but Young carved them up with expert precision, even nutmegging LeBron James. Most of the hype surrounding Trae was due to the range on his jump shot, but his vision and passing ability are just as lethal. They just didn’t get as much pub. Trae has duds from time to time, but the consistency has been much better than earlier in the season. Hey, he’s still only 20 years old! The mental fortitude, calmness, and development have been impressive to watch. Trae was outside the top 200 for fantasy earlier in the season. Now, he’s just outside the top 100. I didn’t think Trae would be a fantasy asset until next year, but I can see him finishing in the top 100. It’s good to be Young.

Here’s what else I saw last night:


LeBron James


Played a team-high 43 minutes, as he played a ton of minutes at center. I have some concerns regarding LeBron. The body language after some of the missed shots or passes was terrible. The Lakers are now one game below .500 and out of playoff position. As the season progresses, and the losses mount, I can see the effort level really tailing off from LeBron, as he punts for next season. Make no mistake. The losses will mount because the defense is beyond atrocious.

JaVale McGee


Only played 13 minutes. With Tyson Chandler out, McGee was in prime position to have a big night, but he just didn’t get the run. Sure, there was some foul trouble, but that doesn’t explain everything. Shrug emoji.

Reggie Bullock


Played 35 minutes. Since arriving in Los Angeles, Bullock has played 35 and 31 minutes. He’s a career 39% shooter from downtown, so if he continues getting 30+ minutes a game, he’s going to attempt and drain plenty of tres.

Rajon Rondo


Played 34 minutes off the bench. Rondo played 16 minutes the prior game. Shrug emoji. A career 31% shooter from downtown, Rondo is converting 41% of his shots from beyond the arc this season. Granted, it’s been on 52 attempts, but still. Double shrug emoji.

John Collins


Played 34 minutes. Hasn’t dub-dubbed in three straight games. That makes me sad. Collins had dub-dubbed in three straight prior to that, though. That makes me happy. I want to be happy again. I think with his athleticism that Collins will contribute on D, but maybe he just doesn’t have it inside. What say you?

DeAndre’ Bembry


Played 23 minutes. With Jeremy Lin in Toronto, it was Bembry who soaked up most of the backup point guard minutes. A huge downgrade, as Bembry isn’t great running an offense, so it will be interesting to see how Lloyd Pierce continues to handle the situation going forward.

Taurean Prince


Got the start and played 29 minutes. Over the past eight games, Prince has been a top 100 player. He’s been providing tres and good efficiency, with a modicum of D stats, but that’s about it.

The Magic made the Pelicans disappear in New Orleans, 118-88.

Aaron Gordon


Not bad, but not great either. It’s not you, Aaron, it’s me, as I expect so much more from you. Gordon is a top 90 player on the season, but over the past two months, he’s been more like a top 125 player.

Jonathan Isaac


Yes believe the hype! Yes! Yes believe the hype! Those ankle injuries really sapped his power earlier in the season, but he looks rejuvenated now and is exhibiting the aggression on the offensive end that he displayed during the Summer League. Over the past seven games, Isaac has been a top 20 player. The efficiency hasn’t been great (45%) but the 2.9 blocks, 1.1 steals, 1.6 tres, and 7.3 boards have been.

Nikola Vucevic


Only played 27 minutes due to the blowout. Is now third in the pecking order of Nikolas: Tesla, Jokic, and Vucevic. I’m not sure if either Jokic or Vucevic could ever surpass Tesla, but win a championship first and we will start the discussion.

Evan Fournier


Fournier has definitely stabilized from his early-season funk. I was a buyer when he was doo doo, then transitioned to a seller as he regained form. It’s all relative as to who you’re replacing him with and roster context, but the main thing for me was that the usage rate still didn’t bounce back. With that said, he’s playing a ton of minutes (34 per game) and still has a usage rate of 20, which is below the 22-23 number he was at last season, but still decent. As William Wallace famously said, Hoooooooold.

Terrence Ross


Played 18 minutes. It’s always a love/hate relationship with Ross. A commenter recently said he knew I did not like Ross, which I instantly replied with, “I love Ross.” I would like to retract that statement. Camera pans to the court reporter pulling out the paper from the machine like it was CVS receipt.

Isaiah Briscoe


Played 28 minutes off the bench. A lot of blowout run, but the four previous games, Briscoe had averaged 23.8 minutes, 3 boards, and 5 dimes.

Anthony Davis


Played 24 minutes. Thanks for playing. What a shituation. The team doesn’t want to get fined, yet are not going to push him. Davis is basically going to be zombie on the court. In addition, the fantasy playoff schedule is not a good one, so it’s basically the opposite of the stars aligning.

Kenrich Williams


Got the start and played 32 minutes. The efficiency is always a concern, but Williams provides tres, boards, and blocks when he does play. The Pelicans like him because he hustles, so they will probably continue giving him run, but it’s the Pelicans, the team that continues playing Anthony Davis.

E’Twaun Moore


Played 26 minutes in his second game back from injury. Moore should continue starting and provide tres. He won’t contribute much else.

Julius Randle


Played 22 minutes. Improvements in tres and D has been lovely to see. Unfortunately, the minutes and overall shituation in New Orleans is a buzz kill.

Tim Frazier


Played 31 minutes off the bench. Frazier has averaged 27 minutes, 4.5 boards, and 5.3 dimes over the past four games. Don’t shoot me. I’m just the messenger.

Rudy Gay


Got the start and played 35 minutes. Top 50 player on the season, and top 75 over the past six games. It’s cool to see Gay having this kind of season at the age of 32 and after suffering that brutal Achilles injury. Currently, he’s shooting 52% from the field, 43% from downtown, and 86% from the free throw line. He has an outside chance to become the eighth member of the 50/40/90 club.

LaMarcus Aldridge


LMA with the O. Second time this season blocking four shots. His career high? 7!

DeMar DeRozan


Played a team-high 41 minutes. You’re a boob guy, and you meet a woman with DD’s. After a while, though, you realize you’re not that much of a boob guy.

Patty Mills


Played 27 minutes. Not sexy, but certainly useful, Mills plays around 25 minutes per game and provides tres and dimes. He garners a usage rate in the 20-21 range and attempts 9-10 shots per game. Top 100 player over the past seven games.

Ivan Rabb


Got the start but only played 11 minutes.

Jonas Valanciunas


Played 21 minutes off the bench and did what Jonas do. Valanciunas will likely start sooner than later. As for the minutes? In seven years on the Raptors, JV had a career average of 25.1 minutes per game. Back in 2013, he averaged 28.2 minutes. We are in Memphis now, though, and I don’t think they will go small often, so I can see minutes in the mid-to-high 20s.

Avery Bradley


Got the start and played 38 minutes. In two games since being acquired by Memphis, Bradley has averaged 15.5 shot attempts, 20.5 points, 2.5 tres, 3.5 boards, 4 dimes, and 1 steal. He’s shot 58% from the field and had a usage rate of 25. Bradley is a career 43% shooter, so regression is coming. With that said, he should get plenty of minutes and opportunites on a “going nowhere” Grizzlies team.

Delon Wright


Got the start and played 34 minutes because Mike Conley (illness) was out. He’s a backup for a reason. A talented one, but still a backup.

Marcus Morris


Top 90 player who will provide points, tres, and boards from the big man position. Don’t expect the D, though (dimes included).

Jayson Tatum


Top 30 player over the past seven games, providing a little something something in every cat.

Al Horford


Top 20 player over the past seven games. Horford has been a model of consistency from a fantasy perspective. Since 2010, he’s been a top 20 player five times and has never been lower than #43.

Terry Rozier


Got the start because Kyrie Irving (knee) was out. Remember a few weeks ago when I said it’s EZ PZ when Kyrie is out? You just plug and play Rozier. Hey look over there! There’s a dog smoking a cigarette while walking on two legs.

Gordon Hayward


Played 28 minutes off the bench. Over the past seven games, Hayward has been a top 60 player. Damn, I guess he’s not going to be so undervalued next season. It was always going to take time for him to get back into the groove, but it looks like the time could be now.

Tobias Harris


Did the Philly faithful start throwing batteries his way yet?

Joel Embiid


Played a team-high 37 minutes. Top 10 player. A commenter recently said he drafted from the turn and went PG/Embiid to start things off. That is so beautiful. Remember when we were worried about injury for Embiid? Hey look over there! There’s a cat riding a bicycle while talking on a cellphone.

Jimmy Butler


Top 20 over the past two months. The quietest top 20 season in recent memory.

Ben Simmons


Over the past six games, Simmons is averaging 4 more minutes than the season average, yet the boards, dimes, and blocks are all down, while the turnovers are up. As a result, he’s been a top 170 player over that span.

Rudy Gobert


Top 20 player. The biggest improvement has been in the dimes, as he’s dishing out almost 1 more than last season.

Donovan Mitchell


Has been a top 140 player over the past five games, primarily due to the 38% shooting from the field. We do like sliding in the DM because he provides points, tres, boards, dimes, and steals. No blocks and poor efficiency hold him down though.

Royce O’Neale


Played 28 minutes off the bench. The past four games, O’Neale has played 28, 25, 27, and 24 minutes while scoring double figures in each. The usage and shot attempts have been minimal (fewer than 10 shot attempts in each game), but he’s been contributing tres, boards, and steals.

Kevin Durant


Yeah. Whatever. He’s good.

DeMarcus Cousins


Played 28 minutes. Top 70 player, despite averaging only 23 minutes per game. I was wrong about Cousins, as I thought that Achilles injury would be debilitating. Per minute, he’s been a monster. Would you give him a max contract in the summer, though? If I were a GM, I don’t think I could.

Stephen Curry


Yeah. Whatever. He’s not bad either.

Klay Thompson


Top 25 player on the season. He’s good, no doubt, but is he a max contract player? I’m not sure he is. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the issue.