Free agency is here!  It has been a bit mum since the FA pool is awaiting that LeBron James cannonball, leaving us without a good snapshot of how the league will look in 2014-15.  But we’ve got Summer League getting into gear and a couple interesting FA moves.

With the The Decision 2.0 on hold, even P.J. Hairston is antsy and trying to get some ball in.  According to reports, he got into a fight with a high school senior, literally at the YMCA closest to the one where I play pickup (Chapel Hill).  While some guys are really good at Chapel Hill, there aren’t any NBA players actin’ a fool and calling three in the key!  This is likely a non-story, but it just makes you shake your head.  Almost as much as my former rookie nookie Archie Goodwin getting arrested at an Arkansas skating rink.  Sure, you can tweet “Don’t assume if you don’t know the whole story…” to which I say, “the hell you gonna get into that kinda situation at a skating rink for!”  Man, that pine gonna stay warm this year, Archie!  Here’s some other [actually useful for fantasy] news and notes of free agent signings and early Summer League performances:

Spencer Hawes – Well, poop.  There goes one of my big sleeper calls in my Way Too Early Rankings.  Don’t look at it, it’s silly now!  “Then why’d you link it, JB!?”  Signs with the Clippers to be a backup 4/5.  I still think he does a little in just enough minutes to be draftable in 12ers.  Might hit a trey and be close to a block per game.  But will be annoying coupled with DeAndre Jordan’s ability to play big minutes as he proved last year…

Kyle LowryHas to keep his passport with him.  “We’ve still got that good point guard, eh?!”  That’s the Mounties reacting to his 4-year deal to stay in Toronto.  I think the cold weather is what’s keeping healthy – ya know, you just walk outside and you’re automatically icing your joints.

Zach Randolph – Even less surprising was Z-Bo staying with Big Smo as key figures in Tennessee.

Kyrie Irving – Unlike LeBron, he likes Cleveland.  I imagine while signing his extension he had the theme song from The Drew Carey Show playing in the background.  With the emergence of so many good PGs in the top 30, he’s a guy I won’t be drafting.

Josh McRoberts – Yes!  Uggo is outta Charlotte!  Eh, I mean, I guess he was serviceable.  But just so boring.  Fits the Heat well, and could easily be a sneaky multi-cat fill in off the wire.  The Heat still have the big decisions to make, but if the Big Three stay, Charlie Day would make a dynamic 4.  They still have to pay LeBron’s troll toll!

Noah Vonleh – Yeah, boi!  With no more Charlie at the 4, Vonleh just has to beat out Cody Zeller for big minutes.  My money is on Vonleh!

Danny Granger – Doesn’t BronBron want the Heat younger?!  Eh, it was a cheap two-year deal for Granger to take his knees to South Beach.  He can just slip into retirement right after his last game!  Get this guy a HurryCane!

Marcin Gortat – The Martian is staying with the Wiz.  His tenure on that front line is as sturdy as a ten foot Pole!  Career year for Gortat in 13-14, and could be a stealthy value since he didn’t really blow any stat cat up.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Gonna be a sleeper yet again!  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again… to reiterate how effing dominate he looked in the 13-14 season finale.  I’ll be quoting this a lot, but torched the Thunder in a meaningful game for 11-19 30/6/0/2/1 with five treys – almost leading the Pistons to a big win (111-112).  “Put me in coach!”  Got really buried on the depth chart after the premature firing of Maurice Cheeks… those playoff were fun to watch, weren’t they Pistons management!?  You can’t take too much from Summer League, but 26/4/1/6/1 then 30/12/3/2/0 so far.  Ownage!

Jodie Meeks – Very frustrating signing since I love KCP.  The Pistons picked him up for 3 years, and while it hurts KCP’s upside, there’s always the hope Meeks plays the 3.  Of course that would mean Greg Monroe ends up somewhere else moving Josh Smith to the 4 (or Smith is traded), and Andre Drummond was recent quoted as saying Van Gundy thinks the 4 is a better fit for Smoove.  Also, Monroe was reported to not wanna play with Smith.  Mo’ big men, mo’ problems!  Well, not Mo Cheeks’ problems anymo’!

Jameer Nelson – Waived by Orlando.  The Pelicans have expressed interest for him to backup Jrue Holiday, and Nelson’s days of fantasy impactness seem to be over.  Yes, I made up the word impactness.  $1 REL buy?  That might bring my middling squad some decent impactness.  Impactness Everdeen, the girl on fire!

Elfird Payton – Clear room for big PT.  Summer league debut was rough, going 2/3/5/0/0 shooting 1-4 in 18 minutes, but then a huge encore, for 12/8/9/1/0 on 5-5 shooting yesterday.  Really nothing you can make out of that, but he’s a rook I’m a little scared of on draft day.  I love his nickname though!  Elfrid on the Shelfrid!  Effing amazing.  All you Slim, that’s awesome stuff.  Gotta add that to the glossary.

Channing Frye – Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!  Four years, $32 million from the Magic.  There hasn’t been this much money spent on Magic in Orlando since the Harry Potter theme park opened!  Weird signing.  Obviously Nikola Vucevic is cemented at C for at least 14-15, and he’s commented he wants to stay in ORL.  So that means PF minutes have to be divvied out between Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon, AND Frye.  Maybe the former two can play some 3, and Frye some time at 5 with the backups, but I don’t like this one bit.  ThrAGNOFs ruining everything!

Ben Gordon – Before Frye, Orlando preposterously dropped another $9 mil for two years of scrub city.  I guess the Magic just want to have some cache with two Gordons… I dunno… I’m guessing they hope Gordon can be hot early on and they can deadline trade him for a draft pick.

Lou Williams – Traded from Hotlanta to Coldronto.  The Hawks import Salmon[s] from the St. Laurence.  That was a dumb joke – Hawks get John Salmons and a 2015 2nd rounder.  Salmons is getting cut in a Hotlanta cap dump.  No, “cap dump” does not mean drive-by shooting.  The move was marginally intriguing until Lowry officially re-signed, but this could hurt Terrence Ross for a little PT.

Marcus Smart – It’s so funny how a communal perception that lacks pragmatism can change my individual perception.  “I thought this was a fantasy blog, not a BS Philosophy course!”  People are having Pavlovian responses to Smart hitting the NBA, and I was as pumped as anyone to hype him up.  But the lack of treys and dimes is going to thwart his rookie output, at least for how much you’ll have to pay to get him with all the support I’ve seen his way.  Not helping is his first two Summer League games, going 0-5 from deep for 10 Pts in his debut and 3-15 FG for 11 Pts yesterday.  Playing great defense and an awesome real-life asset!  But I have a feeling his ADP is going to be mucho loco.

Jordan Adams – 22/3/3/4/1 in his Summer League debut.  Give the multi-cat guy minutes!  Wait, didn’t we go through that with James Johnson last year…?  Johnson is now going through awful legal stuff.  At least that clears some roster blockage!

Chris Bosh – Getting a lot of buzz with a big offer from the Rockets.  Geez, how many scorers do the Rox need?!  Would really suck for Terrence Jones.  And Patrick Beverley could just sit down at midcourt on offense to rest up to play D.

Thabo Sefolosha – Joining the Hawks and both OKC and Thabo are happy to get divorced.  He had some acerbic parting words.  Nothing to worry about for fantasy Hawks-wise, but in OKC it does open the door that Reggie Jackson could start.  I like him; if he was a starting PG somewhere I’d be all over it, but I dunno how he fits as a starting 2…  There’s been no commitment either way, and I bet the hype as a sleeper will outweigh my willingness to reach.

Nerlens Noel – Getting rave reviews so far in Summer League.  Excellent post-hype sleeper.  Which isn’t really fair given he hasn’t played yet.  I could see ranking him really aggressively in the coming months.

Roy Hibbert – I love how if a story breaks about a guy getting shopped that the Pacers didn’t want leaked, people just say “they are ‘quietly’ shopping him”.  It’s not quiet if it’s reported on, numbnuts!  It’s also not quiet when your star C disappears in the second half and most of the postseason, blowing up a whole locker room.

Pierre Jackson Heartbreaking.  The D-League phenom that was looking at a possible role with the Sixers tore his Achilles.  We’ll be rooting you to a strong recovery here at Razzball!

Shabazz Napier – 3-15 in Summer debut, with 8 TOs.  Still a lot could happen, but even if he’s the starting PG, he’d have to last until the last round for me to think of him as a 12-team flyer.

Chris Kaman – Inks with the Blazers to be the primary big off the bench.  Their backup 5 situation was awful last year, so makes perfect sense.  If anything happens to Sideshow Bob injury-wise, Kaman would be really interesting off the wire.

Darren Collison – Signs with SAC giving a final blow to Isaiah Thomas’ sack.  Well, IT2 knew he was probably out, giving Collison a very probable starting gig.  With the depth of big-name PGs, Colly in the mid-rounds could be a pretty nice addition.

Shaun Livingston – Backup G for the Warriors’ elite backcourt.  Yawn.  But Stephen Curry has had ankle issues, so maybe Livingston can find his way into some fill-in starts.


I hope everyone is having a great summer, and we’re looking forward to a big 2014-15!

  1. Slim

    Slim says:

    Good stuff…

    So I don’t think Hawes is going to make my top 150 aka 12er worthy.

    Noel is a tough one to rank. I’m probably going to rank him too low to start and he’ll more than likely consistently climb the rankings. Tough to trust he’s going to play big minutes after such a devastating injury which is probably going to keep him out of my top 100.

    Vonleh v Zeller is going to be a great preseason match-up to keep an eye on. Whichever gets to 30 minutes is going to be a solid top 150 player. I’m guessing they will start with Zeller at PF but I think Vonleh and Zeller can play together so whichever can’t hit 30 minutes should still get a very solid 21-24. Vonleh’s price tag in the REL just jumped significantly for me. $20 at the absolute least. I know that’s not what you wanted to hear. For a 12er redraft I’m still guessing McBob is going to be better than either.

    Something needs to happen in Detroit. There’s too many bodies and not enough minutes to go around. Right this second I think KCP is the guy on the outside looking in but it should only take 1 move for him to get 25-30 minutes, probably as the first guard off the bench. Personally I’d rather see KCP start and Meeks come off the bench but I doubt that happens, at least in the beginning.

    $1 for Nelson, sounds about right but that’ll price me out. I lurved me some Elfrid before summer league started and it’s getting worse. He’s so long and quick, he’s going to be a nightmare defensively. There will be plenty of growing pains but right now I see him in the top 100, maybe in the 7th-8th round or so in a 12er, a 3rd PG. I think he’s a sneaky pick for ROTY. For comparison if Collison is the starter in SAC then he would be well before Elfrid in my rankings.

    The Channing Frye signing doesn’t make much sense to me as far as developing Gordan and Tobias so those 2 are now well off my radar in a 12er. Markieff Morris is the PF I want.

    Do I have to talk about Jordan Adams? But I don’t want any competition for him in the REL. Oh well, per Rotoworld, “The Grizzlies took Adams with the 22nd pick in the 2014 draft, so this is simply a formality. He’ll have to compete for minutes with guys like Tony Allen and Courtney Lee, so he’s not likely to have much fantasy value during his rookie season.” I have one little edit to make to that statement. Get rid of the ‘not’ and ‘much’ at the end. A little different, no?

    Napier had a much better 2nd game, including a couple of really nice passes (7 assists), good tempo, and even a few layups (17 points) which is something I was worried about. 2 steals in each game, 8-fer-9 FTs and only 3-13 3s. TOs are absurd but he wasn’t a high TO guy in college and I think he’ll get that under control. Granted we don’t know how minutes will work out for him but if he’s starting in the preseason he’s going to be a major sleeper, as in he won’t be there in the last round in a 12er.

    Alright, that’s enough for now. A few guys who are having good summer league showings so far, Mason Plumlee, Kelly Olynyk, James Ennis (who? Wing player for the Heat, he can bomb 3s and play good defense. Minutes are possible.) Mitch McGary and Justin Hamilton look pretty good out there too. I’m just not sure how they get minutes during the regular season.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @Slim: Hawes will def be in my top 200 whenever rankings get finalized… 150ish sounds about right.

      Well I was surprised they didn’t shut down MCW like I tooted for a while. Did a lot of tooting. I could see Noel getting more run than expected.

      Agree with everything re: Hornets. I hope I can sneak in Vonleh and someone else good. McBob vs. those two… Yeah probably McBob. Should have a repeatable season as last year, but not heavily investing.

      Trade Singler! Or Monroe! Meeks at the 3! He could do it…

      Yeah I’m def going Colly over Elfrid. But I have a feeling their ADPs might be close and I think Colly should be a good 30 spots higher. Sleeper vs. potentially overrated to me. $1 or 2 for Nelson would be awesome for me. I need PG depth and I think that’s the kind of boring player I need to fill out with.

      F the Magic!

      In the Rotoworld blurb, replace “guys” with “scrubs”. Makes it even more different!

      Agree on napier, probably will be priced/drafted out of my range. Will be interesting to see.

      I saw all those guys too and kinda shrugged at their performances thus far. Plumlee will be tough to expect much out of with BroLo back, Olynyk I dunno is trustable, and Ennis… Maybe bench minutes, but in a like, Michael Beasley from last year upside way.

  2. Slim

    Slim says:

    Finally some dominoes are falling…

    Parsons signs the Mavs offer sheet and Houston has 3 days to match. That gives Bosh a time limit to sign with Houston which gives LeBron a time limit if he wants Bosh back in Miami.

    Farmar to the Clippers. Good spot for him, 10-15 min off the bench, irrelevant for us.

    Vasquez resigns with Toronto which adds another road block for Terrence Ross. I’m not going to be as into him this year as I was last year.

    It’s looking like Mike Miller will go to the Nuggets. Why did they draft Gary Harris? I guess it wasn’t for this year.

    KCP still putting up big numbers, Noel had himself a nice game yesterday too. I think I’m just going to start by ranking Noel at 100. By the time I draft I’m guessing that’s going to be closer to 60-70. Playing back to back in summer league is really nice to see.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @Slim: Oh no Parsons off HOU! Well, might actually be good for him. Sounds like the sign and trade talks have stalled tho.

      Yeah, not a Farmar guy. No assists upside, even in a reserve role. PLus he has big annoying ears.

      Vasquez – yup figured he was staying there. He was pretty good as a starter! Well, fantasy-wise at least… Even though I’m not a huge fan of his, surprised he isn’t getting a shot. James Johnson to TOR too is a bummer too for his fantasy upside, but as just a non-fantasy believer last year due to minutes, I’m now not a fan of his in real life due his off the court stuff.

      Poor Gary Harris… Agree, not cool.

      Noel was awesome! 60-70 might be where I have him off the bat. I’m gonna be gaga for that haricut. What do you call that stack thingy again? Haha.

      NBA reporting right now is so TMZ. “Oh my god, LeBron on a flight with Wade, INsta gram it! Put it on Pinterest! No idea if those actually apply…”

      P.J. Tucker – your boy! Staying with the PHO. I figured his best long term upside was to stay there.

      Go Hayward to Hornets rumors!

      • Slim

        Slim says:

        @JB Gilpin: In reverse…

        Hayward would be a great addition to the Hornets, to any team really, but I don’t see any scenario in which Utah doesn’t match.

        Yeah it’s a good deal for Tucker and a reasonable contract for the Suns. I pimped Tucker a few times last year and he was one of my favorite streamers even in a 12er. I could see him get up to 30 min/game again. I think he’s worth every bit of $5 in the REL.

        Noel definitely makes the all-haircut 1st team. I believe it’s called a high-top fade and all I can think about is Kid from Kid n’ Play circa 1990.

        Gary Harris is a tough one to put a value on in the REL. The case of good talent but no minutes. I don’t know… I can’t imagine he cracks anyone’s top 200 in redraft.

        Toronto is doing a nice job of adding some depth. I don’t think James Johnson is going to threaten anyone’s minutes too much and I don’t really think he cracks 20 minutes himself. If Ross is going to lose minutes to someone I’m glad it’s Vasquez and not effing John Salmons. At least let it be someone relevant to fantasy.

        I’m guessing Farmar was liked mostly for wearing purple and gold but I remember both of us hating on him even when he was getting minutes last year.

        I just saw the report on LeBron and Wade. The definition of the word ‘news’ is definitely not the same for everyone…

        If I knew how to change the font to like 8-pt when I talk about Jordan Adams I would. I look at his college stats and it’s everything I want from a wing. I watch him in summer league and he looks every bit an NBA caliber wing and for stretches like the best player on the court. I just hope places like Rotoworld can keep the hype down. I think they’ve done a stellar job so far.

        Another near trip-dub for Elfrid, but no steals and 7 TOs, and he hasn’t attempted a 3-pointer in any game. He’s learning… Still one of my top REL targets. Maybe I shouldn’t say that but if anyone is reading these comments then I’m guessing they already know that by now. Through summer league I see him borderline top 100 in redraft and about a $20 guy in REL.

        Smart is playing better and I’m loving the 3-point attempts. I don’t care how many he’s making right now, just that he’s attempting a bunch of ’em and not giving up on it. Through summer league I see about a 75 ranking in redraft, maybe a little too high, and absolutely no less than $30 in the REL. I haven’t fluctuated on that price since he was drafted.

        Napier is really struggling with his shot but everything else is where I would expect it. 4 assists, 1.5 steals in 27 min. Given that he’s a far more experienced player than most rookies I still think he turns it around with plenty of practice leading up to the preseason.

        Any other irrelevant news? Beno to the Griz. Steve Blake to Portland. Older backups, I don’t care in any size league.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:

          @Slim: Bottom as well – blah on both.

          Now Napier is… more interesting? Do the Heat try and bring in IT2? Heat in full rebuild. Sorry man.

          The REL price for Smart seems about right – he’s probably not gonna be close to 75. Maybe not even top 100. You see BOS picked up Marcus Thornton too?! Crazy. But probably just for a short time.

          Actually those for Elfrid seem about right, but I will be a tiny bit behind. He’s your Gi Melin! I don’t think I used that right….

          Ture, Adams is gonna none hype on the Rotoworld. Go Slim’s 2nd fav rook!

          Haha Effing John Salmons… That should be his full name.

          High top! I shoulda known that… I’m getting gaga there. Might be lost in all the LeBron/Wigging/new draft class love.

          Hayward is indeed staying in UTA barring something crazy. But Tucker is indeed a great value. Any starter with those minutes are worth $5 in REL. I’m a little jealous of your team….

  3. Slim

    Slim says:

    Gi melin, Elfrid Payton.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @Slim: Haha I had to look that up.. Looks like he’s gonna be your main boy this year!

      • Slim

        Slim says:

        @JB Gilpin: He’s got the whole package with the great name, a standout haircut. That he plays basketball is merely icing on the cake. I really like his demeanor from what few interviews I’ve seen too. I think the kid is going to be a special kind of player.

        On the other side, I’ve seen a KCP interview in which I came away rather unimpressed. But you know, if J.R. Smith can make it, anyone can make it.

  4. Bye Felicia says:

    LeBron goes home! I’m a bit surprised! Well SURPRISED!!! Now they might get Love too! That’s going to be an instant favorite to win the east next season.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @Bye Felicia: Easily, I think wherever LeBron went would be the favorite. CLE better be rejoicing and not angry still!

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