We all know the story.  Cleveland fans burn things, then stage apology videos.  Yeah, let’s put the ashes from last night’s barbecue and put it on top of my LeBron James Cavs jersey and pick it up.  Sooooooooooo symbolic.  Somebody is already halfway through the 30 for 30 special… But I got an advanced look at LeBron’s first press event with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert:

LeBron Gets New Cavs Jersey

I love what Slim said in his reaction as a Heat fan.  “LeBron’s legacy will now be that of a journeyman.”  BURN!  Poor choice of the all caps scathing word, JB!  LeBron is still the alpha dog of the NBA, but he’s now numero tres in my ranking-os… Never was too good at Spanish.  I’m moving Anthony Davis up to 2 and joining Slim’s bandwagon.  Even though BronBron had talent around him in Miami, he never had a point guard.  Which I mean more literally than not since Mario Chalmers‘ assists look more like Billy Dee Williams’ Dancing with the Stars‘ scores than an NBA PG’s!  And now LeBron’s got family on his team!  I don’t mean the city of Cleveland, but Uncle Drew!  They should mish mash one of those videos with drunk uncle from SNL…  Anyway, Kyrie Irving is going to have some balls in his hands (cough), so LeBron will be performing less hernia tests.  Kyrie’s three-year arc has been declining FG% but steadily improving Ast/TO ratios and overall dimes.  More efficient with the ball, but not hitting the shots.  Maybe it’s because the Cavs had no other playmakers… Iso for Anderson Varejao!  Dion Waiters just blocked me on Twitter.  LeBron will be a huge ease on Kyrie’s defensive pressure, however stemming from that – if Kyrie is hot, he shootin’!  Both will have great final numbers, but a little inconsistent game-to-game.  LeBron should see his dimes go down a tick as well.  Here’s a look at the rest of the free agency movement and some key notes from Summer League:

Luol Deng – I’ve never been a Deng fan, but he’s already been billed as “LeBron’s replacement”.  Ugh, that sucks.  He should be a nice bounce back candidate though.

Mario Chalmers – Re-signs with Miami.  Sorry, Shabazz Napier…  Ugh, Norris Cole is still there too.  Somebody can burn my Heat depth chart.

Kevin Love – Still on the Wolves.  I’m starting to think there’s no way he plays for the Wolves this year, they just can’t hold out for offers anymore.  His sheer distaste for Minnesota should make Wisonsinites proud.  #TradedtotheBucks.

Carmelo Anthony – Staying with the Knicks in a horrible career decision.  Makes the Phil Jackson hiring completely worth the money.  Well, a lot will depend on who they land in 2015.  Melo took a pay cut that year for more cap space and they get some horrible contracts off the books.  Amar’e Stoudemire is like, “what, the Knicks won’t be paying for my eye care after this year?!”

Gordon Hayward – Another stayer.  Gordon the Utah Stayer.  My new vampire show idea.  Do vampires not like salt?  Tie in something about Salt Lake?  THIS IS LOSING STEAM!  I think NBC is still interested though… I wonder if Utah fans don’t like that he pushed the market to be sure he got the big contract…

Isaiah Thomas – Ugh, no one likes him.  Sacramento cuts bait and brings in Darren Collison.  IT2 is going to Phoenix.  “Don’t say where!”  “I’d rather be dead in California than alive in Arizona!”  Haha, that Arrested Development quote is really applicable with this move!  As much as this crushes IT2’s fantasy value, I’ve given it some thought and think I might be a buyer.  Eric Bledsoe has been injury prone and Goran Dragic had a few early-season dings last year, and even when both are healthy, IT2 should have no problem getting high-20 minutes.  Such a fun group of guards, wish I was a Suns fan…

Jeremy Lin – Your new Lakers starting PG.  He’ll probably be overdrafted due to his fan base, but I think it’s a great move for him.  Maybe Kobe will let him crash on his couch.

Chandler Parsons – The Rockets let him walk across the desert!  And he nomadicly ends up in Dallas after a tumultuous 40 days and 40 nights.  Another great boost for a guy getting off the Rockets, right?!  But he still has to contend with a shoot-first, shoot-often SG (Monta Ellis) and a big-time C (Dirk Nowitzki).  Maybe it won’t be the golden shower of stats we were hoping for!  “The hell?!” I bet Mark Cuban has a golden shower…. Soooooo off track…  I like Chandler a ton and think he gets underrated, but there’s a chance people see the move as a huge blessing and over-hype him.  We shall see.

Pau Gasol – Welcome to da Bullls!  Set to play next to Joakim Noah in what could be the best passing front court in NBA history.  Hyperbole alert!  But will be pretty nasty.  Not gonna love Gasol, we already know I’m gonna be down on Noah, but I think Gasol’s perception will be fairly low after that Lakers travesty last year and his injury woes.

Anthony Randolph – Gets moved to Orlando, and while I don’t think he matters, it’s yet another PF on Orlando’s front line.  He could be cut, but if not, Orlando is hilarious.

Marvin Williams Welcome to Charlotte!  And welcome to a minutes crunch, Noah Vonleh.  Vonleh, a stretch 4, now has more front court competition from Starvin’ Marvin, who is such a stretch 4 that he might as well have spent his offseason in one of those rack torture devices.  “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

Carlos Boozer – Got waived so hard, that when he boarded his boat and sailed out of the Lake Michigan harbor it was like the Titanic leaving Southampton.

Kris Humphries – Three years with the Wizards.  It really doesn’t matter what jersey you wear when you’re getting posterized

Mike Miller – Rejoins LeBron with the Cavs.  Yawn, I regret the 20 seconds I spent adding this note.

D.J. Augustin – PG depth for the Pistons.  He matters a little more than Miller since he can still play and Brandon Jennings is the league’s most efficient player.  Sprinkle some sarcasm dust on the end of that sentence!

Omri Casspi A bad call from me last year as I thought he could win the stretch 4 role in Houston, Casspi is now a Pelican.  Hopefully this move will be a molting of sorts and Casspi can find a solidified role.  Tyreke Evans, who has horrible ankles, could very easily miss time and sneak Casspi into a starting role at the more suitable SF position.

Nick Calathes – Wow, the Grizzlies are being kinda dicks on this one.  They waited until the last minute to pick up his cheap 800k contract, keeping him from making 6 million overseas.  I’m sure Calathes lost some hair over this one.  Looks like I’m up to 10 keepers in REL!  Gotta hold onto him now.  But I’ll wait until the very last minute of our keeper deadline for effect.

Trevor Booker – Two years and ten mil to play some sweet Jazz.  “It may be cold outside, but it’s about to get all warm up in my jazz.”  This one is a little interesting because Enes Kanter – as we all know – I consistently bash for being a horrific NBA defender, and Rudy Gobert is a center through and through.  Jeremy Evans could also play some 4, so there is a minutes crunch, but I could see Booker playing more than most would expect.

Jeff Adrien – In an even less impactful (which isn’t a word, I call BS on that one red underline man!) PF signing, Adrien gets a vet minimum deal with the Rockets.  He showed some shallow-league usability while with the Bucks, so adios anything useful.  Sorry Slim!

Jason Smith – The spicy big man jumper will take his sweet stroke to the Knicks.  He had knee surgery last year cutting his season short, but offers some upside offensively behind the newly acquired Haitian sensation.

Thomas Robinson – Tore a thumb ligament sliding headfirst into third base.  Wait, wrong sport.  But sounds like a similar injury to the ones that have taken out Yadier Molina, Bryce Harper, and Josh Hamilton this year.  Fortunately, all of those guys looked at about two months out, so T Rob might not miss any of the regular season.  He’s really fun to watch, but still a backup to one of the league’s best PFs.

Nerlens Noel – Mmmmmmmm, so dirty!  Maybe I need to take a shower at Mark Cuban’s!  12/6/0/2/4 Monday and was hacking everyone.  7 fouls in 29 minutes!  But the multi-cat upside is higher than his hightop fade.

Ruby Gobert – Monsieur Elbow with a monster line yesterday!  Just made up that nickname after seeing him elbow everyone in a game last year against the Wolves, include shattering Alexey Shved‘s nose.  No blood, no foul!  Oh wait… 6-6 FG 13/9/1/0/5 in 23 minutes of Summer League action Monday (sat out yesterday), but didn’t break anyone’s nose to my knowledge.  So actually a little underwhelming.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Destroying Summer League, hitting treys, making FTs, a pair of blocks away from a rainbow Monday (15/4/5/3/0) and looks locked in for a big-time starting role.  Then yesterday, Jason Kidd floated it out there that Giannis could play PG.  Slim likes him a little more than me, but I think we’ll both be as high on him as the walls of Thermopylae.

T.J. Warren – Had a huge Summer League debut of 22/4/0/1/1.   He didn’t take a single trey shooting 10-16.  Then barely played after an elbow to the face, followed by a third game of 12-22 (0-3 3PTM) 28/11/1/1/0.  The boards were nice, but empty stat line mid-range, here we come!

C.J. McCollum – Lit it up yesterday for 28 on six treys.  Shot 10-16 overall and didn’t do much else, but this kid is something special.  Looks like he’s in line for big-time backup G minutes.

Adreian Payne – Can I buy a friggin’ vowel?!  I always jack up his name.  And he jacked up his Tuesday performance for 3-10 FG 13/7/0/0/0 with 7 TOs.  Now an absurd 14 TOs in his first three Summer League games.  Bankrupt!

Doug McDermott – On the flip side, Doug McD had another huge game, going 20/5/6/0/0 with four treys yesterday.  Had a dud in his debut, but was out of control last Sunday for 31/1/1/0/1 7-12 FG (5-9 3PTM 12-12 FT).  A four-year senior with polish should be killin’ it in Vegas and he’s going to have a rough time finding double-digit shots on the Bulls.

Dante Exum – Fairly boring 19 minutes of 2-4 FG 6/3/3/1/1 but 4 TOs.  I’m still excited, and yes as early as this year.  Not like Trey Burke is playing any better in Summer right now…


Whew, a lot is going on!  We’re pumped to start getting together on the ranks as leagues start forming up in the next month.  I hope your real-life teams are shaping up to be contenders (hah, kidding Pete Nice’s Sixers!) and happy offseason!

  1. Slim

    Slim says:

    So much to talk about here…

    1st, why not go all out french? Monsieur Coude! Eh. Maybe not.

    Wow, what the Grizz did to Calathes is a little messed up. I think I promised no more alopecia jokes if he came back so I need to stick to that. They better effin play him after taking millions of euros away from him.

    Augustin is going to be cut in the REL, he could get a decent role so I’m still going to consider him for a backup plan. Adrien hurts. He’s one of the few guys who can be productive with only 20 minutes. I’m pretty sure PF is Terrence Jones’ job to lose but they were constantly trying to upgrade. I think Adrien is better than Moteijunas but that doesn’t mean he plays over him. I guess I’m going to cut Adrien too. I’m not too thrilled about it though. He was arguably my best pickup last year.

    Booker really throws a wrench in the Jazz front court. I’m pretty sure Favors is the only one that can be trusted.

    I love me some Giannis. So if he’s going to play the guard spot opposite Knight then there’s an opening for either Middleton at SF or Henson at PF with Parker playing the other forward spot. The Bucks have so many good players. I’ll probably check their availability after the REL draft. I think they could easily get Love if they wanted, unfortunately there is no way Love resigns with the Bucks.

    In a 12er redraft I hope I can get Noel in the 7th and Antetok in the 8th. That would be Noel ranked in the mid to late 70s and Antetok in the late 80s. That may be possible. Rotoworld had a blurb on July 11th that said, “He’ll (Giannis) be worth watching as a possible late-round pick.” There is absolutely no way he’ll be there “late” if you’re playing in a league with me.

    I’m not sure what to make of the Suns back court. There’s 96 minutes for 2 positions so theoretically all 3 could hit 30 minutes. I think IT2’s ADP is going to be determine how much I like him. Really the same go for McCollum and I expect some solid steals to go with his scoring off the bench role. His ADP should be much much lower than IT2.

    I don’t know how McDermott finds 12er worthy minutes this year without multiple injuries. It’s too bad but in the REL his stock is rising… just not for my team.

    Payne’s poor performances are a little odd. I imagine his minutes will steadily rise as the season progresses and he figures out his role.

    And then there’s Exum. All this talk about a struggling Exum and Trey Burke has me thinking one thing. Alec Burks’ role is looking better and better. He’s going to start at the 2 and… wait, did you hear that echo? I thought it sounded like the ghost of Richard Jefferson, nah it couldn’t be, that nightmare is OVER! I’ll probably rank Burks a little after 100 and not just cause he’s on my REL team. I think that means I’m going to rank him higher than Exum and Burke. Well Burke for sure, Exum is going to be close.

    Thanks for the LeBron pic. That’s pretty much how I saw it in my head. LeBron with the infinity scarf works too well. NO, i don’t own one and YES, I had to look up what they were called. I recognize that stage… I always find myself looking for Helen Thomas. Sad Emoticon.

    • Slim

      Slim says:

      @Slim: Looks like Lance Stephenson to your Hornets. I imagine that kills MKG’s minutes, takes assists from Kemba, and takes boards from everyone. I’m not his biggest fan for fantasy but I imagine he’ll be OK. Right around a 90 ranking, maybe a smidge higher. I doubt he makes any of my teams. I could compare him to maybe Antetok as for an equal-ish round comparison… I like Giannis better though. I’m ignoring who this effects the most, I think this moves Paul George back into the 1st round.

      Toliver to the Suns. I don’t imagine that makes any fantasy ripples. Maybe it hurts Marcus Morris a bit but I think Marcus is the superior talent. No way it hurts Markieff though. He is locked into a great role. I think Markieff isn’t getting mentioned enough, and I don’t mean just here. Rotoworld hasn’t had a blurb on him since April. I think he’s going to make for a real good late round pick in a 12er.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:

        @Slim: Lance to Charlotte! Love it. I think I’ll like Giannis more too. But both have great upside too. Giannis is just on so much worse of a team, gives him a good edge.

        Tolliver pssshhhh. Scrub alert on my REL team! Just played, that’s about it.

        Glad you liked the LeBron pic! I couldn’t get a better picture of gilbert so just went with it. Haha glad you got the very obvious press room pic. You so knew what an infinity scarf was (I sure as hell didn’t, but that outfit was effin awesome)

        Agree on Burks, I’m warming up. They’ll need some upside G scoring minutes and Exum and Burke are gonna be inconsistent there at best. I’ll probably have Burks ahead of both now too thinking about it…

        Payne is sure working himself out of a big role. Doug McD def going up, but wrong situation. Flip flop the teams and Doug McD could be really interesting in ATL.

        Yeah McCollum will be undrafted in most leagues I’m guessing. IT2 with the big previous seasons and name recognition should be decently high, but I think since he’s technically off the bench it might weigh him down.

        Giannis in the 8th you might beat me to. But I’m probably going Noel in the 6th. I’m getting him everywhere.

        Did you not see my joking Love hashtag! You never know! The thing with Giannis is can he guard a PG? I guess Knight could guard a PG then Giannis the SG. Which he played last year. Maybe that wouldn’t be a concern…. And would be absolutely awesome to watch.

        Augustin was a way better pickup than Adrien! But yeah, both probably cut. I’m starting to rethink Calathes. The suspension still hurts and who knows how motivated he’ll be…

        Monsieur Elbow is so much better! Haha

        • Slim

          Slim says:

          @JB Gilpin: I watched most of the Bucks game yesterday. Antetok and Parker played pretty well together. Antetok didn’t have a single assist but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. He was consistently feeding people the ball around the rim but they kept getting fouled. The problem is that he looked late on almost all of the passes, hence why there weren’t any easy finishes. Oh and then there’s the 6 TOs. I’m not saying the experiment has failed but Giannis is not a natural PG. I’m not all that impressed by Parker. He’s only going to get better and really summer league means nothing but I’m concerned about the defensive stats and his FG%. I thought he was better at the rim, I wasn’t impressed by his ability to finish through contact. But I’m sure i’m being far too picky all things considered.

          Adrien was huge at the end last year for me. He had a perfect schedule for me and he made me competitive in boards which was one of my weaker cats. Can’t really compare the 2 but I’m 100% sure I don’t win without both. The biggest downside to him landing in Houston is how McHale likes his PFs to shoot 3s, and Adrien doesn’t do that.

          I think you can let Calathes go. After his suspension is up I think I think he’ll be playable in the REL though. But ultimately I’m not sure there’s much of a future for him other than that of a backup. I think you have to keep guys that you’re pretty sure will start one day.

          Where are you thinking of ranking IT2? I think it has to be outside the top 50 right?

          Noel in the 6th. So that’s a ranking in the 60s. I’m going to have to see who else we rank up there, but maybe.

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:

            @Slim: Yeah I see no way Noel won’t be in the 60s. May even crack 50s. Seems like he could be my Valanciunas this year. Whew, that’s a scary thought though, pump the brakes JB!

            IT2… Ummm, 80s or 90s? I mean, not too high. IT2 or Collsion? I think that’s a good one. Rather IT2 than Elfrid. Somewhere around there and I bet I’m well above the ADP but we’ll see.

            Yeah the suspension for Calathes, while short term, is part of it too. But the motivation just isn’t gonna be there, I bet he won’t be the best locker room guy, and it’s not his fault.

            Adrien was huge, his output was ridiculous. Yeah downside of liking outside shooters and just a staked front court already. Can’t touch him.

            Is it just me, or did Parker look a little beefy? Jabari Porker! Bigger than I had remembered in not the good way. More Anthony Mason than Anthony Davis out there! Anteok def needs a good guard with him, and you know how much I love Knight. I saw on an ESPN bottom line earlier today they listed him as “C Giannias Anteok” C playing PG! Awesome.

            • Slim

              Slim says:

              @JB Gilpin: So Boozer to the Lakers… I don’t know what this is going to do to the rotations but this could be a god send for Randle. He now has someone with a similar style of play to teach him the ropes. For fantasy though Randle probably just lost some minutes.

              Bledsoe wants [email protected] $80 and he’s being offered [email protected] $48. Are there teams with money left to spend? With IT2 now in Phoenix , which btw I ALWAYS misspell, I could see the Suns letting him walk if someone offers him a max deal or close to it. Free Agency isn’t quite over yet. Is a Dragic/IT2 back court going to work though? Thomas isn’t exactly known for his defense and I’m not convinced Dragic can guard too many 2s. This situation is still very much undecided.

              Stuckey to Pacers is pretty boring… a worthy last round pick though I imagine. He won’t be the stats whore Lance is so I still think Paul George has a nice bounce back season. This could hurt George Hill but it’s not like Hill was going to make my top 150 anyway.

              Timmy Jr is destroying Summer League. He’s got to see 30 minutes this year. The Knicks will need his scoring. Tony Snell is also ready for starter minutes. He would have to send Dunleavy to the bench and I don’t see Thibs doing that. Unfortunate for us.

              Check out the stat lines Justin Hamilton is putting up. He’s got to have earned a role off the bench. It’s not like their bench is deep or anything.

              Parker isn’t impressing me as much as I had hoped. He’s still probably #1 on the rookie ranks but we need to be careful about our expectations. Especially for steals and blocks. That’s where I’m the most concerned. The physical tools Antetok has reminds me of someone… Kevin Durant. Now I’m not comparing their games, just their measurables.

              I have absolutely no problem with Noel being ranked where you had JV last year. He’s going to be a major target of mine too, oh wait no blocks or steals yesterday. Nevermind, he’s out of my top 100… … … <– sarcasm. I imagine I didn't need to say that though.

              • JB Gilpin

                JB Gilpin says:

                @Slim: Haha Noel offers so much more multi-cat upside… I think he’ll become a popular sleeper. JV I thought would deliver great %s along with Pts/Rebs/Blks and it didn’t work out.

                Hmmm, physical tools, totally buy it. But I don’t think he’ll ever be the shooter.

                Haha, so I looked at Hamilton’s stats and was like, “back-to-back 5 block games?! And 21 pts! And 7 Rebs! …. oh it’s the same game twice…” http://www.nba.com/summerleague/2014/players/sl_justin_hamilton/
                Yeah I buy he could have a role, maybe $1 REL spec pickup? But I need PG upside.

                Agree on both Timmy J and Snell. Snell is awesome. Would be incredible if given huge minutes.

                Yeah a lot to decide in Feeknicks. I think Dragic could handle 2s though, he’s pretty big and physical. Anteok? Now that might be tough haha.

                Randle, Boozer, Hill re-signing, Wesley Johnson resigning (I think…). So much like last year. Ugh.

                Pumped to see some of these rosters shape up for pre-preseason!

  2. Bye Felicia says:

    Why didn’t the Lakers try signing IT2? Jeremy Linn? Blaaaaaaahhhhh! What a disgrace that organization has became.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @Bye Felicia: Hahaha, can’t really argue that! I guess Kobe knows if IT2 came it would take some of his shots

  3. Zar says:

    Speaking of twitter, Napier unfollowed Lebron following his decision…then claimed ignorance.

    Following his signing with the Mavs, there was a picture of Cuban and Parsons at a club with a suspicious yellow tint..oh dear.

    And now Wiggins is on the table! Love to the Cavs may happen yet (Booooo). Still hoping the Warriors can grab Love though…….

    Is that an America’s Next Top Model reference I see there JB? There was a starvin marvin last season…..

    Nice write up JB, looking forward to more 😀

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @Zar: Hahaha I just looked it up and read it, funny stuff!

      Oh man, Let’s hope they stay dry! I think Mark Cuban’s golden shower might have to turn into a recurring joke…

      Ohhhh Warriors with Love and Curry. That’s how Indians claim you have to cook, with Love and Curry. Be a nasty team.

      Haha, it wasn’t consciously a ANTM reference but unfortunately I know the reference! GF loves the show. I liked Marvin the best though when I looked up from my iPad games haha.

      Thanks man, we’re gonna be amping it up here in the next week or so, got some team previews, ranks, all the gooduns in the next few weeks. Thanks for droppin by man, pumped to see ya through the year! 🙂

      • Zar says:

        @JB Gilpin: Yup, Marvin should have won 🙁

        Curious, any idea of a new nick name for the second alphabet family member?

        • Zar says:

          @Zar: and also on twitter.. Embiid hits on Kim kardashian.

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:

            @Zar: Hahaha, ummm, maybe Thanasis can be lower case and Giannis upper case? I dunno I need to think on it!

            Embiid is a Twitter boss! I’m not as often on there but I’ll def give him a follow. Loved the “LeBron recruiting”

  4. Bye Felicia says:

    If the Cavs move Wiggins for Love that’s going to come back to bite them down the road. I don’t see the point if you are able to wait a year then sign him as a free agent. I don’t think he’s going to sign a contract with any team he’s traded to or else it would have already been done. That’s my opinion. Pretty sure he’s going to Cleveland regardless next year. What do you think?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @Bye Felicia: Hmmmm, that’s a good question, I think he has to get out of Minnesota this year to start off. Just no desire there and the fans will backlash I’d think. What if he got traded somewhere and won the title? Might have some cache to re-sign him. Also, LeBron is only in CLE 2 years so to only have Love for sure with BronBron one year if they intend to sign him… I dunno, I do think Minn should take the CLE deal though

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