If you hadn’t gathered through some comments and a few less articles the past week, I’m back from my adventure in Bavaria and over my Oktoberfest hangover! Geez those Oktoberfest litre (European spelling!) beers were strong! If anyone has had the chance to go, definitely share your stories. Drunk munchies of currywurst and then trying to order steak for some reason (or so I’m told!) was absolutely fantastic.
So indeed I am back, and even though I have a callus on my forefinger from raising my beer glass, my hand is in better shape than Rajon Rondo‘s! Broke his hand in the shower on Friday, and with surgery will miss 6-8 weeks. Let me set up the scene as I pictured this incident: Rondo is on the run after ripping off his bank, pulls into the Olynyk Hotel, he starts to shower and the piercing violin theme sounds – with Kelly Olynyk storming in with a butcher knife! Pretty much Kelly Olynyk anything is scary. “He’s coming at me with a fish stick!” Then all the sudden he turns 5 fish sticks into enough to feed the whole crowd… (Of course, I wrote that whole intro before news came out Rondo was spotted on a trampoline at a park, and that sounds more likely a hand-breaking locale. Maybe he was practicing for a revival of SlamBall!)
I’ve gotten flack for liking Rondo a lot this year, with my rationale him expanding into a perimeter game and likely a career best in points, but as I’ve said before – sometimes injuries can help you from bad ranks! Moving him way down into 50s or so, maybe even later, even though he’ll only miss the first week or two (report surfaced today 10-15 games so more like 3 weeks). Here’s what else has gone down lately in the world of offseason hoops:
Marcus Smart – Going to get a ton of first-team reps and should start at PG to start the year. Buzz alert! He’s going to get reached for more often than Al Bundy for his junk I’m not going to move him up too much. I still worry about his lack of treys and assists, on top of playing time issues once Rondo is back. Rondo is that much harder to trade now too…
Eric Bledsoe – Who says it doesn’t rain in the desert?! 5 years, 70 mil. Everything sounded like Goran Dragic was surely coming back next year too for a long-term deal, so it’s all harmony in the three-guard backcourt. Still think my ranks on the two with Isaiah Thomas off the bench seem about right…
Zoran Dragic – Double the Dragics! That’s the Suns’ new philosophy… “We are Flaming Dragon! Simple Jack is with us now.” Two years, $4 million. Yeah, he’s not a factor, other than helping Goran sign for a little less next year. Don’t think I don’t see through it! Sign an unknown commodity for a pretty good 2-year deal, right when Goran needs an extension. I should be the NBA Dr. Phi. Dr. JB! Although, with a Dr. J already, I might need something else…
Ramon Sessions – Finally got scooped up, signing with the Kings for 2 years for $4.2 million buckaroos. Kinda a weird spot, with Darren Collison getting the big starting deal and Ray McCallum a good NBA backup PG. But as I mentioned in a comment, I think it’s more an indictment of McCallum than Colly. This news might make Collison an even better value on draft days if people are worried about his starting job. Sessions and McCallum are pretty untouchable unless you’re in a 16-teamer or deeper, and Sessions a good bit higher.
Jeff Taylor – Ugh, more awful news for sports. I don’t really want to get into it, but it does move Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s stock up from Sell to Don’t Buy! 20 team leagues or something like that could find some surprising value in MKG.
Tyreke Evans – Out 3-5 weeks with a hamstring strain, after still having knee issues as of two weeks ago which we talked about on the last podcast. Apparently hurt his hammy playing pickup, so by the transitive property, he was playing pickup with the knee issues. Starting to smell rotten in Denmark. Me no likey! Should be fine for the start of the season, and hammies aren’t a big issue in Evans’ long list of injury issues, but still a bit worried.
Deron Williams – I have no idea why I added this is, but said he’s not 100% and still has ankle issues. I might as well say JaVale McGee isn’t quite 100% polished and Wilson Chandler‘s neck tat is 100% creepy. We need a Razzball breaking news sound!
Bojan Bogdanovic – Had a great FIBA (21.2 PPG, 2.2 treys – given it’s a shorter porch) and is in competition to win the starting wing role opposite Joe Johnson. Eh, it’s worth monitoring but not a guy to go out and draft as a sleeper until you get into 16 or 18 teams. Pretty ThrAGNOFfy.
Mirza Teletovic – Andrei Kirilenko has been running early in camp as a starter, but already has back spasms and will be out 7-10 days. Kevin Garnett is like, “back spasms?! [points to his own back] Now that’s what I call back spasms!” If Teletovic doesn’t get close to 30 minutes a game this year, I’m going to accuse the Nets of giving their vet PF/C guys bionic backs. They’re going to start looking like Dr. Octopus.
Pistons Big Men – As hinted by Joe Dexter on our Podcast last month, Stan Van recently said Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond are unlikely to be a 3-4-5 lineup on the court at the same time, so that means “Not a starting!” Well for Smoove at least. Still doesn’t change my Smoove rank – I think coming off the bench he’ll still rack up the defensive stats against subpar second units and hopefully, repeat hopefully, improve on his %s.
Nikola Pekovic – Another news bit we discussed on the last Pod, Pek was reported to be limited to 27 minutes a game, and yesterday Flip Saunders said 26-27. Hoist the Gorgui Dieng flag! Dieng might actually get ranked ahead of Pek for me now… Really no way I’m drafting Pek in any leagues.
Nik Stauskas – Kings skipper Mike Malone said that Ben McLemore needs to “work on his jump shot, his ball-handling, his passing decisions and becoming a better defender this year.” Hahahahahaha. i.e. – Ben McLemore needs to not suck and fix everything. Hoist the Stauskas flag! He said he knows he needs to hit treys and get dimes, and he’s the perfect fit next to assistless Darren Collison. I still like Colly a lot, not like Ramon Sessions is going to unseat him and get 10+ APG, but loving Stauskas more and more. As a last pick kinda guy.
Russ Smith – The Pelicans’ 2nd-round pick from Louisville is looking like the backup PG after a solid Summer League. I’ve seen flashes from Austin Rivers, but the Pelicans don’t want to give him a shoot. With Jrue Holiday still a little risky with the injured leg (although I’m buying despite the risk), Smith is an interesting flyer in deeper leagues.
Michael Carter-Williams – JB’s love child is still dealing with his injured shoulder, and won’t be ready for preseason. Gasp. Gulp. Gulp another shot. Not going to change anything yet – well maybe I’ll drop him a few – but I will be monitoring closely.
Well, I think that’s most of the news since we’ve last checked in. Things to look for this week! [Hopefully] some more Team Previews, Razzball ranks on FantasyPros, and a new Podcast. Almost preseason time! Prost!