Finally, we’ve got some action to break down on the court!  And what better venue than the Summer League, where raw NBA rooks and sophs go to strut their stuff and get fantasy basketballers needlessly excited.  Remember all the Mario Hezonja hype last Summer League?!  Hopefully I did pretty well to quash that!  Wow, surprised I was right that “quash” was a word…  I thought people were just saying squash too fast!

But one guy I definitely don’t want to squash/quash is second-year PG Cameron Payne.  We were pretty big on this guy coming out of the draft last year, and he really surprised as a rookie overtaking D.J. Augustin as the backup to Russell Westbrook by going 14.6/4.4/5.6/1.9/0.3 in per-36 during 2015-16, with only 2.3 TO.  He didn’t shoot particularly well (41%), but a lot of that was due to nearly 40% of his shots being treys.  In his one start of 2015-16, he went 17/3/7 against the Spurs who shockingly weren’t resting anyone.

In the Orlando Summer League which wrapped a couple days ago, Payne led the league in scoring at 18.8 Pts a game, averaging 4 AST to only 2.5 TO.  Not huge in the AST total, but that’s a ton of usage for a very few giveaways.  The deep ball was still a little meh only going 4-14 from the perimeter, but he did have a 14-14 FT game in there.  The Thunder squad (or quad, maybe?) went 4-0 in the games he played, and Payne looks primed for a bigger role with OKC.

With all the talk on Russell Westbrook being shopped (and even if he isn’t traded pre-season, a deadline deal would be very likely), a lot of focus has been on what newly acquired Victor Oladipo could do.  No Westbrook and no other big-time creators would obviously be big for RainbOladipo.  But lost in that noise is what it would mean for Cameron Payne.  I think he’d all but certainly shift into the starting line-up (or at least near-starting minutes, if they still wanted to start Andre Roberson), and give a nice low-TO line with a handful of dimes and steals.  The FG% might be lacking, but he would become a top-80ish asset in my mind.  So while visions of sugarplums and rainbow lines for Oladipo might cloud your Christmas Eve dreams if Westy is traded, don’t forget about the huge opportunity it would give Major Payne.  Here’s what else has caught my eye thus far during 2016’s Summer Ball:

Brice Johnson – Oh dear lord, get this guy some opium to calm the aggression!  Had a 3-game stretch of 7, 8, and 8 fouls in Orlando.  Good thing there’s no foul limit!  Even Bane could play in the Summer League…  BJ had some big games in those 3 though, scoring 23, 23 and 19 with an unreal FG%, but shot 1-13 in his finale and averaged 5 TO a game.  The Clippers then made their faith in the rookie apparent by signing Marreese Speights.  The Ace of Speights!  The end of Brice…

Josh Richardson I dunno why, but it feeels weird seeing Richardson playing summer basketball after such a good campaign last year, but alas the new J-Rich averaged 16.7/1.3(???)/4.7/1.0/0.7 in 3 Summer League games with only 5 overall TO.  Got to the stripe, shot 47% from the field…  He’s gonna be a popular sleeper, even though Tyler Johnson seems like he is going to get the contract the Nets sent matched by the Heat.  That went past my bedtime, so stay tuned there.

Stanley Johnson Everyone’s favorite multi-cat rook sleeper had an up-and-down debut campaign, but has looked good for the most part in Summer Ball going 16.0/7.4/2.4/2.2/0.0 in 5 games.  The FG% was atrocious (35.5%, with 26.7% from deep), but he did shoot 100% from the FT line (18-18), and had only 1 TO in each of the last 3 games.  Unfortunately, it’s tough to see a big role for him in Stan Van’s big-minutes rotation and lacking a starting spot.

Kyle Anderson Mr. Anderson!  Kyle has been putting up mini-Matrix numbers going an absolutely unreal 21.1/8.2/3.8/3.0/1.8 thus far in Summer League through 4 games, shooting 49%.  After winning the MVP last year in the Dog Days, he’s gonna have to swallow it down and suck it up playing only garbage minutes yet again behind Kawhi.

Jonathan Simmons – Another Spur bench player that is again going nuts in the Summer League is J-Sim, going 22.0/4.0/2.7/1.3/1.0 through 3 games.  Why do all the fun, popcorn numbers have to be to guys we know won’t play?!?!?!

Trey Lyles Well, if I’m gonna rank Derrick Favors cautiously due to back-to-back seasons with back-and-back issues, I guess that makes Lyles a sleeper candidate!  He’s torn up Summer Ball going 22/9 a game, albeit with some weak D stats.  That said, some unbelievable 31-34 FT volume over his last 3 contests, plus 10 treys overall.  He’s got the versatility to backup both the 3 and 4 positions and played pretty well as a rook last year; he’s going to be a nice last-round pick flier for me.

Ben Simmons Numero Uno has looked the part so far, going 8/10/8/3/2 his last contest.  Still not taking any 3s or shooting a ton, but he is leading Utah in assists per game.  The talk the Sixers want him to become the PG I guess isn’t too outrageous…  Can’t wait until they face Antetok and the Bucks!  Might be the biggest starting line-ups in NBA history…

Kris Dunn Tore it up in his first Summer game going 27/5/2/3/1, hitting 10-18 from the field and getting 10 FTA (only made 6 though…).  Multi-cat and missed FT?!  MCW alert!

Kelly Oubre – My boyfriend shot only 6-19 FG (2-10 3PTM) in his debut, but did go 20/8/1/4/0.  He better get a big role this year as some instant O off the Wiz bench!

Emmanuel Mudiay 23/8/6/1/1, and not too shocking he still needs Summer League seasoning.  3 TO and 6-12 FT though…  MCW alert!

Bobby Portis 17/13/0/0/1 in his debut, including a trey.  WHY DID THIS TEAM TRADE FOR THE WORST PLAYER IN THE NBA?!?!?!  Stupid Robin Lopez

Thon Maker Despite pretty much unanimously being a better porn star than upcoming NBA player, Thon had a fantastic debut for the Bucks going 15/13/0/1/2 on 5-14 shooting from the field and 5-7 FT.  He took 4 treys too!  Missed them all, but still…  Bucks GM/Dangerous Prehistoric Animal Petting Zoo Owner John Hammond said he thinks Thon is a rotational player at a minimum out of the gate, so he might put pressure on Kidd to get Thon playing right away.  The same Jason Kidd who had Khris Middleton out of his rotation a few years ago…  The same Jason Kidd who benched Giannis due to lack of hustle…

Ughhhhhhh!

Malcolm Brogdon Only 9/11/3 in his debut, but I’m about as excited as I’ve ever been for a second rounder.  Really great player for Virginia, and he lands on a team with a murky wing depth chart.  Stupid Matthew Dellavedova hurt though!  Ughhhhhhh!  Bucks lead me to some major frustration…

D’Angelo Russell Has a sexy 21/7.5/5.5 line thus far in Summer (albeit with a bajillion TO), and hit a game-winner to kick-off his campaign.  I took a video of it on my cell phone, but decided to not put it up…  Lord, he is out of control…  Poor J.A. Adande…

Brandon Ingram Yuck…  7/4/1/0/0 in his last game, shooting 3-12 with 3 TO in 28 minutes.  He’s like, “Deng!  I wish I was projected to start!”

Buddy Hield Gets the early “Labradoodles of the Summer” award by going 5-20 FG in his debut.  I almost gave it to Brice Johnson there at the top, but I don’t want to keep ramping up his foul tally…

 

Anyone else catch your interest thus far in Summer Ball, Razzball Nation?  Shoot your thoughts below, and happy NBA Offseason!

  1. DORIAN says:
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    Loving the updates, keep em coming. I think Richardson’s path to 28-30 minutes at least is pretty set with TJ likely to come off the bench as a ball handling combo guard (the wade role). Both players could be very productive actually. I like Richardson slightly more because he has that loveable tendency to throw your team a few STOCKS even on days he doesn’t do much else.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @DORIAN: Thanks for reading man! Prob will only do one more when it all wraps tho, Summer League is kinda short…

      Agree, I like JRich more. But don’t forget that TJ can give ya some STOCKS too! Not quite at J Rich level, but that’s what made Johnson so fun. Little white boy with freakish athleticism going ham haha

      • DORIAN says:
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        @JB Gilpin:

        Most definitely. The funny thing is, I used to go to Fresno State games and in the midst of our getting beat most nights in our half-empty arena (it’s been a rough decade), somehow this small white kid would be putting up these unassuming 16/5/5 lines that no one would mention. I was very unsurprised to see his name pop up in Miami a few years later. He just gets it.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @DORIAN: Hah that’s awesome you saw him in college! It’s weird, the unassuming guys that make it outta mid majors, my big one was kent bazemore. but he never looked all that special at Old Dominon haha. Maybe I only saw his early years, I can’t remember…

  2. A Hill O' Beans says:
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    Looks like Draymond was arrested for assaulting a guy on Sunday. How much do you want to bet he hit the guy in the nuts, haha!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @A Hill O’ Beans: Hah I saw that and immediately that was my first thought too haha. Apparently it was only a disagreement between two guys… Draymond disagreeing with how much he could hurt that guy’s nards!

  3. MAC says:
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    RAZZUP!!!

    with free agency done, fantasy offseason officially starts! hehe. anyways, KD to GSW in real life is definitely a BS move by durant. fantasy wise its good news, as getting an early pick makes it less of an advantage. definitely gives those stuck with a late pick, a better chance to contend.

    i agree with jb, id still have steph as num 1. he basically lapped the field last season. so even a drop to his numbers, mainly PPG, he should still finish 1st. though russ, harden and kd are all now in consideration for pick 1. its just that picking westbrook and harden over curry and to some exrtent kd, is that you have already got to punt fg and TO. the all around efficiency of curry and kd trumps the popcorn stats that westy and hardy provides over them. they just give you more options picking next rounds.

    i think the real loser for next season is klay thompson. its always the 3rd guy who would suffer in production just like bosh and love. and its more concerning with klay, as his main value comes from scoring and 3s. as with draynuts, its actually the opposite of klay. most of his value comes from his versatility of providing across the board stats. with STOCKS and 3s might stay put. but he definitely takes a hit for me with the uncertainty of how KD affects everyone. maybe more of risk late 1st.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @MAC: Razzup mayne?!?! Hah well I wouldnt be surprised if we had another few splashes to mess everything up some more 🙂

      Cool, yeah Curry #1 is still my thinking, but totally agree the top 4 are all so close now it could go in any order. Def agree Thompson hurts a ton. He goes from Splash Brother to Splash Annoying Nephew.

      Dray also takes a hit because he’s apparently hitting other people haha

  4. v00dr00 says:
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    # 1 JB in my <3, what's your take on JB(Jaylen Brown) for 2016? And then your keeper perspective? Where to draft?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @v00dr00: Hah thanks man! I really don’t like this other JB’s game for fantasy though. Not many 3s, low D stats. Not going close in redraft. In keeper, it would probably be fairly low as well, depends on how many you can keep. I imagine he wouldn’t crack a top-8 or top-10 on a particular team for a while

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @v00dr00: In a redraft he’s well outside the top 150. I think he’s a project. His jump shot is a loooooooong way away, he’s going to drag down your FT% far more than he’s going to help anywhere else. 3.1 TOs in 27 min as a freshman in college is attrocious. Less than 1 stl, less than 1 blk, less than 1 3pt per game. So he won’t help much there as a rookie either. 5.4 boards and 2.0 assists are solid, so maybe he can help a smidge with the popcorn stats, but either way it’s going to take an injury or 2 for Brown to play more than 15 minutes per game. IT2/3, Bradley, Crowder play a ton of min, and Smart gets his as a combo guard.

      As a keeper he’s mearly OK, he should be a solid scorer but I’m not sure it ever turns into a full 9-cat line. I’d comp him to a player like TJ Warren. Brown’s stat line as a freshman vs Warrens as a sophomore are nearly identical (but with Warren sporting a good FG%).

      Rookie ranks are tough until we know their role but top of my head I’ll rank them for a keeper as… Simmons, Ingram, Dunn, Murray, Hield. Then there seems to be a drop off before the guys who are projects.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @v00dr00: @Slim: Agree, he’s prob in my top 200, but barely.

        Hah i was thinking Warren, but I think Warren’s developed a 3 ball and steals more haha.

        I’m changing my tune on Dunn. He’s #2 for me now in keeper ranks

        • Slim

          Slim says:
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          @JB Gilpin: I havent put too much thought into REL prices yet but heres where im at… Simmons $50. Ingram $40. Dunn $35. Murray, Hield $25-$30. Brown $20-$25. Bender, Chriss, Maker $15-$20. Then a few more someone will probably go $15 for. Valentine I assume. And yes that prices me out of most. $32 for 4 players, but you know im going to draft a rookie.

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
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            @Slim: I think Simmons goes $55+ Teams have money and he’s by far the best get. I might be in on Dunn at that price. Hield mayyyybe, Should be fun! Is the season here yet?!??!

          • Foreign Affairs says:
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            @JB Gilpin: @Slim: @Slim: @JB Gilpin: I think Simmons is going to be this years KAT auction war and I wouldn’t be surprised after how KAT’s season went he could reach $60 for a team with money to burn not wanting to miss out, and there should be a few of those this year with roster cuts for busts (looking at you $40 and $29 Elfrid Payton and MCW) and frustrating old dudes no one wants.

            I Think Thon Maker might go for the $20-35 range if he keeps things up in the pre-season. We had last years none KAT bigs go Okafor $25 Kristaps$28( damn you Slim!!!) and Turner $35 and even for uncertain Okafor I think no one regrets those buys right now so some nostalgia goggles might come out, Bender and Chriss have an outside chance at that price range if they can look less terribly raw right now.

            Plus if he is useful for this season immediately someone can remix the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6yf1nL4pCM so he can be the new Poison Goose for the pod (yeah I think im drinking the koolaid here but the Dieng Train and Embiid knock on wood, are my only bigs so im pretty desperate right now)

            I’ve got $77 for 4 spots(or 78 for 5 Snell!!!!) or $75 for two so im either going to be really aggressive to get two guys or spread it out alittle.

            • Slim

              Slim says:
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              @Foreign Affairs: I think once Thon starts practicing with the NBA team he’s going to get abused and I think Kidd is going to give him his fair share of DNPs. The upside is really attractive but Parker gets all those minutes at PF, plus Giannis played some PF when they went small and Monroe/Henson should take up all the center minutes. You could make the argument that Thon has just as much upside as Turner had last year but I think Turner had a much easier road to minutes. I’ll be in on Thon but once he starts going over $20 I’ll probably be out. As long as his price stays reasonable he’ll be a great trade piece even if he isn’t getting minutes.

              I’m going into the year with Goose, Nurk, Adams, and Henson. If I can hit on one more young big I think I’ll be set for the next 5 years.

              I can get on board the Thon Song. It might need one or 2 lyrics changed to really set it off.

              That’s a boatload of money to spend on draft day. Wade just destroyed Snells minutes. My question marks are Justin Holiday for $1, if he’s a 20 minute per game player then I want to keep him but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. And Shane Larkin for $1. Still only 23 but was pretty bad last year with a great opportunity. If he lands a decent backup role I’ll probably hold onto him. PGs are just too valuable in this league.

              • JB Gilpin

                JB Gilpin says:
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                @Foreign Affairs: @Slim: Well as mentioned in the comment below, it was a weaker draft class. Even though last year wasn’t supposed to be all-a-dat either. So I think that’s why some $ was chased on those guys.

                Mehhh well Turner had proven his great stat line in college. Thon was still playing Canadia High School ball last haha.

                LET ME SEE THAT THONNNNNN! BABY! Haha love it. Maybe I’ll try and edit it a little.

                • v00dr00 says:
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                  @JB Gilpin: @Foreign Affairs: @Slim: Lawd, you guys went in on this topics. Appreciate it! I am looking forward to seeing Thon break into the rotation and then foul out halfway through the 1st. I do hope that JB can figure out his stroke, because that shot is ugggggggggg, but I like his intensity, so we’ll see. I won’t be the dummy who drafts him. And pleeeeease Celtics, don’t go for Russ! I was going to keep IT2/3, but not sure if he would be worth it if Russ comes into town :(.

                  • JB Gilpin

                    JB Gilpin says:
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                    @v00dr00: Any time, comments on Razzball is where it’s at!

                    Hah yeah the fouls are out of control for Thon.

                    OMG CELTICS YOU BETTER NOT! IT2/3 is an REL cornerstone for me at a good price. Can’t afford to see him go…

                    • Slim

                      Slim says:
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                      @JB Gilpin: Are we just going to let JB disrespect Canadian highschool basketball like that?

                      Hold my spitter. Tarps off boys. You lookin for a Tilly buddy? Lets have a donnybrook!

  5. Bye Felica says:
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    Weakest draft class in years! Maybe a decade.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Bye Felica: When I was looking at all the players for the mock draft I thought the same thing but a few guys have played better than I thought they would in Summer league. Kris Dunn looks like a star. Buddy looks great. Maker has been a pleasent surprise. But yeah, you just can’t compare this draft class to last years, or the year before.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Bye Felica: @Slim: It’s different because it’s a lot of projects. I think in hindsight we might like it a little more. It’s def the weakest in a while in terms of redraft-draftable guys

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