Entering the second year of the David Fizdale Era, the New York Knicks have nowhere to go but up. They are clearly in the process of a rebuild, and development is the key word for this team. A lot of people will say they whiffed in free agency. I am one of those people. Just kidding! Kind of… They did make some under-the-radar signings of solid basketball players, who could become long-term pieces. Who’s going to step up and solidify themselves as a piece moving forward? That is what the Knicks will try to find out this year as they push towards relevancy in 2021.

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Not only was James Harden the only player to stay healthy for the entirety of the fantasy basketball playoffs, but he has also been putting up insane lines. Last night he went 7-50-11-10-0-0-3 on 13-of-31 shooting and 17-of-18 FTs. You must feel like a fool if you didn’t draft this man number one overall. He’s the clear cut top fantasy player, and he didn’t take any rest days in the crucial games of the fantasy season, unlike pretty much every other relevant player in the league. For most of us, today is the last day of the fantasy basketball season, and we are sad. Many of us have mentally moved on to fantasy baseball, but for one last day let’s reflect on the fantasy season that was, and enjoy one last day of fantasy basketball before the inevitability of the Warriors championship run commences. Here’s what went down last night in the NBA:

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Vince Carter was the #5 overall pick waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1998. This is his 23rd season in the NBA! 7-Eleven has nothing on him because it closes from Eleven to 7. Half-man, Half-amazing? Naw. All man, All amazing! Last night was just another reiteration of that fact:

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
21 4 1 1 0 0 7/11 7/14 0

Played 26 minutes off the bench and led the Hawks in points! He’s 42 freaking years old! For you inquiring minds, he’d need to play a few more years to hold the title of the oldest player to ever play in an NBA game. Nat Kickey was 45 years, 363 days old when he played two games in 1947. That shouldn’t count but it does. For someone a little more relevant, Kevin Willis played five games during the 2006 season at the ripe age of 44 years, 224 days. Now, this lede is basically an homage to the awesomeness of Vince Carter, but he’s actually been a fantasy asset. Over the past four games, he’s averaged 27.4 minutes, 13.5 points, 3.5 tres, 3.3 boards, 2.3 dimes, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks! Good for top 85 value. Granted, the Hawks are banged up, as John Collins, Taurean Prince, and Omari Spellman have been out due to injury, yet……Nothing but amazing.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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A month or so ago, in this very fantasy corner, a young center of the New York Knicks was featured as a buy candidate. He began the year as the 3rd option behind Enes Kanter and Luke Kornet and had the occasional foul-plagued game but, and I’m quoting myself from the aforementioned article, “As long as he can stay on the court, he is both a great stash for the second half of the season and immediate help for boards and blocks.” I hope you took that advice because the second half of the season is upon us and Mitchell Robinson is beasting, averaging 10.3/0/8.2/0.4/0.8/3.3/0.4 on 71%/62.5% shooting. The blocks are outright RIDICULOUS! He even improved his per-36 stats and with DeAndre Jordan’s contract expiring this summer, he is already very high on my draft board for next season.

When taking a quick look at last article’s suggestions, Dion Waiter’s name pops out as the big hit, as he is having a great scoring month both from the paint and from beyond the 3pt line. The duo of Landry Shamet and Allen Crabbe have contributed in points and triples, with the former offering higher rest of season upside. Finally, Tobias Harris is proving me wrong by keeping his usage in Philly and scoring at his usual clip. This is a situation to monitor going forward, and we have to take into account that Joel Embiid was sidelined, but my projections of a top 50 finish look a bit pessimistic now.

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If I lived in the country, I’d like to be within walking distance of a brook. Hearing and watching water flow is so relaxing to me. Plus, it could help irrigate my farmland and hopefully fish would swim rampant in it. I like watching fish. I’m a terrible fisherman, though, which bodes well for the fish. Funny story. My buddy took me fishing off the pier once and I caught this fish that was maybe six inches long. Kid next to me, maybe eight years old, looks at my fish, then looks me dead in the eye and says, “That ain’t no fish!” F U kid. Anyways, I mention a brook because I know what to expect from it. It’s going to bring water, fish, and it damn well ain’t going anywhere. Unless the neighbor upstream builds a dam. Damn! Russell Westbrook brings that same consistency.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
44 14 11 1 2 5 4/12 18/30 4/4

11 straight trip-dubs! He now has 128 for his career, 10 behind Magic Johnson and 53 behind Oscar Robertson. He should knock that out in two seasons tops. From a fantasy perspective, the high turnovers and low shooting efficiency keep him down (top 35 over the past seven games), but the counting stats. Oh, those counting stats. He’s AVERAGING a trip-dub. They flow like water down the Westbrook.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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I used to smoke plenty of trees back in the day. Now, no more smoking at all, as I’m trying to be healthier, but I will still partake in the gummy treats. Regardless of the delivey method, the THC (tetrahydrocannobinol) still gets me nice and toasty, which is what the experience of owning and watching Tobias Harris play this season has been. Last night….

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
34 7 5 0 0 6 6/7 13/21 2/3

For the season, Harris is a top 25 player. Is he a superstar? That’s debatable, as he doesn’t contribute much in the D cats and the usage is only 25. Most of the superstars have usage rates in the 30s. With that said, he provides 20+ points, 2 tres, 7 boards, and 4 dimes with good percentages. He also hasn’t missed a game this year, despite being banged up. The prior two years, Harris played 80 and 82 games. There’s value in that, as one cannot accumulate fantasy points if one is not on the court. Anyways, Harris is an UFA after this season and will get paid. He’s also only 26 years old, entering the prime of his career, so there’s a chance that he can continue improving. That would make all his owners nice and toasty indeed.

UPDATE: Harris, along with Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott were traded to PHI for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2020 1st, 2021 1st via MIA (unprotected), 2021 2nd, and 2023 2nd.

All hail The Logo.

That PHI starting lineup looks kind of diesel as well, though.

  • Ben Simmons
  • J. J. Redick
  • Jimmy Butler
  • Tobias Harris
  • Joel Embiid

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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You listen to Kyrie Irving and get hypnotized, as the voice is smooth and the delivery is graceful. Then he hits you with the “Earth is flat” or “Ask me July 1.” Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. It’s the same story on the court, as the bevy of moves get you transfixed. Dribble, dribble, then jab step with the right foot, behind-the-back dribble, change directions with the left foot, then explode to the basket for 2. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

I have a hard time replicating his moves in NBA 2K! Anyways, yesterday:

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
30 4 11 0 1 4 1/5 14/19 1/1

For the season, he’s a top 10 player, and has been the #4 player over the past four games, averaging 36.6 minutes, 27.8 points, 2.3 threeecolas, 5.8 boards, 9.3 dimes, 3 steals, and 0.5 blocks while shooting 54% from the field and 90% from the line. The usage rate has been over 30. So sick. For shits and giggles, I wanted to see how this season has compared to those in the past. The 49% shooting from the field, 41% from downtown, 1.2 offensive rebounds, 4.9 rebounds, 6.9 dimes, 1.7 steals, and 0.5 blocks are all career-highs. I knew he was having a good season. I didn’t know he was having a great one. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

Here’s what else I saw yesterday:

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Look ahead—Trade Deadline Edition

Now we are just past the halfway mark of the season and into the annual fun that masquerades as the trade deadline.

Teams are either hoping to find the one additional piece to move them into championship contention, ensure that playoff slot which has eluded the home fans for several seasons, or offload some contracts to save a few bucks and better the future.

The interesting thing is figuring out who the sellers and buyers are. More intriguing for us fantasy hoop heads is how it affects/changes/improves/negates the numbers of current players and what kind of new opportunities can now be found for players in new situations.

We will take a look at the Eastern Conference first – identify some trade targets and discuss what that might mean.  Then we will do the same with the West.

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Last year, I mentioned that I was a big baseball card collector as a kid, having been the perfect age when that really became a big thing. I was fortunate to have a group of friends who loved to trade cards and a dad that would take me to baseball card shows to build my collection. I had chosen Ken Griffey Jr. early on as my favorite player, so fortunately, I was on the lookout mainly for his cards. If I can ever decide to part with them, at least I have hundreds of cards featuring a Hall of Famer. The same cannot be said, however, for my brief foray into the world of basketball card collecting. I decided to complete a small set of the 1993 NBA Draft first-rounders. And from this group, like when I picked Griffey as my favorite player when he was a rookie, I chose an exciting young player to focus on. The decision to collect Isaiah “J.R.” Rider cards for a few months did not return the same joy and imaginary wealth, unfortunately. But it certainly was easy to trade for his cards!

Speaking of trading, as I write this, the trade deadline, one of my favorite days of the year, is only 15 days away. Now, after a trade goes down that day, do you want to be one of the people rushing to your app, hoping you’re the first to see if the guy that’s getting a huge bump in minutes and usage is still available? Or, do you want to be the one that they all curse when they find out you picked him up a week earlier? Obviously, we can’t stash all the players that could be in line for a big increase in fantasy value, but today I’m going to try to identify a handful of players to either stash now or to keep an eye on, depending on your league size, as the trade rumors continue to come out. And with that list, I’ll provide their per-36 minute stats. No, most won’t get that many minutes even if they are the beneficiaries of a deadline deal, but it’ll at least give you an idea of what they could do with an increase in minutes… plus, it’s fun.

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I know people are supposed to learn from their mistakes, reflect on past decisions, and try to improve. Remember last year, when Jahlil Okafor was traded to the Brooklyn Nets and I was quick to label him “must-own” and feature him as the main Buy suggestion? I hope you don’t, as we all know how that worked out. I hope I’m not replicating the same mistake by suggesting him again today, due to Antony Davis’ latest injury. More discussion on him coming up on him on his respective blurb. I just hope that with this introduction I can finally combat my Achilles heel, my kryptonite, this man right here…

Taking a look at last week’s suggestions, Victor Oladipo is gaining some momentum again after a 21 point performance, but the buy-low window is still there. Alec Burks and Richaun Holmes were not helpful for different reasons, as the former flat out underperformed while the latter got injured. Finally, Donovan Mitchell continued his scoring tear, but Ricky Rubio has returned so this might be the last chance to sell really high on him. Special shout-out to Corey Brewer who played a team-high 32 minutes against the Rockets and did everything in his power to annoy James Harden with his “unorthodox” defense…

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