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NBA Training Camp: Fantasy Basketball Player News

NBA training camp player news is beginning to come thick and fast. Preseason is a matter of days away with all eyes now focused on potential fantasy implications. In the ramp-up to the regular season, we will be delivering up to the minute fantasy reactions. Fringe guys and role players will undoubtedly be looking to make an impact during their time on the floor. As many fantasy drafts edge closer, being one step ahead of your opponents is key to prolonged success. A successful draft typically plays a major role in many fantasy formats. NBA Player news will be updated regularly so be sure to check back to be sure you don’t miss out.

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NBA Player News

Domantas Sabonis – Indiana Pacers

Sabonis was used heavily on the elbows as the focal point of the Pacers offense certain parts of the game. It looks like he will be used heavily to distribute out of the new-look Pacers offense. He looked sharp with some nice drives to the rim and some strong finishes over Marvin Bagley. The Pacers starters all played over 30 minutes, which indicates they were rolling with regular-season rotation. This is great news for Sabonis’ stock. Especially his passing numbers. He also looked active on defense as well, with 2 steals and a block. If he can continue his great efficiency by adding more assists and some defensive numbers, he will easily be a top 50 player.

Malcolm Brogdon – Indiana Pacers

Brogdon was heavily relied on to control the Pacers offense. Whilst his normal efficiency wasn’t there from the field, shooting 38.5%, he still hit 2 threes and had 7 rebounds and 14 assists. Another good sign is that his 14 assists came with only 2 turnovers. Brogdon is an early ‘sell high’ candidate. It looks like he will have a high usage rate until Oladipo is back and could put up fantastic early-season numbers under the new Pacers offense schemes.

Bogdan Bogdanovic – Sacramento Kings

The Kings also looked to run a relatively normal regular-season rotation. The good sign for Bogdanovic was that he played 28 minutes and continued his hot shooting from the FIBA World Cup. It looks like he will play a combination of small ‘point’ forward in his backup role this year; pushing the break and controlling the offense in transition. Luke Walton has clearly worked on getting the team to move the ball more and this will benefit Bogdanovic. We could see a jump in assists if his role remains with more ball-handling in the second unit. This is a good sign for Bogdanovic who has proved in international games that he has the skills to be an elite scorer as well.

Caris LeVert – Brooklyn Nets

LeVert’s passing game was on full display Friday as he helped the Nets to a comfortable victory. He handed out nine assists in just 20 minutes of playing time. He has been trending up over the past couple of weeks and that looks as though it will continue after an accomplished performance. We do need to factor in both Kyrie Irving and Joe Harris were on the sidelines for this one. However, they are both comfortable playing off the ball and LeVert should still have the ball in his hands a ton. He can still be had in the middle rounds but that is likely to change as draft season kicks into full gear.

T.J. Warren – Indiana Pacers

Warren dropped a game-high 30 points during Friday’s preseason victory over the Kings. He certainly knows how to score the basketball and he looked fantastic playing for his new team. He also continued his recent trend of hitting three-pointers, nailing another five. Warren has been sliding in many drafts with his numbers expected to take a hit on such a talented team. This is only a preseason game but it would appear that he is going to be a focus on the offensive end. The return of Victor Oladipo could move him down the pecking order but Warren is still worthy of considering in the middle rounds of many drafts.

Paul George – Los Angeles Clippers

There is still no official time frame on George’s return to the court following multiple shoulder surgeries. He did say this though: “I’ve dealt with injuries, dealt with rehab….there’s no rush.” Take this how you will, but I am dropping George down my drafts as a result. The Clippers have a strong enough squad to ensure they take a ‘no risk’ approach with George and he clearly won’t come back in a hurry.

Kristaps Porzingis – Dallas Mavericks

Like Paul George, nothing official has been released about KP’s load management. However, Tim Cato of The Athletic has reported that he could miss 15-20 games after discussion with Mavs staffers. Porzingis does look in great shape though, so wait for final official reports or from the horse’s mouth before you fade him too much in drafts.

Mitchell Robinson – New York Knicks

Do we have another unicorn on our hands in New York! Robinson has stated he has been working on shooting threes this season “why work on something you’re not going to use? I’m looking forward to it”. If he hasn’t already jumped up your draft board enough, this little tidbit would be a great addition to his overall game. There aren’t many players in the fantasy world that can shoot threes and block shots. Bump up Robinson slightly in your drafts.

Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers

If you follow Simmons on social media, you will know he has done a good Public Relations job on showing off his jump shot during the summer. Simmons backed this up at media day stating “if it’s open, I’ll take it”. Time will tell how open he will need to be to take three’s this year. However, if teams play him the same way as last year, he will be shooting at least 3 or 4 three-pointers a game this season. Watching closely, his form still looks a little clunking, but his release looked improved. I’m expecting a jump in his free throw shooting percentage. The three-pointer is unknown at this stage. I’d give him a little bump in value from these comments though.

Lauri Markkanen – Chicago Bulls

No load-management is planned in Chicago under coach Jim Boylan it appears. Lauri had this to say about his off-season work “I was just trying to focus on my body. Just like Zach (LaVine), my goal is to play all 82 games and be available every night. So that’s a big goal for me.” This is great news for Markkanen’s value. If he remains at full health, there is every chance he could slide into the mix as a top 25 player. He has the athleticism to be a great defender, so if he can add some more blocks and steals this season, look out! Markkanen is a strong breakout contender this season.

Clint Capela – Houston Rockets

Capela and the Rockets destroyed the Shanghai Sharks in a pre-season exhibition over the weekend, winning by 69 points. Capela looked great, running the floor and getting easy looks in transition. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds and only missed two shots the entire game. D’Antoni on Capela: “Every year he’s improved, and I expect him to do the same thing this year. He had great work with his national team. He’s come in ready to roll. Barring unforeseen circumstances, he’s going to be great [this season]” Capela looks ready to roll again for the season. His limitations remain his foul shooting though, so don’t forget to balance your team around this weakness if you draft him.

Danilo Gallinari – Oklahoma City Thunder

Gallinari addressed the media day stating that he thought the team was working well together. He particularly mentioned that he thought the ball movement the team had shown over the first few days was “Great, it’s going to be the secret of our success”. OKC may be a surprise packet this year and Gallinari will likely be their leading scorer. Don’t sleep on his potential to add decent mid-round value to your team in points and rebounds with elite free throw percentage.

Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers

There is no doubt Embiid is a first-round player on a per-game basis. The continuing issue is his lack of games played. It is for this reason alone, Embiid typically falls to the turn in most standard formats. In a recent interview, Embiid has stated that he hopes to play over 70 games this season. With the 76ers poised to make a deep run into the playoffs, the team’s success appears paramount for Embiid. This team success could translate into fewer minutes each night, but more time on the floor across the entire campaign. Embiid also hinted at elevating his game to the point of being in the MVP discussion. This all points to him having his best season yet, although, there is still likely to be an element of risk no matter where you take him in your draft.

Avery Bradley – Los Angeles Lakers

Bradley appears to have a chance to begin the season as the starting shooting guard for the new-look Lakers. Reports have him impressing at training camp, running with the starters on most occasions. A renowned defender, Bradley has struggled to find his rhythm on the offensive end over the past couple of seasons. That being said, this is certainly the most talented squad he has shared the floor with. Head coach Frank Vogel said “He’s shooting the ball well. We’re going to use him a lot off of screens, not just a spot-up role.” Consequently, this bodes well for Bradley and given the positivity, he could be a nice late-round pick in most formats.

Dwight Howard – Los Angeles Lakers

Much like Avery Bradley, Howard has been spending much of his time with the starting unit. As a result, it would appear as though he may have a head-start on JaVale McGee. Both Howard and McGee will be vying for the coveted starting spot. Therefore a timeshare could be in the cards which does limit their upside. Managers will need to exercise caution given Howard’s recent string of injuries. However, a role with the starting five could see Howard emerge as a viable standard league player.

Jarrett Allen – Brooklyn Nets

In a situation very similar to that at the Lakers, Allen appears set for a timeshare with DeAndre Jordan. Head coach Kenny Atkinson has stated that he will likely play matchups at center, adding he thinks it’s best with what he has. Allen surprisingly played every game for the Nets during the recent Summer League. Unsurprisingly, he dominated his opponents on both ends of the floor, particularly during the latter games. The acquisition of Jordan certainly puts a dampener on Allen’s fantasy upside but he should still be able to flirt with top-100 value in most formats.

Taurean Prince – Brooklyn Nets

Prince will be looking to bounce back after a somewhat underwhelming 2018-19 campaign. Heading into last season, Prince had a certain buzz surrounding him. Unfortunately, that buzz only led to disappointment for many fantasy managers. He lands in Brooklyn with an opportunity to reinvent himself on a contending team. Rodions Kurucs is no certainty to begin the season due to impending legal issues. For that reason, Prince could emerge as the starting power forward. Head coach Kenny Atkinson has stated that he is looking for Prince to be a defensive stopper. If he is able to increase his production on that end of the floor, his offensive numbers could follow suit.

Dewayne Dedmon – Sacramento Kings

After being picked up by the Kings this offseason, Dedmon appears likely to be the starting center. This really doesn’t come as a big surprise given the three-year contract and his ability to contribute on both ends of the floor. His competition for minutes will come from Harry Giles and Richaun Holmes, both of which are lesser options in my opinion. Dedmon is one of the more underrated centers and could still put up top-100 numbers in only 25 minutes. In other words, despite an element of uncertainty, he makes for a nice late-round center.

Fred VanVleet – Toronto Raptors

VanVleet appears to be in the box seat when it comes to the starting shooting guard position. The early thought process had been that VanVleet would come off the bench, much like he did last season. However, a potential starting role now seems a real possibility. VanVleet is already poised for a breakout season with early projections putting him inside the top-75 in 9 category formats. Sharing the floor with Kyle Lowry could impact his initial production. That being said, it remains likely their playing time will be staggered, allowing VanVleet to run the second unit. That is to say, he should still be rostered in all formats no matter his official outlook.

Terry Rozier – Charlotte Hornets

Rozier has been one of the more talked about players this offseason, not always for his fantasy efficiencies. He joins the Hornets who are likely to compete for nothing more than a high lottery pick. A breakout season would appear to be in the cards and head coach James Borrego has done little to curb those thoughts. Borrego has stated that he is looking for Rozier to play upwards of 34 minutes per night. This, along with the lack of talent around him, should see Rozier letting fly with regularity. If field goal percentage is not your major focus, Rozier should be considered in the middle rounds of most drafts.

Is Adam on track with his NBA player news? Let him know in the comments below!

Adam is your go-to man for anything fantasy basketball related. Follow him on twitter @adamking91 or hit us up @fantrax or @fantraxnba

Here are Adam’s positional rankings to get you ready for opening tip-off: Point Guard Rankings and Tiers | Shooting Guard Rankings and Tiers | Small Forward Rankings and Tiers  | Power Forward Rankings and Tiers | Center Rankings and Tiers

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