Recent NBA Player News

Nuggets make Michael Porter Jr. last pick in lottery

The Denver Nuggets chose Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th overall pick of the NBA draft.

What It Means:

Porter Jr. needed back surgery before last season and was limited to only three games in college, leading to his slide after some mocks had him as high as a top-two selection. According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com.. the soon-to-be 20-year-old could even need to take a redshirt season. However, the upside is there, as Porter Jr. is massive on the wing, checking in at 6’10" with a 7-foot wingspan. It could prove to be a pretty valuable consolation prize for a Nuggets team that was the last to be eliminated from playoff contention last season.

Porter played a total of 53 minutes in three games at Missouri.

Hornets move back a pick, snag Miles Bridges with 12th pick

The Charlotte Hornets chose Michigan State forward Miles Bridges with the 12th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft.

What It Means:

The Hornets traded the 11th pick to the Los Angeles Clippers to acquire the 12th pick and a pair of second-rounders. Bridges was a second-team All-American during his sophomore season and is a strong defender with 6'7" length and a 6'10" wingspan.

Bridges averaged 17.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.1 3-pointers, and 0.8 blocks in 31.4 minutes per game on 45.7 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc as a sophomore.

Clippers select Jerome Robinson with the 13th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft

Boston College guard Jerome Robinson has been selected thirteenth by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2018 NBA Draft.

What It Means:

One of the few upperclassmen to be taken in the lottery this year, Robinson averaged a robust 20.7 points as a junior for the Eagles in the 2017-18 season.

Robinson averaged a career-best 40.9% from three last year.

76ers select Mikal Bridges at 10th overall

The Philadelphia 76ers selected Villanova wing Mikal Bridges with the 10th pick of the NBA Draft.

What It Means:

According to ESPN, 76ers head coach has had his eye on Bridges for a while. The turning 22-year-old helped Villanova bring home the hardware during his third year at school and is someone who can make his shot from the wing and contribute on defense.

Bridges averaged 17.7 points, 5.3 boards, 1.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 2.3 3-pointers, and 1.1 blocks in 32.1 minutes per game on 51.4 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from deep.

Charlotte Hornets select Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with the 11th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft

Kentucky Wildcats guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been selected eleventh by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2018 NBA Draft.

What It Means:

The 6'6" Gilgeous-Alexander likely won't start right away. However, there has been trade interest in Kemba Walker, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. If that were to happen, then the rookie's minutes would likely get a big boost.

Gilgeous-Alexander averaged a well-rounded 14.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in his freshman season.

Grizzlies go with Jaren Jackson Jr. at 4th overall

The Memphis Grizzlies drafted Michigan State center Jaren Jackson Jr. with the 4th pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

What It Means:

After initially giving the Grizzlies the cold shoulder, Jackson reportedly warmed to the idea of playing in Memphis. He grew almost six whole inches during his sophomore year in high school and measured in at 6’10" with a 7’5" wingspan at the combine. The talented center has both range and shot-blocking ability, giving him an ideal skill-set for today's game, albeit in a crowded Grizzlies' frontcourt.

Jackson averaged 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, and 2.3 3-pointers in 21.8 minutes per game on 51.3 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from distance.

The Cleveland Cavaliers choose Collin Sexton with the 8th pick of the 2018 NBA Draft

The Cleveland Cavaliers have selected Alabama guard Collin Sexton with the 8th overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft.

What It Means:

Sexton stands at 6'2" with a 6'7" wingspan and was productive during his only season in college, so the 19-year-old could prove to be a solid addition to the Cavaliers' backcourt. According to team beat writer Joe Vardon, LeBron's people "like" Sexton, so make of that what you will.

Sexton averaged 19.2 points, 3.8 boards, 3.6 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.3 3-pointers in 29.9 minutes per game on 44.7 percent from the field and 33.6 percent on threes.

The New York Knicks select Kevin Knox with the ninth pick of the 2018 NBA Draft

Kentucky Wildcat forward Kevin Knox has been selected ninth by the New York Knicks in the 2018 NBA Draft.

What It Means:

The Tampa, Florida native should be able to find playing time right away on a Knicks team that seemed to use a different starting lineup every night last season.

Knox averaged 15.6 points and 5.4 rebounds in his freshman season. He finished the year with a 51% effective field goal percentage and 17.0 PER.

The Chicago Bulls select Wendell Carter Jr. with the seventh pick of the 2018 NBA Draft

Duke forward Wendell Carter Jr. has been selected by the Chicago Bulls with the seventh overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft.

What It Means:

Carter was top-five in defensive rating in the ACC. The Bulls need all the help they can get on defense, as their 109.1 team defensive rating was third worst in the league during the 2017-18 season.

The 6'10", 259-pound Carter averaged a well-balanced 13.5 points and 9.1 rebounds in his freshman season at Duke.

Magic take Mo Bamba with 6th selection

The Orlando Magic drafted Texas center Mo Bamba with the 6th overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft.

What It Means:

Mamba set a combine record with his 7’10" wingspan and blocked 4.9 blocks per 40 minutes in his freshman year at Texas, so he could offer elite upside for fantasy owners in that category alone right away.

Mamba averaged 12.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks in 30.2 minutes per game during his only season in college.

Mavericks move up to land Luka Doncic, send Hawks 5th pick and future 1st

The Dallas Mavericks acquired the 3rd overall pick, which was used on Luka Doncic, from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for the 5th overall pick and a future first-rounder, according to multiple reports.

What It Means:

Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports reports that the future first will be a protected 2019 pick. Doncic, only 19, is a multi-time MVP and multi-time champion who has the size and skills to play both in the backcourt and on the wing. The Hawks chose Oklahoma guard Trae Young with the 5th pick.

Trae Young drafted fifth by Mavericks then traded to the Hawks

Oklahoma Sooners guard Trae Young was selected fifth by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2018 NBA Draft. He was then traded to the Atlanta Hawks.

What It Means:

Dallas will get Luka Doncic in the deal. The Hawks will receive a future first round pick from the Mavericks.

Young averaged an insane 27.4 points per game as a freshman and still found enough possessions to dish out 8.7 assists.

The Phoenix Suns have selected Deandre Ayton with the first pick of the 2018 NBA Draft

The Phoenix Suns have selected center Deandre Ayton with the first overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

What It Means:

This had been expected; BetOnline had odds at -1500 that the former Arizona Wildcat would go first. Ayton should get significant playing time immediately.

The reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year averaged 20.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game in the 2017-18 season.

The Sacramento Kings have taken Marvin Bagley III with the second pick of the 2018 NBA Draft

The Sacramento Kings have selected Duke center Marvin Bagley III with the second pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

What It Means:

Bagley was a force on the boards this season. The 2017-18 ACC Player of the Year averaged 18.6 rebounds per 100 possessions.

Bagley added 21.0 points and 1.5 assists per game in his magnificent freshman season.

Dwight Howard and Nets will negotiate a buyout

Brooklyn Nets center Dwight Howard will negotiate a buyout with the team, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.com.

What It Means:

Howard was just traded to the Nets for Timofey Mozgov, but the trade can't become official until the league opens for business in July. However, that won't stop Howard's agent from starting the buyout talks. Howard will enter free agency this summer if he and the Nets can come to an agreement. Where he lands next is anyone's guess.

Howard had a productive year for the Hornets in 2017-18, averaging 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.6 blocks over 30.4 minutes per game. He owned a 55.6 effective field goal percentage, and his nERD of 3.6 ranked him 51st in our rankings.

Dewayne Dedmon reportedly picks up option with Hawks for $7.2 million option

Atlanta Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon has picked up his $7.2 million player option for the 2018-19 season, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports.

What It Means:

This will make Dedmon an unrestricted free agent at age 30 next summer, at which point he may look to lock down a long-term deal. Dedmon's decision to stay in Atlanta another year may limit the upside of rising sophomore John Collins next season.

Dedmon averaged 24.6 FanDuel points in 62 games (46 starts) last season with 10.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 24.9 minutes per contest.

Wojnarowski: Hornets trade Dwight Howard to Nets for Timofey Mozgov and two second round picks

The Charlotte Hornets have traded center Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for center Timofey Mozgov and two second round picks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

What It Means:

Howard is entering the final year of his contract worth $23.8 million dollars, and with Mozgov's bloated contract, the Nets will end up saving $17 million in cap space for the summer fo 2019. This potentially gives them the ability to sign two max contracts next summer. For Howard it's another stop on his career-ending tour of the league, but he should get plenty of opportunity in Brooklyn if he stays there the whole year. However, the trade could stunt the growth of Jarrett Allen for the Nets. For the Hornets it should open up some more playing time for Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky at center.

Howard had another productive year for the Hornets in 2017-18. He averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.6 blocks over 30.4 minutes per game. He owned a 55.6 effective field goal percentage, and his nERD of 3.6 ranked him 51st in our rankings.

Cavaliers' LeBron James not fond of playing in Houston next season

Cleveland Cavaliers forward and potential free agent LeBron James reportedly does not want to play for the Houston Rockets next season.

What It Means:

According to ESPN's Steven A. Smith, James' pal Chris Paul has been telling people in Houston to not get their hopes up about James playing for the Rockets next season. CP3 expects the King to opt out of Cleveland and join the Los Angles Lakers next season with the possibility of building a superteam alongside Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

James dominated in his 15th NBA season, dropping 27.5 points along with a career-high 8.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game in 2017-18.

Timberwolves' Jamal Crawford declines player option for 2018-19 season

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jamal Crawford declined his player option for the 2018-19 season, making him an unrestricted free agent.

What It Means:

The 38-year-old Crawford could have made $4.5M next season but has decided to pursue his options in free agency. The veteran could be looking to latch on to a title contender, even if he makes less money, as tries to end his career with a championship.

Crawford scored just 10.3 points per game on 41.5% shooting in 2017-18.

Rudy Gay opts out of his contract with San Antonio

San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay has declined his player option for the 2018-19 season, making him an unrestricted free agent.

What It Means:

With all the uncertainty in San Antonio with the trade demand by Kawhi Leonard, Gay may be looking for the chance to play for a contender, which the Spurs may not be sans Leonard. The 31-year-old is leaving $8.8M on the table and may need to take a lesser deal next season.

Gay was a mild disappointment as he averaged just 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 21.7 minutes per game with the Spurs last season.

Pelicans' DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) progressing to pool work in rehab

NBA Free agent center DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) has progressed to training in a pool and running on a treadmill as part of his rehab from a ruptured Achilles.

What It Means:

Cousins ruptured his Achilles on January 26, so he is making great progress not yet six months removed from the injury. However, the injury came as Cousins is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, so it will be interesting if he is still given long term deals from potential suitors. However, it does look like Cousins will return at some point in the 2018-19 season, but for which team remains a mystery.

Before his injury, Cousins averaged 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.6 blocks over 36.2 minutes per game. His nERD of 2.3 ranked him 76th among all players in 2017-18.

Kawhi Leonard reportedly requests to be traded from San Antonio

Forward Kawhi Leonard does not want to remain a member of the San Antonio Spurs, per Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

What It Means:

Leonard missed almost the entirety of the 2017-2018 season with a quad injury, an issue that seemed to cause some tension between Leonard and the team. The Spurs were still expected to offer him a contract extension, but after his meeting with Gregg Popovich this week, a trade looks to be the most likely scenario.

Kawhi only played 210 minutes last year, bu in the 2016-17 season he averaged a career-high 25.5 points per game on a 54.1% effective field goal percentage while adding 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.7 blocks per game.

Nuggets' Kenneth Faried could be heading to the Hawks

Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried is reportedly drawing interest from the Atlanta Hawks.

What It Means:

Denver has a lot of potential expenses coming up--including an extension of Nikola Jokic--and are looking to shed Faried's $13.76 million cap hit. Atlanta has plenty of cap space to work with, but they will want compensation in the form of picks or players if a deal is to happen.

The seven-year veteran averaged 5.9 points and 4.8 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game in 2017-18.

Raptors not expected to trade Jonas Valanciunas

Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas is unlikely to be traded this offseason, according to Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.

What It Means:

Valanciunas has a strong relationship with new head coach Nick Nurse, making a trade unlikely. The two worked together last season to improve his outside game; Nurse and Valanciunas would launch 100 3-pointers after every practice. Jakob Poeltl is the only real threat to Valanciunas's starting job.

Valanciunas posted 12.7 points per game in 2017-18, with a career-high .590 Effective Field Goal Rate.

Lakers' Lonzo Ball says he's 100 percent healthy

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (knee) said he is "100 percent and fully healthy."

What It Means:

Ball missed the final two weeks of the regular season after a PRP injection in his knee. He sat out about a month total, and says that he is fully healthy heading into the offseason. Ball put up some impressive numbers at times last season, but his efficiency and consistency will be two of the main things he needs to improve on in his second NBA season.

Ball averaged 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.8 blocks over 34.2 minutes per game in his rookie season. He posted a 44.0 effective field goal percentage, and his nERD of -3.6 ranked 6th-worst among all players last year.

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