NBA PLAYER NEWS
NBA expected to resume July 31 with 22 teams
The NBA is planning to resume play on July 31 in Orlando with 22 teams, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The 16 current playoff teams will be joined by the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, and Washington Wizards. Each team will play eight games before the playoffs for seeding purposes. If the 9th seed is within four games of the 8th seed, then there will be a play-in for the last spot that requires double-elimination for the 8th seed and single-elimination for the 9th seed. The 16 playoff teams are: Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Brooklyn Nets, and Orlando Magic.
The Bucks are the top team in numberFire's NBA Team Power Rankings and our models give them a 55.8 percent chance of winning the title. The Lakers are next at 22.0 percent.
The Athletic: Sixers will likely include Shake Milton in starting lineup
According to Derek Bodner and The Athletic, "the Philadelphia 76ers’ starting five will likely be Ben Simmons, Shake Milton, Joel Embiid, Josh Richardson and Tobias Harris.
After displaying "shooting and playmaking" ability in multiple roles including on-and-off the ball, Milton seems like the logical candidate to start for the Sixers after the NBA restarts their season. Expect Milton to ultimately share minutes with Al Horford in a fifth starter or sixth man type role.
In a 611.5 minute sample size this season, Milton is averaging 0.86 FanDuel points per minute and a usage rate of 20%.
Jon Leuer retires after 8 seasons
According to his Instagram, Jon Leuer announced his retirement from professional basketball after playing eight seasons.
Leuer will retire from basketball after recently dealing with several major injuries. "I love the game of basketball. I still want to play, but I know deep down it’s not the right decision for my health anymore," said Leuer on his social media account. "The past 3 years I’ve dealt with a number of injuries, including 2 that kept me out this whole season. It’s taken me a while to come to grips with this, but I’m truly at peace with my decision to officially retire."
In 377 career games, Leuer will end his NBA career averaging 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 0.8 assists.
Portland's Rodney Hood (Achilles) not ready to return
Portland Trail Blazers guard / forward Rodney Hood (Achilles) "will not return under any circumstance this season."
According to The Athletic, Hood will not play again this season despite gaining access to continue his rehab at Portland's practice facility. Expect the 27-year old to return for the start of next season if his recovery continues to positively progress.
In 21 starts before his injury, Hood averaged 11.0 points with a shooting percentage of 50% including 49% of his three-point attempts.
Utah's Mike Conley 'will be asked to score and create more'
Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley "will be asked to score and create more and become the No.2 offensive option behind Donovan Mitchell in the starting lineup."
According to the Athletic, the Jazz will need Conley to step up his offensive production after losing Bojan Bogdanovic for the remainder of this season with a wrist injury. Expect the veteran to see a slight uptick in shot attempts and overall playing time whenever the Jazz return.
In a 272.2 minute sample size with Bogdanovic off the court this season, Conley is averaging 0.87 FanDuel points per minute and a usage rate of 24.0%.
Jazz's Bojan Bogdanovic undergoing wrist surgery
Utah Jazz guard/forward Bojan Bogdanovic will undergo season-ending surgery on his right wrist.
Bogdanovic wasn't known to be dealing with an injury, but he apparently hurt his wrist in 2019 and it became a lingering issue. He's expected to be back for the start of the 2020-21 season. Royce O'Neale figures to be the primary beneficiary from Bogdanovic's absence.
Bogdanovic averaged 27.3 FanDuel points, 20.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.5 steals, and 3.0 3-pointers over 63 starts in his first season with the Jazz. He shot 44.7 percent from the field and 41.4 percent on threes.