Recent NBA Player News

Marcus Morris (personal) to miss the start of Celtics' training camp

Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris will miss the start of training camp due to his ongoing trial for aggravated assault, per ESPN.

What It Means:

Marcus and Markieff Morris are on trial in Phoenix stemming from an alleged assault outside of a recreation center back in January of 2015. If found guilty the twin brothers are looking at possible jail time as well as an NBA suspension. Marcus Morris is expected to compete for a starting spot after being traded from the Detroit Pistons this offseason in exchange for Avery Bradley

Morris averaged 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.5 three-pointers per game as a starter for the Pistons.

Source: ESPN

Bucks' Jabari Parker (knee) targeting a February return

Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker (knee) said that he can do "everything right now," and he plans to be back on the court by February, per Stephen Watson of WIS12 News.

What It Means:

Parker tore the ACL in his left knee in February, the same one he ruptured in 2014. Even if Parker returns in February, he is likely to be eased into action the first month or so, limiting his useful for the entire regular season.

Parker was averaging 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game in 51 games played in 2016-17.

Thunder's Russell Westbrook insists his knee is 'fine'

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook told reporters that his left knee is "fine" even after receiving a PRP injection on September 22.

What It Means:

Westbrook is expected to miss the first few days of training camp, but both Westbrook and GM Sam Presti have insisted the injury is no concern and that the reigning MVP will be ready once preseason rolls around next week. While Westbrook has had issues with his right knee before, this is the first time his left knee has given him any trouble.

Westbrook led the NBA With 31.6 points per game while becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double. He posted 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game last year.

Zach LaVine (knee) will not be ready for Bulls' season opener

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (knee) will not be ready to play in the season opener on October 19, per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

What It Means:

LaVine tore his ACL in February but remains without an official timetable from Chicago. Typically it takes nine months to recover from this injury, making it likely the former Minnesota Timberwolves' will be out until November at the earliest. With the rebuild underway in Chicago, they also have no reason to rush him back.

LaVine was on his way to a career year, before the knee injury, as he averaged 18.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 2.6 three-pointers per game, all career highs last season.

Isaiah Thomas (hip) expected to debut for Cavaliers by January

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas is expected to play by January.

What It Means:

Thomas has begun on-court activities following issues with his hip. With Thomas possibly out for up to 36 games, Derrick Rose is expected to open the season as the Cavaliers' starting point guard.

Thomas ranked third in the NBA last season, with 28.9 points per game as a member of the Boston Celtics.

T.J. Warren agrees to 4-year, $50M extension with Suns

Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren has agreed to a four-year, $50 million extension, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

What It Means:

Only 24, Warren is now locked in as the team's starting small forward for the next few years. Warren will look to build off a career year in 2016-17 where he posted career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. All the oft-injured forward needs to do is stay healthy.

Warren averaged 14.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 31.0 minutes per game last season.

Cavaliers' Isaiah Thomas (hip) targeting January debut

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Isaiah Thomas (hip) is expected to make his team debut by January.

What It Means:

This is the first timetable that has been provided in regards to Thomas' return. If accurate, this means the Cavaliers' big offseason acquisition will miss almost half of the season, which is obviously a huge blow to his fantasy value. Head coach Tyronn Lue says Derrick Rose will open the year as Cleveland's starting point guard.

Thomas' 16.3 nERD in 2016-17 was 6th-best in the NBA. He averaged 28.9 points, 5.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 3.2 3-pointers on .463 percent shooting from the field last season.

Dwyane Wade and the Bulls agree to a buyout

The Chicago Bulls and guard/forward Dwyane Wade have agreed to a buyout, per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

What It Means:

A buyout seemed inevitable ever since Chicago traded Jimmy Butler on draft night. A 35-year-old Wade may have something left in the tank but was not going to enjoy playing for the Bulls, who are heading the wrong way down the standings. No word on the financial details as of yet. Cleveland, Miami, and San Antonio have emerged as front-runners for Wade's services, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Wade showed he still had some life in his legs as he averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.4 steals in 29.9 minutes per game in 2016-17 for Chicago.

Oklahoma City's Enes Kanter heading to the Knicks in Melo deal

The New York Knicks have acquired center Enes Kanter as part of a deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder, per Arian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

What It Means:

The Knicks also acquired Doug McDermott and an undisclosed draft pick in the deal, which Anthony has waived his no-trade clause for and is expected to be made official on Monday.

Kanter had a strong 2016-17 season, averaging 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in only 21.3 minutes per game. His 5.9 nERD was tied for 33rd in the NBA.

Thunder acquire Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks

The Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks have agreed on a deal that sends Carmelo Anthony to the Thunder, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

What It Means:

The Knicks will receive Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick in exchange for Melo, who has agreed to waive his no-trade clause for this one.

Anthony averaged 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 34.3 minutes per game in the 2016-17 season. His -0.7 nERD ranked only 163rd among 275 forwards. The Thunder finished 8th in the NBA with a 56.1 nERD as a team.

Knicks hope to trade Carmelo Anthony by Monday

The New York Knicks are hoping to trade Carmelo Anthony to either the Oklahoma City Thunder or Cleveland Cavaliers by Monday, per's David Aldridge.

What It Means:

The Knicks have reportedly expressed interest in Tristan Thompson, though the Cvas are not interested in moving him. A deal with the Thunder is expected to include Enes Kanter and his large contract.

In 74 starts, Anthony managed averages of 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists across 34.3 minutes per game. However, his -0.7 nERD wasn't all that awe-inspiring as he ranked 163rd of 275 forwards in the 2016-17 season.

76ers' Ben Simmons (foot) expected to be without restrictions in rookie season

Philadelphia 76ers president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said that he does not expect forward Ben Simmons to be limited this season, reports 94WIP's Jon Johnson.

What It Means:

Simmons said out all of last season after suffering a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot back in late September. The former number-one overall pick recently said that he's "feeling great" while Colangelo adds that he's been "dominating the gym" in 5-on-5 drills. It was a possibility that Simmons would see a restriction similar to the one we saw for Joel Embiid to begin last season, but it's been nearly a full year now since Simmons' season-ending injury. He's poised to be the team's primary creator, whether he's labeled a point guard or not.

Now 21 years old, Simmons, in his one year at LSU, averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists across 34.9 minutes a game. He'll be a welcome sight for 76ers fans, who saw their team 23rd in our power rankings a year ago.

Wizards' Markieff Morris (sports hernia) to undergo surgery on Friday

Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris is expected to undergo sports hernia surgery on Friday, according to the Washington Post's Candace Buckner.

What It Means:

Morris likely developed the injury late in the summer after going through his offseason program, but due to the birth of his daughter and a trial for felony assault charges, Morris delayed the surgery until this week. Morris' timetable is unknown, but his recovery will probably keep him out of training camp and maybe even prevent him from getting any playing time in the preseason.

In 2017, Morris averaged 14.0 points and a career-high 6.5 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game. His -1.6 nERD was a big improvement from the previous season yet ranked him just 206th of 275 forwards in our NBA database.

Andrew Bogut agrees to one-year deal with Lakers

Free agent center Andrew Bogut has agreed to a one-year deal $2.3 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, per Shams Charania of The Vertical.

What It Means:

The one-year deal keeps the Lakers flexible for the 2018 offseason when LeBron James and Paul George will be available. Bogut will assumingly be Brook Lopez's backup in the upcoming season if he stays healthy. The 32-year-old big man played only 27 games between the Dallas MAvericks and Cleveland Cavaliers last season.

Bogut averaged 2.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 0.9 blocks in 21.6 minutes per game last season.

Brandon Rush signs deal with Bucks

Guard Brandon Rush's agent announced that his client has signed a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.

What It Means:

There were no numbers released in the tweet, but it's likely for one year and close to the veteran minimum. He will serve as wing depth behind Khris Middleton and Tony Snell, and will only have fantasy relevance if one or both of those guys miss time.

Rush posted averages of 4.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.0 assists over 21.9 minutes per game. He owned a -3.7 nERD, which ranked him 440th in the NBA in 2016-17'.

Mason Plumlee agrees to three-year deal with Nuggets

Denver Nuggets have re-signed forward/center Mason Plumlee to a three-year, $41 million deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

What It Means:

The Nuggets fully intended to bring back Plumlee after trading a first-round pick and Jusuf Nurkic for him at the deadline this year, but many are surprised at the dollar amount. After acquiring Paul Millsap in free agency, Plumlee will be limited to a backup role, seeing most of his minutes behind Nikola Jokic.

Plumlee averaged 9.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 23.4 minutes per game while in a Nuggets uniform last season.

Tony Allen signing a one-year deal with New Orleans

Free agent guard/forward Tony Allen is finalizing a one-year deal to join the New Orleans Pelicans, per Shams Charania ot The Vertical.

What It Means:

With the Pelicans in desperate need for wings, due to injuries, Allen may be the team's starting forward on opening day. A defensive specialist, the 35-year-old will likely play around 25 minutes per game in 2017-18.

Allen averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in 27.0 minutes per game for the Memphis Grizzlies last season.

Chicago Bulls finalizing deal for Quincy Pondexter

The Chicago Bulls are finalizing a deal to receive a second-round draft pick along with forward Quincy Pondexter from the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical.

What It Means:

With the Bulls tanking and the Pelicans looking to free up their roster and some cap room, the deal is a win-win for both sides. Pondexter last saw NBA action in April of 2015 as he has missed the last two seasons with knee injuries. He is scheduled to make 3.8 million in 2017-18, the last year of a 4-year contract he signed with the Pels in 2014.

Pondexter has career averages of 5.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 0.8 assists in 18.1 minutes per game during his five-year NBA career.

Pelicans' Frank Jackson suffers broken right foot

New Orleans Pelicans point guard Frank Jackson broke his right foot and will undergo surgery on Friday.

What It Means:

Jackson had a stress fracture in his right foot earlier this year and had surgery in May. The rookie will now undergo his second surgery in less than four months and will miss most, if not all of training camp, and likely a good portion of the first month or two of the season.

Jackson averaged 10.9 points, 25 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 24.9 minutes per game in his one-and-only college season with the Duke Blue Devils in 2016-17. He was selected with the first pick of the second round (31 overall) in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Kings' Zach Randolph charged with two misdemeanors following arrest

Sacramento Kings power forward Zach Randolph was charged with misdemeanor possession and misdemeanor resisting arrest after an August 9th arrest in Los Angeles.

What It Means:

Randolph was initially arrested for felony possession of marijuana with intent to sell, but prosecutors have reduced the charges down to the two misdemeanors. If convicted, Randolph could face a maximum of one year in prison but he's unlikely to see a jail cell with it being his first offense. It's more likely that Z-Bo is put on probation and ordered to do some type of community service. That's not the look the front office wanted the veteran to bring to a rebuilding Kings team. If Randolph faces any type of suspension for his actions, Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein should see an increase in minutes to start the season.

Randolph signed a 2-year deal worth $24 million this summer. At 36 years old, he brings his 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per game to a team that finished 25th in our power rankings a year ago.

Source: TMZ Sports

Lakers fined $500,000 for violating NBA's anti-tampering rules

The Los Angeles Lakers have been fined $500,000 for violating the NBA's anti-tampering rules, per The Vertical's Shams Charania.

What It Means:

According to the NBA's statement on the matter, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka expressed his interest in the (then) Indiana Pacers' Paul George to George's agent while he was still under contract with Indiana. It didn't help that Magic Johnson, the team's new President of Basketball Operations, also hinted toward a pursuit of George in a TV appearance back in April. However, ESPN's Bobby Marks says that the investigation did not reveal that there was any agreement between George and the Lakers that would lead to George signing with the team in 2018.

The $500,000 penalty is the 2nd-largest tampering fine in league history and is in the top-15 all-time in NBA history.

Heat's Justise Winslow says shoulder is 100%

Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow said that his shoulder is "100 percent" after undergoing surgery on his torn rotator cuff back in January.

What It Means:

Having already started full-contact drills, let this serve as confirmation that Winslow will be ready for training camp next month. And while the Heat insist that Winslow must earn his starting job back, he should be the team's starting small forward over Rodney McGruder this season.

In a shortened 2016-17 season, Winslow averaged 10.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in 18 contests. His -3.0 nERD was a marginal improvement on his 2015-16 mark and the 21-year-old will look to do the same now that he's returned to health.

Bulls' Cameron Payne (foot) to undergo surgery next week

Chicago Bulls point guard Cameron Payne is set to undergo surgery to repair a fracture of the fifth metatarsal on his right foot, according to the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson.

What It Means:

The surgery is to correct the same bone that Payne broke in the 2015-16 when with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He will go under the knife on September 6th and could be sidelined for more than two months. The injury happened back on July 18 but the Bulls hoped that six weeks of rest would resolve the issue. With Payne out until late-November or maybe even December, Kris Dunn and Jerian Grant will get a lot of run in the Chicago backcourt.

In just 31 games a year ago, Payne averaged just 5.2 points per game on 33.2% shooting. His -2.8 nERD ranked 188th of all NBA guards.

Celtics to throw in second-round pick to finalize Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade with Cavs

After Isaiah Thomas' physical held up the blockbuster deal sending Kyrie Irving to the Celtics, the two teams have agreed to a final version of the trade, as Boston will send an additional 2020 second-round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

What It Means:

The original deal agreed upon was Irving to the Celtics in exchange for Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and an unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick via the Brooklyn Nets. After some hesitation about Thomas' hip, the Cavs will pick up an extra second-rounder via the Miami Heat to seal the deal.

Irving scored a career-high 25.2 points in 2016-17 while posting a 30.8% usage rate for Cleveland. He ranked 23rd, out of 486 NBA players last season, with an 8.2 nERD rating.

Source: ESPN

Bucks set to offer trade package in exchange for Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving

The Milwaukee Bucks could reportedly offer a trade package for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving if the Cavaliers' proposed trade with the Boston Celtics falls through.

What It Means:

According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Bucks would offer guards Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon for the Cavaliers' star point guard. While that's a respectable package, it would definitely be a downgrade from Cleveland's haul in their pending deal with Boston.

While Irving posted an 8.2 nERD with 25.2 points per game a year ago, Middleton and Brogdon earned nERD scores of -0.6 and -0.2, respectively, with 24.9 points per game between them. Brogdon earned the league's Rookie of the Year award in his first NBA season.

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