Monday was a quiet day in the NBA, as the league will not resume play until Wednesday night. But we did get an update on one of Atlanta's key young talents, and it appears possible that Philadelphia's two All-Stars will be available for Thursday's second-half opener. Below is a look at some of Monday's storylines in the NBA.
Reddish out at least one more week: Hawks wing Cam Reddish has not appeared in a game since February 21 due to a sore Achilles, and he’s going to miss at least three more games the team announced on Monday. Reddish underwent a non-surgical procedure on his right foot, and according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated he will be re-evaluated in approximately one week. That would sideline the second-year small forward for at least the Hawks’ next three games. Rostered in 35% of Yahoo leagues, Reddish hasn’t offered a great deal with regard to fantasy value, as he ranks outside of the top-150 in both 8- and 9-cat formats.
Atlanta is down two wings currently, as De'Andre Hunter (right knee) only recently progressed to unrestricted weight room work. Danilo Gallinari and Kevin Huerter have both been top-100 players over the last two weeks, and are the best options to fill those voids for fantasy managers. Huerter, rostered in 63% of Yahoo leagues, is the safer choice due to his being a starter. But as we saw just before the break, Gallinari is still capable of putting up a big stat line. Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has missed much of this season due to injury, is worth watching after the break but he’s more of a gamble at this point.
Embiid, Simmons trending in the right direction: 76ers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons could be available for Thursday’s game against the Bulls, after being sidelined for Sunday’s All-Star Game due to health and safety protocols. The tandem, which came in close contact with a personal barber who tested positive for COVID-19, would have to record negative tests for five straight days before being cleared to return to competition according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The fifth day, in this instance, would be Thursday. It goes without saying that this is something that managers will be monitoring closely, as Embiid is one of the top players in fantasy basketball (and a bonafide MVP candidate) and Simmons provides top-50 value in 8-cat (just outside of that threshold in 9-cat).
As I wrote in yesterday’s Daily Dose, Shake Milton is definitely a player worth grabbing if Simmons cannot go. Dwight Howard would likely get a spot start if Embiid can’t play, which boosts his value in the short-term. But that’s only for those who are so needy for rebounds that they’re willing to punt on free throws, as Howard hasn’t been all that productive in many of the other statistical categories (0.9 blocks, 0.4 steals per game). Philadelphia will play three games to close out the week: Chicago (Thursday), Washington (Friday) and San Antonio (Sunday).
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Bulls aren't interested in trading Young: No matter how you measure it, Thaddeus Young has been outstanding for the Bulls this season. In 30 games played he’s averaging 12.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.4 steals 0.6 blocks in 25.3 minutes per game, while shooting a career-best 60.9% from the field and 50.0% from the foul line. The free throw percentage doesn’t do fantasy managers any favors, but that overall stat line is good for 7th-round value in both 8- and 9-cat formats. Young was even better heading into the All-Star break, ranking within the top-50 in 9-cat over the last two weeks.
Given the combination of production and leadership that he provides, it comes as no surprise that the Bulls would have no interest in trading Young to a contender, as reported by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Per the same report, some teams have expressed interesting in acquiring Otto Porter, which could enable the Bulls to get something in return as opposed to potentially losing him for nothing in free agency this offseason. Porter’s minutes are better served going to Chicago’s younger talents at this point, which could open the door for a move to be made. A move out of the Windy City could positively impact Porter’s fantasy value, which hasn’t been helped by his lower back injury.
Warriors interested in adding Oladipo?: With Oladipo set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, it makes sense that he would be the subject of some trade rumors. One reported possibility is Golden State, as there is a need for a consistent secondary scorer to supplement Stephen Curry. Oladipo hasn't been great this season, as he's shooting just below 40% from the field, but he has still been a top-100 player in both 8- and 9-cat. And while Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre have shown flashes, neither has proven themselves capable of filling that secondary scorer role on a consistent basis. Oubre's contract would make him the easier of the two to move via trade, as he will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
The question is whether or not adding Oladipo now would set Golden State up to make a run this season, and it's very difficult to envision that happening. So you run the risk of making a move for a player who may only be a part of your franchise for a couple months before he departs via free agency? We shall see, but the opportunity to playing along a shooter as prolific as Curry would definitely help Oladipo when it comes to opening up driving lanes.
Lakers, Nets in play for Drummond?: O’Connor also reported that the Lakers and Nets are considered to be the favorites for Cavaliers center Andre Drummond, who like the aforementioned hasn’t appeared in a game since February 12. Per the report Cleveland is still hoping to trade Drummond, as opposed to going the buyout route and losing him for nothing. He’s in the final year of his deal, but the high price tag could make it difficult for the Cavaliers to find a team willing to part with either players or draft assets. Brooklyn, which gave up a lot of picks in the James Harden deal (and Jarrett Allen, who is Cleveland’s center of the future), would likely have to wait for the buyout market to add another big to their rotation. The 10-day contracts of Andre Roberson, Iran Shumpert and Tyler Cook have all expired, so there’s room for another player to be added.
The Lakers are in a similar spot when it comes to adding a player of Drummond’s caliber, but it has become quite clear that they need to do something with Anthony Davis (Achilles) still sidelined. Another name mentioned in connection with the reigning champions: DeMarcus Cousins, who agreed to a deal with the Lakers in July 2019. However, he did not appear in a game with the team due to a torn ACL, and the Lakers ultimately waived Cousins last February. Per O’Connor’s report, Drummond is the priority for Los Angeles.
Rockets sign Lamb to a two-way contract: Houston made two roster moves on Monday, signing Anthony Lamb to a two-way contract and waiving Mason Jones in a corresponding move. Lamb, a two-time America East Player of the Year at Vermont, played well for the team’s G-League affiliate in the bubble, and he gives Houston another option in the frontcourt with Christian Wood (ankle) still sidelined. With Rio Grande Valley’s system matching up with what the Rockets do, that should help Lamb with the transition. But it isn’t enough to make him a player worth grabbing off of the waiver wire. As for Jones, he played just over 11 minutes per game in 22 appearances and averaged 5.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.8 3-pointers per game. His exit shouldn’t have an impact on any fantasy roster.