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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (shoulder) is available for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals versus Boston. He's been dealing with shoulder discomfort for a while, so his presence on the injury report isn't anything new. However, the 25-year-old has worn a compression shirt and played through it. Adebayo has averaged only 15.3 points versus the Celtics, his lowest in any series during the postseason. But he remains active on the glass and has a high upside, so DFS managers should never count him out.
New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (ankle) was forced to undergo surgery after suffering an injury during the first-round series of the playoffs. Luckily, it sounds like Randle is progressing well from his ankle surgery. Head coach Tom Thibodeau said that Randle will be fresh and ready to go at the beginning of training camp. That's good to hear after Randle played 77 games last season and earned himself his second All-Star appearance. Randle was a top 75 fantasy player last season, so fantasy managers should expect similar production this upcoming season.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo, Suns center Deandre Ayton could be on the move. With Damian Lillard still in Portland, Fischer believes Phoenix and Utah may get involved to facilitate a three-way trade, possibly resulting in Ayton getting sent to the Trail Blazers and Jusuf Nurkic going to Phoenix. Of course, while there were countless updates surrounding Lillard over the summer, the latest scenario involving the 2018 No. 1 overall pick is intriguing, considering Monty Williams is no longer at the helm. But perhaps a change of scenery would benefit Ayton, who has been hit or miss from a production standpoint throughout his career. Nevertheless, with training camp around the corner, a deal involving the 25-year-old could happen sooner rather than later. However, Ayton's fantasy value won't be determined until managers know where he'll be playing this season.
According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo, the Bulls and Raptors have had discussions with the Blazers regarding guard Damian Lillard. After the All-Star requested a trade in July, specifically to Miami, updates cooled off over the last few weeks. However, with training camp on the horizon, teams have emerged as potential suitors. The 33-year-old has spent his entire career in Portland, averaging 25.2 points, including a career-high 32.2 points in 2022-23. Of course, any deal with the Raptors will likely involve Pascal Siakam. On the other hand, the Bulls have young, up-and-coming players on the roster, which would dramatically alter Portland's championship window. But no matter where Lillard lands, assuming he's traded, he's expected to remain a top-10 fantasy option in all formats.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Pacers aren't interested in acquiring guard/forward Tim Hardaway Jr. Buddy Hield is expected to be moved sometime soon, with Dallas recently emerging as a potential destination. However, despite the fact that the salaries between both players are similar, making a swap easier, Indiana may not be fond of Hardaway's additional contract year. The 31-year-old has bounced around the league throughout his career, making stops in New York, Atlanta, and Dallas. He's appeared in 657 regular-season games, averaging 14.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 36.1% shooting from deep. Hardaway was rumored to be on the move last season, although it never happened. But with the Mavs seemingly not done reshaping the roster, the sharpshooter's days in Dallas might be coming to an end.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Mavericks are interested in acquiring Pacers guard Buddy Hield. The sharpshooter will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, so he requested a trade after not receiving an extension offer to his liking. Of course, multiple teams have emerged in the latest rumblings surrounding Hield. However, Dallas might be in the best position to make a swap with the Pacers, at least in terms of matching salaries, considering the Mavs can exchange Tim Hardaway Jr. Still, as for now, it doesn't appear as if discussions between Dallas and Indiana have progressed, with Stein indicating that Indiana may not want Hardaway in return. With training camp is right around the corner, a deal could happen soon. Yet, until fantasy managers know where Hield is heading, it is tough to determine how things will look from a production standpoint.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Scoot Henderson has received high praise from his head coach Chauncey Billups, who is backing him for stardom. "Scoot is going to be a star in this league," Billups told Steve Aschburner of NBA.com. "He plays both sides of the floor with ferocity. He is very, very driven. He's a playmaker, he's a real point guard. Got some leadership about him. He looks like he's the starting safety of the Denver Broncos. He's going to be an exciting player for the whole world to watch but our fan base, they can rest assured they'll be entertained." As Damian Lillard seems to be on the brink of leaving Portland, Henderson appears poised to star in the NBA already in his rookie season.
Dallas Mavericks guard/forward Josh Green is looking to improve defensively in 2023-24. "I want to be able to be a bigger defensive presence next year for the Mavs," Green told Grant Afseth of DallasBasketball.com. "I think this is a perfect time to try. I think I'll be in pretty good shape from picking up full court every game." Green took big strides last season to produce a career year, and the 22-year-old appears to have no intentions of resting on his laurels. He already had a solid role in the rotation a season ago, averaging close to 26 minutes a night, but taking his defensive game up a notch will definitely improve his chances of earning even more playing time.
New York Knicks guard/forward Josh Hart is believed to be penciled in for the backup power forward role for training camp. According to SNY's Ian Begley, the Knicks like the idea of Hart playing in the second unit and making plays as a screener out of the short role. The team doesn't have a lot of frontcourt depth, and playing Hart in the power-forward position will be an interesting experiment. The 28-year-old stands only at six-foot-four, but he's always been a good rebounder, and it seems like the Knicks staff sees Hart as a good fit for the position.
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham is fully healthy and ready to go for the 2023-24 NBA season, and teammate Jaden Ivey sees him having a great campaign. "I think a lot of people are going to be shocked," Ivey told Omari Sankofa of The Detroit Free Press about Cunningham. "He's going to have a special season this season for us." Cunningham, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Monday, has averaged 17.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists through his 76 career games. A stress fracture in his left shin limited the talented guard to just 12 games last season, but he's been healthy all summer, and judging by Ivey's words, Cunningham appears ready to take his game to the next level.
Chicago Bulls guard/forward DeMar DeRozan is ready to add another element to his game, announcing he will be taking more three-point shots in the new season."Next year it'll be more frequent threes from me without a doubt," DeRozan told Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. "Just because I've always had this vision in my career as I got older, I want to be able to just continue to expand my game. And that's a main priority and a point of focus for me to just capitalize on as I get older." DeRozan is among the top 40 scorers in NBA history, but he has averaged only 1.5 three-point attempts for his career. He has gotten close to two attempts per game in the past couple of seasons, and it looks like the 34-year-old is now ready to fully embrace outside shooting. If he can do it efficiently, then we should see DeRozan's scoring numbers get a nice bump. He hit 32.4 percent of his three-point shots last term.