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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle, the team announced on Saturday. Randle hurt his left ankle near the end of the regular season, missing the final five games, and also tweaked it in the first-round playoff series against Cleveland. The two-time All-Star will be able to resume basketball activities later this summer and is expected to be fully recovered for the start of the 2023-24 season. Randle completed his fourth season in New York averaging a career-high 25.1 points with 10.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton is back in trade talks as the team has been receiving calls on his availability in a potential Damian Lillard deal. Jusuf Nurkic has been floated in trade rumors ever since Lillard requested a trade a few months ago. The Trail Blazers haven't found any teams to make a deal work with the Miami Heat since they weren't liking any of their offers. Now, Ayton could possibly be in the mix with Nurkic maybe on his way to Phoenix. Philadelphia, Toronto, and Chicago have all been active in trade talks and Ayton could be the missing piece that ties everything together in a neat bow. If Ayton does move on from Phoenix, his value could increase depending on the situation.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell was traded away from Utah just one year ago as he joined the young, up-and-coming duo of Darius Garland and Evan Mobley. The Cavaliers had some great showings with Mitchell leading the way last season, but they ultimately fell flat in the playoffs after losing in the first round to the New York Knicks. Mitchell currently has three years left on his current contract with the third year being a player's option. That means he's eligible for an extension next offseason. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, he's not expected to sign an extension any time soon as he still feels out if the Cavaliers are in his long-term plans. The team's success will be something to monitor as Mitchell may want to leave earlier than expected.
Houston Rockets guard Amen Thompson injured his ankle during his first Summer League action and was shut down immediately afterward. According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, the rookie guard is healthy again and he'll be ready to go when training camp rolls around. He's expected to be a big part of this team's future and he's been working on his shooting leading up to his first season. The two main areas of his game that he's worked on already are the weaknesses that were pointed out on draft day. His shooting and pace of play need fine-tuned, and the Rockets' coaches are already on top of it,
Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield is on the trade block after contract negotiations reached a stalemate. The veteran sharpshooter couldn't agree to an extension, so he's now working with the team to find a trade partner. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Mavericks, 76ers, and Bucks have all shown interest in making a deal. Hield is coming off of one of the best years in his career in terms of three-point shooting percentage after he shot 42.5% on 8.5 attempts per game. He also averaged 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per contest.
Free-agent forward Kelly Oubre Jr. is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The 27-year-old hasn't seen any suitors while hanging around in free agency until now, even though he averaged 20.3 points per game for the Hornets last year. He would provide some much-needed offense outside of just Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid, especially if James Harden is moved. It's unclear whether or not he would join the starting five until the Harden domino falls. Either way, he should become one of their top offensive role players.
According to Arizona radio host John Gambadoro, the Suns might be interested in acquiring Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic. Of course, Portland's focus remains on finding a deal surrounding Damian Lillard. However, if the All-Star guard is moved, Nurkic could become available. Rumors involving Deandre Ayton being traded have cooled off significantly in the last few months. But if Nurkic is on the market, the Suns may consider it an upgrade, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The 2014 No 16. overall pick has appeared in 463 regular-season games during his career, averaging 12.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks. He has some things to work on, including his free-throw percentage. More importantly, Nurkic has had issues staying healthy, which has negatively impacted his fantasy appeal.
The Portland Trail Blazers are looking to move Damian Lillard sooner rather than later. More specifically, the team hopes to have a deal done surrounding the All-Star guard before training camp begins on October 2. It's been over two months since Lillard requested to be traded, with Miami being his preferred destination. However, after reports surfaced that the Blazers weren't interested in anything the Heat offered, discussions stalled. But now it appears there's a good chance Lillard is dealt sometime soon, although he may not end up in South Beach. That said, he should remain at least a top-10 fantasy option, no matter where he ends up.
Free-agent guard Xavier Moon has signed an Exhibit-10 deal with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. The 28-year-old will have a chance to compete for a final roster spot during training camp. Moon made four appearances with the Clippers last season. He averaged 1.8 points, 1.3 assists in 5.0 minutes during those four games. He'll attempt to snag one of the remaining two-way roster spots. It's highly unlikely that Moon has any fantasy value even if he makes the team.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Aleksej Pokusevski (ankle) will be re-evaluated in six weeks after suffering an injury during a workout on Tuesday. This is a tough break for the 21-year-old after he missed the FIBA World Cup due to an arm injury. It seems unlikely that Pokusevski will be contributing by the beginning of the season. The former first round pick has only played in more than 45 games in a single season once through his first three years in the league. This season could go a long way to determining his role in OKC going forward. Pokusevski does have fantasy value, assuming he's able to carve out a significant role in the rotation.
Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield could be on the move soon after extension talks between the two sides stalled out. The organization has reportedly started dialogue to work on finding a potential trade for the veteran guard. The Pacers shouldn't have too many issues finding a new home for Hield. The 30-year-old has a good track record and has been one of the better shooters from deep over the last few seasons. Last season, Hield averaged 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists over 80 games with the Pacers. Those numbers were good enough to be a top-50 player in nine-category formats last season. The assumption is that Hield will be productive wherever he goes, but possibly not as good as he was last season.