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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (hand) is out for Game 2 of the NBA Finals against Denver. It seemed there was a chance he could be back after missing nearly all of the postseason with a hand injury. However, Herro won't return for this one, although he's worth monitoring ahead of Game 3 on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Caleb Martin (illness) is questionable, so Miami could be even more shorthanded versus the Nuggets, who are up 1-0 after winning the series opener. If Martin isn't available, Haywood Highsmith, fresh off an 18-point performance in Game 1, will see more than enough attention from DFS participants.
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.
Indiana Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton appears ready to take his game up a further notch in 2023-24, with NBA skills coach Drew Hanlen saying that the young guard has improved his driving and scoring ability the most this offseason. Haliburton became a 20-point scorer for the first time in his career last season, averaging 20.7 points across 56 contests. He was a nightly double-double threat with a 10.4 assists average, and Hanlen sees Haliburton now becoming an even bigger threat for opposing defenses.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey is seen as a player who should put up 25 points per game next season. NBA skills coach Drew Hanlen, who has worked with the young Sixers guard, noted that he would be "disappointed" if Maxey doesn't average 25 points in 2023-24. Maxey notched a career-high 20.3 points last season, boosting his previous best by nearly three points. He's taken big strides in the league with each season, and the upcoming campaign shouldn't be any different.
Washington Wizards small forward Bilal Coulibaly has drawn big praise from multiple scouts ahead of his first NBA season. Josh Robbins of The Athletic recently spoke to three anonymous NBA scouts, and they all agreed that Coulibaly has impressive athleticism and great defensive potential. One of the scouts even noted that "the sky's the limit" for the French forward, who was the seventh pick in this year's NBA Draft. Coulibaly only turned 19 just a couple of months ago, and he's definitely still very raw, but the young forward should have every opportunity to develop on a rebuilding Washington team.