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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
According to James Edwards of The Athletic, the Detroit Pistons went into the offseason with thoughts of targeting forward Jerami Grant in free agency. On top of that, Edwards says that the Pistons would likely throw an offer sheet toward power forward Cameron Johnson. Grant has ties to Detroit, as he played there just a season ago. While he denied an extension at the time, it seems as though he's still close to general manager Troy Weaver and loves the city. With the hiring of head coach Monty Williams, it could lure Grant back to Detroit. As far as Johnson, he's a restricted free agent, but the Pistons really want to bring in a three-and-D type of player.
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.
Atlanta Hawks guard/forward Bogdan Bogdanovic became trade-eligible on Saturday, and according to HoopsHype's Michael Scotto, he is a "player to watch" in trade talks. The Serbian sniper has had an up-and-down three-year ride in Atlanta, mostly coming off the bench and battling injuries. In terms of his offensive output, he has been trending down each year, and a move elsewhere could do wonders for his fantasy appeal. Last season, Bogdanovic put up 14.0 points per game in 27.9 minutes, shooting 40.6 percent from three. His ability to make outside shots will definitely bring interest in his services, and Bogdanovic has also just boosted his stock with an outstanding World Cup performance.
Detroit Pistons center Jalen Duren is the favorite to start at the center position this season, according to Keith Langlois of NBA.com. The 19-year-old was the NBA's youngest player last season and already earned some starts then, but it looks like he's now set to fill the role full-time. Duren made 67 appearances with 31 starts, averaging 9.1 points and 8.9 rebounds for his rookie campaign. His numbers received a slight bump in the starting unit at 10.5 points and 10.6 rebounds. With James Wiseman, Marvin Bagley III, and Isaiah Stewart also in the mix, Detroit's center situation has looked complicated, but we have gotten some clarity now, and Duren should have a good sophomore season if he hangs on to the starter's position.