Mike Gallagher

Offseason Beat

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NBA News Roundup

Monday, July 30, 2018


We know the NBA has no offseason, but we’re finally in the slowest part of the year. Unless you’re the Guy on the Couch from Half Baked, it’s pretty easy to tell we’ll be in August this week and not January. Oh wow, August.

 

With July ending after tomorrow, we still had a slew of news with the last big free agent signing, we had extension on a bad team, and we had some of our favorite offseason stories. 

 

The Cavs and Kevin Love agreed to a four-year, $120 million extension on Tuesday. With Love having one year left on his existing deal, he’ll be under contract with the Cavs until 2022-23. There are a lot of ways to look at this, but the first thing I thought about was how I wasn’t sure what the Cavs are up to.

 

Before this news, many were expecting Love to be a trade piece on an expiring deal. That’s especially true because the Cavs traded a first-round pick to Atlanta from the Kyle Korver deal, and that pick has top-10 protection in each of the next two drafts. The addition of Love does help the Cavs’ chances in making the playoffs in a weaker Eastern Conference, so there’s a very good chance it conveys. Plus, their division is arguably the weakest in basketball with the Cavs, Bucks, Bulls and Pistons — the Southeast is your only other option. If you’re going off the Action Network’s win total projections, the Cavs are projected to tie for 11th in the lottery with the Clippers. If they’re going to rebuild, losing a top 11-15 pick is a brutal way to start the season.

 

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That leads to the next issue: Does Cleveland sit Love down the stretch? While the NBA has softened the incentive to tank, most rebuilding teams would have to consider sitting their best player. Love is going to turn 30 years old in September, and he played just 29.7 minutes per game over his last two seasons. Plus, he hasn’t been the most durable player this decade with an average of 18.7 games missed per season. Sure, some of those are weird things, but he’s had several concussions, he’s had back issues in at least two of his last three seasons, he had knee surgery in 2013 and in 2017, and has broken his hand at least three times — don’t do knuckle push-ups, guys. Regardless of what the Cavs say about how they don’t want to have a long rebuild, the risk of him resting is very high.

 

Before we worry about late-season rest, the Cavs should feed him. With LeBron off the court, Love gets a hefty 5.6 usage rate bump, he was basically the same with efficiency (down 0.3 TS%), and his rebounding numbers were up. If you want to go off per-36 numbers without LeBron out there, Love is sitting at 27.5 points, 14.9 boards, 1.2 steals, 0.3 blocks and 2.0 treys. Whoa boy. It’s also somewhat interesting that the Cavs were better on defense without LeBron and with Love on.

 

So if we’re taking all this into account for fantasy value, his upside can certainly give him first-round value next season. However, the massive risk of DNP-REST coupled with his propensity to miss games, he probably should be coming off the board in the back end of the third round or early fourth.

 

We were all expecting Clint Capela to re-sign with the Rockets, and it finally happened on Friday with the two sides agreeing to a five-year, $90 million offer. James Harden said on Friday that he wasn’t worried that Capela was leaving, and obviously good teams didn’t even have the money. Although, the Rockets are going to have an expensive roster that figures to be at around $165 million after the taxes and the Carmelo Anthony addition.

 

As for Capela, not much we need to discuss here after his monster season with averages of 13.9 points, 10.8 boards, 1.9 blocks, 0.8 steals and 1.4 turnovers on 65.2 percent from the field and 56.0 percent from the line. Every single stat listed is a career high and he significantly dropped his foul rate, too. Capela is 24 and maybe he can even hit 30 minutes next season after being a shade under 28 last year. He did play 30.6 minutes per game in the postseason last year, so he could have it in him.

 

In standard leagues, he almost has to go in the third round as a possible 16-12 with 2.0 blocks guy. The Rockets are really going to need him after they lost some of their frontcourt depth in Luc Mbah a Moute and Trevor Ariza.

 

The Rockets are also expected to add Carmelo Anthony and my guy Ryan Knaus covered it in the NBA News Roundup last week.  To add my two cents, I’m not targeting any Rockets besides Harden, Chris Paul and Capela. I wouldn’t be surprised if James Ennis eats into Melo’s minutes. Melo has also suggested he will start, but I still can’t see myself taking him before 100. Last year was a disaster and he’s in a similar role here.

 

One quick thing I do want to add on the Dennis Schroder front is that I think he could get to 24 minutes. Russell Westbrook has actually been effective when next to another point guard, so Schroder could take minutes from Andre Roberson, Jerami Grant, and even spell Paul George in spots in different combos. The Westbrook and Raymond Felton combo last year had a +6.7 net rating last season (385 minutes), including a +9.2 in the fourth quarter (204 minutes). OKC had just a +2.9 net rating overall and a +5.7 in the fourth last season. In 2014-15, the Reggie Jackson and Westy combo had a +6.3 net rating (397 minutes). When Russ wasn't with RJax, he had a +3.6 net rating (1,905 minutes). This was also the nightmare Kevin Durant year with his Jones fracture injury keeping him to just 27 games, so this is noteworthy stuff.

 

I wouldn’t exactly say I’m targeting Schroder, but I think he could have late-round standalone value. Maybe he can be more efficient because he is not exactly a per-minute dynamo and you may have heard about Westy’s usage rate. Side note: I’m in on PG-13 this year.

 

Before this summer, even most hardcore hoops fans have probably never heard of Drew Hanlen. He’s been a big part of helping guys like Bradley Beal break out, but this summer it’s been news that he’s working out with so many young players. How many this summer? Here’s a list I put together and I might be missing some:

 

Jayson Tatum, Markelle Fultz, Joel Embiid, De’Anthony Melton, Gordon Hayward, Kelly Oubre, Jordan Clarkson, Taurean Prince, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Mohamed Bamba, Semi Ojeleye, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Solomon Hill, Orlando’s Justin Jackson, Meyers Leonard, Cheick Diallo, Andrew White, Jaylen Adams and ya playa-partna 2 CHAINZ! TRU!

 

Tatum is arguably Hanlen’s big triumph after they spent so much time together, and now Hanlen worked out with Kobe Bryant to help Tatum. Kobe was Tatum’s idol and he did an ESPN Detail on Tatum, but the rookie didn’t need it. Tatum's offensive game is beyond his years as an 80th percentile scorer last season, especially as a spot-up shooter at 87th percentile (Synergy). Tatum did only have 1.4 isolation possessions per game and he was below average on those, so that is the last piece of the puzzle. 

 

For fantasy, it’s so tough to take him in such a logjam, but his talent should rise to the top. If he’s there at like 45, you probably have to pounce depending on who is there. I would take him over any other Celtic perimeter player, including Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

 

Fultz is also an interesting case and J.J. Redick said on The J.J. Redick Podcast that Markelle should make “a jump” next year for his stats. If he beats out T.J. McConnell, he could see 14 minutes behind Ben Simmons, and he could battle his way for 8-12 minutes on the wing. If you’re looking for a late-round flier with upside, he’s gotta be right near the top of the players to snap up.

 

Hanlen's crew is basically more renowned than the 19th St. Gangstas and the River Terrace Crew combined. 

 

P.S. Prrrrrrrrr

 

And yes, I bookended Dave Chappelle references.

 

Other quick notes for fantasy-relevant guys

 

Mike Conley still isn’t 100 percent and isn’t taking contact yet. Although, he did post a video of himself doing a standing vertical leap. He fell to 78 in the last mock we did, so he could be a great value after the fifth round.

 

Jimmy Butler had a hand procedure, but he’s fine. Butler is a little risky in fantasy, but he has to come off the board in the beginning of the second round. Maybe 10-12, too.

 

Gordon Hayward is hoping to be doing 5-on-5 in August, so he should be 100 percent. For now, he’s looking like a fifth-round guy.

 

Jared Dudley said Jared Allen and D’Angelo Russell are the cornerstones for the Nets. Give me all the Allen shares please.

 

That’ll do it for this edition. If you’re not aware, I’ll be doing the Rotoworld Fantasy Basketball Podcast every Monday and Thursday, so we’ll be going through the news and bring some fantasy takes.



Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.
Email :Mike Gallagher



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