Spin: "I was contacted, but I was just trying to focus on getting my foot healed and getting ready for upcoming season," said Jefferson. He has been practicing without pain since early June, so his decision to skip the FIBA World Cup seems almost entirely a precautionary move to limit the wear-and-tear on his body. Charlotte finished 7th in the Eastern Conference last year and they'll look to get a higher seed with Lance Stephenson aboard this season.
Spin: "He's got to bring the whole package," the scout said. "He's gotta be a team player, he's got to cut harder and he's got to move the ball. He's going to have to do a lot of things that he isn't known for doing." There isn't much to this, but it's just something to keep in mind as we watch Melo in training camp. Anthony has been a solid post presence, but his isolation shots may take a hit. Of course, he's still a player to grab at the end of the first round of fantasy drafts.
Spin: The Heat aren't limiting their big-man search to Udoh, as they've also been linked to Andray Blatche, Emeka Okafor, Ekpe Udoh and Jason Maxiell. Udoh will serve a negligible role for fantasy purposes regardless of where he lands in free agency.
Spin: "[Kerr] wanted me to be a bit more aggressive offensively and run through me a little more, so that's always good to hear," Bogut said. He added that he was "definitely" impressed by Kerr, who flew to Australia to meet with his veteran center. Bogut's 15 DNPs took a toll last season but when healthy he was a mid-round fantasy option -- unfortunately a bigger offensive role is something of a double-edged sword, as increased scoring will likely be accompanied by more FT attempts (34.4 percent at the line last season).
Spin: The Magic had the worst record in the NBA two seasons ago and were third-to-last in 2013-14. "I don't want to sit back and develop anymore," Nelson said. "I tried that for two years. It was fun and it was tough. It was challenging. It was more challenging than people know." The Mavericks will likely use Nelson in combination with Devin Harris and Raymond Felton at point guard this season. His 3-point shooting could put him on the radar as a late-round pick.
Spin: The Wizards are out of the running and now it seems things are not moving well with the Hawks, so the Heat should be considered as the overwhelming favorites to sign him. Deng is seeking around $10 million at around three years on his deal, which should be completed soon.
Spin: Washington failed to retain Trevor Booker, who signed with the Jazz, but they quickly moved to lock up Humphries as depth behind Marcin Gortat and Nene. Humphries showed last season that he can still be very effective, but he's unlikely to have fantasy value unless injuries strike the Wizards' frontcourt.
Spin: "I can do both and I feel I can do both well," Bayless said. "Just depending on whatever coach Kidd envisions for this program, that's what I'm going to try to do." The backcourt rotation in Milwaukee is one of the more unsolved mysteries of the NBA right now. They added Kendall Marshall and Bayless while Brandon Knight may be a more capable shooting guard than a point guard. It does seem somewhat clear that Bayless is going to come off the bench and one would think the bulk of his minutes would come at shooting guard.
Spin: Sullinger is focused on conditioning and losing weight, but any activity is encouraging considering he said last week that he's still rehabilitating his ankle. He's in line for a bigger role in Boston's frontcourt after an impressive 2013-14 campaign that saw him average 13.3 points, 0.8 threes, 8.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.7 blocks in under 28 minutes per game.
Spin: Nash was only able to suit up for 15 games last season, and we're not expecting much from the 40-year-old veteran for the 2014-15 season. Nash has yet to play in any 5-on-5 scrimmages, and there's no guarantee that the pain doesn't re-emerge once he's under the rigors of another full NBA season. Nash won't be worth drafting in most formats.
Spin: Davis lead Team USA in scoring against the Kiwis and has looked like the best player on the team thus far at the World Cup of Basketball. He's reportedly put on 10 pounds of muscle this offseason and has solidified himself as Top 5 fantasy pick with Top 3 upside entering fall drafts.
Spin: The Lakers reportedly called Bazemore again Wednesday night to reiterate their desire to re-sign him. Bazemore had a bit of a breakout season in averaging 12.5 points, 1.5 three-pointers, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.3 dimes and 1.2 steals during the month of March and has received interest from the Jazz, Hawks, Celtics, Spurs, and Hornets. The Lakers have their work cut out for them in retaining Bazemore, but even if they don't retain the 25-year-old, it looks sounds as if they're committed to going down in a Baze of Glory
Spin: "I already know we can score, everybody knows we can score with the best of them," Lawson said. "But my mindset going into training camp is everybody buying into the defensive end." It took Lawson until June for his ankle to heal after missing 20 games last season. If the Nuggets do slow down, it could cost Lawson some stats. Still, the bigger concern is his health, making him a third-round target in most formats.
Spin: The Kings are reportedly after Josh Smith, but nothing is imminent. The Pistons still haven't made a decision on Greg Monroe, but he should sign an offer sheet in the very near future. Chances are both Monroe and Smith won't be back next season.
Spin: "We're excited to add a player of Marvin's caliber to our team," said Hornets GM Rich Cho. "He will be a key piece of our frontcourt rotation with his versatility and ability to play both forward positions." It appears that the Hornets will be starting Williams, but that doesn't mean that he'll be a fantasy factor in standard leagues. Williams averaged 9.3 points, 5.2 rebound, 1.2 assists, and 1.3 three-pointers as a starter for the Jazz last season.
Spin: "I am extremely pleased to add Chris to our roster," said Blazers Coach Terry Stotts. "He is a proven NBA talent and will both bolster and complement our front court at both ends of the floor." Kaman provides quality depth in the front court behind Robin Lopez and LaMarcus Aldridge, but he should not be on fantasy radars.
Spin: It's a three-day session for Budinger, who missed the last six games of the season due to injury. Budinger had a knee issue earlier in the season and it kept his minutes down to a career-low 18.3 per game. If the Wolves do unload Kevin Love, Buds could be looking at some more shots from the perimeter.
Spin: Vucevic had a small role during EuroBasket 2013, which could be the root of his problems with coach Pavicevic. Montenegro failed to qualify for next year's European Championship and their program could certainly use a player of Vuc's caliber -- he's coming off a strong NBA season in which he averaged a career-high 14.2 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.8 blocks per game.
Spin: Speaking on his upcoming first season with the Timberwolves, Young said of Pekovic, "I bumped him in a game last year and he didn't move!" The 26-year-old is coming off a breakout 2013-14 season during which he averaged 19.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.5 three-pointers over the last 28 games of the season. Young would be worthy of a top 20 fantasy pick if he beat the odds and sustained those numbers, but even a likely slip will help him return mid-round value.
Spin: The Lakers know everything about Henry's knee situation and at the reported one-year and $1 million they were talking about there's not a whole lot to nitpick here for either side. Injury concerns and fantasy deficiencies should keep Henry on the periphery of most drafts unless there is a major shake-up in La-La Land.
Pau Gasol put on a show during Spain's trouncing of Brazil, going for 26 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, three 3-pointers, and two assists.
Spin: Pau was also remarkably efficient, shooting 11-of-15 from the field, as Spain manhandled Brazil leading to an 82-63 victory. Health will be a concern for Gasol, as he hasn't made it through 82 games since the 2010-11 season, but he's still a guy that merits an early middle round selection.
Spin: It makes sense after Ersan had one of the most inefficient seasons among power forwards last year. He couldn't hit triples and was horrible on defense, so his market price is going to be coming at a discount.
Spin: "I think the big thing with O.J. - I've known him since he was in high school - and he's a great kid, loves the game of basketball. I don't know exactly what happened with him last year. But when you look at him playing in Memphis, playing in Dallas, he was playing at a very high level. That's our job, is to get him back there." Mayo's first season with Milwaukee could be described as catastrophic, but perhaps Kidd can make Mayo actually want to play basketball. The Bucks don't have too many options at the shooting guard position, but Mayo showed last year that he's a master of squandering opportunity.
Spin: Miles is a steady nine-year veteran who shot just under 40 percent beyond the arc last season, but he also struggled with injuries and the Cavs may be ready to part ways with Jarrett Jack, Dion Waiters, Alonzo Gee and Sergey Karasev all under contract. The Pacers have already met with Miles and are reportedly offering him a chunk of their mid-level exception, somewhere just north of $2 million per season.
Spin: Bynum is coming off a disaster off a 2014-15 season, during which he averaged 8.7 points, 5.6 boards, and 1.1 blocks in just 26 games. The Clippers could provide a safe landing spot for the 26-year-old, but his balky knees have only allowed him to play 26 games over the past two seasons, so fantasy owners would be wise to erase their memories of Bynum's glory days for now.
J.J. Hickson (ACL surgery) is eyeing a return to the court by training camp after undergoing surgery in May.
Spin: Just two months into his rehab, Hickson is pleased with his progress and is hoping to be back with the Nuggets by training camp. "My rehab is going great," he said. "I've got a good spirit about myself right now. I'm in a good place. I don't think I was ever down. It still hasn't hit me that I tore my ACL, but I know what I'm dealing with and I'm ready for the challenge." There were reports recently that had the big man out until January, but Hickson denied that timetable, "That's false," he said. "I'm looking to be ready for training camp. If not, definitely before the season starts." We're guessing training camp might be a bit ambitious, but fantasy owners should keep Hickson on their draft boards unless he experiences any setbacks.
Spin: Gee's $3 million is disproportionate to his production, and it's fully unguaranteed. It's safe to assume that no team will claim him off waivers, leaving him free to explore his options as an unrestricted free agent.
Spin: We've still yet to see a report of an "unsuccessful" season-ending surgery, but it's good to hear that all went well with Crash's procedure. His minutes will most likely be gobbled up by Jerryd Bayless, Chris Johnson, and the potentially soon-to-return Avery Bradley.
Spin: Landry is currently rehabbing in Indianapolis after undergoing surgery on his knee in March and is hoping to deliver on the expectations the Kings had for him when they inked him to a $26 million contract last summer. "I dedicated this summer to redefining my mind and my body and hopefully having one of the best years of my career," the 30-year-old said. "Confidence is the game. After having injuries, there's certain moves you don't want to make." Landry only played 18 games for the Kings last season and can be a decent option in deeper fantasy leagues, but he'll join a crowded frontcourt once he's fully healthy and shouldn't be on fantasy owners' draft boards for the time being.
Spin: Barbosa's deal with be for one year at the veteran minimum as he joins his fifth NBA team. The 31-year-old averaged 7.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 20 games with the Suns last season, so his fantasy value is virtually non-existent as a role player for the Warriors.
Spin: Billups has a close relationship with assistant coach Tyronn Lue and had a workout with the team recently. His career has been in question lately as his health continues to betray him year after year. Still, there is always a place for veterans on any NBA roster and he provides stable leadership in the locker room.
Spin: Baynes is considering signing overseas for around $1.5 million annually, and Ayon has been pursued by at least one team in China. If either guy does end up in San Antonio, they will be fantasy afterthoughts in a frontcourt that includes Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner and Jeff Ayres.
Spin: "Yeah [I think he can bounce back]," Kidd said. "I think it starts with being healthy. Two, he's here working out. When you look at that and being gone for five months, he's here with his teammates. That's the start." Saunders signed a four-year, $44 million contract extension last year after an impressive season in which he established himself as an elite rim protector. However, he followed his breakout season with an injury plagued 2013-14 campaign in which he received a suspension for violating the NBA's anti-drug program and only made it through 23 contests. Sanders probably made a lot of people's "never-again lists" last season, but if he's able to keep his act together, he could be a decent value pick going into next season.
Spin: He added that he wants to re-sign with the Knicks and wants to talk to president Phil Jackson. Martin had trouble staying healthy last season and his career is winding down, but the it seems like he wants to come back. He won't have any fantasy value, though.
Spin: He was having a solid season with the Nuggets last year, but his ACL tear really forced his hand to not hit free agency. Robinson had surgery back on Jan. 31, so he will at least have an outside chance of being ready for the 2014 season opener. Of course, fantasy owners shouldn't be targeting him since it will likely take some time before he's 100 percent.
Spin: Jackson has been trying to unload Bargnani's expiring contract this summer, to no avail, and he may be resigned to keeping him. "He's overlooked," Jackson said. "We have a couple of guards he likes to play with, Jose [Calderon] and Pablo [Prigioni], and I think he's going to be a surprise and a pleasant one for our fans." Bargnani missed 40 games last season and was barely worth owning in fantasy leagues while healthy, making him a gamble in the late rounds.
Spin: He basically had no chance to sign with the Pelicans, especially after the Omer Asik trade. The Knicks have seen Cole Aldrich play well this summer, so those two will likely compete for minutes behind Samuel Dalembert.
Spin: Holiday hasn't done any on-court work since suffering a stress fracture in January, and he's still working to rebuild the muscles in his right leg while regaining his conditioning. He said that he feels "strong" and as long as he does get on the court in August he should be ready to go for Pelicans' training camp.
Spin: He said he'll spend this offseason working on getting his neck and body stronger heading into training camp. Anderson has been taking part is drills and is able to work on his conditioning. He was lighting it up from 3-point range before his season-ending injury, so he should be a top-five guy from beyond the arc as long as he's healthy.
Spin: The Hawks obviously had a high asking price since they value Horford as an elite player for their franchise. They were 16-13 at the time of the Horford injury on Dec. 26, but then fell to 22-31 the rest of the way. More recently, Horford is not taking contact just yet and is still feeling soreness from his shoulder rehab, but he is fully expected to be ready for training camp.
Spin: Jenkins had two points, two assists and five fouls in 21 minutes during his Summer League debut on Saturday, but he's still working himself into game shape after a long rehabilitation. We'll keep an eye on him throughout the preseason but it's hard to envision him having reliable fantasy appeal.
News: Taylor will miss the rest of the season because of a ruptured right Achilles tendon. Coach Steve Clifford said he's not sure if the tendon is completely or partially torn and won't know Taylor's recovery time until after he has surgery.
Spin: Taylor, a native of Sweden, was injured in the first half of Friday night's game against the Detroit Pistons. He stepped into a starting role after Michael Kidd-Gilchrist broke his hand. He averaged 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 26 games. Kidd-Gilchrist will be evaluated again on Dec. 27.
Spin: "Like I said before, I'm not looking for any restrictions," Lopez told ESPN New York and Newsday Friday. "I'm confident I'm gonna be able to go out there and be better than I've ever been." Lopez has had two injury-plagued seasons during his career, but didn't miss a single game during his first three seasons in the league. He'll be a risky selection on draft day, but when healthy, Lopez is capable of putting up truly elite value at the center position.
Spin: "I can say I want to be able to jump as high as I used to. I want to be as fast as I used to. But no; I don't jump as high as I used to," Bryant said. "That's okay. I'm not as fast as I used to be. That's okay, too. I'll figure out another way to do it." Bryant, like all aging superstars, will begin to lean more heavily upon his fundamentals to be an effective basketball player. No one knows how he will perform after serious injuries sidelined him for all but six games last season, but because he's Kobe, there's still hope he can be an elite talent in the league. He'll be drafted somewhere in the 3rd round, and has the potential to be a steal there. High-risk, high-reward people.
News: Pondexter has had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot that has him sidelined indefinitely.
Spin: The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Pondexter hurt his foot Dec. 7 in a loss to Golden State. The 25-year-old was averaging 6.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 18 minutes this season after signing a four-year contract extension Oct. 31.
Spin: "I know the questions are going to come and they're going to be there the whole year. So I can't get tired of it," said Rose regarding questions about the health of his knees. "I'm feeling good right now. Just trying to get in better shape, get in better condition, so that when I do need to score the ball, then it'll be there." Team USA will have three games in three nights following Monday's "rest day," and that will be a good test for Rose. Rose is correct in assuming the questions will continue to come in all season regarding the health of his knees, and that any minor setback will make headlines. But with just 10 games played in the past two seasons, the concern is reasonable. Rose will be a high-risk, and highly stressful player to own for the 2014-15 season, but his upside is first-round value.
Spin: "He's got to show us what he can do, and certainly he's a huge part of what we hope to be next year because he brings a defensive component that we struggled with at times last year," Connelly said. McGee said to Connelly that he felt like he let the team down after playing in just five games in 2013-14. He's disappointed a few times, so he's not going to be a hot property in drafts next year.
Spin: "I think training camp is realistic," Danilo said. "It's something that we really talked about with the doctor. It's something that we really want to achieve and we believe is going to be possible." Danilo added that he is ahead of schedule with regards to being able to run and jump without limitations, and he's excited to get back on the court. Danilo will join the Italian national team for seven to 10 days of practice (no games) in mid-August, and that will be his first full workouts, free of restriction in over a year.
Spin: Delfino lasted three days with the Clippers organization before being waived. The move was to create cap space, as the Clippers are now $4.4 million under the hard cap, and they can now add four more players. Chris Douglas-Roberts is reportedly on the Clippers' radar, and he would add emergency depth to the wings. If Douglas-Roberts lands in LA, it will take an injury for him to become fantasy relevant.
Spin: The 12-year veteran didn't play last season and it's questionable how often we'll see him on the court this year. The Cavs signed undrafted C Alex Kirk this week and they continue to look for ways to add frontcourt depth, another sign that Haywood isn't viewed as a likely backup for Anderson Varejao.
Spin: "I know he's focused on getting ready for camp," said 76ers GM Sam Hinkie. "I don't know exactly how that will go. We'll see when he gets closer." J-Rich opted into a $6.6 million player option for 2014-15 but he's unlikely to have a significant on-court role even if his knee allows him to get back on the court.
Spin: Okafor's camp has reportedly been contacted by "roughly half the league," including the Cavaliers and the Heat. The best news here might be that Okafor's awful injury won't be career-ending, and the 31-year-old should still have a few productive years in the tank.
Spin: Ezeli has missed enough time with his knee surgery to take it easy on the first sign of trouble, but it also goes without saying that the Warriors would appreciate him getting his work in. The team says the injury isn't serious and we'll know by his participation in the preseason.