Nick Young SG/SF LAL 11 Days
Young will likely remain the Lakers' sixth man this season, since new coach Byron Scott prefers his scoring touch off the bench, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Young enjoyed a career-year in his debut campaign as a Laker last season, scoring a team-high 17.9 points in 28.3 minutes per game primarily as a reserve. The eccentric swingman is expected to continue as Los Angeles' sixth man this season under coach Scott, who finds value in bringing Young's offensive talents off the bench. So while the more defensively inclined Wesley Johnson should start at small forward, Young will remain a key contributor with potential for scoring outbursts off the Lakers' bench.
Steve Nash PG LAL 11 Days
Nash is expected to start at point guard for the Lakers this season, but will continue to sit out the second game of back-to-back sets and be rested periodically, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Nash played a career-low 15 games (10 starts) last season due to a plethora of injuries, so although the 40-year-old feels healthy entering the upcoming season, new Lakers' coach Byron Scott will closely monitor his usage. As has increasingly been the case since arriving in Los Angeles two years ago, Nash will receive regular, scheduled rests this season, especially in the second game of back-to-back outings. However, when Nash is available, the future Hall of Famer has been pegged by Scott as his starting point guard, even though offseason addition Jeremy Lin figures to be the more valuable fantasy commodity at the position.
Goran Dragic PG PHO 11 Days
Dragic had another tough outing on the court against Team USA, finishing with 13 points (6-15FG, 0-0FT, 1-5 3Pt), four assists, four rebounds, and four turnovers through 29 minutes, bringing his international play to an end this offseason, azcentral reports.
"The Dragon" had a solid run during international play, with final averages of 16 points (0.554 FG, 0.600 FT, 0.355 3Pt), 4.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.6 turnovers through 26 minutes. Considering his team lacked another NBA level caliber player, these numbers are actually very uplifting to those looking to draft the 28-year-old point guard. His numbers don't dominate the scoresheet, and his free throw averages leave something to be desired. But, Dragic displayed many moments of brilliance during his FIBA run. Given the upgrade in surrounding talent on his Suns team, look for Dragic to take a lot back from this experience and have a productive fantasy season.
Xavier Henry G LAL 11 Days
Henry (knee, wrist) may be limited in training camp as he recovers from offseason surgeries, InsideSoCal.com reports.
New coach Byron Scott said that he "hasn't seen him do much on the court" and the Lakers' confirmed that Henry had yet to fully heal from his offseason surgeries to his knee and wrist. He is still expected to be healthy when the 2014-15 season begins, but the lack of preparation may impact how many minutes he plays, especially initially. Henry missed 39 games last season, averaging 10.0 points, 0.7 three-pointers, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.0 steals in 21 minutes per game. He'll likely play behind Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, and Wesley Johnson on the wing this season.
Chauncey Billups G DET 12 Days
Billups announced Tuesday that he will retire after 17 NBA seasons, Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears reports.
The Pistons declined the second and final year of a contract option that would have paid him $2.5 million next season, leaving the veteran with a presumably quiet market. Billups is best known for his time with the Detroit Pistons, during which he won the 2004 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award, and earned the nickname, "Mr. Big Shot." If he chooses, he'll likely be afforded opportunities in either coaching or broadcasting, but his days as a fantasy commodity are officially over.
Greg Monroe PF/C DET 12 Days
Monroe has been suspended for two games without pay for pleading guilty to driving while visibly impaired, Yahoo! Sports reports.
Monroe will miss a pair of games for an off-court incident in violation of Michigan state law. For a player that has been sidelined for just one game over the past two seasons, Monroe's suspension will double that absence tally this term. Nonetheless, Monroe's fantasy stock entering the upcoming campaign remains fairly constant compared to years past.
Jonas Valanciunas C TOR 12 Days
Valanciunas scored 22 points with 13 rebounds and three blocks in Sunday's win over New Zealand to send Lithuania through to the quarter-finals in the FIBA World Cup.
The mis-named Tall Blacks couldn't provide Valanciunas with much of a challenge in the paint, but he'll have a tougher go on Tuesday against a Turkish squad that features Omer Asik at center. Through six games in the tournament, Valanciunas is averaging 22 minutes, 13.0 points, 7.8 boards, 1.3 blocks and a tournament-leading 76.7% field goal percentage.
Kobe Bryant SG LAL 12 Days
Bryant (knee) is entering the 19th season of his NBA career and new coach Byron Scott said that he will have a minutes restriction as he recovers from a fractured tibial plateau, Scott told SCPR.org during a recent interview.
Scott told the public radio station that he doesn't "want to win at the expense of having my one of my guys get hurt. And sometimes, like I said, we're going to sit down, me and my trainer have already sat down, already started talking about the amount of minutes Kobe should probably play, going into this season. And I have to stand fast on that. I have to make sure that when he's up to those minutes, that's it, no matter what the game situation is, as much as I want to win, as much as he wants to win, I'm not going to sacrifice his health to try to win games." Bryant will likely be drafted in the top 50 of most drafts, but his value is highly dependent on how his health holds up after playing just six games in 2013-14.
Justin Holiday F GS 13 Days
Holiday will be a member of the Warriors' training camp roster, the Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Jrue's younger brother was one of the top guards at the Las Vegas Summer League, where he averaged 14.8 points and 5.0 rebounds for Golden State's squad. Holiday was in camp with the Jazz last fall but failed to make the roster. His only taste of NBA action came with the Sixers in 2012-12, when he averaged 15.8 minutes over a nine-game stint. The Arizona State product spent last season in Hungary playing alongside former Oklahoma star and 2010 second-round pick Willie Warren. At this point, Holiday, whose training camp contract is non-guaranteed, would appear to be a long shot to make the Warriors' roster.
Gustavo Ayon PF/C ATL 13 Days
Ayon has agreed to a multi-year deal with Real Madrid in Spain, David Pick of Eurobasket.com reports.
Ayon reportedly received interested from a few NBA teams, but he'll spurn those offers and instead opt for a longer-term deal overseas. The Mexico native appeared in 26 games for the Hawks last season, averaging 4.3 points and 4.8 rebound sin 16.5 minutes. Ayon had a few productive stints with Atlanta and New Orleans but never truly found his niche in the league. Still, he's only 30 years old, so a return to the NBA down the road certainly is not out of the question.