News: Pacers forward David West showed no signs of the calf injury that limited him in practice leading up to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals Wednesday in Miami. West scored 26 points in the game on 11 of 17 shooting, including 4 of 8 from the free-throw line. West added five rebounds and an assist, while turning the ball over four times in a 103-102 loss. Analysis: West is dealing with a strained left calf, but it obviously is not going to keep him off the floor. West is averaging 35.4 minutes per game over the course of the postseason, but that is up to 37.6 over the last five games. West averaged 17.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in the regular season, and is about to be a free agent. He should command plenty of interest on the market, and will be a solid Fantasy option in all formats on Draft Day. Plan on targeting him after the first few rounds are over on Draft Day.
News: Heat guard Mario Chalmers took a hard screen in the third quarter of Wednesday's Eastern Conference Finals against the Pacers, suffering a left shoulder injury. He would not return to the game, finishing with 10 points on 4 of 7 shooting in 21 minutes. His status moving forward in the series is not yet known, but the injury was diagnosed as just a bruise. Analysis: Chalmers is averaging 7.3 points per game in the postseason, after putting up 8.6 points per game in the regular season. This injury might not be a big concern, but it will be something for Miami to keep an eye on in the next few days heading into Game 2. Chalmers shot 40.9 percent from three-point range this season, and that is where his Fantasy value will always come from. This injury is unlikely to linger into the offseason, so it should not change his Fantasy value for next season. He remains useful in deeper Rotisserie Fantasy formats on Draft Day.
News: Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony shot just 41.6 percent from the field after suffering a shoulder injury in Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs against the Celtics, and now we know why. Despite playing at least 35 minutes in each game from that point on, Anthony was dealing with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, according to a New York Daily News report Wednesday. The team hopes that Anthony will not need surgery, but that determination will not been made until he rests for at least three weeks. If Anthony does need surgery it could keep him sidelined three to four months, potentially bumping up against the start of the regular season. Analysis: Anthony struggled throughout the playoffs with his shot, but he was clearly limited by the injury. When healthy this season, Anthony was tremendous, averaging 28.7 points per game en route to his first scoring title. We will keep an eye on his recovery throughout the offseason, as there appears to be an outside chance this could impact his availability for the start of next season. Fantasy owners will want to keep an eye on this injury heading into Draft Day, but Anthony should still be a first-round Fantasy option in all formats.
News: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports good news from Heat practice Sunday for guard Dwyane Wade. His hobbled knee limited him in the first-round series against the Bucks, and he aggravated it in Game 4 vs. the Bulls, but then returned to help close out the Bulls in Games 4 and 5. Going forward, it's not that Wade can or cannot play, it's to what level he can be effective. Facing a physical, bruising defense in Indiana in the Eastern Conference Finals, Wade's going to be even more banged up. Luckily, he still has another two days to see if he can get even a little bit better. But for the most part, this is kind of standard operating procedure for Wade. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers is Wednesday in Miami. Analysis: It sounds like Wade will be fine for Game 1 against the Pacers, and hopefully he doesn't suffer a setback with his knee moving forward in the playoffs. When healthy and active, Wade is a standout Fantasy option in all leagues, and we hope this knee problem is rectified during the offseason so he's back to 100 percent for the start of next season.
News: With the Lakers hoping for a swift decision from Dwight Howard on his free agency this summer, the All-Star center has given no indication he will rush the process and has privately indicated he plans to give strong consideration to multiple teams, league sources told CBSSports.com NBA Insider Ken Berger. Though Howard is adamant his free agency not be marred by the circus-like environment that surrounded his departure from Orlando last summer, word already has spread to multiple levels of his support staff that Howard re-signing with the Lakers is far from a done deal. With six weeks to go before Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent, the team that is said to intrigue him the most is the Rockets, according to multiple people briefed on internal conversations surrounding Howard's free-agent decision. The Rockets have a young star, James Harden, who has proved himself worthy of playing the leading role for the franchise; a budding 3-point shooting threat in Chandler Parsons; a defensive-minded coach in Kevin McHale; and Omer Asik, the kind of 7-footer Howard is believed to want next to him in the frontcourt. Analysis: The Mavericks represent another franchise that intrigues Howard, and Dallas is a minor transaction or two away from having enough room to sign Howard outright as an unrestricted free agent. Howard plans to explore all such options, and a person briefed on his plans told CBSSports.com that there are "several" teams the free-agent center is "going to take a hard look at." The Lakers still have a strong chance of signing Howard, especially from a financial standpoint, so keep an eye on what develops. No matter where Howard plays this season he would remain a No. 1 Fantasy center in all leagues and worth at least a pick in Round 2.
News: Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith should be ready to cash in this offseason. After making a little more than $5 million over his last two years with theKnicks, he has a player option for next season that he will undoubtedly forgo in hopes of signing a more lucrative contract. After winning Sixth Man of the Year he should have plenty of suitors in need of a scorer lining up to pay him for his services. However, he stated within the past week that he wants to retire as a Knick. This could be a ploy to drive up the negotiating price for Smith, or he could be sincere. The New York Post Smith is expected to opt out of his contract and re-sign with the Knicks in a four-year deal starting at about $5 million because the Knicks own his early-Bird rights rules. Analysis: Smith averaged a career-high 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 42.2 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from 3-point range. He beat out Jamal Crawford and Jarrett Jack for the 2012-13 Sixth Man of the Year award, the first of his career. Keep an eye on what he does this offseason, but no matter where he signs he would be worth at least a mid-round pick, with his best value staying with the Knicks based on the way he played this past season.
News: Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (knee) returned to the starting lineup for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Grizzlies. Leonard logged 30 minutes as he scored 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field, including 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. He also chipped in with two rebounds, two steals, one assist and a blocked shot in a 105-83 victory. Analysis: Leonard's knee problems were a "mild cause of concern" for the Spurs heading into the conference finals. Leonard averaged 12.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game on the season, while shooting 49.6 percent from the field. His role will only continue to grow, so Fantasy owners have to like Leonard's development patter. He will be a big-time breakout candidate heading into next season, worth a mid-round pick on Draft Day.
News: Knicks center Tyson Chandler worked his way around a back issue as he returned to action in Game 6 against the Pacers Saturday night. Chandler was held to just two points on 1 of 4 shooting. He also chipped in with six rebounds in a 106-99 defeat. Analysis: Chandler will have the entire offseason to recover from his back issue. The 7-footer averaged 10.4 points and 10.7 rebounds over 66 games -- marking the second time he has averaged a double-double. He also shot 63.8 percent from the field, but only averaged 20.1 Fantasy points per week as injuries really hampered his production down the stretch. Fantasy owners should plan on scooping him up in the earlier rounds in draft formats next fall.
News: Pacers point guard George Hill, who missed Game 5 with a concussion, returned to the starting lineup Game 6 against the Knicks. Hill scored 12 points on 2 for 10 shooting. He grabbed five boards and dished out four assists in a 106-99 win. Analysis: Hill seems to be healthy enough to play and will now earn a three days of rest before the Eastern Conference Finals. Hill posted career highs in points (14.2), assists (4.7), rebounds (3.7) and steals (1.1) during his first full year as a starter and finish as the 27th highest scoring guard, in terms of Fantasy points, in all standard formats. Fantasy owners should plan on targeting him in the middle rounds of most draft formats next fall.
News: The Boston Globe reports that Celtics forward Kevin Garnett has two years left on his contract but is considering retirement. He turns 37 Sunday. I dont think I have the answers that Kevin will want, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. So Ive got to figure theres a lot to do [before we talk], and I think theres a lot of questions in Kevins mind, as there is every year, to determine whether hes coming back.Im not ready to answer everything that he will want to know. Analysis: Garnett had another productive year, averaging 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists while shooting 49.6 percent from the field and 78.6 percent from the foul line. He will likely return if the Celtics keep Paul Pierce, but that's just speculation. Keep an eye on what happens with the Celtics, and if Garnett is back consider him a solid No. 2 Fantasy center worth a mid-round pick.