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Mock draft review
Blake Griffin ((USATSI))
With Kevin Durant's injury, would you possibly look at Blake Griffin instead? Our Chris Towers breaks down our latest standard mock draft for trends. Full Story
Related Links:
• Breakouts 2.0 | Busts 2.0 | Sleepers 1.0
• Towers: Reserves to target on Draft Day
• Latest rankings by position | Updated injuries
•  Win your league with our Fantasy podcast!
Rankings
 
Projections
 
Most Added Players
Player% ±
1Andrew Wiggins, MIN, G51
2Jabari Parker, MIL, SF51
3Elfrid Payton, ORL, PG48
4Julius Randle, LAL, PF46
5Marcus Smart, BOS, PG45
6Danilo Gallinari, DEN, SF39
7Nerlens Noel, PHI, PF36
8Aaron Gordon, ORL, PF36
9Brook Lopez, BKN, C33
10Nik Stauskas, SAC, SG32
Most Dropped Players
Player% ±
1Jodie Meeks, DET, SG-35
2Shawn Marion, CLE, PF-33
3Paul George, IND, SF-32
4Andray Blatche, BKN, C-31
5Gerald Henderson, CHA, SG-30
6Raymond Felton, DAL, PG-29
7Randy Foye, DEN, PG-28
8D.J. Augustin, DET, PG-23
9Brandon Bass, BOS, PF-23
10Khris Middleton, MIL, PF-22
Average Draft Position
 
 
Player News
Report: Rockets C Dwight Howard out Friday with laceration
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:37 pm ET) A laceration on his forearm that required stitches will keep Rockets center Dwight Howard sidelined in the team's preseason finale Friday against San Antonio, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Howard has also been dealing with knee issues in training camp. The team opens its regular season Tuesday night on the road against the Lakers, his former team.


Jarell Eddie lands with Celtics
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:33 pm ET) The Celtics have signed free agent rookie swingman Jarell Eddie, who had been waived by Atlanta on Tuesday.

Eddie played at Virginia Tech.


Report: PF Jason Maxiell earns roster spot with Hornets
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:30 pm ET) Steve Clifford has confirmed that power forward Jason Maxiell has secured a roster spot for the Hornets, the Charlotte Observer is reporting.

The 31-year-old Maxiell suffered through a poor 2013-14 season with Orlando, which waived him in July. But he had been a stalwart for Detroit in previous seasons.


Report: Varejao beats out Thompson as Cavs starting center
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:24 pm ET) What was speculated has become official - Anderson Varejao is the starting center for the Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson is set to come off the bench, per Northeast Ohio Media Group.

Both players performed well in exhibition play, but Varejao provides more of an interior defensive presence and has improved his offensive game markedly. Thompson has also become a greater offensive threat, but is considered more of a power forward on defense.


Report: PF Jason Smith earns starting job for Knicks
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:41 pm ET) Jason Smith will serve as the starting power forward for the Knicks to open the season, according to the New York Post. He has emerged with the job ahead of Quincy Acy and Amar'e Stoudemire, who will be used as a super sub.

The former Pelican who is coming off knee surgery has performed well in the preseason. He is set to start the Friday exhibition finale against Toronto, then will likely maintain the spot when the team opens the regular season with back-to-back games against Eastern Conference studs Chicago and Cleveland.

The Knicks signed Smith for the mid-level exception of $3.2 million in the offseason.


Rajon Rondo ramping up contact work in Celtics practice
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:48 am ET) Celtics guard Rajon Rondo could be cleared by the team's medical staff early next week, and coach Brad Stevens expressed optimism when discussing his point guard's potential availability Friday for the start of the season.

"Now it's just a matter of getting clearance, really," said Stevens. "Because everything else, from a skill standpoint, from an understanding standpoint -- he's been running our offense in 5-on-0, up and down the court, for 10 days now. And he picks it up pretty quickly anyways. And we spent some time watching film, whether it's of the team when he's not on the floor, or just simple stuff that he's been able to do in practice to just try to expedite being ready." 

Rondo is dealing with a fractured left metacarpal, and has already begun taking part in some contact activities, though not clear contact. He is wearing extra padding on the hand during practice, and there at least remains a chance Rondo will be in the lineup for the start of the regular season if he receives clearance.

"It's not my call, that's the way I look at it," Stevens said. "When [team trainer] Ed [Lacerte] tells me that someone is ready to play, that's the go-ahead to let them play."


No guarantee Jason Richardson plays for 76ers
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:27 am ET) The 76ers are probably going to keep veteran guard Jason Richardson and his $6.6 million contract for the upcoming season, but there is no guarantee he will see the floor.

"I think it's going to be a challenge," coach Brett Brown told the Philadelphia Inquirer Friday. "But I really don't know. I just feel like he's been out of it for a while, and it's going to be a really difficult task."

Richardson has not played since January 2013 due to a knee injury, but the team wants to keep him around to help with a young locker room, Brown said. 


Nets exercise options for Mason Plumlee, Sergey Karasev
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:18 am ET) The Nets exercised third-year options on center Mason Plumlee and forward Sergey Karasev Friday, the team announced. The decision will keep both players in Brooklyn through the 2015-16 season, and both players have team options for their fourth seasons in 2016-17.

Plumlee appeared in 70 games as a rookie and was surprisingly effective, averaging 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in just 18.2 minutes per game. He shot 65.9 percent from the field and road his success to an appearance on Team USA's gold medal-winning FIBA World Cup appearance.

Karasev appeared in just 22 games after the Cavaliers made him the 19th overall pick in last year's draft. Karasev was acquired by the Nets in a three-team deal in July. 


Magic guard Victor Oladipo out indefinitely with facial fracture
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:44 am ET) Magic guard Victor Oladipo has been making progress in his recovery from a knee sprain, but was already uncertain for the team's season opener Tuesday. Friday he received more bad news, as the team announced he is out indefinitely with a facial fracture and will almost certainly miss the start of the regular season.

The injury occurred during practice Thursday, when he took an elbow to the face. He will undergo surgery Saturday, the team announced, and at this point it is not clear how long the injury is expected to keep Oladipo out or who might step into the starting lineup for him. Evan Fournier and Maurice Harkless have both filled in at shooting guard in the preseason, and seem to be the top contenders.

Oladipo managed to avoid injury almost entirely last season, as he averaged 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 80 games en route to a second place finish in Rookie of the Year. 


Fantasy Basketball Today: Ronnie Price could have a role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:27 am ET) Lakers guard Ronnie Price has actually dominated playing time at the point guard spot for the Lakers this preseason, given Jeremy Lin and Steve Nash's injury issues. With Nash out for the season, Price may have a role that can push him towards the fringes of Fantasy relevance, as I discussed at the Fantasy Basketball Today blog Friday:

"Price appeared in six preseason games and averaged 29.5 minutes per game, with Lin dealing with some injury concerns. Price put up a couple of big assist games, and ultimately averaged 8.2 points and 5.3 assists per game in that time. He is certainly not someone you will want to pick up on Draft Day, but Price might have value as a waiver-wire pickup down the road."

Price is still probably not worth drafting, but if he can get 25 minutes per game as the point guard, he could have some utility, especially with how valuable assists are in Fantasy. 


 
 
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