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Draft tiers, 2.0
Tiers 320 ((USATSI))
We're getting close to the end of the line for draft season as the NBA's first tip-off nears. Our Chris Towers ranks the players by position in his Tiers, 2.0. Full Story
Related Links:
• Towers: Breakouts, 2.0 | Bench targets
• Polito: Sleepers for Draft Day
• Latest rankings by position
•  Listen to our Fantasy podcast!
Rankings
 
Projections
 
Most Added Players
Player% ±
1Jabari Parker, MIL, SF33
2Andrew Wiggins, MIN, G33
3Julius Randle, LAL, PF32
4Elfrid Payton, ORL, PG31
5Marcus Smart, BOS, PG30
6Danilo Gallinari, DEN, SF28
7Brook Lopez, BKN, C22
8Nerlens Noel, PHI, PF22
9Aaron Gordon, ORL, PF22
10Nik Stauskas, SAC, SG22
Most Dropped Players
Player% ±
1Jodie Meeks, DET, SG-23
2Shawn Marion, CLE, PF-23
3Paul George, IND, SF-22
4Andray Blatche, BKN, C-22
5Randy Foye, DEN, PG-19
6Gerald Henderson, CHA, SG-19
7Raymond Felton, DAL, PG-18
8Brandon Bass, BOS, PF-18
9D.J. Augustin, DET, PG-16
10Khris Middleton, MIL, PF-16
Average Draft Position
 
 
Player News
Report: Magic, Nikola Vucevic agree to four-year extension
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:11 pm ET) The Magic and center Nikola Vucevic have agreed to a four-year, $53-million extension, Yahoo! Sports reports.

Vucevic posted a career-best 14.2 points per game last season while appearing in 57 games. He has shot 50.4 percent from the field in three seasons as a professional, the last two with Orlando.


Brooks: Thunder G Reggie Jackson expected to play in opener
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:52 pm ET) Thunder coach Scotty Brooks expects guard Reggie Jackson (wrist) to be ready for the regular-season opener, The Oklahoman reports. Jackson "didn't feel comfortable" after his Monday workout as he continues to recover from a wrist injury suffered earlier in the month.

MRI confirms sprained thumb for Bulls SG Jimmy Butler
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:41 pm ET) An MRI has confirmed that Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler is dealing with a sprained thumb, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Butler is going to sit out practice this week as well as the team's preseason finale Friday before being re-evaluated this weekend. The Bulls open the season Oct. 29 on the road against the Knicks.


Lakers PG Jeremy Lin to return to action Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:09 pm ET) Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin will return to preseason action Tuesday, he announced.

"[A]nkles are finally feeling better ... excited to get back on the court tonight!" Lin said Tuesday.

Lin has been dealing with an ankle sprain but appears to be on track to be ready for the regular season.


Williams: Jimmer Fredette to play scoring role off Pelicans bench
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:02 pm ET) Pelicans coach Monty Williams indicated that he plans to have guard Jimmer Fredette in a scoring role during the regular season, The Times Picayune reports.

"You are trying to take advantage of Jimmer’s ability to score," Williams said. "When he plays point, they pressure him full court, so you’re getting into your offense later than you want to."

Fredette has played on and off the ball during the preseason, filling the same role as guard Austin Rivers. Tyreke Evans should be the ball handler while on the court with either Fredette or Rivers, but when Evans hits the bench, Rivers will take the point over Fredette, who should be free to focus on scoring.


Van Gundy: 'Focused' Greg Monroe 'playing great basketball'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:31 pm ET) Pistons forward Greg Monroe is having a pretty promising preseason, averaging 16.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, according to the Detroit Free Press. He is shooting 61.3 percent from the field and 74.2 percent from the free-throw line.

"I just know he's playing really well -- very consistent and not just in games," coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I don't remember him having a bad day out here. He's just been really, really good. I think he's playing great basketball."

Van Gundy added Monroe is also getting the job done on defense.

"He's focused," Van Gundy said. "He concentrates well and does his job. He doesn't make many mistakes. I like guys like that defensively. He doesn't miss rotations."


Warriors center Festus Ezeli set to play for first time in 17 months
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:14 pm ET) Warriors center Festus Ezeli will make his first appearance in a competitive game in 17 months during Tuesday's preseason game against the Clippers. Ezeli missed all of last season recovering from knee surgery and has been sidelined since the summer due to shin inflammation.

"He's going to just get a few minutes just to start to get some timing and experience," coach Steve Kerr said, per the Bay Area News Group. "He's feeling pretty good. Festus is a big part of what we're doing going forward. I like to stay big as much as possible. . . . We've got plenty of depth at that spot when everybody's healthy."


Heat to lean on Mario Chalmers as combo guard in 2014-15
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:17 pm ET) Heat guard Mario Chalmers is being asked to take on more of a combo-guard role in 2014-15 after primarily playing the point in his NBA career, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

"Now he's being able to display a little bit more versatility," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "The Golden State game, he literally was playing point guard one possession, off the ball one possession.

"We forced him to become a point guard. We've developed that aspect of his game for six years … That's six years in the makings. If you're expecting a young player to do that immediately in this league, there's no chance."


Shawne Williams could be factor in frontcourt rotation for Heat
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:09 pm ET) Heat forward Shawne Williams is down to 235 pounds after losing 25 pounds since the summer, according to the Sun-Sentinel. It is the lightest the seven-year pro has been since college.

"It's helped me a lot mentally," Williams said. "Right now, I still haven't even tapped into it. You're so big sometimes you forget what you can do. The coaches have been doing a great job of trying to remind me what my body can do."

The Heat are hoping Williams' improved conditioning will make him a valuable piece of the frontcourt rotation.

"Keep your eye on him," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He's an excellent shooter and in much better shape than he's been in before. He just needs to be comfortable with where and when and how he'll get to those shots. He's one of the better shooters we have in our gym."


76ers forward Nerlens Noel on track to play Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:01 pm ET) 76ers forward Nerlens Noel, who has been sidelined since last week with an upper respiratory infection, was able to practice Tuesday. Coach Brett Brown said Noel should be available to play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Pistons.

 
 
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