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Courtside Seat: Who makes the Fantasy All-Star team?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The All-Star game is upon us this weekend and we should see the usual brand of basketball with plenty of dunks and a lack of defense. For Fantasy owners, it's a couple of days off from scouring box scores and trying to find the next Jeremy Lin or Nikola Pekovic.

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Lin and Pekovic have been the best free agent additions to start the season, but they are not All-Star players -- at least not yet. The Fantasy All-Stars to this point in the year also differ slightly from the NBA version.

In looking at Average Draft Position and comparing it to a variety of leagues – total points, average and an eight-category format – we've found the Fantasy All-Star teams for each conference. We kept the same requirements for the starters with two forwards, two guards and one center. But in our version, Josh Smith and Kyle Lowry won't be getting snubbed.

Eastern Conference All-Stars:

Starters
LeBron James, SF, Heat
Carmelo Anthony, SF, Knicks
Derrick Rose, PG, Bulls
Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat
Dwight Howard, C, Magic

Reserves
Chris Bosh, PF, Heat
Luol Deng, SF, Bulls
Roy Hibbert, C, Pacers
Andre Iguodala, SF, Sixers
Paul Pierce, SF, Celtics
Rajon Rondo, PG, Celtics
Deron Williams, PG, Nets

Western Conference All-Stars:

Starters
Kevin Durant, SF, Thunder
Blake Griffin, PF, Clippers
Chris Paul, PG, Clippers
Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers
Andrew Bynum, C, Lakers

Reserves
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Trail Blazers
Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies
Kevin Love, PF, Timberwolves
Steve Nash, PG, Suns
Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Mavericks
Tony Parker, PG, Spurs
Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder

Eastern Conference Fantasy All-Stars:

Starters
LeBron James, SF, Heat
Josh Smith, SF, Hawks
Deron Williams, PG, Nets
Brandon Jennings, PG, Bucks
Dwight Howard, C, Magic

Reserves
Ryan Anderson, PF, Magic
Jose Calderon, PG, Raptors
Andre Iguodala, SF, Sixers
Greg Monroe, C, Pistons
Derrick Rose, PG, Bulls
Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat
John Wall, PG, Wizards

Roster difference: Smith should have replaced the injured Joe Johnson (knee) for the real All-Star game since he is having an outstanding season. He is a Top 5 player overall in an eight-category league and he has rewarded all owners who drafted him in Round 3. Jennings also is having a fantastic start to the season, but he is expected to falter and is a sell-high candidate. Calderon is another sell-high candidate just based on his injury history, but he's averaging close to a double-double and shoots a high percentage from the field and foul line. Monroe has been the second-best center in the East, and Anderson is the best 3-point shooter in the NBA. Wall, surprisingly, is a Top 10 player in total points, a Top 10 point guard in an eight-category league and a Top 10 guard in an average format.

Western Conference Fantasy All-Stars:

Starters
Kevin Durant, SF, Thunder
Kevin Love, PF, Timberwolves
Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers
Kyle Lowry, PG, Rockets
Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies

Reserves
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, Trail Blazers
Chris Paul, PG, Clippers
Pau Gasol, PF, Lakers
Blake Griffin, PF, Clippers
Tony Parker, PG, Spurs
Ricky Rubio, PG, Timberwolves
Russell Westbrook, PG, Thunder

Roster difference: Lowry just missed being a Top 5 overall player in an eight-category league, and he was a steal for Fantasy owners in Round 5. For him to not make the real All-Star team was a travesty. Rubio might be the steal of all Fantasy drafts since he was selected in Round 9 on average but is a Top 12 player in an eight-category league. Marc Gasol, thanks to Zach Randolph (knee) being injured, has been the best center in the West, but his brother also deserves All-Star consideration. Even though Bryant recently said Pau Gasol has been bothered by trade rumors he is still a Top 20 player in all formats and a better Fantasy option than Bynum. One Fantasy snub in the West is Marcin Gortat, who is playing great for his value (Round 7), but he just missed the list by comparison to the other players.

Each week we will take a look at a variety of topics around the NBA. We will look at guys to trade, trade for, add off the waiver wire and also answer some of your social media questions, among other things. It's our CBSSports.com potpourri look at Fantasy Basketball.

Anderson going forward

Anderson has been one of the best Draft Day steals this year. He was the No. 51 forward drafted in Round 11, but he is having a career season at 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds with 97 made 3-pointers.

Fantasy owners want to know if he can keep this up, and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said in an interview Sunday in Miami that he is curious of that himself.

"We knew he was a good player," Van Gundy said. "Did I think he would be capable of averaging close to 17 points and seven rebounds? No, probably not. We knew he could shoot the ball. He's still got a long way to go. There are a lot of things he still needs to do better. The other challenge for him will be, as the season goes on, teams will adjust. Ryan will have that at some point and he'll have to adjust. But he's had a good start."

The only way we see Anderson taking a dive in Fantasy value is if Howard is traded. Anderson benefits from teams doubling down on Howard, leaving him open on the perimeter. But as long as Howard remains with the Magic we should continue to see Anderson thrive.

Free agent watch

Here are five guys I am looking at in my leagues:

Gustavo Ayon, PF, Hornets
Owned: 51 percent of leagues

Tristan Thompson, PF, Cavaliers
Owned: 49 percent of leagues

Corey Brewer, SF, Nuggets
Owned: 45 percent of leagues

Marco Belinelli, SG, Hornets
Owned: 36 percent of leagues

Kenneth Faried, PF, Nuggets
Owned: 24 percent of leagues

Thompson was mentioned here last week with Anderson Varejao (wrist) out, and he has responded with two double-doubles in his past three games. Ayon has taken advantage of Emeka Okafor (knee) being out, and he is averaging 9.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals in his past five games. Belinelli also has thrived of late with 13 3-pointers in his past five outings and he is averaging 16.6 points over that span. His value would increase if he did more than just score. Brewer has helped the Nuggets with Danilo Gallinari (ankle) out and he is averaging 13.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.2 steals in his past five games. And Faried has also helped the Nuggets with Nene (calf) out with two double-doubles in his past four games.

Social media corner

@Matt_Johnson22 on Twitter wants to know: I have Jarrett Jack and Greivis Vasquez on my team and need to drop one for roster space. Who should I stick with on my team?

It's pretty clear after this past week that Jack is the better Fantasy option when healthy. Vasquez still retains plenty of value with Eric Gordon (knee) out, but Jack has more upside even coming off the bench. If you have to pick one, go with Jack.

@detroitman606 on Twitter wants to know: Would you make the following trade: Lowry and Iguodala for Rose and Anderson?

In a category-based league I would stick with Lowry and Iguodala because they fill up the stat sheet as well as anyone. Anderson has been great and Rose will rebound now that his back is healthy, but Lowry and Iguodala should continue to play well. Now, in a total points league, I would rather have Rose and Anderson because of Rose's upside.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyNews . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Knicks waive veteran Lamar Odom
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) The Knicks have parted ways with veteran forward Lamar Odom on Friday, according to a team statement from Phil Jackson.

"Unfortunately, Lamar was unable to uphold the standards to return as an NBA player. We found it necessary to free up the roster spot," Jackson said.

Suns, Kings complete sign-and-trade for Isaiah Thomas
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) The Suns and Kings have finalized a sign-and-trade deal on a four-year, $27M contract for restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports Friday.

The former 60th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft will be heading to Phoenix, while Sacramento will receive a $7 million trade exception and the rights to forward Alex Oriakhi, the 57th overall pick in 2013, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Thomas averaged career-highs of 20.3 points and 6.3 assists last season for the Kings. He is expected to serve as an ideal third guard to complement Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic in Phoenix, according to CBSSports.com NBA Insider Ken Berger.


Jordan Hill signs two-year deal with Lakers
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Free agent forward Jordan Hill signed a two-year, $18 million contract to stay with the Lakers, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports Friday. The deal will give the Lakers a team option in the second year of the contract. Hill averaged 9.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game over 72 games last season. 

Chris Bosh opts to return to Miami for five years
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Though they lost the biggest member of the Big 3, the Heat won't come away from free agency empty-handed.

Yahoo.com reports Friday the Heat have agreed to terms on a five-year deal with center Chris Bosh, who had reportedly been considered a max offer from the Rockets. Bosh will reportedly be paid $118 million over the life of the deal, after joining Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in opting out of their respective deals earlier in free-agency.

Bosh averaged just 16.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in his least productive season since he was a rookie, but will likely see a bigger role moving forward following James' decision to sign in Cleveland.


Nick Young gets four years from the Lakers
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) The Lakers have agreed to a deal to keep guard Nick Young around, according to ESPN.com Friday.

Young put together a career-best season while working on a minimum-salary deal with the Lakers, and he will be rewarded handsomely for it. CBSSports.com NBA Insider Ken Berger reports the deal will pay Young $21.5 million over four years, with the fourth year a player option.

Young averaged 17.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in 64 appearances for the Lakers last season. 


John Salmons waived for cap savings
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) The Hawks officially waived forward John Salmons Friday, after acquiring him in a cap-clearing move at the draft.

Salmons was due a $7 million salary for 2014-15 season, but the Hawks were able to waive him while paying just $1 million of that. He averaged just 5.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 78 games for the Raptors and Kings last season.  


Report: Rockets shipping Jeremy Lin to Lakers
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) In an effort to clear cap space, the Rockets are working to finalize a deal that would send guard Jeremy Lin to Los Angeles. The Lakers would also receive a future first-round pick and other draft considerations but won't take on any salary in return, Yahoo Sports reports.

Lin averaged 12.5 points and 4.5 assists per game in what was mostly a sixth man role for Houston. He'll likely get to start in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the Rockets cleared space in the hopes of adding free agent Chris Bosh on a max deal. 


LeBron James announces return to Cleveland
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Free agent forward LeBron James is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the star announced via Sports Illustrated Friday.

James, who spurned Cleveland for Miami four years ago, opted out of his deal with the Heat following a loss to the Spurs in the NBA Finals. Details of the contract are not known as of now, as James announced his decision in a personal letter on SportsIllustrated.com.

James ended up finishing second in the MVP voting last season after winning the previous two. He joins Cleveland after shooting a career-high 56.7 percent from the field, while averaging 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game in 77 appearances for the Heat in 2013-14. 


Report: Suns, P.J. Tucker agree to three-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/10/2014) The Arizona Republic reports that the Suns have reached a three-year, $16.5 million agreement to re-sign forward P.J. Tucker with Phoenix. Tucker, 29, posted averages of 9.4 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 38.7 percent from downtown in 81 games last season. 

Steve Blake signs with the Trailblazers
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(7/10/2014) Veteran point guard Steve Blake inked a two-year deal with the Portland Trailblazers on Thursday, according to Yahoo Sports.

The deal is worth 4.2 million over two years and includes a second-year player option. Blake thrived in Mike D'Antoni's Lakers offense early on last year before being traded to Golden State to play a lesser role. He averaged 6.9 points and 5.6 assists per game overall on the season. 


 
 
 
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