Lakers' Luol Deng: Likely to start at small forward
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(9/25/2016) Lakers coach Luke Walton confirmed that Deng will likely start at small forward to open the upcoming season, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Even though he's tentatively penciled in as a starter for the Lakers, who inked him to a four-year, $72 million deal this summer, Deng should see a reduction in the 32.4 minutes per game he averaged with the Heat in 2015-16. With No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram and second-year forward Larry Nance both in need of further development, coach Luke Walton figures to find playing time for the duo, which may result in Deng having to sacrifice a few minutes as the season wears on. While Deng's fantasy ceiling is capped as a result, he'll still provide his owners with respectable production in the points, three-pointers and rebounds categories.

Lakers' Brandon Ingram: Will open season in bench role
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(9/25/2016) Lakers coach Luke Walton said in a recent interview that Ingram would open his rookie season in a bench role, Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. "We're not going to throw [Ingram] into the starting lineup right away," Walton said. "We're not going to play him 40 minutes a night. It's going to be a gradual process."

A highly skilled player with a massive wing span, strong work ethic and outside shooting ability, Ingram is expected to serve as a cornerstone of the Lakers' rebuilding effort, but the team will have the luxury of easing the rookie into his professional career. The team signed veteran Luol Deng in free agency this summer, and he'll presumably fill the void in the starting lineup at small forward left by the retirement of Kobe Bryant. Ingram is in line to serve as Deng's top backup, and could also see minutes at shooting guard behind projected starter Jordan Clarkson. The presence of Deng and Clarkson means a pathway to more than 25 minutes per game may be difficult for Ingram, but he still remains a prime asset in dynasty formats. If he adds some more strength to his willowy frame, Ingram could make tremendous strides throughout the season and take a massive leap in his second season.

Heat's Josh McRoberts: Still recovering from foot injury
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(9/25/2016) McRoberts is still recovering from a foot injury as training camp approaches, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

It's not clear when McRoberts picked up the injury, nor is it known how it might impact his activity level during training camp. The 2015-16 campaign was an injury-plagued mess for McRoberts, who made only 42 appearances and averaged 3.6 points on a woeful 37.2 percent shooting from the field to go with 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 14.2 minutes per game. While those numbers wouldn't normally make McRoberts a candidate for an expanded role during the upcoming season, the recent news that Chris Bosh (blood clots) failed his physical and remains indefinitely creates a major void at power forward for the Heat. Expect coach Erik Spoelsta to use a combination of McRoberts, Derrick Williams, Luke Babbitt and Justise Winslow to cover the bulk of the minutes at that position for as long as Bosh is sidelined.

Pelicans' Anthony Davis: Full participant in training camp
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(9/25/2016) Davis (knee) was a full participant in Saturday's opening day of training camp, John Reid of the Times Picayune reports.

Davis underwent surgery back in March to address a stress reaction problem in his left knee cap. He was expected all along to be ready for the start of training camp, so Davis' full participation on Saturday went as planned. He reportedly went through all drills with the exception of some conditioning at the end of the practice and appears to be on track for the regular season. With another month till the opener, Davis should have no problems getting back to full strength. However, look for his workload to be watched closely throughout training camp and into preseason action.

Heat's Justise Winslow: Could start at either small forward or power forward
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(9/24/2016) Winslow is expected to open the season as a starter at either small forward or power forward, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

The offseason departures of Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng had initially positioned Winslow as an obvious choice to claim a starting role on the wing, but the versatile 20-year-old could now be a candidate to start at power forward after Chris Bosh (blood clots) failed to receive clearance for training camp and may have played his last game with the Heat. In preparation of the possibility of a Bosh absence, the Heat added Derrick Williams and Willie Reed in free agency and re-signed Udonis Haslem for depth at power forward, but none profile as ideal replacement options in the starting lineup. As a result, coach Erik Spoelstra could choose to roll out small-ball lineups on a regular basis, which would allow Winslow to pick up more time at power forward while Dion Waiters, Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson and Luke Babbitt pick up most of the action at small forward. Such an arrangement would likely aid Winslow's rebound totals, but no matter how it shakes out, the second-year player is set to see a substantial increase in court time from his rookie year. While Winslow showed limited aptitude as a scorer in 2015-16, averaging just 6.5 points per game on 42.3 percent shooting from the field, there should be plenty of shots to go around now that Wade, Bosh and Deng are out of the mix, and that added volume should only aid Winslow's offensive outputs.

Heat's Chris Bosh: Playing career could be over
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(9/24/2016) Members of the Heat organization increasingly believe that Bosh's (blood clots) tenure with the franchise is over, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.

After seeing his past two seasons come to an early end due to blood clot episodes, Bosh failed his preseason physical earlier this week and remains without a definite timetable for his return. While Bosh intimated earlier in the offseason that he hoped to get back on the court for training camp while taking blood-thinning medications, doctors weren't willing to clear him after determining that evidence of clotting still existed in his calf. Bosh's insistence that he's capable of playing and the Heat's subsequent unwilling to clear him has soured his relationship with the team brass, as Wojnarowski reports that Bosh hasn't spoken with team president Pat Riley for months. Since Bosh remains signed for three more years and $76 million, the Heat are on the hook for his entire contract, and are unable to waive him until Feb. 9 in order for his contract not to count against the salary cap. Assuming that team doctors don't budge from their assessment of Bosh's condition within the next few months, look for the Heat to release him shortly before the All-Star break, which would effectively end his NBA career.

Pelicans' Solomon Hill: Could see some time at power forward
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(9/24/2016) Pelicans GM Dell Demps said Friday that Hill could see some time at power forward during the upcoming season, John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

After inking a four-year, $50 million deal with the Pelicans on the first day of free agency, Hill is the leading contender to start at small forward, but with the team having Lance Stephenson, Dante Cunningham and Alonzo Gee on hand as depth at the position, Hill may see additional usage in the frontcourt. Any time he gets at power forward would likely be minimal, however, as All-Star Anthony Davis is the starter at that spot, while Terrence Jones looks to be first in line for minutes behind him.

Pistons' Darrun Hilliard: Will see practice time restricted in camp
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(9/24/2016) Hilliard (back) will be restricted to one practice per day during training camp, Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports.

By all indications, Hilliard has fully recovered from the lower-back strain that ailed him for much of the summer, so the Pistons are just exercising some caution by limiting his practice time. He's still expected to suit up during preseason games and open the regular season as an available option off the bench. While coach Stan Van Gundy has mentioned a desire to get more minutes from his bench this season, it appears as though Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock would be first in line to see their respective roles expand.

Jazz's Eric Dawson: Joins Jazz
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(9/23/2016) Dawson signed a training camp deal with the Jazz on Friday.

Dawson will have a tough time making the final roster with just four total NBA appearances under his belt when with the Spurs back during the 2011-12 season.

Kevin Garnett: Plans to retire
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(9/23/2016) Garnett has decided to retire, Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune reports.

Garnett averaged a career-low 14.6 minutes per game last season, not to even mention that he only suited up for 38 games. At 40 years old, recurring knee issues likely propelled his decision to retire after an illustrious 22 seasons in the league. His likely Hall of Fame career resulted in 15 All-Star appearances and currently ranks him 3rd all time in minutes played with 50,418.

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