Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andre Miller is away from the team for personal reasons and won't play in Saturday's preseason game.
He probably needs the preseason reps less than any other member of the T-Wolves' backcourt, and all indications are that he will be ready to go for the start of the regular season.
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal tallied 12 points (5-14 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 1-1 FT), three assists, and eight rebounds in 24 minutes in Friday's 115-104 loss to the New York Knicks .
Beal has embraced his 45 minutes of total court time over the first two exhibitions, attempting 27 shots over that span and contributing all over the floor. On Friday, Beal's shooting wasn't as sharp as an opener where he nailed 69 percent of his buckets, but the 23-year-old guard hauled in an outstanding eight boards. He has started slowly from long range this preseason, going only 2-of-8 from beyond the arc, but that number figures to creep much closer to his career 40 percent figure in that category over time.
Beal is undoubtedly hoping for a healthy preseason above all else, after spraining his wrist in the 2014-15 exhibition slate and eventually missing the first seven games of the regular season as a result. With his defensive prowess, superior shooting ability from all areas of the court, and the benefit of playing alongside one of the league's best point guards in John Wall , Beal shapes up as a solid early-to-mid-round pick in drafts.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dion Waiters put up 19 points (6-9 FG, 3-3 3PT, 4-4 FT), two rebounds and two assists in a blowout win over Turkish side Fenerbahce on Friday.
Waiters can put up numbers like these, but usually against weaker competition. The former Syracuse Orange player can be enraging to watch, as he takes some of the toughest shots possible, while dribbling the air out of the ball. He doesn't quite fit in with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant , so his role will be to fill in when neither of them are on the floor and carry the scoring for the Oklahoma City Thunder in those instances. Scoring is the only true category that Waiters can help owners with and that makes his value quite limited.
Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward recorded 24 points (6-11 FG, 4-6 3PT, 8-8 FT), four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block across 32 minutes in a 101-85 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday.
It was a fantastic performance from the former Butler Bulldogs star and he appears to be right in mid-season form. Not only can Hayward provide in nearly every category, he's the only true scorer on this Jazz roster. Look for Hayward to back up his career 2014-15 season with yet another great season.
New Orleans Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans nearly posted a double-double Friday, collecting 17 points (8-15 FG, 1-3 3Pt), two assists, and nine rebounds in 24 minutes of a 103-93 loss to the Atlanta Hawks .
Evans has apparently been slotted primarily as a point guard in 2015-16 as per head coach Alvin Gentry, and certainly outshined presumed starter Jrue Holiday in his first action of the preseason. The 26-year-old shot extremely well and was also highly productive on the defensive glass, with eight of his nine boards coming on that end of the floor. The New Orleans Pelicans starting point guard situation appears to be shaping up as one to monitor over the balance of the preseason, particularly if Evans continues to post quality outings similar to Friday's contest. Evans is expected to receive healthy minutes and round out the stat sheet on the majority of nights regardless of his regular-season role, making him a worthwhile mid-round selection in drafts.
Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver collected 10 points (2-6 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 5-5 FT), an assist, and four rebounds over 19 minutes in Friday's 103-93 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans .
Korver was able to break the ice shooting-wise Friday, making his first two field goals of the exhibition slate, including one of his trademark buckets from beyond the arc. The 34-year-old is once again expected to man the starting shooting guard for the Atlanta Hawks , for which he has progressively increased his points-per-game average and three-point accuracy rate over his three-season tenure. Korver will undoubtedly be counted on for his outstanding production from beyond the arc, a category in which he tallied an incredible 49.7 percent success rate in 2014-15.
Atlanta Hawks guard Kent Bazemore posted 10 points (2-3 FG, 6-7 FT), an assist, three rebounds, four steals, and a block over 20 minutes on the court in Friday's 103-93 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans .
Bazemore has strong offensively over the first two preseason contests, tallying 64 percent accuracy on 7-for-11 shooting from the field, including two three-pointers. The 26-year-old shooting guard was also a frequent visitor to the free throw line Friday, sinking six of his seven attempts from the line. He was highly impressive on defense as well, with his four swipes representing a career-high. Bazemore is expected to once again serve as a quality guard off the bench for the Atlanta Hawks , as Kyle Kover appears firmly entrenched in the starter's role. His uncertain playing time makes Bazemore only a speculative add in deep leagues.
Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder poured in 11 points (3-8 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 4-4 FT, two assists and a rebound over 16 minutes in Friday's 103-93 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans .
Schroeder displayed his typical efficiency, making his most of his time on the court. Friday's stat line is one that will likely be seen from the 23-year-old during the regular season when he serves as the primary backup to Jeff Teague . Schroeder will likely tally an average number of minutes close to the 19.7 he posted in 2014-15, somewhat capping his offensive potential in fantasy leagues, despite his trademark productivity in limited opportunities.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lou Williams registered 19 points (6-15 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 5-7 FT), two assists, and a rebound in 24 minutes during Thursday's preseason loss to the Toronto Raptors .
Williams wasn't particularly efficient while dominating the ball Thursday, and he also committed five fouls during his time on the court. That said, he's been able to give the Los Angeles Lakers the scoring spark their looking for off the bench, as he's provided 14 or more points in all three of the team's preseason games. He's been particularly adept at getting to the free-throw line during the exhibition schedule, already racking up 26 attempts while hitting 22 of those shots.
Randy Foye received the start at shooting guard in Thursday's preseason win over the Bulls and supplied four points (2-3 FG, 0-1 3Pt), two rebounds, and an assist in 19 minutes.
It was a rather modest showing for Foye, who is locked into a competition with second-year player Gary Harris for the starting role. Harris is regarded as the superior defender of the two players, and has helped his cause by submitting double-digit scoring efforts in each of the Denver Nuggets ' three preseason games. That may give him a leg up in the job battle for now over Foye, who has shot 3-for-8 from three-point range over the three contests but has otherwise been largely quiet.