Fantasy Basketball

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    NBA Stock Watch: Week 18

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    Waiver Wire: Trade rush potential

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    Trade deadline wrapup

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    Cavs shake up Fantasy landscape

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    Trade Deadline Preview

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    Waiver Wire: Deadline adds drama

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    Post-ASB breakout candidates

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    Fantasy Hoops Injury Report

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    Stock Watch: Trending up & down

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    Analyzing Wall's injury, Griffin trade

  • Player News
    • John Wall WAS PG
      Wizards' John Wall: No longer using crutches
      8h ago

      Wall (knee) is no longer using crutches, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post reports.

      Wall made the revelation during his media availability over All-Star Weekend, remarking that he's done with the crutches less than three weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee. Still, Wall did not have much to say when asked to gauge when he might return to game action. "I really don't know because I'm just doing everything the doctors are telling me," Wall said. "I haven't really tried to get back on the court yet so, just doing the little things. And I haven't started running yet. So whenever I get to that point I can kind of start grasping stuff and understanding what level I'm at but right now it's between six-to-eight weeks. It might be longer but I don't know. I haven't got to that point." Wall went on to confirm that he'll begin traveling with the team after the All-Star break, but at this point it seems unlikely that he'll be back on the court until sometime in mid-to-late-March, at the earliest. Washington has 25 regular season games remaining, 14 of which will be played on their home court.

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    • Jimmy Butler MIN SG
      Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler: Sits out All-Star Game with apparent illness
      13h ago

      Butler didn't play in Sunday's All-Star Game due to an illness and was eager to rest up for the second half, Chris Chavez of Sports Illustrated reports.

      While Butler was a full participant in warmups and an elaborate pregame ceremony, the versatile wing didn't log a minute in the game itself, with the telecast noting that he was feeling under the weather. Butler's absence may have been a minor disappointment as Team Stephen ultimately fell 148-145, but all indications are that he'll be ready when the Timberwolves begin their post-break schedule Friday in Houston.

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    • Joakim Noah NY C
      Knicks' Joakim Noah: Barred from team 'until further notice'
      14h ago

      Knicks general manager Scott Perry said shortly after the Feb. 8 trade deadline that Noah will remain away from the team "until further notice," Marc Berman of the New York Post reports.

      The Knicks were surely hopeful to find a trade partner for Noah at the deadline, but that was always going to be a tall task with the veteran center's performance having declined sharply over the past two-plus years and more than $40 million remaining on his contract. It looks increasingly likely that the Knicks will eventually just write Noah off as a sunk cost and release him, as his relationship with the organization appears irreparable after he engaged in a verbal feud with head coach Jeff Hornacek during a Jan. 24 practice that resulted in the 32-year-old being restrained by teammates. The Knicks decided against suspending Noah for the incident and have instead opted for a mutual separation that could very well end up being a permanent one.

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    • Stephen Curry GS PG
      Warriors' Stephen Curry: Struggles with shot in loss
      19h ago

      Curry collected 11 points (4-14 FG, 3-11 3Pt), six rebounds, five assists and one steal in 26 minutes during Sunday's 148-145 loss to Team LeBron in the All-Star game.

      Curry failed to impress as team captain in Sunday's All-Star loss to Team LeBron. Curry along with James Harden (12 points on 5-of-19 shooting) both struggled with their shots as they blew a lead late in the game. The change in the team selection process appears to have breathed new life into the format, ensuring the games will be hotly contested in the coming years. Poor shooting aside, Curry is still going to be flirting with top three value as the Warriors look to stave off the Rocket to secure the number one seed in the Western Conference.

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    • Damian Lillard POR PG
      Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard: Leads team with 21 points
      19h ago

      Lillard totaled 21 points (9-14 FG, 3-8 3Pt), three rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes during Sunday's 148-145 loss to Team LeBron in the All-Star game.

      Lillard saw 20 minutes off the bench in Sunday's All-Star game, tying DeMar DeRozan with 21 points to lead the team. This was a step-up from previous All-Star games with the defense noticeably more prolific from both teams. Lillard was still able to find his way to the basket with regularity, something he has been doing all season for the Trail Blazers. He has scored a combined 133 points over his last three regular-season games and looks set to finish the season with a flurry as the team fights for a playoff berth.

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    • Karl-Anthony Towns MIN C
      Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns: Double-doubles in loss
      20h ago

      Towns had 17 points (7-11 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT), and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes during Sunday's 148-145 loss to Team LeBron in the All-Star game.

      Towns looked very comfortable in his first All-Star game, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He has been a double-double machine this season and was able to carry over that form in just 18 minutes of court-time. The Wolves are currently in a battle with the Spurs for the third and fourth positions in the West and Towns is going to be a big part of the push. He has had many games this season where he appears secondary on offense, something the Wolves can hopefully figure out as the regular season draws to its conclusion.

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    • Joakim Noah NY C
      Knicks' Joakim Noah: Barred from team 'until further notice'
      14h ago

      Knicks general manager Scott Perry said shortly after the Feb. 8 trade deadline that Noah will remain away from the team "until further notice," Marc Berman of the New York Post reports.

      The Knicks were surely hopeful to find a trade partner for Noah at the deadline, but that was always going to be a tall task with the veteran center's performance having declined sharply over the past two-plus years and more than $40 million remaining on his contract. It looks increasingly likely that the Knicks will eventually just write Noah off as a sunk cost and release him, as his relationship with the organization appears irreparable after he engaged in a verbal feud with head coach Jeff Hornacek during a Jan. 24 practice that resulted in the 32-year-old being restrained by teammates. The Knicks decided against suspending Noah for the incident and have instead opted for a mutual separation that could very well end up being a permanent one.

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    • Karl-Anthony Towns MIN C
      Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns: Double-doubles in loss
      20h ago

      Towns had 17 points (7-11 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT), and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes during Sunday's 148-145 loss to Team LeBron in the All-Star game.

      Towns looked very comfortable in his first All-Star game, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds. He has been a double-double machine this season and was able to carry over that form in just 18 minutes of court-time. The Wolves are currently in a battle with the Spurs for the third and fourth positions in the West and Towns is going to be a big part of the push. He has had many games this season where he appears secondary on offense, something the Wolves can hopefully figure out as the regular season draws to its conclusion.

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    • Joel Embiid PHI C
      76ers' Joel Embiid: Plays well in All-Star loss
      20h ago

      Embiid finished with 19 points (8-13 FG, 2-4 2Pt, 1-1 FT), eight rebounds, two blocks, one assist, and one steal in 20 minutes during Sunday's 148-145 loss to Team LeBron in the All-Star game.

      Embiid only saw 20 minutes of court-time in Sundays All-Star clash, but appeared healthy and looks set to play in the 76ers first game back. The game was played with much more intensity than the last few seasons, allowing Embiid to flourish on both ends of the floor. He looked right at home with the other superstars and should find himself playing in many more All-Star games across the course of his career. The 76ers are going to be fighting for a playoff position until the final day of the season and owners of Embiid should feel quite confident in him playing the majority of the games, up to and including the fantasy playoffs.

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    • Joel Embiid PHI C
      76ers' Joel Embiid: Cleared for All-Star game
      1d ago

      Embiid (ankle) will play in the All-Star game on Sunday, Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.

      Embiid missed the Sixers' final contest before the break with a sore right ankle, but it's improved enough over the last few days where he's comfortable to take the court for the All-Star game. Barring any setbacks, that means Embiid should be good to go when the schedule resumes on Thursday against the Bulls, so fantasy owners shouldn't be overly concerned about his availability moving forward. Embiid also took part in the 2018 Skills Challenge on Saturday, though he wasn't able to come up with the win.

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    • Channing Frye LAL C
      Lakers' Channing Frye: Undergoes appendectomy
      2d ago

      Frye underwent an appendectomy Friday and will be evaluated in a week, Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet reports.

      With reports of Frye being evaluated in one week, it appears he'll be absent from the team's first game back from the All-Star break, with a chance of plying Feb. 24 against Sacramento. While he's sidelined, Ivica Zubac could see more run, as he played a season-high 20 minutes Thursday, producing 19 points and 11 rebounds.

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    • Domantas Sabonis IND C
      Pacers' Domantas Sabonis: Double-doubles off bench in Rising Stars Challenge
      3d ago

      Sabonis generated 13 points (6-6 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 0-1 FT), 11 rebounds and three assists across 19 minutes during Team World's 155-124 win over Team USA in the Rising Stars Challenge.

      Sabonis made the most of his modest time on the court, turning in a perfect tally from the field. The 21-year-old has been revelation in his second season, with the move to the Pacers from the Thunder opening up considerably more opportunity. Sabonis has drastically improved the majority of his numbers across the stat sheet while logging 19 starts due to injuries to Myles Turner, and his strong scoring and rebounding numbers should persist during the balance of the regular season despite what projects to be a second-unit role.

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    • Anthony Davis NO PF
      Pelicans' Anthony Davis: Scores 12 points in All-Star victory
      20h ago

      Davis produced 12 points (6-9 FG, 0-1 3Pt), two rebounds and one assist in 16 minutes during Sunday's 148-145 victory over Team Stephen in the All-Star game.

      Davis saw limited court-time in Monday's All-Star clash, finishing with just 12 points. It was a far cry from his 52 point effort in last years matchup, but this game was played at a much higher intensity, limiting individual performances. Davis appeared fully healthy and only saw reduced run due to the matchups. He looks ready to go as the Pelicans try to hang onto one of the final playoff spots and barring any injury setbacks, should make a push for the number one overall rank come seasons end.

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    • LaMarcus Aldridge SA PF
      Spurs' LaMarcus Aldridge: Plays just four minutes in All-Star game
      20h ago

      Aldridge recorded just a solitary block in four minutes during Sunday's 148-145 victory over Team Stephen in the All-Star game.

      Aldridge (knee) missed the final two games leading into the break and was basically ruled out of this one prior to tip-off. His knee injury doesn't sound serious but is worth keeping an eye on as the Spurs look to try and lock up a top-four position in the West.

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    • Larry Nance Jr. LAL PF
      Cavaliers' Larry Nance: Loses in Slam Dunk finals
      2d ago

      Nance lost to Donovan Mitchell in the finals of Saturday's Verizon Slam Dunk.

      The new Cavalier paid tribute to his father in the contest, wearing a throwback jersey and duplicating one of his winning dunks from 1984 for his first salvo of the opening round before taking a pass from his pops in the finals, and while Nance had what may have been the single best dunk in the entire contest -- passing the ball to himself off the backboard then tapping the glass again before slamming it home -- it wasn't enough to top Mitchell. Nance headed into the All-Star break averaging 8.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals in 44 games, and those numbers don't seem likely to improve given his role so far in Cleveland.

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    • Lauri Markkanen CHI PF
      Bulls' Lauri Markkanen: Falls in finals of Skills Challenge
      2d ago

      Markkanen was downed by Spencer Dinwiddie in the finals of Saturday's Taco Bell Skills Challenge.

      Big men had won the competition each of the last two years, but Markkanen wasn't able to make it three straight after getting past Andre Drummond and Joel Embiid in the first two rounds. Markkanen headed into the All-Star break averaging 15.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.2 three-pointers per game, reaching 100 made three-pointers in his 41st game -- the fastest pace in NBA history to begin a career.

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    • John Collins ATL PF
      Hawks' John Collins: Double-digit point total in Rising Stars Challenge
      3d ago

      Collins posted 11 points (5-8 FG, 1-2 FT), three rebounds and two steals across 23 minutes during Team USA's 155-124 loss to Team World in the Rising Stars Challenge.

      The emerging big man drew the start at power forward and finished a distant second on the starting five to the Celtics' Jaylen Brown in scoring. The Wake Forest alum hasn't surpassed veteran Ersan Ilyasova in the Hawks' frontcourt rotation for the starting power forward job, but he's still seeing a solid 22.3 minutes per contest while averaging 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.2 blocks across 53 games. Even if he remains in his second-unit role for the remainder of the regular season, Collins should continue providing solid scoring and rebounding numbers for fantasy owners. Moreover, if Atlanta opts to focus on the development of its younger players during the stretch run, the rookie could certainly enjoy a larger role.

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    • Kyle Kuzma LAL PF
      Lakers' Kyle Kuzma: Bench-leading scoring total in defeat
      3d ago

      Kuzma poured in 20 points (9-18 FG, 2-7 3Pt) and added seven rebounds and two assists across 19 minutes during Team USA's 155-124 loss to Team World in the Rising Stars Challenge.

      The offensively proficient rookie's scoring total led the Team USA bench, and he was second only to Jaylen Brown in shot attempts on the team. Kuzma has endured his fair share of inconsistency throughout his first season, not exactly a surprising development for a young player. However, the highs have been considerably high for Kuzma, who's scored 20 or more points on 17 occasions over his first 56 games. Julius Randle appears to have a firm hold on the Lakers' starting power forward job, but with Larry Nance's recent departure to Cleveland, Kuzma appears to have a secure and robust second-unit role locked down for the remainder of his rookie campaign.

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    • Kevin Durant GS SF
      Warriors' Kevin Durant: Scores 19 points in All-Star epic
      20h ago

      Durant had 19 points (7-13 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block in 29 minutes during Sunday's 148-145 victory over Team Stephen in the All-Star game.

      Durant was pivotal in Team LeBron recording a come from behind victory, proving to the fans that the All-Star concept is alive and well. The game was played in good spirits, however, there was certainly more feeling than in previous years. Durant and the Warriors sit in the unfamiliar position of second in the Western Conference. With the stellar play of James Harden and Rockets, Durant is likely going to play most of the games down the stretch, or at least until the standings are finalized. Deploy him with confidence.

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    • LeBron James CLE SF
      Cavaliers' LeBron James: Collects MVP in All-Star game
      20h ago

      James finished with 29 points (12-17 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 1-1 FT), 10 rebounds, eight assists and one steal in 31 minutes during Sunday's 148-145 victory over Team Stephen in the All-Star game.

      James collected the Most Valuable Player award in Sunday's All-Star game, leading his team to victory in a spirited encounter. The new format seems to have rejuvenated the format with this game seeing plenty of defense and even a number of free-throw attempts. James appears ready to go for the playoff push, and with the injection of new talent around him, should be primed to finish the season as a top-five fantasy asset.

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    • Tobias Harris LAC SF
      Clippers' Tobias Harris: Strong showing in Three-Point Challenge
      2d ago

      Harris posted a score of 18 in the final round of Saturday's JBL Three-Point Challenge, losing to Devin Booker.

      He racked up 19 points in the opening round, and in both rounds he came out on fire before fading in the later racks as his legs grew tired. The centerpiece of the package the Pistons gave up for Blake Griffin, Harris averaged 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.7 threes and 1.5 steals in six games with the Clippers following the deal, and he should be able to match or even top those numbers down the stretch.

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    • Jayson Tatum BOS SF
      Celtics' Jayson Tatum: Solid effort off bench in Rising Stars Challenge
      3d ago

      Tatum provided 15 points (7-13 FG, 1-5 3Pt), four rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block across 26 minutes during Team USA's 155-124 loss to Team World in the Rising Stars Challenge.

      The star rookie carried over his strong play into Friday's exhibition, with his scoring total checking in third on the team behind teammate Jaylen Brown and fellow first-year standout Kyle Kuzma. Tatum's learning curve has likely been accelerated by a significant amount as part of the domino effect of Gordon Hayward's catastrophic ankle injury on Opening Night, and the extra floor time has helped lead to averages of 13.5 points (on 47.5 percent shooting, including 42.7 percent from three-point range), 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists across 31.0 minutes in 59 games. While his 10.0 shot attempts per contest are a relatively modest amount that have capped his scoring contributions to an extent, Tatum should only get better as the Celtics push for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

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    • Khris Middleton MIL SF
      Bucks' Khris Middleton: Average game in loss
      4d ago

      Middleton recorded 17 points (7-17 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-3 FT), seven rebounds, two steals and one block during Thursday's 134-123 loss to the visiting Nuggets.

      Aside from his 35-point outing on Jan. 22, Middleton has hovered around his season average of 20.0 points per contest during his last 11 games. In addition, the Texas A&M product continues to struggle from three-point range, as his 34.6 three-point shooting percentage has dropped considerably from last season when he shot a 43.3-percent clip. Middleton will continue to find shots from behind the arc, it's just a matter of if he can recapture his efficiency from last season.

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    • Derrick Jones Jr. MIA SF
      Heat's Derrick Jones: Great all-around game
      4d ago

      Jones recorded 19 points (8-10 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), nine rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals during Tuesday's 125-102 defeat of the Hustle.

      The UNLV product came a rebound short of producing a double-double but still managed a great all-around game. Jones has shown the ability to reach the 30-point mark occasionally, as his Jan. 13 outing proves. During his second season in the G-League, the 21-year-old forward is averaging a decent 15.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest.

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    • Jimmy Butler MIN SG
      Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler: Sits out All-Star Game with apparent illness
      13h ago

      Butler didn't play in Sunday's All-Star Game due to an illness and was eager to rest up for the second half, Chris Chavez of Sports Illustrated reports.

      While Butler was a full participant in warmups and an elaborate pregame ceremony, the versatile wing didn't log a minute in the game itself, with the telecast noting that he was feeling under the weather. Butler's absence may have been a minor disappointment as Team Stephen ultimately fell 148-145, but all indications are that he'll be ready when the Timberwolves begin their post-break schedule Friday in Houston.

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    • Donovan Mitchell UTA SG
      Jazz's Donovan Mitchell: Takes home Slam Dunk title
      2d ago

      Mitchell defeated Larry Nance Jr. in the final round of Saturday's Verizon Slam Dunk, scoring 98 of a possible 100 on his two final-round dunks.

      Both finalists leaned heavily on history in the competition, with Nance taking a pass from his father on one dunk and wearing his dad's jersey while duplicating one of his winning jams from 1984 on another, while Mitchell wore both a Vince Carter throwback jersey and a retro uniform for Jazz great (and fellow Louisville alum) Darrell "Dr. Dunkenstein" Griffith, complete with too-tight short shorts. Mitchell remains the favorite for the Rookie of the Year Award, averaging 19.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 three-pointers and 1.5 steals through 55 games, and his win here won't hurt his case at season's end.

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    • Klay Thompson GS SG
      Warriors' Klay Thompson: Comes up short in Three-Point Challenge
      2d ago

      Thompson scored 25 points in the final round of Saturday's JBL Three-Point Challenge, falling to Devin Booker's record-setting 28.

      After posting a solid 19 in the opening round, Thompson seemed poised for his second title in the event, but he couldn't quite match Booker's blistering pace. Thompson headed into the All-Star break averaging 20.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.2 threes and 2.5 assists through 57 games, putting the Splash Brother on pace for his fourth straight 20-point campaign.

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    • Devin Booker PHO SG
      Suns' Devin Booker: Record-setting performance in Three-Point Challenge
      2d ago

      Booker set a new record with 28 of a possible 34 points in the final round to win Saturday's JBL Three-Point Challenge.

      After warming up with a score of 19 in the opening round, Booker was lights out in the finals to beat Klay Thompson and Tobias Harris. The Suns star sank 20 of 25 balls in the final, tying the record held by Craig Hodges and Jason Kapono, while his 28 points topped the previous record of 27 shared by Thompson and Steph Curry. Booker has battled some injuries this season, but he headed into the All-Star break healthy, averaging 24.2 points, 4.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 three-pointers per game -- all career highs.

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    • Donovan Mitchell UTA SG
      Jazz's Donovan Mitchell: Shot goes cold in Rising Stars Challenge
      3d ago

      Mitchell tallied seven points (3-10 FG, 1-6 3Pt), seven assists, two rebounds, five steals and two blocks across 23 minutes during Team USA's 155-124 loss to Team World in the Rising Stars Challenge.

      The rookie couldn't quite find the net on a consistent basis, although he did manage a team-high number of assists and steals. Mitchell headed into the All-Star break in the midst of a torrid stretch, as he'd averaged 25.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.0 steal over 38.0 minutes in his last four games while putting up a whopping 24.3 shot attempts. The 21-year-old has been a pivotal component of a Jazz offense that's increasingly surprised with its firepower as the season has unfolded. Given that he's already well established as the team's most consistent scoring weapon by a fairly wide margin -- and that former position mate Rodney Hood is no longer around to compete for playing time -- Mitchell's fantasy value should remain at near-elite levels as Utah continues to battle for playoff positioning.

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    • Jaylen Brown BOS SG
      Celtics' Jaylen Brown: Spearheads Team USA in Rising Stars Challenge
      3d ago

      Brown registered 35 points (14-21 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 4-4 FT), 10 rebounds, one assist and one steal across 24 minutes during Team USA's 155-124 loss to Team World in the Rising Stars Challenge.

      Brown exploded for a game-high scoring total with a blistering effort from the field, and he managed a team-best rebound tally along the way. The performance was one befitting of the 21-year-old's emerging and diverse skill set, one that's helped him average 14.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steal across 31.6 minutes in 54 games. The second-year swingman has often complemented his offensive contributions with solid defense, and although his usage is typically well below Friday's levels while playing alongside Kyrie Irving, he projects as a solid asset across all formats for the remainder of the regular season.

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    • John Wall WAS PG
      Wizards' John Wall: No longer using crutches
      8h ago

      Wall (knee) is no longer using crutches, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post reports.

      Wall made the revelation during his media availability over All-Star Weekend, remarking that he's done with the crutches less than three weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee. Still, Wall did not have much to say when asked to gauge when he might return to game action. "I really don't know because I'm just doing everything the doctors are telling me," Wall said. "I haven't really tried to get back on the court yet so, just doing the little things. And I haven't started running yet. So whenever I get to that point I can kind of start grasping stuff and understanding what level I'm at but right now it's between six-to-eight weeks. It might be longer but I don't know. I haven't got to that point." Wall went on to confirm that he'll begin traveling with the team after the All-Star break, but at this point it seems unlikely that he'll be back on the court until sometime in mid-to-late-March, at the earliest. Washington has 25 regular season games remaining, 14 of which will be played on their home court.

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    • Stephen Curry GS PG
      Warriors' Stephen Curry: Struggles with shot in loss
      19h ago

      Curry collected 11 points (4-14 FG, 3-11 3Pt), six rebounds, five assists and one steal in 26 minutes during Sunday's 148-145 loss to Team LeBron in the All-Star game.

      Curry failed to impress as team captain in Sunday's All-Star loss to Team LeBron. Curry along with James Harden (12 points on 5-of-19 shooting) both struggled with their shots as they blew a lead late in the game. The change in the team selection process appears to have breathed new life into the format, ensuring the games will be hotly contested in the coming years. Poor shooting aside, Curry is still going to be flirting with top three value as the Warriors look to stave off the Rocket to secure the number one seed in the Western Conference.

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    • Damian Lillard POR PG
      Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard: Leads team with 21 points
      19h ago

      Lillard totaled 21 points (9-14 FG, 3-8 3Pt), three rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes during Sunday's 148-145 loss to Team LeBron in the All-Star game.

      Lillard saw 20 minutes off the bench in Sunday's All-Star game, tying DeMar DeRozan with 21 points to lead the team. This was a step-up from previous All-Star games with the defense noticeably more prolific from both teams. Lillard was still able to find his way to the basket with regularity, something he has been doing all season for the Trail Blazers. He has scored a combined 133 points over his last three regular-season games and looks set to finish the season with a flurry as the team fights for a playoff berth.

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    • Spencer Dinwiddie BKN PG
      Nets' Spencer Dinwiddie: Wins Skills Challenge
      2d ago

      Dinwiddie defeated Lauri Markkanen in the finals of Saturday's Taco Bell Skills Challenge.

      The Nets guard ended the two-year reign of big men in the competition, getting by Buddy Hield and Jamal Murray in come-from-behind fashion in the first two rounds before handily dispatching Markkanen. Dinwiddie headed into the All-Star break averaging career highs in points (13.6), assists (6.7), rebounds (3.3) and three-pointers (1.9) through 58 games, but he'll need to hold off D'Angelo Russell for the starting point guard job to maintain that pace down the stretch.

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    • Dennis Smith Jr. DAL PG
      Mavericks' Dennis Smith: Modest line in Rising Stars Challenge loss
      3d ago

      Smith collected just seven points (3-10 FG, 1-5 3Pt), six assists and four rebounds across 21 minutes during Team USA's 155-124 loss to Team World in the Rising Stars Challenge.

      The energetic rookie couldn't get much going with his shot, but he managed to offer serviceable contributions elsewhere on the stat sheet. Smith's shooting struggles have been a troublesome trend at times during his first campaign, and he headed into the All-Star break having posted a mediocre 39.4 percent success rate from the field -- including 31.7 percent from distance -- during his first 50 games. The 2017 first-round pick's 4.9 assists also leave something to be desired for a starting point guard, but given his first-unit role and vast skill set, he's likely to continue trending upward the more he plays during the remainder of the regular season.

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    • Ben Simmons PHI PG
      76ers' Ben Simmons: Double-doubles in Rising Stars Challenge
      3d ago

      Simmons accounted for 11 points (5-5 FG, 1-1 FT), 13 assists, six rebounds and four steals across 23 minutes during Team World's 155-124 victory over Team USA in the Rising Stars Challenge.

      It was a typical stat line for Simmons while playing alongside Sixers teammates Dario Saric and Joel Embiid, as he dished out a game-high number of dimes. The second-year swingman has enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign that serves as his rookie season for all practical purposes, rewarding fantasy owners with stellar production across the stat sheet. Simmons has demonstrated impressive versatility as well, logging time at power forward early in the season before shifting to point guard. The ball-handling duties of the latter spot has boosted his already-impressive fantasy upside, and his value should remain robust as the Sixers make their push for the postseason throughout the balance of the regular season.

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