Monday, September 10, 2018
Devin Booker underwent surgery on Monday to repair the fifth metacarpophalangeal joint in his right (shooting) hand and his timetable has been set at six weeks. Unfortunately, this means that Booker will miss all of training camp and the preseason, and he won’t be ready for opening night. However, if he does meet the six-week timeline, he will only miss a maximum of three games. Booker could get off to a semi-slow start, but missing the first three games of the year isn’t the end of the world. He’s still primed for a big year as the lead dog in Phoenix and there’s a decent chance he’ll be a top-20 guy when he’s fully up to speed. This could slightly ding his draft stock, but there’s no way he’ll be falling out of Round 3.
The Suns have reportedly expressed interest in Patrick Beverley, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Cory Joseph, as they continue their search for a starting point guard after trading away Brandon Knight. All of these guys would make sense as they currently occupy a roster spot on guard-heavy teams, with Beverley and Dinwiddie making for the most intriguing additions in terms of fantasy hoops. Dinwiddie might be the most attractive asset to Phoenix as a 25-year-old guard who has shown he can be effective as a starter, but Beverley also makes sense considering his contract isn’t fully guaranteed. To be clear, nothing is imminent.
We got some more positive news on Kawhi Leonard with reports that he’s officially 100% and working without limitations. He’s reportedly looked “remarkable” at summer workouts in Toronto, and assistant coach Phil Handy said he’s moving well and doesn’t anticipate the quad being an issue this season. Rest is the best remedy for quad tendinopathy, and with the right treatment program, most athletes make a 100% recovery. Considering Leonard essentially took off the entire 2017-18 season, he should be ready to hit the ground running this season, and he’ll need to prove that he can stay healthy in a contract year. He’s still going to cost you a second-round pick, but it’s not often you can swoop up a top-5 talent outside of the first round. I’m just about ready to hop on the Leonard-train.
Keeping with the theme of positive offseason reports, Gordon Hayward (leg) is expected to be cleared for full-contact, 5-on-5 work by training camp and has reportedly been “moving great” at the Celtics training facility this summer. All signs point to him coming into the 2018-19 season 100%, but what will determine his fantasy value is where he falls in the pecking order of Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. He’s capable of posting top-30 value, but with all the mouths to feed in Boston, it’s possible he’ll be confined to the top-50 range.
Jeremy Lamb could start at shooting guard in Charlotte this season, according to plugged-in Hornets’ reporter, Rick Bonnell. Nicolas Batum tweeted earlier this summer that he expects to play more small forward this upcoming season under the new coaching staff, and there have been whispers that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will see a diminished role due to his offensive limitations, so a starting backcourt featuring Batum and Lamb makes sense. Lamb put in averages of 15.7 points, 5.6 boards, 3.3 dimes, 1.6 triples and 1.9 turnovers across 18 starts last season, so he’ll be someone to consider taking a flier on if he winds up with a starting gig.
Dewayne Dedmon suffered an avulsion fracture in his left ankle and he’ll be re-evaluated sometime this week. The injury is not serious, and will only require him to wear a walking boot for a bit, but he should be good to go by the start of the season. He’ll likely open the year as a starter, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him cede that spot to Alex Len at some point.
Dion Waiters has still not been cleared for contact after undergoing ankle surgery in January, which suggests he might not be ready for the start of training camp. He’s an unattractive fantasy target, regardless of his health.