NBA season to start Dec. 22!

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  • Brooklyn Nets
    Brooklyn Nets
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  • James Harden
    James Harden
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Play Ball!

Hey there! Long time, no see. The NBA news cycle is about to get crazy again with news that the season will start on Dec. 22, with training camps opening on Dec. 1 and the NBA Draft happening on Dec. 18, with free agency following shortly after. Each team will play 72 instead of 82 games in a shortened season, meaning less travel, but more back-to-back games. Hopefully, fewer games and less travel will help to give us a load management break, but I’m afraid the same guys who were rested intermittently last season will go through the same routine again.

The other interesting thing about the Dec. 22 start date is that Danny Green said recently he thinks LeBron James and other players might balk at starting the season that early. LeBron has an offseason routine and would like to stick to it, but now that the Dec. 22 start is a lock, hopefully those players will change their mind and be ready to go.

Fear the Beard

New Sixers President Daryl Morey says he’s going to try to put together a trade package in hopes of acquiring James Harden from the Rockets, Morey’s former team. I don’t see anyway Harden is going anywhere, but you’ve got to admire Morey’s optimism. In other Harden news, new Rockets coach Stephen Silas says he’s going to tweak Houston’s offense and it’s possible he could take away some Harden isos, but I don’t see his fantasy value taking any kind of hit. Morey also says he thinks he can win a championship with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and he’s not the first guy in Philly to think that. And like I said, props again to Morey for his optimism.

In other Houston news, Silas doesn’t sound too psyched about starting 6’5” P.J. Tucker at center, like Mike D’Antoni did last season, and wants to find a traditional center. The Rockets don’t have cap space so they’d have to pull off a trade to make it happen. Speaking of Houston centers, I’m interested to see what Clint Capela can do in Atlanta this season after never playing in a game after being traded last year due to a foot injury. He’s healthy and ready to go.

The New Jersey Raptors?

The Raptors may be forced out of Toronto due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and they have targeted Newark, New Jersey as a home base for operations. Other cities said to be in play for the Raptors include Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Nashville and Kansas City. I think it’d be pretty cool for fans in a non-NBA city to get to host an NBA team, even if it’s only temporary.

Piston Bigs

Blake Griffin, who had knee surgery in January, is good to go this season. But he’s 31 years old and his knees are about 53 years old, making him a big time load management guy. A healthy Griffin also impacts Christian Wood, who is one of fantasy’s favorite sleepers this season. Wood’s a free agent so there’s no guarantee that he returns to the Pistons this season, but if he does a healthy Griffin could stunt Wood’s growth a bit. But I still love the thought of drafting Wood this year, regardless of where he ends up.

Celtics On the Move?

The Celtics are reportedly offering all three of their first-round picks in hopes of moving up in the draft. They’ve got a lot of guaranteed contracts and could probably do more with one solid pick than three later ones.

Pelicans Moving Jrue?

The Pelicans are said to be open to moving Jrue Holiday and are said to be in talks with several contending teams. If Holiday goes, Lonzo Ball could take another bit step forward this season. Even if Jrue stays, I’m still going to be targeting Ball in most of my drafts.

Wiseman Not A Wolves Fan

James Wiseman, who’s expected to be a high lottery pick despite playing just three games in his lone season at Memphis, doesn’t want to be drafted by the Timberwolves, according to Brian Windhorst. Windy says the center doesn’t want to play behind Karl-Anthony Towns, nor does he want anything to do with the Wolves in general. Maybe the weather in Minneapolis has something to do with it, too.

We are feverishly working on the NBA Draft Guide right now with hopes of launching it some time around Nov. 17. It’s been a pretty strange process considering the NBA Draft and Free Agency haven’t even happened yet, but I’m confident we’ll still put out the best product on the market. Possibly in less than two weeks! No promises on the date, but that's our plan.