Fantasy 30: Early-season buzz from each NBA team

Fantasy basketball managers have to wonder just how much gas Marc Gasol has left in the tank for the 2019-20 campaign. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Are you totally up to date on what's happening around the NBA? You have to be if you want to stay ahead of the competition in your fantasy league.

To help, we've done the work for you and compiled a look at the most fantasy-relevant news and notes for all 30 teams around the league.

Atlanta Hawks: Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce indicated Wednesday that rookie swingman Cam Reddish, the 10th overall pick this past June, would be restricted to 25 minutes in the season-opener on Thursday and Kevin Huerter would come off the bench and be limited to 15 minutes after missing the entire preseason. Keep this in mind when setting your lineups.

Boston Celtics: A name to keep an eye on as the season progresses: Robert Williams III. The second-year center played only 11 minutes against the 76ers on Wednesday, but his combination of size and athleticism give him a chance to take on a larger role as the season progresses, especially with Al Horford no longer on the roster. If he can carve out 15-18 minutes a night, he becomes a streaming option for rebounds and blocks.

Brooklyn Nets: All anyone will remember from the Nets' opener is Kyrie Irving's 50-point outing, but some other things stood out as well. For one, Taurean Prince played a team-high 41 minutes in route to 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. But maybe most notable is the way the rotation of Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan played out, with Allen getting the start and playing 36 minutes and Jordan being relegated to 17 minutes off the bench (2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist). It's doubtful that continues to play out that way, but it's worth tracking in the weeks ahead.

Charlotte Hornets: Terry Rozier got a lot of preseason pub after heading to Charlotte, but there are several other scorers on the Hornets to know about. PJ Washington, the 12th-overall pick this past June out of Kentucky, erupted for 27 points and connected on seven of 11 3-pointers in his NBA debut. And Dwayne Bacon, the third-year guard out of Florida State, led the Hornets with 21 shot attempts and finished with 22 points in the win over the Bulls on Wednesday. Both are on less than 5% of ESPN fantasy rosters.

Chicago Bulls: Tomas Satoransky got the start at point guard for the Bulls on Wednesday, but don't be surprised if this is a fluid situation, thanks in large part to the 17-point, 7-assist NBA debut of rookie lottery pick Coby White. White led the team's point guards with 27 minutes, while Satoransky and Kris Dunn each logged 24 minutes. Stay tuned.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Every year, there are players who suddenly start chucking up a ton more 3-pointers than ever before. Don't be surprised if Larry Nance Jr. fits that mold this season. John Beilein told The Athletic: "Anytime you guys talk to him, tell him, 'Coach wants you to shoot the 3.' You can tell him too, that when he's open he should not hesitate," Beilein told reporters. "He's a hybrid, he can shoot, he can really pass, he can guard multiple possessions. 'We want you out on the floor, but you can't turn down open shots.'" Nance was a 29.5 percent 3-point shooter (46-156) during his first four years in the league and went 1-of-5 from 3-point land in the season-opener.

Dallas Mavericks: Think Luka Doncic is ready for his second NBA season? According to ESPN Stats & Info, Doncic's 34 points against Washington on Wednesday was the highest-scoring season-opener by a player under 21 years old in NBA history. It's easy to forget, too, that Doncic finished his rookie season with a 21-point, 16-rebound, 11-assist effort against Phoenix. A second-rounder in most fantasy drafts this season, Doncic could work his way into the conversation as a late first-rounder next season if he has a lot of games like these.

Denver Nuggets: The hype surrounding Michael Porter Jr.'s first NBA game didn't amount to anything on Wednesday, as the No. 14 overall pick last June failed to play a minute against the Trail Blazers. And while the future is bright for the talented swingman, a path to consistent playing time remains murky at best with players like Jerami Grant and Torrey Craig on the Nuggets' roster. Porter isn't worth a roster spot in fantasy leagues at this time.

Detroit Pistons: The Pistons are being conservative with Blake Griffin's left hamstring soreness and posterior knee soreness, and they will start the season without him in the lineup. According to the team, their star power forward will be re-evaluated in the first week of November. For the time being, Detroit will use offseason addition Markieff Morris as the starter at the four, with Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Tony Snell and Bruce Brown rounding out the starting five.

Golden State Warriors: Marquese Chriss didn't work out in Phoenix, Cleveland or Houston, but he made the Warriors' roster and this may be his last chance to prove that he can play in this league. It's easy to forget that the No. 8 overall pick in 2016 is still just 22 years old, and if Warriors coach Steve Kerr can set him up to succeed, Chriss has a chance to return to the fantasy radar early this season as a scorer, rebounder and passer (which he showed during the preseason).

Houston Rockets: After starting 53 games last season, Eric Gordon is moving back to a bench role to begin this season as Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni elected to go with Danuel House Jr. in the starting five. That may not be a bad thing for Gordon, who earned Sixth Man of the Year honors for the Rockets in 2017-18, averaging 18.0 PPG, 3.2 3PG and 2.2 APG in a reserve role that season.

Indiana Pacers: Only one player on the Pacers' bench played more than 15 minutes in Wednesday's season-opening loss to the Pistons (Edmond Sumner, 22 minutes), and that could be an indication of a heavy workload this season for Indiana's starting five of Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner and T.J. Warren. All but Lamb played at least 36 minutes against Detroit.

LA Clippers: Things could change once Paul George enters the fray, but with George sidelined early this season, one thing was clear in the Clippers' season-opener on Tuesday night against the Lakers: Lou Williams can still take over games. The veteran guard scored 21 points off the bench, adding 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 1 steal. Williams fell in most drafts this season, but if the season-opener was any indication, there's a good chance he outplays his draft slot for as long as PG13 is out.

Los Angeles Lakers: Already, one game into his Lakers career, there's a noticeable difference in Anthony Davis' game. Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports tweeted: "Your eyes weren't deceiving you. Anthony Davis registered 17 post-up plays last night, per NBA/Synergy tracking. That's a career-high for the eight-year pro. To put that volume in larger perspective, the Spurs led the league last season with 13.3 post ups per game."

Memphis Grizzlies: Rookie forward Brandon Clarke finished the preseason on a high, flashing double-double potential, and it translated on Wednesday, as the Gonzaga product went for eight points and seven rebounds in his NBA debut while adding a 3-pointer, a block and an assist in 23 minutes. Clark is currently on just over 1/3 of ESPN fantasy rosters, but that number could rise along with his playing time if he continues to produce like that.

Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler was a late scratch for Wednesday's season-opener, missing the game due to "personal reasons," but his absence opened the door for Justise Winslow to show his fantasy value. A frequent waiver-wire option in years past, Winslow led the Heat with 27 points against the Grizzlies, but it was his contributions in other areas that really stood out. Winslow added 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal and 1 block as Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra used veteran point guard Goran Dragic off the bench.

Milwaukee Bucks: Eric Bledsoe missed much of the preseason due to cracked cartilage in his rib cage, but the veteran point guard will be in the starting lineup when the Bucks begin the season Thursday against the Rockets. The 29-year-old Bledsoe averaged 29.1 MPG in 78 regular season games last season, but with Brogdon leaving for Indiana over the summer, it wouldn't be surprising to see that number bump up a minute or two this season.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Andrew Wiggins shot an inefficient 10-of-27 in the win against the Nets on Wednesday, and that poor shooting contributed to a team-worst plus/minus of -26. Wiggins has never been known for his efficiency, but with rookie lottery pick Jarrett Culver in the fold, the Wolves have another option to turn to if Wiggins can't improve. Something to keep in mind in the months to come.

New Orleans Pelicans: Josh Hart recorded a double-double in his first game with the Pelicans, coming off the bench to score 15 points and pull down 10 rebounds in 28 minutes Tuesday night against the Raptors. It's notable that Hart played the most minutes of all the Pelicans reserves, including E'Twaun Moore (12 minutes) and promising rookie Nickeil Alexander-Walker (12 minutes), and if this continues, he will be worthy of a steady spot on rosters in 12-team fantasy leagues.

New York Knicks: Heading into the season, one of the big questions for the Knicks was which player would start at point guard, Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina or Dennis Smith Jr.? On Wednesday, we learned that the answer was none of the above, as Allonzo Trier got the nod, only to play seven minutes. Meanwhile, Smith finished with only two points and one assist in 10 minutes, Ntilikina logged just three minutes and Payton came off the bench and led the way with 11 points, 8 assists and 5 steals in 26 minutes. This could be a revolving door all season, but Payton's strong debut can only help his chances for playing time in the near future.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander looked like the point guard of the future for the Clippers before being traded to the Thunder in the Paul George deal, and there was some question as to how well he would mesh on this team with Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder also on the roster. In Wednesday's season-opener against Utah, he answered those questions by leading the team in minutes (37), shot attempts (23) and scoring (26). With CP3 being the team's primary distributor, though, Gilgeous-Alexander's assists could take a dip this season, making him a better value in points leagues than category leagues.

Orlando Magic: On Wednesday, the top pick from the 2017 NBA draft delivered an encouraging effort (12 points, 6 assists, 2 steals) in 23 minutes off the Magic bench. With Fultz, the big thing is building confidence and slowly working his way back to becoming the highly touted player he once was, and this was a nice start. He's rostered in only 9.6% of ESPN leagues, but a few more games like this and he'll become a popular target on the waiver wire.

Philadelphia 76ers: Defensive-minded rookie Matisse Thybulle -- the 20th pick in June -- was one of the first players off the bench for the 76ers on Wednesday and immediately was tasked with defending Boston point guard Kemba Walker. The rangy 6-foot-5 swingman picked up two quick fouls but still played 22 minutes and finished with two steals and two blocks. While Thybulle's lack of offense gives him little value in points leagues, his defensive prowess in the steals and blocks categories make him worth a flyer in category leagues.

Phoenix Suns: It had to feel good for the Suns to have a proven point guard in the fold for the first time in a while, and that's exactly what Ricky Rubio gave them in Wednesday's blowout win over the Kings. Rubio had 11 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals in the game, and fantasy managers will take numbers like that all day long. Just remember, Rubio is coming off a season in Utah when he averaged a career low 1.3 SPG and only 6.1 APG -- the second-lowest mark of his career in that department.

Portland Trail Blazers: Hassan Whiteside's average draft position in ESPN leagues this season was 63.3, and there are probably plenty of fantasy managers who are already wishing they considered him a few rounds higher. Whiteside ranked 14th in the NBA last season with 36 double-doubles and seventh in blocks per game with 1.9, and a change of teams doesn't appear to have changed that; the veteran center finished with 16 points, 19 rebounds and 2 blocks in Wednesday's loss to the Nuggets.

Sacramento Kings: Marvin Bagley III started only four of 62 games played as a rookie last season, but new Kings head coach Luke Walton wasted no time moving Bagley into the starting unit to begin this season, and the No. 2 overall pick last June delivered his 20th career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. At his best this season, Bagley can be an efficient scorer and double-double threat who also contributes 3-pointer and blocks.

San Antonio Spurs: DeMarre Carroll was a surprise DNP-coach's decision in Wednesday's sloppy win over the Knicks. The defensive-minded veteran logged 25.4 MPG with the Nets last season and was one of the Spurs' main offseason additions, but at least for one night, he didn't crack the 10-man rotation. Keep an eye on this when the Spurs face the Wizards on Saturday.

Toronto Raptors: Lots of good came out of the Raptors' season-opening win over the Pelicans, but the play of starting center Marc Gasol was not encouraging. Gasol, who turns 35 in January, wasn't moving well on the court and finished with 6 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist in 32 minutes. This is worth keeping an eye on, because if it continues, there could be a chance for Serge Ibaka to move into the starting spot and play a more prominent role. Ibaka had 13 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal in 26 minutes coming off the bench against the Pelicans.

Utah Jazz: After starting in 163 of 164 games during the past two seasons, Joe Ingles came off the bench against Oklahoma City on Wednesday. The news isn't all bad, though, as his workload remained steady. In fact, Ingles' 33 minutes played were actually more than his MPG averages in either of the past two seasons (31.5 and 31.3, respectively).

Washington Wizards: Isaiah Thomas didn't play in the season-opener against the Mavericks, opening the door for veteran point guard Ish Smith to move into the starting lineup, but Wizards coach Scott Brooks indicated that Thomas will be back "soon." When Thomas ruptured the ligament in his thumb last month, his original recovery timeline was 6-8 weeks, which would put him back in action anywhere from late October to mid-November.