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RotoBaller NBA Recap: Kawhi Leonard Gets The Last Laugh

Welcome to the RotoBaller NBA Recap. In this feature, we highlight three fantasy basketball takeaways from last night's slate of NBA games. Friday featured a nine-game slate, but it was the Toronto Raptors versus San Antonio Spurs that "literally" stole the show.

DeMar DeRozan and Kawhi Leonard were notoriously traded for one another during the offseason, which caused great angst from fans and players of both teams. Leonard forced his way out of San Antonio, so there was no love lost from the Spurs organization, but the former Raptors star was blindsided by what transpired to him. DeRozan was shipped out of town by general manager Masai Ujiri, and the city had to deal with the loss of one of their most beloved stars. The 29-year-old will forever hold a special place in Toronto's basketball history, but his first return to Scotiabank Arena could not have gone any worse. DeRozan's night began with everyone in the arena on their feet to give him a standing ovation, but it ended with him on his back getting the ball taken away from none other than Kawhi Leonard.

With the Raptors down 117-116, Leonard stole the ball from DeRozan with 15.1 seconds left and proceeded to record the game-winning dunk. Ironically, DeRozan's best friend Kyle Lowry, who was a vocal critic of how Ujiri handled the situation, helped Leonard create the turnover. It was a gut-wrenching night for the four-time NBA-All Star, and Leonard appears to have gotten the last laugh. Without further ado, let's get into our three main fantasy takeaways from the February 22nd slate.

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Ivan Rabb Starts For Memphis On Friday

Ivan Rabb drew the start for the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, scoring 15 points to go along with nine rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 25 minutes. It was a big performance for the former second-round pick in the 2017 draft, who has averaged per-36 averages of 16.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks.

Jonas Valanciunas' absence because of a personal reason opened the door for Rabb to see some extra minutes on the night, but the 22-year-old is in line for even more playing time after Jaren Jackson Jr. suffered a bruised quad injury that has been reported to be an affliction that will keep him out for the foreseeable future. If your league has an I.R. spot, Jackson Jr. needs to be stashed, and Rabb becomes an option worth considering on your waiver wire. He is currently owned in just seven percent of leagues but is an excellent choice until the young rookie can return.


Paul George Hits Game-Winner Against Jazz

Paul George hit a high-arching floater late in double-overtime to beat the Utah Jazz on Friday. George ended the contest with 45 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, five three-pointers and one steal in 50 minutes. The 28-year-old scored 25 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter and beyond, leading the Thunder to another critical victory.

James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo have been locked in as the frontrunners for the MVP award all season, but it is time that we start recognizing PG-13 as a serious contender. His performance on Friday could end up being a seminal moment in his quest to be acknowledged as the leagues best player this year, and George deserves all the recognition that he is currently receiving.

Bradley Beal Continues To Dominate For Struggling Wizards

The Washington Wizards fell to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night by a score of 123-110, but Bradley Beal did all he could in a losing effort. Beal scored 46 points to go along with six rebounds, seven assists, one block, and four three-pointers in 42 minutes.

Beal made 16 of his 25 shots from the field in the game, all 10 free throws and only turned it over one time. The Florida product is the second-best nine-category league player in the past 14 days and is currently top-15 on the year. There is no reason this production should stop anytime soon, and Beal should continue to thrive as Washington's star option. The 25-year-old tied Earl Monroe on Friday for the fifth most 40-point games in franchise history, and only Giannis Antetokounmpo has recorded more 30-point games than Beal has since December 1st. If you were lucky enough to draft him this season, he should end the year providing first-round value if he can remain healthy.

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