Saturday, July 01, 2006

2006 NBA Draft Fantasy Winners and Losers

While most sites see NBA teams as the ‘winners’ or ‘losers’ in the draft, we think about things in terms of the players drafted. We’re not concerned, for example, with whether or not Cedric Simmons will help New Orleans make the playoffs next season, we’re concerned with whether or not he’s going to see 30 mpg and have any fantasy value. So with that, let’s see which players found themselves in a great situation, and which players might want to invest in a seat warmer:

Winners:

Adam Morrison, CHA – of the 6 or 7 places he could have gone, Charlotte is undoubtedly the best spot for him. This is a team who is dying for a leader on offense, and Morrison is going to be that man sooner rather than later. Remember, their leading scorer last year was Gerald Wallace, who only put up 15.2 per game, the lowest of any team leader, so they have points to share. Heck, even Jumaine Jones averaged double digits last year for the Cats, something he’d never done in his first 7 years in the league. Morrison is a safe bet for 15-20 points, and a good source of threes, and is my odds-on favorite for the Rookie of the Year. The only question will be if he can contribute anything other than points and threes. Look for stats similar to Rip Hamilton this year.

Shelden Williams, ATL – Williams right now reminds me of Charlie Villanueva last year – a guy who is certainly capable of stepping in and contributing right away, but because he got taken two or three picks before where he “should” have gone, he’s gotten a ton a negative press. This leads to a “steal” opportunity in your fantasy draft. There’s no reason he can’t step in and put up numbers similar to Emeka Okafor’s first year – 15/10 with 1.7 blocks. Combine that with his center eligibility, and Williams could be worthy of ‘first rookie taken’ in your fantasy draft.

Hilton Armstrong, NOK – First, a disclaimer – I don’t like Armstrong as a prospect. I mean, he’s a senior who has never really done all that much except block a bunch of shots his senior year. Prior to that he had trouble even cracking the rotation. Still, if he’s going to land anywhere, Oklahoma City is a great spot. Right now, he’s number one on the depth chart, which is tough for any of the mid-round guys to say. Whether he’ll play well enough to hold on to that spot is another question entirely, but the fact that he’s in with the Hornets means he’ll be worth a late flyer on draft day.

Randy Foye, MIN – Another guy that I don’t really like all that much but who landed in a great spot, Foye could easily see 25-30 mpg right off the bat, especially with Rashad McCants going down with an injury. Foye, to me, was really overhyped going into the draft – a big-time scorer who shoots 41% from the field? really? – but that doesn’t mean he won’t be on the court getting open looks from KG. He’ll be worth a risk in the draft this year as well.

Losers:

Tyrus Thomas, CHI – If there’s one thing Scott Skiles likes to do, it’s play with his lineups. And with Tyson Chandler, Michael Sweetney, and Malik Allen already on the roster, plus the likely signing of either Joel Przybilla, Ben Wallace, or Al Harrington, the Bulls have plenty of options up front. Thomas will be a project in Chicago, meaning he’ll see no more than 15-20 mpg his rookie year, and not have any fantasy value for a while.

Patrick O’Bryant, GSW – Two years ago, in the late lottery, the Warriors took a project big in Andris Biedrins. Last year, in the late lottery they took a project big in Ike Diogu. So this year, late in the lottery, they take a project big in O’Bryant. While Biedrins and Diogu have shown flashes, neither is worth drafting this year in fantasy leagues. O’Bryant shouldn’t be any different.

To Be Determined:

Brandon Roy and LeMarcus Aldridge, POR – Roy was my favorite player in the draft, and when he got drafted by Minnesota, I was thrilled, and instantly thought he’d be a leading candidate for ROY. In Portland, though, I’m not so sure. I mean, sure he’s still a great player, and I really like a lot of what Portland did on draft day, but the fact is that it’s a crowded rotation with very few veterans who know how to act like veterans. Aldridge is in a slightly better position because with Theo Ratliff gone and Przybilla likely gone, there’s not much in the way of centers. But with Zack Randolph and Darius Miles on the trading block in a major way, it’s a tough call right now. Let’s see how the next few months play out in Portland.

Andrea Bargnani, TOR – Now that Toronto has moved Charlie Villanueva for TJ Ford, things look a lot better for Bargnani in his first year. The fact is, though, we just don’t know enough about Bargnani. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in the summer leagues and in the preseason – that will go a long way towards determining his fantasy draft value.

3 Comments:

Blogger JM said...

Good analysis.
I agree that Roy is the best overall player in the draft, and certainly the most ready to contribute right away.
As a Blazers fan I am psyched that they traded to get him. He's got those smooth, smart, clutch, unselfish, qualities reminiscent of players like Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul. NBA GMs somehow let these types of players slip several spots to far in drafts. It makes no sense.

For fantasy purposes, though, the Blazers have a crowded lineup. A lot of good young players battling for playing time. It'll be a while before the lineup settles down.

I see Roy establishing himself as their best SG by midseason (if not sooner). He could end up with multi-position eligibility as I'm sure he'll see time at SF and PG.

If he can get 30 min/g in the second half of season, I'm envisioning him doing a little bit of everything: 14pts, 4 assists, 4 rebs, 1 stl, 0.7 3's, .0.7 blks, with solid percentages,i.e. 47%FG, 81%FT. Some similarities to a Josh Howard, Caron Butler, Shane Battier, Manu Ginobili etc.

I wouldn't draft him too high, but if he's still available in the 7th round I'd nab him. If he has a slow start to the season and ends up on waivers, I'd be very ready to pounce on him when he starts to get more playing time.

It'll be interesting to see what other trades they make. (i.e. getting rid of Miles, Randolph, Dixon). These moves will certainly have implications for Roy (and Aldridge).

4:42 PM  
Blogger JM said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:44 PM  
Blogger bv said...

JM, no disagreements here, but I think (and as a blazers fan i think you'll agree) that the roster they've got now is not the roster they'll have come november. the best thing they can do is package some of those young players to get rid of randolph or miles, and that should clear things up from a fantasy perspective.

5:35 PM  

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