What is up, DEGEN NATION!! With the up-coming return of the NBA season, guess who also is returning to Fantasy Sports Degens scene to help you fine folks navigate through the 19′-20′ NBA season? Thats right, The Home of THE ROSTER MONSTER, Mitch! Glad to be back and glad to almost have NBA back on a nightly basis!
This is going to be a hella-fun season, as a lot of off-season moves have made it very interesting for a lot of contenders in all respective divisions of each conference. With that said, I wanted to kick off the season with a few different articles to get everyone primed not only for the season-long fantasy leagues, but also for the DFS contests as well.
So, without further ado, for this article, which will be a 3-parter, will cover ONE player from every NBA team that I believe should be on your watch list. This article will cover the first 10 teams, and the next article will feature the next 10 teams, and finally the last 10 teams out of the 30 NBA squads.
1.) ATLANTA HAWKS- DeAndre Hunter (6’7 225, UVA)– The rookie comes straight fresh off a NCAA tournament championship where he helped carry his squad all the way through the tourney, of course, and the whole 18′-19′ NCAA season. Besides the fact that Hunter is a complete monster, for his final NCAA season, he ranked 5th in the ACC in mins played and 20th in mpg at 32.5 on avg, 9th in FT attempts (157), 13th in PPG (15.2), 4th in OFF RTG (125.8), and 7th most points (579). Already slotted into the starting SF role with the departure of Taurean Prince, i would look for Hunter to make an immediate impact for the fastest paced team in the NBA from last season.
2.) BROOKLYN NETS- Taurean Prince (6’8 220, Baylor)– The former first round pick (12th overall) out of the 2016 NBA draft came into the league with some very high expectations. To say that being on the ATL Hawks is no easy feat for any player, especially a rookie, is an understatement. Now, Prince has been traded to the Nets, who ranked just outside the top 10 (11th) in PACE for last season. With the Achilles injury to Kevin Durant, we can go ahead and slot in Prince for a pretty clear cut role here for this season while he rehabs and gets prepared for likely next season. Prince is a big-bodied SF that can run the floor, and should be a nice compliment to Kyrie Irving.
3.) BOSTON CELTICS- Marcus Smart (6’4 220, OSU)– The former stud pick out of Oklahoma State in the 2014 NBA draft has been more recognized for his defensive prowess for his first couple of NBA seasons. Finally getting a shot at a starting gig last season, he was quite the stand-out player for the Celtics. The statistics dont tell you how good Marcus was, only garnering a mediocre 14.7% usage, while avg 8.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.0 apg, AND 1.8 steals per game. Now, most look at that and scoff, and for fantasy I understand the scoff, however, he also averaged 27.5 mpg, and the Celtics just vacated a huge usage player in Kyrie Irving, as well as his back-up in Terry Rozier. So, look for Marcus to be a really big focal point of this Celtics offense to compliment new-comer PG Kemba Walker.
4.) CHARLOTTE HORNETS- Miles Bridges (6’7 225, Michigan State)– Now in year number 2 for Bridges, we got to see quite a bit of his potential last season with the hornets basically out of contention, allowing him to see more floor-time. You can make a really good case for a break-out season for Bridges this season, as we saw decent numbers in year one avg roughly 21 mpg, 16% usage, 8.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, and 1.2 dimes a game. The intriguing part is how he raised his avgs for the last 2 months of the season, while avg 32.2 mpg 10.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, and 3.2 rpg for the month of April. So, with this being said, we can see the value and upside he brings if given a full allotment of minutes. With the Hornets basically over-hauling some parts of their team, I would highly look into some Bridges stock for the up-coming season.
5.) CHICAGO BULLS- Tomas Satoransky (6’7 210, Czech Republic)– Satoransky has been in the league since 2012, however did not make his NBA debut until 2016 for the Washington Wizards. Having played 3 full seasons now for the Wiz, Satoranksy really looked like a staple-player last season as he was gifted lots of playing time due to the injury of John Wall. Now, Satoransky should have a very realistic opportunity to battle out Kris Dunn for the starting PG job, as the Bulls are also in a pretty big rebuild themselves. Dunn has not done much (injuries have been a factor) during his time with the Bulls, and they experimented with a few different PGs last season even, now that Satoransky has been aquired, I would look for him to have a pretty nice season as the new PG for the Bulls.
6.) CLEVELAND CAVS- Kevin Porter JR. (6’6 218, USC)– Porter was taken in the first round of last years draft, 30th overall and I believe he could easily work himself into a starting 2-guard role over the now-starter Jordan Clarkson. I believe Clarkson could be one of the first guards to move on from the Cavs, and wouldn’t be surprised if it happened this season (final year of contract), especially with the Cavs using this draft spot for Porter Jr. Porter will most definitely have the opportunity to play for the Cavs, as they did give ample time to rookie Collin Sexton last season, so they are not afraid to allow their youth to develop early on in their careers. I would keep an eye on Porter. Jr and stash in season-longs as well.
7.) DALLAS MAVS- Delon Wright (6’5 183, Utah)– The former first round pick (20th overall) in the 2015 NBA draft has finally made his way out from underneath the lock on the PG starter spot of Kyle Lowry in TOR. With the move to Dallas, the only thing that will hold Delon back is if the Mavs decide to keep rolling out Jalen Brunson at the 1. However, with Luka more than likely handling the ball most of the time, Delon can still be a nice play-off the ball type guard, and I think he should fit in really well here in Dallas. He isn’t going to wow you with offensive agility, however his defense will help pad his stat-sheet quite a bit. Delon avg 22.6 mpg, 8.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, while also amassing 88 take-aways in 75 games played.
8.) DENVER NUGGETS- Malik Beasley (6’5 195, FSU)– Beasley was quite the reserve off the nuggets bench last season, and also was quite the spot-starter when Gary Harris was down with injury. Another stud former first-round pick (19th overall) in the 2016 draft, Beasley should more than likely see a bit of an increased role in his 4th season, after seeing a major bump in his best by far, 3rd season. Beasley played in 81 games last season, while getting the starting nod in 18 of those 81. While carrying the reserve role, Beasley avg 20.8 mpg, 10.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, and 1.1 apg, while garnering a more than admirable 19.7 usage rate while on the floor. Anyone who knows how usage works, that is more than a plus sign for things to come for Beasley this season.
9.) DETROIT PISTONS- Bruce Brown (6’5 202, U of Miami)– Brown was thrown right into the mix during his first NBA season in 18′-19′. Brown played in 74 games for the Pistons, 56 of those games Brown nabbed a starting role. Although Brown did not astonish folks with gawdy numbers, he was a staple for this Piston squad. In the 56 games as a starter, Brown avg 20.8 mpg, 4.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, and 1.3 apg. Again, I wont begin to think that Brown will turn into a stat-padding stud for fantasy, but I think these numbers will more than likely go up in Brown’s 2nd NBA season.
10.) GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS– Alec Burks (6’6 214, Colorado)– Going into his 9th season in his NBA career, Burks has shown over the last 3 seasons in Utah that he can be quite the offensive spark off the bench for a 2nd unit, and that is exactly what I see planned for him here in GS. During the 18′-19′ NBA season in Utah, Burks played in 64 games, and starter in 24 of them. The funny part is that as a reserve-role player, Burks saw a 20.4 usage rate while only averaging rougly 17 mpg. As a starter however, Burks saw almost double the amount of minutes (thats a given obv being a starter usually) avg 29.5 mpg, 18.2 usage rate, while also tallying an avg of 11.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, and 2.9 apg– compared to 7.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, and 1.5 apg as a reserve. I would look for Burks to be a nice spark offensively for this 2nd unit of the Warriors, who are now without Quinn Cook and Shawn Livingston.