The Atlantic Division was the worst division in the NBA. It didn’t have a team in the second round of the playoffs and it also had two teams in the bottom three for wins. That means this division has some potential for younger players and several of them are set for minutes out of the gate.
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Raptors (Impact rating: 4)
Besides the physical appearance stuff, he looked more comfortable with the ball and didn’t panic when he was doubled. Caboclo moved around more rather than just staying near the corners, which opened up several open looks. The Raptors didn’t trust him to be in PNR last year, but they did more this year. He also showed his length on defense with his ability to contest shots.
Encouraging signs aside, Caboclo’s numbers weren’t great, averaging 12.0 points, 4.2 boards, 0.4 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.0 treys. Obviously those 3-pointers jump out and the Raptors are clearly trying to shift the 6’9” guy to more of a face-up player on the outside. He could easily be a stretch four because he is long enough to defend guys in the post, but he’s potentially quick enough to guard threes.
He was the prototypical shooting guard with his style of play and showing a litany of ways to score the ball with outstanding efficiency. His defense was bad at times, but that’s fine for a 6’4” guard. His smaller stature probably explains why he slid in the draft.
He still has to make the team.
Celtics (Impact rating: 6)
Smart came out like gangbusters to start his Summer League, averaging 22.3 points, 4.0 boards, 6.0 dimes, 2.7 steals, 0.7 blocks and 3.3 treys in his first three games. His usage was crazy in those games and he kept his turnovers to a respectable 3.0 per game. Smart would fizzle out after that hot start with a 1-of-11 from the field on July 14 and then messing up his hand on July 16.
He was in all-out attack mode and was kind of a ball hog. Smart was the opposite of that last year in his rookie season, posting a usage rate of just 15.2. Plus, over half of his shots were without a dribble, so it was a completely different Smart.
Most of the time, a big run in July doesn’t mean much. However, it’s a little different in Smart’s case because he was awful in July 2014, making just 29.4 percent from the field. He couldn’t get by guys and his shot selection wasn’t there. He was more like Marcus Dumb in the past year before July. Get it????!!!!!
As for his performance at Summer League, it was forgettable. He averaged 12.2 points, 3.0 boards, 3.9 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 treys on 35.4 percent from the field. The big concern was that Rozier is more of a combo guard and he’s just 6’1”. He didn’t really play bigger than that and he wasn’t getting free like some of his smaller counterparts.
The smaller players usually don’t get the benefit of the doubt, so we’ll have to see the Louisville product do some positive things before he gets on the fantasy map.
Hunter missed all eight shots from the field in his first two games and didn’t go to the line in those 39 minutes either. He finally got it together after that abysmal start, averaging 16.0 points and not much else. He also had a green light from deep with 6.8 trey attempts per game in his last four games.
Hunter fell in the draft for a reason. He wasn’t great on defense and he isn’t a great isolation scorer. He can shoot it from deep, so he has that in his favor. Hunter will need a ton of injuries to get involved, but at least he could hit a ton of treys. He’s still outside the top 20 for Dynasty and Hunter will need to gather some versatility.
In five Summer League games, Young averaged 9.4 points, 3.4 boards, 1.0 assists and 1.0 treys. He made just 27.4 percent from the field, too. He’s probably outside of the top 400 for fantasy targets in re-draft.
He’s still not close to being on the fantasy radar, but maybe that changes with three or four injuries. You have to love a guy with that kind of blocking potential.
Nets (Impact rating: 4)
In 10 July games, RHJ averaged 10.2 points, 6.9 boards, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.5 treys on 36.8 percent from the field. His shooting percentages decreased as the month went on while his usage rate was on the rise. The Nets clearly wanted to get him more chances.
Generally, if a guy can’t hit a jumper and isn’t a shot-blocking big, fantasy owners should stay away. He’s going to get in the rotation, but he’s not a top-10 target in re-draft. He’s not a top-20 player in Dynasty either.
Brown was also in the ping-pong tourney, but he was knocked out in the first round by Daryl Morey. It was a beating, too.
76ers (Impact rating: 7)
Besides that unbelievable skill, there really wasn’t a lot to like out of Okafor on offense. He struggled to pass out of double-teams, he wasn’t very useful when he was doubled outside of five feet and his jumper is awful. He has this weird kick on his J and it really knocks off his balance. Outside of eight feet last year at Duke, he made just 42.9 percent. That’s not terrible, but that number will get worse in the NBA unless he gets better with his form. Okafor also made 69.8 percent inside of eight feet at Duke and is really going to eat in there.
For fantasy, there is one massive Achilles heel for Okafor’s value and it’s bigger than his hands: free throw shooting. At Duke, he made just 51.0 percent from the line. He went to the line 5.1 times per game last year, so that awful shooting made his true shooting percentage drop 2.3 points compared to his field goal percentage. That’s bad. Worse yet, he made just 39.1 percent at Vegas. This is a serious problem and almost automatically will keep him from being an elite fantasy guy.
Besides the points, boards and maybe field goal percentage, there isn’t a lot to like here. Obviously Okafor is going to fill it up for DFS and points leagues, but owners in standard leagues might want to be careful.
Jackson is just 5’10” and it really showed out there. He almost never went to the rim because he couldn’t get clean looks over the bigger guys. As the event went on, Jackson looked to pass more and even had seven dimes in his last game. He’s clearly going to be a PG and play on the ball more.
He’s only 6’2” and he’s a shooting guard, so the deck is stacked against him. Wilbekin said that he is trying to shift to more of a point-guard role. That’s because he’s so small and can’t guard most twos in the NBA. With the 76ers having a dearth of talent, Scottie is worth watching in the preseason. He’s not worth drafting in almost any league, of course.
Knicks (Impact rating: 8)
As for the stats, Porzingis averaged 10.5 points, 3.2 boards, 1.0 assists 1.0 steals, 1.8 blocks and 0.3 treys on 48.0 percent from the field in Las Vegas. He only played 20.5 minutes per game, so those were some very nice per-minute numbers. His numbers weren’t very potent overseas, averaging 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 1.0 blocks in 21.7 minutes while playing in Spain last season.
As for the style, the main thing was Worldstar was setting waaaaay too many ball screens. He wanted to be involved in every play and it was probably bothering the players and coaching staff. As the event went on, he wasn’t setting as many and he definitely responded to the coaching staff. Porzingis’ mid-range and low-post game looked a little ahead of schedule than what many expected, as well.
In his five games, he averaged 11.8 points, 3.2 boards, 4.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 triples on 39.1 percent from the field. Grant also made 18-of-20 (90 percent) from the line, so that’s a positive for him. The Knicks clearly view him as more of a point guard rather than a combo guard at 6’4. His size helped him at Vegas and he did create some nice separation.
Looking at his college scoring stats from last season, there is a lot to like. He made 73.1 percent at the rim, those shots accounted for 31.3 percent of his FGA total, he was assisted on just 40.0 percent of his 3-pointers, and he went to the line six times per game in his last two years at Notre Dame. Grant really doesn’t have a lot to improve upon with respect to a glaring weakness. Yes, he should be better from 3-point range, but he did make 40.8 percent from deep two seasons ago.
Besides the fast-break scoring, there wasn’t a lot to like. He had a ton of bricks from deep, had several bad turnovers and he wasn’t really looking to pass. Early finished with Vegas averages of 10.4 points, 3.8 boards, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks and 0.4 treys. He also got worse as the event went on, too.
Until we see him hit open shots and do things besides score, his fantasy appeal is undesirable.
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