It’s September 21 and that means fantasy hoops drafts are going to start happening in the very near future. And if you own DeMarco Murray, Eddie Lacy, Tony Romo, Jimmy Graham or C.J. Anderson, or played against Larry Fitzgerald or DeAngelo Williams in football, it probably can’t get here fast enough.
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There’s not much going on in the world of hoops right now, but here are some tidbits to keep you up to date until training camps fire up on September 28.
As of now, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is expected to start at shooting guard for the Pistons, along with Reggie Jackson, Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris and Andre Drummond. There’s a lot of news here, as Stanley Johnson, Brandon Jennings and Jodie Meeks are projected to come off the bench. Additionally, this could finally be the year that Ilyasova puts it all together and stays healthy, but I’m not holding my breath. I love the potential of Johnson in Detroit, but if he’s not starting, he’s probably not going to be very fun to own. KCP won’t be a fantasy stud, but he’ll be worth owning and should be in line for a nice season shooting threes for the Pistons.
C.J. McCollum will get time at both guard spots for the Blazers this season and my colleague, Mike Gallagher, couldn’t be more excited about it. Gallagher’s enthusiasm is quickly wearing off on me and you should prepare for CJM to be one of the Rotoworld poster boys this season. McCollum is going to see a big boost in minutes this season and should compete for Sixth Man of the Year if he comes off the bench, while there’s even a chance he could win the starting shooting guard job with Gerald Henderson coming off hip surgery. Regardless of whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, McCollum’s breakout season is upon us and you should plan on plucking him a couple rounds early to make sure you get him on draft night.
Mirza Teletovic is now with the Phoenix Suns and is fully healthy after dealing with blood clots last season. He’s fired up about joining the Suns and could end up with some deep sleeper potential if he fares well in camp. Markieff Morris is still in the way, but Teletovic is someone to at least keep an eye on in the waiver wire.
Aaron Gordon had a nice summer for the Magic and should be ready for training camp after undergoing surgery on his broken jaw. Like McCollum, Gordon has a real shot at breaking out this season and only has to leapfrog Channing Frye to get himself into the starting lineup. Gordon went for $13 ($200 budget) in a recent auction we held, while McCollum was 11 bucks. They shouldn’t cost as much in leagues without Rotoworld guys in them. In a standard draft we did for the Draft Guide, which you can purchase by clicking here, McCollum was an eighth-rounder and Gordon was an 11th-round selection.
Ty Lawson should be a nice addition for the Rockets, but Patrick Beverley isn’t just going to lay down and give him the starting job. This looks like a yearlong timeshare to me and I’m not excited about either player because of it.
Kobe Bryant may not play in any back-to-back games this season and has only recently started doing basketball activities after right shoulder surgery. He’s also going to be on a strict minutes count and he’s very hard to trust right now. Kobe was an eighth-round pick in the Guide mock draft and it’s possible that was even a little too early for Kobe.
Rudy Gobert is another guy that has quickly become beloved in fantasyland. He had 15 points, 14 rebounds, a steal and three blocks in 31 minutes of France’s bronze medal win over Serbia on Sunday and he should be a blast to own this season. He’s going to cost you thought, as he went 15th overall in the Guide mock, and for a whopping $45 dollars in the auction.
Al Jefferson not only lost 20 pounds over the summer, but is also in a contract year. He wasn’t great last season and is a bit injury prone, but there’s a pretty decent chance he has a bounce back season. And he shouldn’t cost you more than a fourth- or fifth-round pick.
Tony Wroten is expected to start at point guard for the Sixers this season, but there are plenty of red flags there. He’s coming off knee surgery for a torn ACL and the Sixers also have Isaiah Canaan, Pierre Jackson and Kendall Marshall to play point guard, which means a timeshare is coming. I’d recommend letting someone else draft Wroten this year.
Training camp opens in a week, so get ready for an onslaught of news in the near future. Until then, check out the NBA Draft Guide and dig in.
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