Fantasy Impact – NBA Draft Vol. 2

In the second volume of our draft recap, we look at picks 11-20 which have some nice value picks.  There are reaches, steals, and immediate impact players in this range that we analyze.

11. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Orl)- Domantas Sabonis

Jacob –

Sabonis is the kind of pick that doesn’t get the fan base too excited, but the kind of pick that should result in a solid player with the possibility of immediate impact.  Acquired in a trade along with Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova for Serge Ibaka, Sabonis should have a role on day one for the Thunder.  I love the trade for OKC and don’t understand it much for Orlando.  Orlando already had a very crowded frontcourt, so it seems like the Ibaka trade could stunt the growth of Aaron Gordon.  OKC got Oladipo who should be a nice upgrade at shooting guard as a very athletic backcourt mate with Russell Westbrook.  Ilyasova has proven to be a quality stretch 4, and as shown in the playoffs, Ibaka wasn’t a great fit with the personnel the Thunder were playing with.  Listed at 6’10” 238 lbs, Domantas Sabonis can be an eventual double-double threat if he is able to get the minutes.  In terms of DFS, I wouldn’t look for much right out of the gate if everyone on the Thunder stays healthy, but if he can get minutes, I wouldn’t be surprised if he can record some 30 point games.

Joe –

Shipping Ibaka to Orlando was music to the ears of Domantas Sabonis, who, like Jacob said, should see a decent amount of minutes from the start. The Thunder seem to be rather high on both Steven Adams and Enes Kanter, but given the poor playoff showing from Kanter, Sabonis could even see himself increasing his minutes in his playing time competition with Kanter. With Durant and Ibaka gone, the Thunder are going to need their role players to step up a bit, so there is a rather high chance that Sabonis has his fair share of productive games this season, and with his expectations rather low, he could be a nice sleeper in daily lineups.

12. Atlanta Hawks (from Utah)- Taurean Prince

Jacob –

I understand what the Hawks were trying to do with this pick, which was to snag a 3 and D guy at the end of the lottery that can hopefully have an immediate impact, I’m just not a fan of the player they picked.  Prince seemed like a huge reach at 12 for a senior with limited upside.  Most “experts” had Prince as a borderline first rounder, and I do not agree with filling a need with a lottery pick.  I think you have to go with the best player available in the lottery, and with players with much higher upside available, it seems confusing that the Hawks traded Jeff Teague and only landed Taurean Prince.  The hope is for Prince to fill the role left by DeMarre Carroll which was sorely missed last season for Atlanta, but I don’t think that he will be able to, even though he was a senior.  I am very down on this pick, and for DFS I wouldn’t expect much from Prince in year one.

Joe –

Jacob took exactly what I was going to say. I agree that this pick is a bit of a reach but I fully believe that they chose Prince strictly to fill the void left by DeMarre Carroll last season. He rebounds a bit better than Carroll which will be a huge help with the departure of Al Horford (even though they pulled Dwight Howard) and should see a similar role to Thabo Sefolosha. If that doesn’t tell you to avoid him in DFS then I don’t know what will. I don’t know many people who enjoy rostering players like Sefolosha and with Prince so far down on the depth chart, I wouldn’t pay him any mind this season unless the Hawks get struck with a huge rash of injuries.

13. Sacramento Kings (from Phx via Wash)- Georgios Papagiannis

Jacob –

This is another pick that I am not a fan of.  I have no idea what Sacramento was doing on draft night.  They traded Marquese Chriss for 13, 28, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and a 2020 second round pick.  Not only did they trade away Chriss, who I am very high on, but they used the 13th pick on a guy that they may have been able to grab in the second round.  Papagiannis has some potential at 7’2″ 240 lbs, but I still don’t think that validates the reach.  I am expecting next to nothing for Papagiannis next season for DFS, as I just don’t think he’s ready for meaningful NBA minutes.

Joe –

Again, this pick sucked. He’s not NBA ready and for some reason, the Kings insist on drafting big men every year…when they have arguably the best center in the NBA on their roster. IF Papagiannis gets the chance to even see the court this season, it won’t be for long, as the Kings have an absolute log jam at the 4/5 with WCS, Koufos, Quincy Acy, DeMarcus Cousins, and more.

14. Chicago Bulls- Denzel Valentine

Jacob –

I love the Valentine pick for the Bulls.  He showed he can do everything as one of the best players in the country at Michigan State.  Some see Valentine even playing a little point guard this season due to his exceptional passing abilities.  I view Valentine as a guy who can stuff a stat sheet and provide an immediate impact to the Bulls.  For DFS, I think Valentine will be a guy you can have confidence rostering, with the potential to be a triple-double threat some nights.

Joe –

Valentine reminds me a lot of a bigger Jimmy Buckets. Great defender, all-around player on offense, and also an extremely smart player, which goes a lot farther than some may think in the NBA. Any player that plays significant minutes for 4 years under Tom Izzo is destined to have an impact in the NBA and on a Bulls team that completely re-vamped itself in free agency, this situation is no different. He should fit great in an offense led by pass-first point guard Rajon Rondo and brings a ton more defensive ability to the table. In terms of fantasy sports, Valentine will likely be owned in season-long leagues and should be a player to consider rostering in DFS thanks to his ability to contribute in all of the stat categories.

15. Denver Nuggets (from Hou)- Juan Hernangomez

Jacob –

Denver had a nice draft.  Hernangomez is 6’9″ and can shoot the 3 with a very skilled game.  The issue I see is I’m not sure if Hernangomez is going to get the minutes he needs this year to have an immediate impact.  Denver has a lot of forwards including Faried, Gallinari, Chandler, and Sampson, so from that standpoint, I don’t know how many minutes will be available for the rookie from Spain.  It will be interesting to watch, but I don’t think Hernangomez will have a great DFS year this season.

Joe –

To add on to what Jacob said about the crowded depth chart, Hernangomez will see NO time on the court. He mentioned the SFs Denver has, and they also have Kenneth Faried, Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic, and Darrell Arthur in the frontcourt, which means that there is close to zero chance that Hernangomez plays up in the lineup either. We could see him develop into a role player, but as mentioned, there is no reason to pay any attention to him this season in DFS.

16. Boston Celtics (from Dal)- Guerschon Yabusele

Jacob –

This is most likely a draft-and-stash prospect for Boston, as they are able to do that with such a deep team.  From what I read, Yabusele is 6’8″ 240 lbs, has a great motor, can rebound, is athletic and can shoot the 3.

Joe-

Who?

17. Memphis Grizzlies- Wade Baldwin IV

Jacob –

Baldwin was one of my favorite prospects to look at this draft.  A point guard with good size at 6’4,” Baldwin showed his ability to shoot the 3 ball and is a good athlete.  The big knocks on him were his leadership and decision making abilities, but hopefully the veteran presence in Memphis will be able to help that.  With Mike Conley signed on for another 5 years, it won’t be clear what Baldwin’s role will be outside of a backup point guard role, but he has the ability and size to allow the Grizzlies to roll out two point guard lineups that can enhance his fantasy ability.  I like Baldwin as a prospect, but not much as a DFS contributer this year.  If Conley were to get hurt, however, that can all change and Baldwin can have some very strong DFS games.

Joe –

I love this pick. I was actually considering wanting the Bucks to snag Baldwin at 10, but that could’ve been considered a reach (not a bigger reach than Thon). The Grizzlies found themselves a great backup point guard, an area they struggled with when they were hit with a rash of injuries last season. There is a great chance that he plays some shooting guard due to the fact that their primary guards at that position are the aging Tony Allen and Vince Carter, so I expect Baldwin to have an immediate impact. The one concern I have is that the Grizzlies recently added Tony Wroten (also a taller PG) to their roster. While Wroten hasn’t yet done much to prove himself to be a threat, his athleticism is off the charts and we’ve seen him heat up quickly.

18. Detroit Pistons- Henry Ellenson

Jacob –

Ellenson was another one of my favorite guys coming out of the draft.  During the college basketball season, he was once regarded as a top 5 prospect, but concerns over his defense, athleticism, and shooting percentage dropped his stock to outside the lottery.  If Ellenson is able to put on some weight and play center as a stretch 5, this pick will be a steal.  The former Golden Eagle showed very good playmaking ability as a 6’11” power forward who could run the fast break very well.  The only issue, like most players being drafted in this range, is that they are going to playoff teams who usually have good depth.  This is the same issue Ellenson faces as he is going to a team with established guys who have already earned their minutes.  For this season, I think Ellenson will start slow as he finds his way, but once he gets used to the NBA, he can have some big games when given minutes.

Joe –

This was a great pick in my opinion. The Pistons weren’t necessarily in need of a bruising, rim-protecting big, rather a stretch four, which is exactly what they got. Ellenson will help the offense spread the floor with Drummond under the basket. After watching Ellenson play against Xavier throughout last season, I’ve realized that he definitely has a place in the NBA. He reminds me of a poor-man’s Kevin Love (when he was on Minnesota) or a bit of a Ryan Anderson. His minutes may not be consistent due to the depth of the Pistons’ roster, but I believe that Ellenson will find his niche in the rotation and if any big man gets hurt in Detroit, he should immediately be a huge DFS commodity.

19. Denver Nuggets (from Por)- Malik Beasley

Jacob –

Malik Beasley is a very good player and one of the best shooters in the draft.  The problem, like the guys before him, is how much playing time will Beasley get, especially since Denver just drafted Jamaal Murray and has Gary Harris on their roster.  At 6’5,” Beasley should be able to play both wing positions, which will help him get playing time.  Coming out of Florida State as a freshman, Beasley was able to score (15.6 ppg), and rebound (5.3 rpg) very well.  If Beasley can get some playing time, look for him to be a solid fantasy player in daily leagues.

Joe –

This pick confused me a bit. At 6’5″ as a shooting guard, the Nuggets are just crowding their backcourt. They already have Emmanuel Mudiay and Gary Harris and just drafted Jamal Murray, all who also have way more potential that Beasley. He’s a decent rebounder for his size (5.3 per game in college), but likely won’t see the floor all that often unless there are injuries in the backcourt.

20. Brooklyn Nets (from Ind)- Caris LeVert

Jacob –

The big question for Caris LeVert is can he stay healthy?  That is the only thing that stopped him from going in the lottery.  LeVert had significant injuries both his junior and senior years at Michigan, but even with those injuries, LeVert was still picked comfortably in the first round.  That goes to show how good of a player he is, and how teams will be able to overlook the rough injury past and see his talent as a 6’7″ shooting guard.  The Nets are desperate for talent, so if LeVert can show he can play, he should have a big role this season.  As a good shooter, defender, and passer, I think LeVert can be a sneaky DFS stud this year for a really bad Nets team.

Joe –

I love this pick. While LeVert was hurt for the majority of his final two seasons at Michigan, he was one of the best scorers in the country when he was on the court. He can slash, shoot, and create his own shot and in my eyes, is one of the most NBA ready players in this year’s draft class. The Nets are the perfect team for LeVert to go to fantasy-wise due to the fact that they won’t be competing for anything for a number of years, so expect Brooklyn to focus on the development of their young players, mainly LeVert. He could easily take over the scoring on offense should he stay healthy and will definitely be a player I’ll be targeting as a cheaper option on DFS sites.

 

**The third and final volume of our Fantasy Impact – NBA draft series will be released shortly, stay tuned!**

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