This offseason is excruciating. We had a draft though, and now that the draft is in the books we can start suffering through the long salary cap summer of David Stern’s discontent. The wheels of fantasy hoops roll on though, and it’s never too early to start prepping for next fantasy season. That is to say, whatever portion of a season we actually get to enjoy. This year’s draft was pretty bare of top-tier, franchise-changing, talent, but there are still a few rookies who deserve mixed league consideration, and a bunch that will have enough impact to be deep league worthy. Today we’re going to stick with the mixed league candidates.
I’m going to toss a stats projection in for each guy, but keep in mind these are gut calls and not the result of some fancy-schmancy projection system; plus, they’re optimistic on the minutes projections, and once we start getting feedback from camps and whatnot things will have to be adjusted. The links on the player names will take you to that player’s Comprehensive Stats page from Draft Express, for those who like to do some of their own research. Enough chit-chat though — let’s jump in the talent pool and see who you can target for mixed league play.
The Shallow End
These are the guys who warrant your consideration for standard 12-14 team mixed leagues.
As the future at PG for the Cavs, Irving will get burn right out of the gate and should play more than enough minutes to make a useful mid-to-late round pick. He’s not a freak athlete like Westbrook or Rose, but he’s a canny player and has a better jumper than either of those guys. I think you’ll see decent FG%, excellent FT% on a mid-range number of attempts, around 1.5 threes per, with solid Ast and Stl to round things out. He should be a solid PG2-3 for most teams.
46% FG, 85% FT, 14 Pts, 1.5 Threes, 3.5 Reb, 5.5 Ast, 1.6 Stl, 3.5 TOs (guessing 30 mpg)
I’ll admit I’m not a charter member of the DW fan club, but the dude’s got skills and the Wolves can afford to play him big minutes. He’s going to have good FG% but mediocre FT% and do a little bit of everything else except dimes (which will suck). His upside is to join the One Three/Blk/Stl Per Game Club, but I think the reality will fall a little short of that in his rookie season.
48% FG, 73% FT, 16 Pts, 0.7 Threes, 6 Reb, 0.7 Stl, 0.7 Blk, 2.5 TOs (guessing 30 mpg)
I’m going out on a limb here, but I think that Biyombo can play right away for the ‘Cats and bring some potentially game-changing defense and shot blocking (plus some sashimi-raw offense, but whatevs). You know he rebounds like a pro, and he blocks out the sun, so he should be a very useful late round grab for teams who need some defensive stats. It’s tough to roster a guy who’s wildly unlikely to score more than six or eight points a game, but I think the defense could make it worthwhile. The upside is there for close to three blocks a game, eventually.
50% FG, 50% FT, 7 Pts, 8 Reb, 2.2 Blk (guessing 22 mpg)
Thompson wasn’t going to make this list, but the trade of Hickson to the Kings opens enough room for some fantasy impact. Thompson has the defensive chops to hold on to playing time there too, so things look good. Thompson is going give you decent FG% and scoring, but his FT% plus solid attempts could be a real eyesore. He’ll get you the standard Reb/Blk production you need from a big though, and could be a sneaky source of Stl, so consider your caveat emptor-ed. At best though, he’s a late-to-last round kind of guy.
48% FG, 49% FT, 11 Pts, 7 Reb. 0.8 Stl, 1.2 Blk (guessing 28 mpg)
Yes, DJ Augustin is the incumbent, and he can play some, but I think Kemba’s speed, defense, and playmaking ability will earn him solid minutes anyway. I think you’ll get pretty standard PG-type production here — just don’t count on the three ball. If Kemba can resist the temptation to hoist too many long balls his FG% should be simply poor, rather than apocalyptic-ally bad. Think Brandon Jennings. Anyway, grab Kemba late for some upside at PG.
42% FG, 80% FT, 12 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 1.5 Stl, 3 TOs (guessing 25 mpg)
Do the Jimmer! I expect the Kings to be Jimmering pretty hard next season and he should accrue enough counting stats to be mixed league worthy. That said, he’s going to Jimmer all over their defensive efficiency, and Jimmer plays the position that Tyreke Evans thinks he should be Jimmering in, so it’s all a bit of a Jimmer really. Jimmer. Sorry, I’ll stop now. Fredette (there, that’s better) should be solid for points and threes on decent percentages, with perhaps a soupcon of Ast. He won’t be any great shakes in the defensive cats, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Grab him late-to-last.
44% FG, 88% FT, 14 Pts, 2 Threes, 2 Reb, 2.5 Ast, 0.5 Stl (guessing 22 mpg)
That’s all for now folks, but we’ll dive into the deep end on the talent pool for our next installment. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Rubio is getting his own article (eventually), which is why he’s not on this list.
Adam Laforet is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Adam in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Fenris-77.
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