Had last season finished at the end of February, Jrue Holiday would've ranked 48th. This despite an awful TO rate (3.9) and pitiful FT% (75.4%). However, from that point forward, his play fell off a cliff and many fantasy managers were left with a bad taste in their mouths.
I, and countless of others, have realized it was difficult to grade Holiday's year, but while many are down on him, I'm in the minority -- remaining positive. To put it simply, he was largely the only Sixer's playmaker, playing in one of the worst offensive systems (thanks Doug Collins). It shouldn't be surprising that Holiday wore down, both mentally and physically.
Although Holiday is going to have to share the ball more than he did in Philly, I believe he'll end up being infinitely more valuable in New Orleans. Dropping the usage rate, playing with better teammates and being coached by PG-friendly Monty Williams is going to significantly aid the efficiency. How much is anyone's guess, but with good assist, steal and three numbers, it won't take much to elevate him well back up the rankings.
It's easier in an early mock to throw caution to the wind, and that's what I feel I'm doing here with Brad Beal, who is coming off a broken fibula and also missed a large chunk of time with a knee injury during the regular season. All of that said, Beal is working out with teammates and on track to enter the season with a clean bill of health. He has a lot to prove, but also a very high fantasy ceiling. He struggled mightily early on, but his 41.0 FG% was the middle point between an ugly, sub-40% first couple of months and a very strong finish to the year when he shot 45.8% from the field in his final 30 games. For all the talk of the Wizards being improved, they brought in no one who should be much of a threat to Beal's shots or minutes. Beal and John Wall could be a devastating offensive tandem when healthy together, with Nene, Emeka Okafor and a Martell Webster/Otto Porter/Trevor Ariza conglomerate handling the little things. If all things break right for Beal, I could easily see 17-19 ppg, 2.0 threes, 4-5 boards, 3 assists, a steal and reasonable percentages (say, 44.0/77.0). He also averaged 0.6 blocks per 36, nothing to sneeze at for a SG. Beal's gonna be fun to own this year, I have a feeling.
So through 5 rounds I still have Love as my only big. It's about time to add a quality center with some prototypical big man strengths (fg%, reb, some blocks) to balance out the team, and Tyson fits the bill nicely. This is not a pick with huge upside, but you know pretty much what to expect from him. Tyson has 9-cat per game ranks of 52, 30 and 66 the past 3 years, so at pick 67 I'm happy with the value of the pick and the fit with my current roster.
So I refuse to believe that Iggy can't improve his FT%. 15% points off your career average has to mean there was something in the water in Denver right? Outside of that I just think this is good value for him and I could really use some strong steals from a guy who can contribute across multiple cats instead of settling down the line for a one cat specialist.
We're getting to the point where I was considering too many guys too list, but I'd say Lowry, Lin, Jeff Green where on my shortest list.
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Green posted solid 2nd half numbers and will be the focal point of the Celtics to start the season with Rondo out. He contributes in pts/3s/reb/stl/blks, and comes with solid percentages, though may take a hit with increased usage. I don't think 20 ppg is out of the question given the Celtics roster, but I would keep expectations in the high teens. Could very well finish the season in the top 50, which he did in his last season at OKC.
My team needed asts and 3s, while also boosting my shooting percentages. All the pgs left hurt you in a couple of those areas, but Nash gives you all 4 categories. Add the fact that he has an injured Kobe on his team, Nash should be able to get off to a hot start. I realize this is a round early for him, but i couldnt risk plonden taking him.
Plus the other guys I considered, well theres several players that put up similar numbers. Therefore no matter what I should be getting a quality pick in the 7th round. I would drop a few names, but last time i did that plonden took 2 of the 3 i named. So ill pass on that to avoid any conspiracies.
I really wasn't going to draft another PG here, but Lowry has slipped far enough IMO. His production last year in Toronto was pretty poor for him and it still beat this draft slot by almost a round. The year before he ranked out at 26th in per game value. Did I mention he's in a contract year? That all spells awesome to me at this draft pick. Lowry gives you solid 3s/Ast/Stl and decent FT%, with some poor FG% thrown in to keep us all honest. If he plays anywhere near his best he'll outperform this draft slot by a stack. Even results somewhere in between his great year in Houston and last year would rank him in the 40's somewhere, which I'll take at 71. The injury risk is always there with Lowry, who seems to be a magnet for freak injuries, but at this point in the draft I'll happily absorb the risk there.
Fenris sniped Kyle Lowry, as I expected from a loyal Raptors fan, but I'm pleased to land Lin here. I really need a decent second PG and Lin fits the bill, even if he wasn't my first choice for the job. There was a run on decent PGs between this pick and my last pick. If I had missed out on both Lowry and Lin here, I'd be hoping for a guy like Raymond Felton with my next pick or grabbing him now, neither of which is not something I'd be super excited about. Like a broken record, I'm still concerned about getting some threes so I'll be looking to add a couple of guys that hit at least 1.5 threes with my next couple of picks.
7.01 Paul Pierce (SG/SF - BKN)
I'm not surprised Pierce fell due to the trade to the suddenly crowded Nets. I'm a little surprised at how far he fell though and I'm happy to roll the dice on him here. I know there is only one basketball on the court at any given time but I believe that Pierce will be a primary option in Brooklyn. Obviously his usage and touches go down, but I'm comfortable saying Pierce will finish inside the top 50. I think the main loser in Brooklyn is Joe Johnson, and I expect him to fall a few more rounds before someone rolls the dice on him.
Gortat had a bad year last year, and that's really the only reason he's slipped this far. The year before in PHO he put up top 25 numbers, granted that was playing with Steve Nash, but the numbers are what they are. The Suns have added Bledsoe though, so now Gortat is playing with two legitimate passers, and may, should the heavens align, actually get a play of two run for him this year. That would be nice.Much like Lowry, even if Gortat just splits the difference between last season and his breakout season he'll look really good here - something like 13/9/1.5 on .530/.650. I can live with that.
I though long and hard about Faried here, and Drummond actually, but Faried just hasn't made good on his potential, and I couldn't stomach even Drummond's best-case FT% projections. I looked at Pekovic too, but I don't his chances of matching last year's production with Love back, and the production as it was didn't really impress me that much anyway.
Was looking for Pierce, but of course Plonden had to take him from me. Wouldve liked his rebounds, but at least Martins mpg should increase in Minnesota. That should mean an increase all across the board for him, especially in fta's. This should make me the one of the frontrunners in ft% since I already have harden, nash, and rubio. The fg % is solid for the amount of 3s he hits as well, and I fully expect him to outplay this draft spot (maybe even 5th rd value).
At this point my main concerns are rebounds. Continuing to build on my blocks, 3s, and good shooting percentages should be easy to do as i go along. I feel like my team's strong enough in stls, asts, ft%, blocks, ppg, and a little bit above average in fg% and 3s so far.