I somewhat fear Batum this year. Not that he's going to drop off a cliff a la Dorell Wright, but I see him having a hard time averaging 38.5 minutes a game. On top of that, I feel he's the type to defer a little more to improved teammates. I wouldn't be the least surprised to see him finish outside the top 40 in 2013-14.
George, on the other hand, has a very good chance finishing in the top 25. Although I'm not a fan of his ADP at 10, I'd rather put my eggs in his basket. As he continues to mature, I expect his efficiency to somewhat improve, especially his head-scratching home/road splits.
The Batum critique doesn't make much sense to me at all. He finished top-40 two years ago playing just 30 mpg, so the floor is well-established. Don't get why an improved bench matters a ton given he'll log the majority of his minutes with the Blazers starters, who will return just about the same group this year. A big chunk of his value comes off spot-up threes, rebounds, and defense - stats that aren't likely to be affected by changes in his team's supporting cast. When we talk about a guy like Lillard - who was usage and minutes dependent - it matters, but not so much with Batum.
George is being drafted like a late-first rounder, and I just don't see it. Still think he's a year away from making that leap. Don't have overwhelming faith in Granger playing 70+ games, but he'll play enough to where his presence will make a dent in George's value. I'd rather have Batum at the 2/3 turn than George at the 1/2.
I'm not sure what to make of Batum. Both arguments sound reasonable to me.
Taking a look at Batum's player page on BBM seems to suggest that with increased minutes came an increase in "Counting" stats, but a decrease in efficiency. So one wonders even if the minutes do go down as Red suggest (and thereby even if the "counting" stats go down), will the effeciency return in the form of a better FG% and lower TO's?
Batum's steals and blocks remained largely unchanged between the difference in minutes which I find interesting. Comparative to the rest of the league his 1.2 steals in 2012-2013 carried much more value than his 1.0 steals in 2011-2012.
There is actually a disucssion about Batum on his player page on BBM about this as well (where Buser echos Red's concern about the improved secondary) though interestingly their projections show a reduction in overall mpg's, but an increase in ppg (and slightly less TO's) to arrive at an overall value very similar to 12-13.
I would tend to lean towards the concern that if mpg's are going down with an improved second unit, then we should anticipate some level of the counting stats to come down as well. If the effeciency isn't regained, then we could see Batum fall below expectations and draft slot.
Paul George I don't know what to make of the situation because Granger can have such a huge impact on a team when healthy and playing significant minutes (especially compared to like Stephenson who seemed to be the beneficiary of Granger's injury last season in terms of additional playing time).
For what little value it is worth: If we run a BBM ranking on Feb 23 thru Feb 28 (the three games Granger played 18 mpg), we see that Paul George's ranking was 35 during those 3 games. Imagine if Granger played 36 minutes?! Does that ranking really mean anything? Probably not, but I think it's worth being cautious when drafting George and having an awareness of it.
The Thrill wrote: Batum's steals and blocks remained largely unchanged between the difference in minutes which I find interesting. Comparative to the rest of the league his 1.2 steals in 2012-2013 carried much more value than his 1.0 steals in 2011-2012.
The few times I've watched Batum, it does seem like he stands around a lot just waiting for the ball to be kicked to him for open jumpers. He didn't seem engaged every moment on the floor. Kinda like Lamar Odom back in the day. He very well may be conserving energy when he plays more minutes, leading to some hustle stats no necessarily rising when he's on the court longer.