The NBA season officially begins October 25th, which can only mean one thing: it’s time for some way too early fantasy projections! For the loyal Mavs fans who want to draft local talent, this is your one stop shop for incredibly biased fantasy advice. However, I am not responsible for your season results! That’s on you.
These are the guys you don’t really want to waste a draft pick on, but may prove useful on the waiver wire once half your team gets hurt like mine does every year. Most of these guys won’t play much or will spend time in the D-League.
AJ Hammons – As much as I love Hammons he’s an unproven rookie in a crowded frontcourt who will most likely spend a lot of time in the D-League unless Bogut gets hurt. Carlisle has a real aversion to playing rookies big minutes, so his fantasy potential is slim to none at best this year.
Salah Mejri – He’s a good waiver wire pick primed for a much better season this year, but I still can’t imagine using a draft pick on him unless Bogut trips down the stairs during preseason. However, he might be a good mid-season pickup for those of you that need field goal percentage and blocks and don’t mind a bit of slippage at the free throw line.
Justin Anderson – He really came on at the end of last year, and would’ve been ranked higher if we didn’t pick up Harrison Barnes, who is going to eat up a lot of the minutes Simba would’ve gotten. If he produces like he did at the end of last year, or even improves, he’ll definitely move up a couple slots.
Seth Curry – I don’t see him getting a ton of minutes at first, but if Harris or Barea goes down he is more than capable of stepping in and producing. The guard spots are stacked and it’s going to be hard for him to earn minutes early, making him a likely mid-season addition in deep leagues.
Quincy Acy/Dwight Powell – Look at their stats from last year and its easy to see why they’re grouped together. Both averaged 5-6ppg, had similar rebounding, blocks, and steals numbers, and played around the same minutes. The only edge was for Acy, who had a slight bump in FG%. This pick comes down to who Carlisle decides to give the minutes to, as they will probably produce at a similar rate.
Devin Harris – When he’s healthy he’s a very good reserve guard. ESPN projects him to average nearly 10ppg and 4 assists, which are very good numbers for a later round pick.
JJ Barea – Will produce similar numbers to Harris, but their minutes fluctuate depending on matchups and who’s on a hot streak. Barea is historically more explosive, but slightly more turnover prone. Carlisle may give more minutes to Harris depending on the night, but you’ll probably get similar results with either.
Deron Williams – ESPN has D-Will projected as their 31st point guard, behind the likes of Emmanuel Mudiay and Darren Collison, but ahead of Tony Parker. This alone is baffling and makes me distrust these rankings, but it’s mostly based on last season, which was not his best. I fully expect D-Will to play much better this year. He’s healthier coming off sports hernia surgery, he’s another year into the system, and his supporting cast is better. He’s also more experienced and consistent than half of the guys ahead of him, and would make a solid backup PG in most leagues.
Draft These Guys
Andrew Bogut: ESPN has Bogut as their 19th ranked center, which is preposterous since he’s an Australian treasure and he’s going to destroy the league like it’s 2009. That being said, I realistically expect him to be in the Robin Lopez/Jonas Valenciunas range of production. Bogut is a tricky draft pick considering his injury history, but when he’s healthy produces fairly well. He’s not going to put your team on his back, but he’s a great auxiliary piece when KAT, Boogie, and Marc Gasol are off the board.
Wesley Matthews: I think Wes is going to return to his Portland-type numbers this year. He’s a year healthier and a year further along in Carlisle’s system, which helps players more than you’d think. I think he’ll average around 15ppg, and continue to harass everyone’s best guard every night. It’s a bummer you don’t get fantasy points for stops or tough fundamental defense, because he’d give you a boost every night.
Harrison Barnes: Everyone’s sleeping on Harry Barnes. I think he’ll have a rough, adjustment period-type first month or so, then be just fine after that. He might even go on a Revenge Tour against everyone that made fun of him during the Finals and Olympics, and completely explode statistically. The guy’s a workhorse, and with the bigger role and more touches I think he’ll be just fine. His points will skyrocket, he’ll have more rebounds, and could be a great steal in an earlier round.
Dirk Nowitzki: Do I even need to justify this? Draft Dirk first. If you have the first overall pick, hold it hostage and trade down for Dirk. Are you even a real Mavs fan if you don’t draft Dirk first? You’d really grab Durant or Lebron ahead of him? Well, you shouldn’t. None of those guys are 7′ or German, which means they’re useless to you and your team. Draft Dirk first.
To see stats, projections, and ESPN’s outrageous rankings, click here.