It’s late-round magic time! And by late-round Magic, I’m not talking about Stephen Zimmerman! Who? Exactly…
As we hit the trip-digs in picks, it’s time to go all-out for your guys. In standard leagues, you’re hoping to maybe hit a home run on one of your final 3-4 picks, and the others flame out immediately. Why? Because you want to know for sure who you need to hold on to and have quick cuts for the first wave of wire gold. Maybe I’m overly pessimistic, maybe you’re hoping for 2 to work, but all we really want to know is “answers”. I still do my ranks as best as I can to signify “seasonal-value”, but I might get a little crazier with risk than stick with the status quo come draft day and the clock winding down.
If you’re catching up, check out all our ranks in the Top-10, Top-25, Top-50, Top-75 & Top-100. Now it’s time to get into the fun sleeper land. Here’s the Top 150 for the 2016-17 Fantasy Basketball Season:
(Psyche! Be sure to put your quibbles with my ranks to the test in the 2016-17 Razzball Basketball RCL Leagues, now open and 100% free to join, start a league and sign up now!)
101. Markieff Morris, Washington Wizards
Ewwwwwww! I just talk about upside and I start with a bum like Kieff?! Who edited this nonsense?!
Even though we think of his 15-16 as a disaster, he was actually decent with the Wizards post-trade. FG% went WAY up even though he took more 3s, TO way down, same STL/BLK. It wasn’t as awful. It still was outside the top-100 in per-game, but he just turned 27 and was only playing 26:22 in DC. With a full offseason with his new team, minutes hopefully jumping back to 30, and the fact we’ve seen strong fantasy-utility out of him earlier in his career, I actually think there’s some upside for a bounce back.
102. Otto Porter, Washing Wizards
Sticking with the Bullets, Porter had a phenomenal year with an expanded role, coming out to 60th in per-game value. If you want some metrics-whoreness, it’s his line right here! 11.6/5.2/1.6/1.4/0.4 with 0.9 TO (sub-1!) and 47.3% shooting with 1.3 treys. What off that line looks interesting?! The 1.4 steals, that’s about it. And like the Dragic-without-Wade article I’m going to do, I’m going to do a full article about Porter-without-Beal. I think it will be jarring, but we’ll see! Yes, I know I love Crowder who isn’t too dissimilar with a metrics-whore line and steals, but I think a lot of Porter’s value came in Beal’s 27 missed games. Yes Beal is injury prone, but the Wizards bet against it and so will I. Just so tough to rank a guy expecting long-term injuries to push the value of him.
103. Josh Richardson, Miami Heat
A big talking point in the comments through the top-100, I just don’t know if the new J-Rich is going to get the PT and USG he needs to really shine. Everyone is yelling at me for saying this – I’m not the one who signed Dion Waiters! I’m not the one running the team! And I’m CERTAINLY not the one who would start him! But I just have a feeling they’re going to… Vet presence, defense around him can help with Waiters not being D-first, and you bring in Richardson for a defense boost and to score against second units, and leave him in during crunch times when need be in defensive situations. Don’t get me wrong – Richardson is a very exciting young player with a bright future, who may have helped win you some fantasy trophies at the end of last year. But he shot 53.3% from deep in the second half last year (!?!?!?!??!?!?!), a low-volume but bad FT%, and just masked inefficiencies by making all those 3s. He only took 7.5 shots a game in 29+ minutes post-ASB, so over half of his treys HAD to go in to be a discussion here. Yes, the 1.0 STL and 0.7 BLK were awesome, but I just don’t quite see that same replication in blocks or in 3PT%. I think he’s more late-round wing than emerging fantasy superstar.
104. Matt Barnes, Sacramento Kings
Man, I wish I had done all the team previews before finishing the ranks! Found a nice diamond in the rough here… As I mentioned in the Kings foreshadowing, Barnes comes over from the Grizzlies alongside Joerger. The two have a rapport with each other, and I don’t see any reason he can’t duplicate 15-16’s numbers. He was 111 in per-game, with that number only sunk by a 38.1% FG clip. You’d be hard pressed to find many other options that can give you 1/1 STL/BLK later in the draft (1.0/0.8 last year), and even though he’s older, has been pretty durable the last 4 seasons. The Kings desperately need both a defender and a perimeter option, and Barnes fits both. Going to surprise this season.
105. Marcus Morris, Detroit Pistons
It wasn’t the flashiest, but the other brother Morri’ posted his breakout in 15-16, showing he can be an NBA-caliber starter when given the minutes. Nothing jumps off the page, but he’s missed all of 3 games over the last 3 seasons, and is going to score, knock an occasional trey, and get some boards. The little bit of upside is in the treys, as he was 2+ over the final 2 months last year. StanVan did say he wanted to lower his workload, but that doesn’t bother me too much. He played almost 1:30 MPG less post-ASB last year, and was better in those games.
106. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
Not gonna lie, even if he is fully participating in camp and looks good in his first few preseason games, I might not budge too far off this rank. We obviously wish Bosh the best and hope his career isn’t over, but there still isn’t medical clearance for him to play with blood thinners. I said it in a comment or on the Pod, but I stand firm that unless Bosh can somehow avoiding flying (I think both his clots were diagnosed after flights), I don’t see how you’ll feel comfortable. If someone wants to be an optimist and draft higher, I’m all for it. Or is someone wants to be a pessimist and have them off their board entirely, I can’t fault that either. I just play a politician and hedge my bets.
107. Marvin Williams, Charlotte Hornets
An utterly shocking season from Starvin’ Marvin, who really had his minutes in question going into last year. But he came out as the starting stretch-4 (thanks in part to MKG injury) and finished top-50! Top motherf 50!!! 49th in per-game in 15-16, thanks to 6.4 REB and 1.0 BLK on top of 1.9 treys at 45.2% shooting overall. Oh, 0.8 TO. If you needed another poster-child for a guy who can make the metrics look crazy, it’s Marvin. But all that said, I bet we’ll be a smidge higher on him than most, and I don’t see any concern with duplicating the MPG. Big Al is gone, replaced with the ghost of Roy Hibbert, and no other real changes to the front line. He should get all the PF minutes he can handle, but I don’t know if we see 45+ FG% again or the 1.0 BLK. Shave off some numbers there and I think that’s what you’ll get – and it will likely yield a metrics-friendly line a few spots higher than this rank.
108. Jared Sullinger, Toronto Raptors
Apparently it’s a stretch-4 run! In yet another season where his pundits got a disappointing season, Sully saw his FG% not budge much at 43.5%, yet took only 1.3 treys per game after shooting 3.0ish the past two seasons. Same FG% with less 3s taken is no bueno. The FT% inexplicably fell (given low volume), and while his STL/BLK in per-36 went up, they didn’t change much from 14-15 and he was playing against a lot of second units last year. For the Craptors, I don’t know if I’m seeing a monster breakout season, and they’ll need him to shoot 3s. At well under 30% from downtown in his career, I think it could get a little ugly, and I don’t think we see this huge 1+/1+ STL/BLK season either. I’m tempering expectations, but if he’s off the radar in your draft room, he’s certainly worth a pick in the 9th or 10th for upside.
109. Robin Lopez, Chicago Bulls
The worst player in basketball! Sideshow Bob gets bounced from the NY show scene to CHI, where he’ll score a few points, grab a rebound or two, and block a shot. I don’t see much of a reason why he couldn’t be about what he was last year in 27 MPG, except I think shave off a few swats. If you didn’t FT-punt and need added big man depth, I could see going a few higher…
110. Dwight Howard, Atlanta Hawks
…and if you DID FT-punt, here’s your salvation! A guy we’ve never ranked favorably, Howard actually had a really nice bounceback in Houston. REB up, BLK up, TO down… Steals back to 1.0 was nice too. But he gets mercilessly thrown back down in my ranks due to the health, which in part could be (read, is) due to age. Hard to believe he’s almost 31 given that goofy smile, but hey, why don’t you try to stop smiling every second and hit a free throw?! I don’t know how for real the uptick was last year in HOU, and he’s changing teams on top of it. Avoiding in most builds; might get him even 2 rounds earlier in a punt-FT though, if I went that route and still need big man stat-stuffing. Mmmmm, stuffing. Is it Thanksgiving yet?!
111. Will Barton, Denver Nuggets
Everyone is ragging on me for not loving Gary Harris, but Barton was better last year! Yeah, yeah, Harris was a rookie and has upside to get better, but this was by far Barton’s first run in near-starting minutes, so I think there’s upside there too. I think the perception is he is only a scorer, but he chipped in 5.8 REB, 2.5 AST, 0.9/0.5 STL/BLK, and 1.4 treys. Pretty much right there with those stretch-4s listed above, and everything was even better until a brutal April, as he apparently wore down. The risk is really the playing time, which it really shouldn’t be, but the Nugs apparently only want to draft wings. Wings are SO MUCH better chicken than nugs! Wilson Chandler is back, they drafted Jamal Murray, Juan Hernangomez, and Malik Beasley, plus Danilo Gallinari is likely to play less minutes at the 4 with the hopeful Joke/Nurk minutes… It’s just crowded, but I think Barton did enough as a spark guy last year to play a similar role.
112. Patrick Beverley, Houston Rockets
Fear the P-Bev! As in, fear that Razzball is about to overrank him again! I’m like a young Renee Zellweger in the fantasy basketball community, and I’m looking at P-Bev over there, and just mutter “you had me at D’Antoni”… Surprisingly, P-Bev came out at 81st in per-game last year as well. Slight uptick in STL and in his %s was a nice boost, as well as a solid 3.4:1.3 AST:TO. Here’s to hoping the fast-paced offense can get him to 11-12 PTS, 4+ AST, and a career high 1.5 STL. Wow, if he hits all of those, he’d be top-75! Thing is, he’s had A LOT of injuries, going only 71 games last year after only 56 in each of the two years before that…
113. Clint Capela, Houston Rockets
If you’re punting FT, Capela is a MUST in the last few rounds! Might even need to reach a smidge higher. In 19 MPG as a 21-year-old, Capela went 7.0/6.4 and impressively blocked 1.2/per. What’s even MORE impressive was the 0.8 STL. It’s just that horrific FT% at 37.9%. Dude, in his rookie year, he shot 4-23 FT. 17.4%! Biedrins-esque. So at least he got better as a soph! Capela’s your starting C on a fast-paced team… This could get fun quick, if you can avoid the FT drain.
114. Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans
“Reke… Sit right here, Reke!” “REKE DO AS I SAY!”
Just like Theon, and well, P-Bev too, Evans has a long history of injuries… Thankfully a string of kankles isn’t quite as bad a fate as Theon’s injuries! And it was actually the knees that crapped out on Reke last year, limiting him to only 25 games. Now there’s a report out that Alvin Gentry doesn’t think Evans will be ready by opening night, so who knows how long this timetable really is. And he’s also on the last year of his contract… Free agent in 2017 means the Pels will be EXTREMELY cautious with bringing him back, to hopefully maximize a return in a deadline deal. That is, if they’re smart. Last I checked, they STILL have the same medical staff, who employ their unique protocols of never washing their hands, trepanning if a player has migraines, and reverse voodoo-dolling. “If you take really good care of the voodoo doll’s knee, Tyreke will be back sooner! Wait, don’t use the voodoo doll for that!!”
115. Harrison Barnes, Dallas Mavericks
Late round, blah scoring. Won’t hit a ton of treys, I expect a lot more issues with FG%, the FT volume and percent have never been there, and no defensive stats. What you’re hoping for here is a home run in scoring, which could even push to 18-19 if things fall right. And if he indeed stays away from the perimeter and leaves those treys for Matthews, then maybe he has a usable-enough FG% to be a nice Pts-boost for a FT-punt team.
116. Evan Turner, Portland Trailblazers
It’s been back-to-back seasons where we didn’t really know what Bootstaps Bill Turner’s role would be, but the Celtics tied a cannonball to Boostraps’ bootstraps and sent him to Portland. Even though a starting job looks likely (isn’t promised), the only other wing of consequence they have is Allen Crabbe, who you imagine would be playing some backup SG as well. Beyond the nice AST he gives you as a wing though, it’s pretty empty with blah scoring and a steal. Both Turner’s AST and AST:TO took massive steps forward in Boston, so I do have some lingering concerns with how well they translate in POR, but I think he’ll be solid.
117. Buddy Hield, New Orleans Pelicans
[Jaws theme] Duhhhh Duh! Duhhhhh Duh! Duh duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh, THRAGNOF!
Hield is my second-highest ranked rookie, which I think sums up the rookie class for redraft. While the role and a TON of treys should be coming his way, I do caution that his steals went down his sophomore through senior seasons, with a rise in TO despite no corresponding rise in AST. Yes, he was on an Oklahoma team without playmakers, but if you’re getting all this defensive pressure, fall into 3 or 4 assists a game by breaking them down! And speaking of pressure – Hield shot 32.7% in Summer Ball, with only a 22.9% clip on treys. Minutes and shots will be there, we’ll just see what happens with them.
118. Jabari Parker, Milwaukee Bucks
More late-round, blah scoring picks! Parker really surprised with 14.1 PPG coming off an ACL, and shot 49.3%. FT volume went up as well. But that’s really where it ends. If not for an unreal 18.8/6.2/2.2/1.1/0.3 line over his last 29 games, I don’t think he’d be even THIS high! I don’t really expect a full season of 18+ Pts though, and his value gets sunk because he doesn’t make 3s. When you need a scoring boost late in drafts, I’ve found it’s almost always hand-in-hand with a need for treys, so it’s tough for me to like Jabari more.
119. Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia 76ers
Ugh, Okafor, do I havvvvvvve to rank him?! I guess the 105th per-game was pretty nice for a rookie, and even the 1.2 blocks surprised me. I thought he might be sub-1.0 BLK and sub-60% FT. He was actually fine at the stripe for 68.6%. The rub is less with the numbers, and more with his team and his make-up. The Sixers still DESPERATELY want to trade a big, and Okafor DESPERATELY likes to punch trolls. The latter part of that sentence would be a pretty baller band name.
120. Jerryd Bayless, Philadelphia 76ers
JB’s of the world, unite! I’m sure this rank will get a little bit of a look of derision, but Bayless is actually coming off a career year! Near high in FG%, high in 3PT%, high in 3PTM, right at his best AST:TO, and second-highest STL output. Sure, a lot of this is due to a high in minutes, but highs be highs! Then he signs with the Sixers. Lows be lows! While he pencils in as the Sixers starter, I just really like the fit he brings – a PG who doesn’t need a ton of USG (Ben Simmons will be point-forwarding a lot), a floor spacer who can make treys, and a guy who doesn’t turn it over. Upside is P-Bev with less STL but 2.5ish 3PTM and 14-15 PTS. Downside is they quickly move to start T.J. McConnell again. Which keeps him lower than P-Bev…
121. Kris Dunn, Minnesota Timberwolves
PG rookie nookie time! Raise your right hand if you think Dunn is good. Now lower your right hand if you think he’s going to play 30 MPG. Look to the person to your right. Look to the person to your left. If anyone is still raising their hands, they must work in the Wolves front office and have a Rubio trade done. Or should I say… “a Rubio trade Dunn”? MUAHAHAHAHAHA.
Dunn was insane in Summer Ball, going 24/7/3/2/1 shooting 54.3% from the field and getting to the stripe for 15 freebies in only 2 games due to a concussion. That said, 3 turnovers per (that’s not the worst…), 7.5 fouls (ouch!), 1-6 from deep and only shot 60% on those free throws. MCW wants his player profile back! TO/FG%/FT%/3PTM could all be a concern as Dunn gets more PT, but he really needs a Rubio injury or trade to go any higher in my ranks. Oozing upside though…
122. Deron Williams, Dallas Mavericks
Don’t need much of a write-up here. Limited upside, low D stats, low FG%, but is a PG who starts in the NBA and had 5.8 AST last season. No way I’m not nabbing him with my last pick or two if he’s there. But you can’t expect him to carry you anywhere with 68 games or fewer in this final gasp of his career.
123. Mason Plumlee, Portland Trailblazers
I have admitted several times that I don’t watch a ton of playoff basketball, but I do remember the Blazers, who in a few games I watched seemed to be running their offense through Plumlee. Yeah. Let that soak in a minute. But it’s true! Feeding him at the FT line and he was kicking out, or posting and making interior passes, it was bizarre. In the Clippers series, he had a stretch of 7, 9, then 10 dimes in Games 2-4. His overall AST were at a decent-enough 2.8, but they went up to 4.8 in the postseason. He also got to 11.8 boards. His overall 15-16 slash wasn’t that impressive, but he somehow shot 64.2% FT, so could be a good upside-y stat-stuffer late. Great additional add in a punt-FT build, plus he’s played all 82 in back-to-back seasons.
124. Gary Harris, Denver Nuggets
Aight, here we go. Slim’s REL-biased boyfriend had a phenomenal sophomore season, but as the Nuggets bring in more wings, it brings in more pressure. But as I said in yesterday’s Nugs preview, I do think he can get right back to 32 MPG. I know this isn’t a HUGE difference, but I was interested to see the difference he had pre-and-post Gallo. After Gallinari got hurt, Harris went 14.6/2.9/2.3/1.2/0.3 with 1.6 treys shooting 48.8% with 2.0-2.2 FT. Pretty awesome stuff in 33:20 MPG. But with Gallinari out there the first 53 games they played together, 11.3/2.9/1.8/1.3/0.2 with 1.3 treys only shooting 45.9% in 31.9 MPG. Also with a paltry 1.2-1.5 FT. So he shot MUCH better with more 3s without Gallo floating around, was much more aggressive… Kind of like my Josh Richardson argument, I think you’re paying for a hot shooting stretch down the… dammit! …stretch. Now, you could definitely argue it was Harris taking a step up as a player, but I kinda think he’s more the first-53 games numbers with Gallinari back. Gallo is going to get his shots and USG, I don’t know why we’re assuming Harris vaults into 1.5+ STL territory, and 1.3 to 1.5 treys just doesn’t get me excited. I don’t really know where the upside is going to come either. A solid backend ThrAGNOF with “maybe” the upside of Avery Bradley if there’s injuries? I dunno, he wouldn’t get the 3s either… Just struggling to figure out a way to rank him higher.
125. Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies
Z-Bo! Man, I’ve always liked this guy. The metrics/fantasy community always cry about “No blocks! All he does is score and rebound!” Well, ya know what?! That’s useful in the later rounds! And for a long stretch, he was avoided too long. I “think” this will have me getting priced out of Z-Bo in ADP for the first time, but I’d still love to nab him for his 15/8 filler if he’s still around. FG% isn’t great, but at least he shaved down his TO-rate to only 1.5, so he doesn’t hurt you anywhere.
126. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brooklyn Nets
So many toolsy young guards! I’m not quite sure if this rank will be status quo or put RHJ in my sleeper bin, but his skillset is very unique for someone qualified at SG. He only played 29 games as a rook, so I’m admittedly taking a very small sliver of a sample. Selling seashells. But after waffling with his minutes the first few weeks, RHJ went 7.6/7.7/1.6/1.9/0.4 in a 9 game stretch ending November to early December. The next game he broke his ankle, then was eased in in April. 1.9 steals though! Plus 7.7 boards! And half a block ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at. The scoring is mad low and he doesn’t shoot 3s, but doesn’t turn it over either. As mentioned, we saw him eased back at the end of last year so I think health concern isn’t a huge deal, and he played some Summer Ball averaging 6.6 REB and 3.2 STL in 26 MPG. If your team needs a late round STL/REB boost – a rare combo – RHJ is your guy. Quick joke – If you’re right-handed, RHJ is normal, but LHJ is a stranger!
127. Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers
Z-Bo Jr.! Maybe the most unheralded rookie in fantasy to go dubdub, then have no excitement the following season… Yeah, yeah, he was technically in year-2 after playing 13 minutes as a rook pre-injury, but you get what I mean. 11.3/10.2 for Ayn Rand in 15-15 – don’t give any of those stats to the motherf government! – with nothing much else going on. 42.9% from the field isn’t going to work either. But bring in a new regime, a nice fundamental SF for once (gulp) next to him, and some upside since he’s still young, and maybe he can go something like 14/11 and shoot 45%. That’s what you’re drafting him for, and it still has utility.
128. Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs
I remember someone arguing with me that I needed to move Green into my top-50 last year. Maybe it was two years ago, but Green exemplifies metrics-whoreness, and when ANY of the volume gets hit, it gets hit HURRRRD! Danny Boy fell to 140th in per-game, barely ousting Jeff Green. Burn! #Lol! Yikes, I had never seen that before… Almost as egregious as that link was Green’s %s, dropping to 37.6% FG shooting and that stellar 3PT% that had been 40+ for years fell to 33.2%. In total – 7.2 PPG and made only 2.7 FG a game. Rubio-esque! But the hope here is that the %s go back up to the norms, and he did still go 1.0/0.8 STL/BLK last year.
129. Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls
Another multi-cat threat we were expecting more of in 15-16 was the bearded enigma that is NIIIIIIIIKOLA! I’m actually a little surprised his metrics didn’t rank higher than 88th in per-game last year. 11.8/5.5/1.5/0.9/0.7 with 2.0 treys a game is pretty gnarly, bro! Unfortunately it was in only 66 games, and I’m guessing – not 100% sure – but at least half of that production came in a 32/7/4/5/3 line in his finale against the Sixers. Gus Ayonin’! Problem is just where he’ll fit on this roster for minutes. With Dwyane Wade clearly starting and Jimmy Butler taking most of the SF minutes, that leaves only PF. And Taj Gibson, despite being brittle, is fine there next to Rolo. Bobby Portis is also listed as a PF on Rotoworld, but I would guess they’ll have him play backup center. If the do start Miro at the 4, let’s call into concerns his defense yet again! I wasn’t fully buying into the crazy Mirotic hype last year due to his defensive warts costing him PT, and I don’t care if his defensive rating came out OK, he just gets lost as a SF and overpowered as a PF. The lack of a true position has killed him on the defensive end. I think it makes the most sense to bring him off the bench again for instant O. He was much better per-minutes as a sub, but the volume cut really hurt the D stats.
130. Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks
Just like our hashtag Lol, Korver got a nasty bout of the Green-syndrome last season. Korver, who still holds an absurd 53.6% 3PT% seasonal-record (09-10), had his usual, epic high-40%s clip shaved down to 39.9% from deep last year. It’s almost like he had elbow surgery or something! Oh wait…So hopefully a healthy offseason can right the ship, but there’s not enough else of note in the peripheral stats to get me more excited for a bounceback. More a last round or two ThrAGNOF snag.
131. Bismack Biyombo, Orlando Magic
Yes, yes, Big Biz likely helped win some owners their title belts (please tell me someone is in a league with one of those…), and yes there should be a big chunk of minutes going his way. It’s just such an annoying clogged rotation, that the only real guy I’m buying is Ibaka. At his best (read, when injuries), Biz is going to go 8/13 with 2 blocks. In the rotation as I am guessing it looks now, he’s more 5/10 with 1.5 blocks. Still usable to fit a late-round need, but FT are an issue as well, albeit in a low volume. FT punters should definitely have him starred going into the 100s though.
132. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Hornets
A possible forgotten name in the sleeper-zone is the not once, but twice torn labrumed MKG. Ugh, that sounds miserable! At least he was able to give us a little glimpse playing in 7 games, and in the 6 full games before the injury, he was a pretty saucy 13.5/7.0/1.2/0.3/0.5 shooting 52.6%. Small sample, I know, but the offense seems to be coming around, and quick side note – for a guy who has been eviscerated for having an ugly jumper, he’s never shot below 45.8% in his career… He doubled his career output in treys last year as well by hitting a monster number of 3 more (up to 6 3PTM in his career!), so maybe that will find its way in his game along with the low TO rate. Lack of major D-stat contribution and FT% still hold him back a smidge though.
133. Zaza Pachulia, Dallas Mavericks
Pizza Arms! Zaza Arms! Thin crust or exxxxxxxtra deep dish?! This got a little weird, but I do need to add that nickname to the Glossary! The goofy C joins the Western All-Stars of Golden State to just be a placeholder C and stay healthy (cough, Bogut). His 127th overall finish in per-game is a middle misleading, as the Mavs REALLY limited his minutes over the final stretch. 30 Minutes or Less! That was a little bit of a disappointing movie… Up until Feb 19th (he had back to back 40+ minute games in this range, then 19, 24, 8), he was 10/10.9/2/1/0.3. Dem fighting numbers! 3.4-4.5 FT for 75% at the stripe as well – nothing to scoff at for a big. But after that run of 29.9 MPG, only 19.3 MPG in the final 25 games for 5.6/6.6/1.1/0.5/0.2. Dem resting numbers! While I don’t quite expect what Zaza did in that first stretch, I do think he’ll be a capable big and get 3ish AST with 9-10 boards.
134. Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder
Grizzly Adams DID have a beard! And his son Steven had… A fu manchu? I don’t really know what was going on there on Adams’ face, except for the ugly stick. Hah, that’s mean, but hey I’m facing off against him in fantasy ranks, not in an upcoming NBA game! Dude gets swingy! Anyway, pretty comparable season for Adams after a nice 14-15, but he did vastly improve his %s and AST:TO. They’re all low volume, but it was good to see. I don’t think that the post-Durant/Ibaka era means a steep increase in PT, but I do think 30 MPG is realistic. That would make him a nice 10/8 with 1.5 BLK candidate, I just don’t know how attached you’ll be game-to-game. A lot more solid in the deepers.
135. Amir Johnson, Boston Celtics
This rank really surprised me, because I wanted nothing to do with Amir last year. Always suffering kankles, Amir’s minutes fell down to an awful 22:47 in 15-16. But he did the most with them, going 7.3/6.4/1.7/0.7/1.1. Note those D stats! 58.5% from the field as well. And the more I’m looking at this team, the more I think he could creep the run back to 30ish MPG. No Sully means Jonas Jerebko and Ben Bentil (likely D-League) are your only “pure” PF backups, with Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller and Jordan Mickey your other backup bigs. Yes, there is a report Jaylen Brown might play some stretch-4 as well, but none of this jumps off the page as anything that should inhibit at least, let’s say, 25 MPG for Amir? And if so, he finished 109th in per-game last year. There’s some risk with how the rotation plays out and nothing is too sexy, but he’s a name I bet goes undrafted a lot of the time.
136. Al Jefferson, Indiana Pacers
Hopefully the name value will vault him ahead of this spot, which would imply I indeed would draft an over-the-hill, old backup C if he fell this far. But even in only 23:19 MPG – which seems like a solid guess to his run this year – Big Al went 12/6.4/1.5/0.6/0.9 with only 0.7 TO. I’m not expecting much here, just another 11/6 with a block and nice %s as a roster filler.
137. Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets
I think these last two Cs might be the closest to twins in the NBA stats-wide in 16-17. Faried might get a few more boards, but he turns it over a little more. We’ve talked about the Nugs front line ad nauseam, but I think we see closer to 20 MPG than 25:17 we saw last year, and hopefully a trade. I’m not sure NBA teams need to see much more from the Manimal to gauge his trade value, plus the Nugs will want to keep him healthy.
138. Alex Len, Phoenix Suns
Ohhhhh, the Suns big men. Where to start… I guess technically we’re starting with Len since he’s ranked highest… Dammit! While I still think there’s upside to his game, shooting 42.3% with no 3s like he did last year ain’t gonna cut it. His blocks at sub-1.0 last year were annoying as well, after being at 1.5 in fewer minutes in 14-15. Yikes, when he played 30+ MPG post-ASB in a starting role, he was 39.1% from the field with 0.6 BLK and 2.7 TO?! Ouch. Yeah, I had him 127 and moved him down to here. Just not an NBA starter… I guess there’s still a glimmer of upside, but hopefully someone else will reach.
139. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
Here’s something interesting – looks like Parker had his best AST:TO ratio of his career last year – 5.3:1.8. We all know Parker is mad old and only playing 70ish games if that, but if he replicates last year by going 11.9/2.4/5.3/0.8/0.2 in 27:30 MPG with only 1.8 TO and shooting 49.3%… It’s going to be a little useful! PTS+AST that don’t hurt you anywhere…
140. Michael Carter-Williams, Milwaukee Bucks
Here’s a great pick that fits the open – we’ll have answers pretty quick if we think MCW is ownable in 12ers! We all know he has some crazy upside if he could fix the %s and his TO-proneness, but it hasn’t fully materialized. It looks like they’re starting Matthew Dellavedova to play “PG” while Giannis runs the team, but maybe MCW and Greek can co-exist in a few rotations and MCW will heavily run the second unit. At least we’re seeing him ditch shooting treys which is helping his FG, but the FT% and TO are ugly enough that he might only fit on a punt-FT build with limited upside due to minutes.
141. Al-Farouq Aminu, Portland Trailblazers
Was I right or wrong on Aminu last year? I think since he finished only 110th per-game, I’m logging it in the WIN category! I know I ranked him lower than that, but don’t fact check how low! As I suspected, the steals and blocks didn’t directly increase as he became a starter at 0.9/0.6 – exactly at his career average even as a blah 20 minuter – and his FG% remained way too low. And I don’t buy that a guy had a FG% of 41.6 – right where it was last year – while going from 1.7 to 4.3 treys. 36.1% from deep seems like an epic fluke to me, after he was sub-28% every year since his rookie season. I’m obviously not an Aminu guy, and with Evan Turner in town, Aminu is directly competing for PF minutes with Meyers Leonard (who I think Is overrated as well), Noah Vonleh and Moe Harkless – the latter two both being OK in stretches last year. A struggling Aminu could easily lose a boatload of run.
142. Timofey Mozgov, Los Angeles Lakers
Healthcare.Mozgov, costing the taxpayers too much money! And by taxpayers, I only mean Lakers management. Yes, yes, the contract has been much maligned, but he could be OKish, right? If he gets to 28 MPG, he could get 1.5 blocks and a few boards, but health has been an issue and I have no faith in the Lakers not to screw something up these days. Plus there is someone looming… A hot new big boy in town! More below…
143. Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls
The Big Mahal heads into another season where the prior year’s minutes went down, but fortunately the production was still decent enough. With Noah and Pau outta there, there’s a shot for 28-29 MPG with a 9/9 1.3 BLK sort of line, with a great FG%. It is worth noting the rumor mill has got Taj’s name churning in there as well, but I would think the Bulls would start him and play him a good bit if they wanted to drum up trade value. Pretty blah, but a backend, big man contributor.
144. J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavaliers
ThrAGNOF! Yes, JR Smiff finished 93rd in per-game last year, but with a full season of Kyrie, I find it hard to expect duplication. 12.4 Pts and 2.6 treys I think are going down, and that’s the only reason you’re drafting JR anyway. As we all know though, 3s ain’t got no face! I’m probably passing on draft day and weighing my options at my roster spots when I need to stream for 3s. But if he does last this long, maybe you catch lightning in a bottle for a few weeks and he starts hot.
145. Tyler Johnson, Miami Heat
I know it’s a little weird sandwiching an upside guy between two pretty boring, status-quo SG, but I feel like Smiff’s 3s output and Tyjo’s uncertain role had me go this order for 144-146.
Let’s just put this out there – I LOOOOVVVVVEEEE Tyler Johnson! Dude is incredible, he plays with reckless abandon without turning it over, mad hops, great smooth jumper, hard on defense… I just wish the metrics liked him a little more than 175th in per-game last year, and the biggest issue is how much he’ll play. Dragic is obviously entrenched, and with issues of PT between Waiters and J-Rich, it only really leaves pure backup PG minutes. But maybe the two SG can find some time at SF as well and Tyjo finds a way. An upside stab to see what happens, rotations-wise.
146. Courtney Lee, New York Knicks
And as we’re flying high with upside on Tyjo, it’s time to come CRASHING DOWN to C Lee. On the triumphant line of 9.6/2.6/1.7/1.1/0.4 and a paltry 1.0 3PTM a game, Lee STILL managed to finish 122nd in per game mostly due to 0.8 TO. It’s going to be about the same this year. 1 3PTM/1 STL and if that works for you, you’re golden!
147. Tyson Chandler, Phoenix Suns
I know, I know, half of you just threw up in your mouth a little bit. But Chandler wasn’t ALL that bad last year! 7.2/8.7 isn’t the worst – given rebounding is about all he can do – and he ended on a very usable 10.1/9.4/0.9/0.6/0.8 run over his last 24 games, shooting a Whitesideian 67.8%. The Suns have NO reason to rush their rookies who are both mad young prospects, and juice what they can from Tyson and hope to nab a trade. Age, missed games, and a late-season trade or youth movement sink him here, but I think he’ll be OK.
148. Jared Dudley, Phoenix Suns
Oh dear lord, did I just rank Milk Duds top-150?! I actually contemplated ranking him EVEN HIGHER as well! Milk Duds pulls off the standing around role as good as anyone, scoring 7.9 Pts and getting only 3.5 REB in 26 MPG last season. The allure (if you can call it that…) is the 10.1/3.9/2.7/1.2/0.2 line he put up over 39 games from December to February while the Wiz were dealing with heavy injuries. He hit 1.7 treys in that span and shot a crazy 49.3% overall. Over that timeframe he was 73rd in per-game value. As with Chandler, I think the Suns start him, and let him ease way to the rookies in the final month or two. On a team with those two guards moving it and kicking it, and an inept scoring Chandler, Dudley should get touches and have a chance to replicate that run he had in that Washington-spree out of the gate in 16-17.
149. Ivica Zubac, Los Angeles Lakers
Because, why the f not, Razzball Nation?! I looked back on my top 101-148 and thought to myself – “I ain’t got nothing bold enough yet!” So let’s start drumming up the deep league excitement for IZ (still need to find a new Razzball nickname here…). The 7 foot 1, 265 pound monstrosity only fell to the second round due to concerns with a broken foot in his earlier years, but the Lakers I think hit a home run. He went 10.6/7.2/0.2/0.2/2.6 in Summer Ball, shooting 64.7% from the field, 81.8% from the stripe, and committing only 1.0 TO/per. I actually kinda love that nothing jumps off the page like say, Kris Dunn’s summer numbers. But a big who blocks, makes FT, doesn’t turn it over, and legit changed game-complexion in Summer Ball due to his defensive prowess should find a role in LA out of the gate. And fortunately, only the overpaid Mozgov stands in his way for a starting role. Now, let’s not go crazy, the Lakers are likely bringing him along slow, but there’s just a completeness to his game as a shot blocker that has me thinking he’s worth the risk as a last-round flier. Might even go up further through preseason, but also could sink if it sounds he might open the year in the D-League or something…
150. Andrew Bogut, Dallas Mavericks
Ugh, yawn. I mostly picked someone boring because this article is friggin’ longggggg! You know what you’re gonna get: anemic scoring, 7 or 8 boards, 1.5 blocks, and the risk of sub-60 games and a 1-6 FT night. He did play well in the Olympics, but camon, he’s old and we know what he is.
Oh dear lord, I still have 50 ranks to go! A nice and pretty 6600+ words right here, but as the Panthers say, KEEP POUNDING! I scheduled this article before watching the game; you’ll be able to tell in my comments-tone how I think they did… Let me know your thoughts on the ranks to this point, and happy offseason prep, Razzball Nation!