Ending up with a late-round pick in this year’s fantasy draft is like reaching the front of the line at McDonald’s and having the former computer analyst behind the counter tell you that they only have chicken sandwiches left.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with Al Jeffersons and Carmelo Anthonys, but I came here for the Big Macs, not those Southwest whatever-you-call-its with the weird sauce.
Picking in that slot seems to be having a ripple effect. At that point all the elite guys are gone, so you have to take someone like Jefferson or Anthony or gamble a little on a guy like Derrick Rose. Also, if you didn’t get James Harden, Stephen Curry or Paul George, you’re going to have to either reach or punt a little on SG, because there isn’t one of proper value to take at that spot.
All of this means you’re probably looking at taking a SG in the fourth round or so. And if your draft is like all the others, that will probably leave you with a choice of either Monta Ellis or Eric Bledsoe.
Or you can look at the coaches and see how these guys will fit in their systems.
Ellis arrives in Big D with Big Expectations from his new coach, Rick Carlisle. In August, Carlisle called Ellis the “fastest player ever to wear a Mavericks uniform” (somewhere Brad Davis is crying). Earlier this month, he declared that Ellis would have to “carry a load” for the Mavericks.
This isn’t asking too much for a guy who was a flat-out beast for the Golden State Warriors during the putrid pre-Mark Jackson era. Sure, he was a brick-laying fool last year, but the 25-plus per game he was putting up by the Bay tells us what he can do.
But it’s not what Ellis has done that has me sold on him as a fantasy breakout this year. It’s what Carlisle has done with the SG slot.
Rip Hamilton really put it together and became a more complete player when he arrived in Detroit to play for Carlisle. Jason Terry flourished when he joined Carlisle in Dallas, popping off of pick-and-rolls with Dirk Nowitzki and winning a title in 2008.
The real question is whether Dirk still has the juice to play that game with Ellis. If he does, I think Ellis goes back to scoring 25 ppg or more. If he doesn’t, I still see him as a 20 ppg scorer but maybe with more assists. Either way, Ellis will pile up the steals.
That brings us to Bledsoe. He’s another PG/SG dude who’s being touted for a breakout. There is nothing in the past to indicate that this will happen. His per 36 numbers show him as a multi-cat contributor but there’s nothing eye-popping there. To be fair, he never got a ton of minutes with the Clips, and that will change in Phoenix.
I like Bledsoe because of new coach Jeff Hornaceck. While inexperienced, the man who could be Albie from “Big Love” for Halloween without putting on a costume has promised to install a retro-Phoenix Suns style offense, which means lots of running and lots of scoring and lots of the Suns Ape going crazy. As the starting SG, Bledsoe will get a decent amount of those points. Plus: Lots of shots means lots of rebounds, and lots of chaos means lots of steals and blocks to be had by all. Bledsoe will get a fair share of those as well.
Will the Suns stink? Yes. Does that matter to fantasy owners who will get more stats from Bledsoe? Absolutely not.
In the end, I’m giving the nod to Monta. He’s already shown he can be a scoring machine, and if he can mesh with the rigid Carlisle, he’s going to have a big year.
FG% FT% 3PT STL RPG APG BPG PPG
.440 .82 2.0 2.1 3.2 6.4 0.3 24.7
FG% FT% 3PT STL RPG APG BPG PPG
.420 .84 1.0 1.3 5.1 5.3 1.0 18.3