As we prepare for the 2016-17 Fantasy Basketball Season, I’ll be taking a look at each NBA team with their major adds and drops to see if we can pan for any surprise rotational gold.  This open is especially witty for the Nuggets.  We’ll be counting down from worst NBA regular season to the best, mainly because I’m still figuring out how to rank the Warriors…

New Orleans Pelicans (30-52)

Pelicans

Key Acquisitions:

Buddy Hield (Rookie)

F Terrence Jones

E’Twaun Moore

G/F Solomon Hill

G Langston Galloway

F/C Cheick Diallo (Rookie)

Key Losses:

F/C Ryan Anderson

G Eric Gordon

G Norris Cole

F Luke Babbitt

G Toney Douglas

The Athletic Trainers are the SAME?!?!?  Totally should be a key loss…

The team of injuries…  That’s the team Terrence Jones goes to…  SMH…

It’s a pretty boring off-season for Nawleans.  They lose some meh vets, but don’t really bring in anything that special, particularly in youthful excitement.  I mean, Buddy Hield isn’t even a year younger than Brow…  And despite some people’s love in Hield, I think he’s just an average starter.  I wish they had done a little more to surround Brow as he enters his 5-year deal through 2021…  But what do I know?!  Here’s how their roster is coming together:

PG  Projected Starter – Jrue Holiday

Not too much to say here.  Jrue is a phenomenal hoops player, but we always will hold our breaths that his legs can hold up.  On top of his leg issues, he broke his eye last year.  Well, the orbital wall, but neither sounds fun.

Post-ASB last year when the minutes started getting back up (33:26 MPG), Jrue flashed a sexy 21.2/3.3/7.3/1.7/0.3 line.  However it comes with some warts.  His 3PT% continues to wallow in the 30%s, it fell pretty sharp to 32.6% post-ASB, and he averaged a horrible 3.6 TO.  The FT% and volume had a big spike though, so at least we saw some of his most aggressive play.  It feels like a risky pick, but he’s got to go in the top-50.

Key Reserves – Tim Frazier, Langston Galloway

I don’t see any reason the Pels would be cautious with Jrue out of the gate this year, which would spell sporadic playing time for either of these guys.  Galloway has shown some promise when he got run in NY, and Frazier was must-own to end last year going 13.1/4.4/7.5/1.4/0.1 over the final 16.  Since Galloway may very well end up playing some backup SG as well, I imagine in the deepest of leagues Frazier is the handcuff.

SG – Projected Starter – Buddy Hield

While there is some question as to what Hield’s upside really is, at least we know there’s a relatively high floor.  As I mentioned in my draft recap, Hield saw his steals in college drop as his minutes went up, and his TO rate drastically increased with no changes in dimes.  He had to become the lead scorer at Oklahoma, with not much talent around him to facilitate to.  I get that.  But I don’t know how that’ll immediately translate.  I think it’ll look very ThrAGNOFfy and streamable most of the year.

Key Reserves – E’Twaun Moore

Remember Galloway could factor in a little here as well, but I could see Moore going over 20 MPG as mainly the backup 2 guard when they need a little more playmaking/facilitating than spot-shooting.  Hell, they did pay him $34 mil.  Not a ton, but it’s not like it was the vet minimum either.

SF  Projected Starter – Tyreke Evans

“Come here Reke!”  “Sit right here, Reke!”  I can only think of Game of Thrones now when I think of Tyreke Evans

Ugh, 3 knee surgeries this past year.  Sucks for such a talented player.  And it looks like he won’t be ready for opening night either, according to Alvin Gentry.  Even though we saw some great things in his limited run last year (career best 3s/3PT%, best AST per-48), it’s just wayyyy too risky for me to invest even in the mid-rounds.

Key Reserves – Solomon Hill, Quincy Pondexter

After missing all of last year, it’s tough to know what The Lone Ranger will bring, and unfortunately with Hield, they don’t need another ThrAGNOF.  So I think this could be an interesting early-season run for Hill.  People forget he was pretty much must-own to start 14-15, going 12.4/5.4/2.0/1.1/0.2 through November and early December.  %s weren’t great and he doesn’t make a ton of 3s, so not surprisingly he fell out of the rotation with PG13 back.  With a shooter stretching the floor with some questionable defense (Hield), Hill makes a lot of sense to play lockdown D on whichever opposing wing is the primary scorer, and fall into some deep-league usable stats to start the year.

PF  Projected Starter – Anthony Davis

They have voodoo stuff in New Orleans, right?  We need to have a seance for Brow…  Hasn’t topped 68 games yet, only 61 last year, and as I mentioned in my top-10 ranks, it’s not fluky injuries, it’s bumps and bruises costing sporadic games before the final shutdown.  But he is still a first rounder, it just depends how far outside the top-4 he falls for you.

Key Reserves – Terrence Jones

Well, getting an upside PF with a crazy injury history to backup your PF with a crazy injury history is one way to go, I guess…  Kidding aside, Jones signed for the vet minimum to try and earn a bigger role, and was teammates with Brow at Kentucky.  Mayyyyybe Brow can play some C to allow Jones to play next to him, but then you risk Brow’s health, banging with the big boys.  Jones went from Razzball darling to not draftable in one year.  Ugh.

C Projected Starter – Omer Asik

The NBA’s most boring starting position…  Asik got that awful contract and apparently played with a bad back last year, but even healthy, he’s what?  25 MPG with 10 rebounds and nothing else?  Meh.

Key Reserves – Alexis Ajinca, Cheick Diallo

Ajinca has shown some flashes, but he’s 28 now and meh times two.  Diallo had some pretty nice numbers in Summer League going 10.8/9.4/0.2/0.4/2.2 with only 0.6 TO, but he’s 19 and a little raw.  Diallo could be a little interesting in dynasty formats, and there’s minutes to be had here behind a walking injury like Asik.  But I think they mix and match rather than carve a big role for anyone.  Seeing these C minutes put together, maybe there is hope TJones can play more than just backup 4…

 

JB’s 2016-17 Projection: 26-56

They’re injury-prone and didn’t do much to improve their squad.  Blah.

  1. Lasandro says:
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    I mean, Ajinca had some damn saucy lines towards the very end of last season. I should know as I streamed him in my uber shallow roto. He’s not much of a shotblocker but the dude gobbles up O brds and has a decent mid-range shot. All I’m saying is that I’d much rather have him out there with AD than that Turkish twat. Asik’s agent is a genius!! “Yes that’s what I said: back home is known as the Turkish Hakeem!”

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Lasandro: Yeah he was OK, but ya know, so was like Luke Babbitt. I think it was just a talentless team giving him minutes haha. And yeah, hah I don’t blame ya for liking him over Asik hahahaha. More like Hakeem, the Turkish Nightmare!

    • Lasandro says:
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      @Lasandro: MAN, let’s take a moment at talk about that silly Babbit! Dude was THE focal point of their offense (yes, I can feel your eyes rolling) but he really delivered. A legit outside threat, got to the line, boarded decently and dished a few dimes in those last 10 or so games. I was really surprised. Would love to see him get some decent run in Miami but I dont know how that’ll happen with Waiters, JRich and Winslow around. Damn shame. He’s only 27. Sounding like an obituary..

      Looking at Ajinca’s game log from last season – boy howdy did he score efficiently. His second last game against the Lakers (yes, yes, I know) he went 28/15/2 with a stl and 2 blks on 70% and 4/4 fts. But man did he turn the ball over in those starts! Still, there’s certainly potential. He’s got a lot more going for him offensively than, say, Gobert (ugh). Food for thought, I guess.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Lasandro: Haha, yup my eyes did roll! But I agree, he is better than some dude just for lineup depth to never see the court which is likely in MIA. Read the eulogy indeed…

        Well, Lakers were notorious for giving up big games to opposing bigs. I think Ajinca was a big stream call for me that day 🙂 But that equated to basically a D League game haha. Sure, he can score better than Gobert, but I don’t think he can do much else, much less stay healthy and play enough at C to protect Brow… That’s what they need Asik’s Turkish body for haha

  2. MAC says:
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    RAZZUP?!!!

    great format!!!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @MAC: Thanks man! Yeah I liked how this came together, we’ll do the rest this way 🙂

  3. DORIAN says:
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    Great write-up as always.

    This team is sooooo mehhhhhhhh. Three starters are walking injury timebombs and the other two are basically non-factors(Asik and Buddy). The only saving grace is that players with that “injury-prone” label can really turn a profit. I think Jrue in particular is my profit potential headliner as he basically put up 2nd/3rd round value last year and seemed to put his leg issues behind him. If he’s available at pick 50 or equivalent in auction YOU PULL THAT TRIGGER.

    Please no one say Buddy has profit potential, I guarantee he’ll be overdrafted for stats that I can get better from Bojan Bogdanovic for no practically no cost.

    • DORIAN says:
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      @DORIAN:

      For Jrue I meant 2nd/3rd value when playing, he started the season I recovery then ramped up activities with that leg.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @DORIAN: Thanks for stopping by man! Hah, well you’re wayyyyyyy wrong on one thing. Asik is BOTH a walking injury and a non-factor hahaha.

        Yup I will like Jrue too, albeit obviously comes with risk. I said he’s def a top 50 still for me, might be closer to top-40. Def agree you gotta get him in that range!

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