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…

Orlando Magic (35-47)

magic

Key Acquisitions:

F Serge Ibaka

C Bismack Biyombo

F Jeff Green

G D.J. Augstin

F/C Arinze Onuaku

G C.J. Wilcox

Key Losses:

G Victor Oladipo

F Ersan Ilyasova

G Brandon Jennings

F Andrew Nicholson

C Dewayne Dedmon

C Jason Smith

G Shabazz Napier

SKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILES!

Wooooo, get this Skiles fool out of here!  We get to turn the page on this franchise, and finally get some fantasy excitement going – – only to have them then hoard big men like they’re the Sixers.  There’s only ONE PF and ONE C spot, Orlando!

A lot of the Magic’s turnover happened around the trade deadline last year, and some “key losses” were only in Florida for a hot, swampy minute.  It’s hard to say if they really got any better or worse – losing Oladipo hurts anyone – but I’m excited to see what new frontman Frank Vogel can get out of the band.  Here’s how their roster is shaping up:

PG – Projected Starter – Elfrid Payton

Elfrid on the Shelfrid!  With a new defensive-minded team and a defensive-minded Vogel, Elfrid seems to fit in a system he’s made for.  SKIIIIIIILES! waffled Elfrid’s minutes like a WaHo, and said he didn’t think Payton was a franchise PG.  Psssshhhh, sourpuss!  I think we can all see the upside in Elfrid’s game – huge AST and STL tallies, but deficiencies in FT% and treys.  I do like the upside for more rock in his hands to make plays, with Dipo shipped off.  All of the above make him a fantastic FT-punt target in the 5th round PG run!

Key Reserves – D.J. Augustin, C.J. Watson

See the J, bench the Js!  Bunch of backup “J”s for Orlando!  D.J. is likely your primary backup, and does provide a spark in shooting the deep ball, so he makes sense as a backup to Elfrid.  Hopefully a hot DJ off the bench won’t put Elfrid on the Shelfrid!  Watson can fit into some emergency PG duties, and slot over to the 2 for some combo sets, if the Magic really need it.

SG – Projected Starter – Evan Fournier

The Virgin has been de-virginized!  One of my favorite breakout candidates for 16-17 (and a popular one across the board, I’m sure), Fournier is going to need to lead this offense for the Magic to be winners.  Of course, the breakout “kinda” happened last year with a 15.4/2.8/2.7/1.2/0.0 line with 2 treys a game and only 1.7 TO, but I think the scoring might approach 19ish.  And don’t sleep on some dimes, as he was 3.7 a game in April, and I think he could easily go 3+ this year.

Key Reserves – Jodie Meeks, C.J. Wilcox

I guess C.J. Watson might actually have more 2 minutes than you’d think, looking at this depth!  Sure, Meeks has been a good player in the past and is just constantly battling frustrating injuries, but can we really expect him to do much anymore?  Meeks had yet another foot surgery in July, putting his return date sometime in November.  I love that Rotoworld has a blurb for July 2nd citing Meeks saying he’s “100% healthy” then on July 19th “Undergoes foot surgery”.  Yeesh.  Looks like backup SG minutes out of the gate might be the battle of the CJs!  Unless they see Hezonja as able to pickup some SG run, which could be possible as well…

SF – Projected Starter – Aaron Gordon

Don’t lie, everyone out there in Razzball Nation popped a boner when Vogel said he was going utilize Gordon like Paul George.  Admit it!  On top of Gordon’s sexy promise of STL/BLK combo, now we get to dream about a rainbow line stud a night!  Now, Gordon can’t quite handle or distribute quite like PG13, and obviously doesn’t have quite the same stroke, but I’m loving the upside.  Right now I have him 78; I’m strongly considering the initial reaction of my boner to guide me in ranking him higher.

Key Reserves – Mario Hezonja, Jeff Green

Both backup wings can play the 2 and the 4, respectively, but I’m lumping both here because the frontline is already messy enough.  I slammed on Hezonja plenty in his rookie season – through no fault of his own, just overhypeness – but there is a BIG need for perimeter wing play on this team, and minutes should be there.  Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to rank him as a deep sleeper, he just doesn’t do enough fantasy wise.  He’s like a baby-Jeff Green.  Physical tools and promise, but can only score/3/board.  Yawn.

PF – Projected Starter – Serge Ibaka

Mannnnn, after not having him in my Way Too Early Ranks which I put out right when the season ends (I only go 1-50), then vaulting him to 37 post-Magic trade, I thought I might be a little ahead of ADP on Iblocka…  Turns out, Yahoo likes him at 25th!  Yeah, that’s too rich for my blood.  Yes, he will see an expanded role, will likely top 1.0 treys for the first time in his career, and score a career best.  But it will come at the expense of his formerly awesome FG%, and his blocks have consistently fallen by good margins each of the past 5 seasons, from 3.7 down to 1.9 last year.

Key Reserves – Arinze Onuaku

Obviously PF might be in flux if the Magic ever feature any Vuc/Biyombo sets, and there’s a few scrubs getting training camp deals before this roster is set, but the only one I think is for sure making it is Onuaku, the journeyman blah PF.  Other than some stretch-Green minutes, there might be nothing left anyway with how they run the two centers…

C – Projected Starter – Nikola Vucevic

The million dollar question…  Well, I guess the $72 million dollar question.  Some dude that changed-his-name-just-to-sound-like-he-went-to-Duke Jon Krawczynski reported they brought in Biyombo to start, so maybe they’re trying to trade Vuc?  Maybe start with twin towers defensively and have Vuc score 20+ PPG off the bench?  It’s too murky for me to invest, plus Vucevic just plain can’t stay healthy.  Games missed last 3 years – 17 last year, 8, 25.  His already “blahness” in STL/BLK have me likely avoiding.

Key Reserves – Bismack Biyombo

It’ll be some mix of these two unless Vuc is traded before opening night, and either way, I see Vucci Mane playing more minutes.  Biz was awesome when JV got hurt last year, but it was due to the sheer minutes output/volume of boarding and blocking.  With inconsistent minutes coming his way and he’s already a FT liability, I don’t see a big reason to make him a 12-team target.  He’ll be atop my streaming lists for big man stats every weekend though!  However in deeper leagues, he could be a solid rock in your frontcourt.

 

JB’s 2016-17 Projection: 43-39

I like this defensive-minded approach and how it fits the roster, plus I love me some Vogel.  Go Magic!

  1. Paul says:
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    84 games this year?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Paul: Hah, I’m still in offseason form 🙂 Fixed that. I put 41-41 at first, then was like, “nah, I think a few over .500” and forgot to change the losses. Thanks for the catch!

  2. Bryce Krispie Treats says:
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    Hey JB!

    This was a team that I was curious about for fantasy purposes. I feel like everyone is going to be pretty blah, but there’s going to be a guy that stands out like the virgin from last year! Ill be drafting gordon though with high hopes.

    Unrelated question… opinion on Jokic? I have him as a keeper option, but Id have to sub out Jimmy Butler for $12. Jokic would be $1. Schroder is my other keeper for $1.

    As always, great write up! Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Bryce Krispie Treats: Well, Virgin gonna stand out again this year! Haha. I’m drinking *some* of the Jokic Kool Aid, but not all. Mannnn, those are all great keepers! How much do you have invested elsewhere? I might go $12 Butler, unless you have a pretty heavy budget already, then would go Jokic if no clear need, or Schroder if a PG need. Thanks for reading man!

      • Bryce Krispie Treats says:
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        @JB Gilpin:

        We get to keep 2 players at their drafted price for up to two years after the initial draft. My options are:

        Butler (12$, last keeper year)
        Schroder ($1, first keeper year)Keeping him no matter what
        Jokic ($1, first keeper year)
        Crowder ($4, first keeper year)
        Gordon ($7, first keeper year)
        Dieng ($11, first keeper year)
        Turner ($3, first keeper year)
        Porter ($4, first keeper year)

        Im just having a difficult time because Ill have to throw Butler back next year. We get the two keepers and draft the rest of our team as normal ($200 budget, 7 cat, no percentages)

        • Bryce Krispie Treats says:
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          @Bryce Krispie Treats:

          Also, I have been reading thru your rankings, but nobody REALLY sticks out for value this year like in year’s past (example, draymond). Who are the top three guys that are a must for you this year?

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
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            @Bryce Krispie Treats: @Bryce Krispie Treats: Gotcha. Yeah Schroder looks like a lock. No %s helps him. Damn, wish you had a FT punt guy! A lot of the good values you have are good 9 cat guys, not as strong as 7 cat. I think I indeed stick with Butler and Schroder.

            Yeah, I hear ya on that. Nothing SCREAMS at ya. I like Nurk a lot more than consensus, Parsons I’m huge on, anddddd, Elfrid maybe? But I gotta fight that battle in a comment below haha. I’m gonna do an article about how my ranks look vs. experts in fantasypros sometime next week once I finally load my picks in there, that’ll help with those calls haha

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @Bryce Krispie Treats: @Philzilla: @JB Gilpin: Lovvvvve me some Myles Turner! I like Jokic, but the hype train is starting to get a little out of control there

  3. v00dr00 says:
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    Never like to wish injury on anybody, but Elfrid is doomed, unfortunately. Whoever DJ sits behind on the depth chart, that player ends up under the knife. I’m really sorry for your future loss, JB.

    • Jake says:
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      @v00dr00:

      I don’t understand why you are so big on Elfrid again this year. He was droppable for a large part of the season last year. Why are we pushing him so hard? What am I missing? It can’t be just because Skiles is gone.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @v00dr00: @Jake: Haha oh geez…. Well, Westbrook and Mudiay were both healthy last year! Curse, broken!

        Bigger than Skiles gone is Dipo gone! They don’t have the same facilitation there – I know they’re pimping Aaron Gordon hard for added facilitation – but I think there’s more upside in AST there. He also played 29:22, I expect 34ish. TO won’t get too out of control, and I think he can bounce back to 1.7-1.8 STL. Very Rubio-esque if he does all that, and Rubio ranked top-50. FT is a little annoying, but that makes him a good fit in a FT punt.

  4. kai says:
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    man, i hate that frontcourt. adding to the misery is that Gordon should get at least SOME minutes at PF and Ibaka should get SOME minutes at center…I’m way down on Vuc. No reason to expect he’s any better than the Gortat tier.

    I’m not into Shelfrid where you guys have him. he’s Rickyesque, but doesn’t have the ft% (85% on decent volume vs 59% on lesser volume) or insane steals (.9 per game fewer than RR). that said, I’m ending up w him a lot in mocks, which mostly have him in the Mudiay tier rather than the Rubio tier.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @kai: You and me both, brother! The only little smidge of room I have between him and Gortat is the age, but yes I have him very close. Wow, didn’t realize Rubio’s FT volume got that high. I think Elfrid will be a lot closer to the STL though, especially with my MPG boost I see. Agree, Elfrid ends up on a lot of my mocks thus far too

  5. Lasandro says:
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    Yes, that news gave me a boner. But reading any one of your articles sets my ship at full mast, FYI. Just wanted you to know 🙂

    So I’m curious: you seem to love the Virgin, but tell me why you have he and Lavine so far apart on your ranks when they essentially bring the same thing to the table. In a league like mine, roto and takes into account every stat including FTMs, wouldn’t Lavine be just as viable an option as Evan?

    And please PLEASE give me a projected line for Gordon. Very low end Draymond-kinda thing?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Lasandro: Hahaha, I really… appreciate that? Haha jk 🙂

      Oh Fournier could easily get to 18-20 PPG as I mention, I don’t think Lavine has that kind of scoring upside. Yeah your format seems to even them out a tad, but I think Fourneir gets more FT too. All that said I only have them about 10 apart, so not that far.

      Nahhh, I don’t quite see the dimes. Maybe 15/7/3/1.2/1? Shooting 45% with 1.5 treys? Big up in the treys, not a big boost in REB with more minutes due to their bigs

    • Lasandro says:
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      @JB gilpin: geez that’s a saucy line for Gordon! Wouldn’t have thought you’d have that much faith in his outside shot but I’ll sure take it. Perhaps warrants a higher spot on your ranks? Vogel just came out with another statement saying that he def wants the ball in his hands a la PG, acknowledging that Gordon is more of a 4 than PG is.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Lasandro: Well i think he can boost the % by playmaking around the rim. Maybe like 37ish% from deep? Ummm, well it depends on the TO, and that line might be overly optimistic, you’re def paying for upside any higher than where I have him

  6. Lasandro says:
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    HOLY FCKBALLS! Middleton out for six months, although the Bucks GM has already stated that it will be for a “significant period of the season”. Oh nooooo! This is terrible, not only for this season, but potentially the rest of his immediate career. It’s a torn hamstring, so I’m hoping an injury like that is something a player can fully recover from.

    Fantasy-wise, wtf now?? Giannis is already solidified, but I don’t really see this opening up a great opportunity for one single player on that team – could be a timeshare between a bunch of them. Middleton would’ve been a top 3 SG this season, particularly in roto. Damn it… at least he has age on his side. I’m legitimately bummed for him and for us fantasy geeks.

    • Foreign Affairs says:
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      @Lasandro: And I found out that news a few hours after I took him in the first round of my redraft keeper league….AHHHHHH!!!!!.

      For the Bucks it’s really hard to tell with that backcourt who steps in, it’s likely one of the bench crew slides into the spot but im also thinking that with Giannis being de-facto point guard already I think if there comfy with Jabari’s perimeter game then he could shift there or Mirza will play some 3 with Delly and Giannis as the guards, Mirza played 3 quite abit for the Nets when they slid Pierce to pf when Kidd coached them.

    • v00dr00 says:
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      @JB Gilpin: Haha fair enough. Just reminiscing about his days with Rose, then [email protected]Lasandro: We need Ja Rule to make sense of all this. Somebody get Ja on the line!

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Lasandro: @Foreign Affairs: @v00dr00: Yup, it’s a killer… Sorry Foreign! Yeah early drafts and MIddleton keepers get crushed by this…

        Yeah nothing huge. I’m moving Jabari and Teletovic up. Probably taking Middleton completely out of the top 200. Yeesh it blows… Hahaha, I’ll see if I can get Ja Rule’s reps on the line, get him on the Pod!

      • Lasandro says:
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        @Foreign Affairs @jb gilpin: right on, I almost forgot about the other “elly”: Telly! He was mad useable at the end of last season with his featured role. Perhaps he gets a nice bump in mins at the 3 as you suggest. What we thinkin JB – 25min +? That’s enough for a healthy dose of threes and a few brds, a la Ryno.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Lasandro: @Lasandro: Haha awesome vid!

          Ummm, yeah maybe 23ish. Just boosted him up to about 150

  7. bahraspower says:
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    Why is the comment section closed in the official rankings post?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @bahraspower: Crap, yeah there’s a default setting to close comments after the article’s date is 2 weeks old. I meant to have all my 200 in there by now, but I’m still slogging through the 100s. Probably Saturday morning I’ll have ti done, but Slim’s still working on projections.

  8. Lasandro says:
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    And now Sapper is out for 3 weeks following a “preventative procedure” on his knees. Doesn’t sound severe but what the hell is happening to our multi cat boys? Someone get the man a pair of knee pads!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Lasandro: I saw that, but I’m not too worried. He’s a vet and it was really minor, I didn’t have it change anything. But agree! Get this guy knee pads!

  9. Nick says:
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    So I offered a guy in my dynasty league Knight for Holiday considering his leave of absence. I didn’t expect him to say yes…but he did. Am I crazy not to accept this trade?!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Nick: Hmmmmm. I think in dynasty it’s indeed worth it, although I do like Knight a good bit more in redraft. You’re sacrificing a little this year for the future, but if you’re strong in Pts/3s, I think it’s solid

      • Nick says:
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        @JB Gilpin:
        Thanks! I didn’t realize it was that close at first, then checked and Knight had a pretty decent year last year.

        Maybe I’ll pitch the trade to him as the season approaches or we get a better understanding of when holiday will return.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Nick: Yeah Knight was great – 5+ dimes with good scoring and 3s, knock is the overly TO proneness and FG%.

  10. rexjiang says:
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    Bleh! Middleton out for the season is quite painful for me.

    I’m in a 14 team auction($200 budget) draft 9-cat H2H keeper league.

    I had Khris Middleton as one of my keepers, and with him I had planned to go for a more balanced draft, but now that he’s pretty much done for the season… I’m not sure how to strategize for my draft or if I should punt anything.

    Current Keepers are:
    Aaron Gordon($5)
    Myles Turner($5)
    Kristaps Porzingis($9)
    Derrick Favors($25)
    for a total of $44, leaving me with $156 for the draft.

    With these keepers should I lean towards punting anything? ASTs?

    There are a lot of good players already taken from the draft pool… so I won’t be able to draft the following guys:
    F: Mirotic, Giannis, Paul Millsap, Blake Griffin, Rodney Hood, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Dirk Nowitzki, Jae Crowder, Chandler Parsons, Jimmy Butler, Danilo Galinari, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Kawhi Leonard
    G: Isaiah Thomas, Oladipo, Booker, Fournier, Jordan Clarkson, Dennis Schroder, Kemba Walker, Damien Lillard, Kyle Lowry, Demar DeRozan, Possibly Rubio/CP3/Rondo
    C: Nerlens Noel, Rudy Gobert, KAT, Jonas Valanciunas, Hassan Whiteside, Jusuf Nurkic, Bismack Biyombo, Capela

    There are some other possible players that people might keep, but I think I got the majority.

    Any recommendations as to what players I should target and whether I should lean towards punting any category?

    Thank you!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @rexjiang: Ugh, yeah brutal injury for keeper leagues. Damn, love those keeper values! Only thing that hurts is no stud, but that’s OK in a 14er.

      I dunno if I would *plan* on punting AST. If a good value high-end PG is on the board, def pay for him. Especially since your steals need a boost too. I’d probably indeed get some PG and some value-buy scorers. The cat I’d be most likely to punt is FG% with your build, and maybe shop around Favors

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