We’re back baby!  A lot of stuff to go into, and I promise I won’t write anything about any possibly disgruntled players who possibly might be traded to certain teams.  I will, however, talk about the effects of the offseason on certain players.

I’m working here on a series of risers and fallers.  One of my key tenants of fantasy hoops is that every player in the NBA is good.  Like, really good.  But not all players get minutes needed to put up statistics and thing like that, which we obviously count on for fantasy basketball.  My goal isn’t to figure out which sixth round pick will return 3rd round value.  I’m trying to figure out who is in line for minutes, like the late round guys who will pay off.

For fallers, that’s going to be more guys who I’m avoiding.  You’ll see, I’m just over-talking again.  Kelder should be seen and not heard.  Let’s just get into the content.

NBA Central division is first up, in order of my predicted finish in the standings…


Yes, I think they’re first place, I think they take the season much more seriously and will be healthier than the Bucks.  You all know I’m right, you just won’t admit it.

Riser:  Max Strus. I think he’s in line for about 30 minutes, which will get him a plethora of open three point looks given the dynamic backcourt.  Evan Mobley is also expected to have more playmaking time.  Strus is the common denominator here.  His shooting will allow everything to flow and roll downhill like a beautiful waterfall.  I know it’s weird to think there’s a better situation than Miami, but Strus will get minutes.  His shooting and movement will be very helpful, as will his statistics

Faller:  Jarrett Allen.  Allen is just not a skilled offensive player.  It’s okay.  Neither am I.  He is a great shot blocker with some rebounding prowess.  I do think this year the Cavs will be featuring Mobley at the center position more in an effort to get more space and shooting on the court.  Allen will have value, but I see his minutes and production going down unless he can learn to shoot something besides a dunk.  I’m fading Allen hard this year.


Riser:  Bobby Portis/Malik Beasley.  The Bucks are a remarkably stable team with their minutes, and there’s not a lot of opportunity for guys to break in with big minutes.  Beasley will get a lot of open shots of course.  Portis is a play I prefer though.  I think the Bucks rest their guys.  Oh wait, that’s illegal now.  I think the main guys on the Bucks will become more injury prone than they ever have before, and Portis gets more starts than before.  I’m not confident here by the way.  I just came up with a theme and have to stick to it even if it only kinda works.  Basically, there’s no for sure breakout guy from the Bucks because we know what the entire team can do and what their roles will be.

Faller:  Khris Middleton. His name is brighter than his game at this point.  I look for his minutes to drop in an effort to keep him healthy.  But Kelder, hey man, he was hurt last year right?  This is true.  I do think the Bucks are for obvious reasons looking for the playoffs and will manage his minutes in order to keep him on the court, which results in some lower numbers.  Keep an eye on the old knee, right?


Riser:  Obi Toppin.  Finally free from Ol’ Thibs, Toppin is my favorite for PF minutes on a good rising team.  He looks to be the kind of player who will not have plays called for him but his activity makes up for it.  Kinda a poor man’s Aaron Gordon, if you will.  Jerace Walker is the other option and I generally love athletic guys from the Houston program in college and is a guy to watch, but my  money is on Toppin getting the minutes in somewhat of a timeshare.

Faller:  T.J. McConnell.  He’s a good real life player who does produce when he gets minutes.  This is more a play on Tyrese Haliburton staying healthy and remaining productive all season.  Leave McConnell on the wire or keep him as a backup in case of injury.


This is my team, and I hate them.  Just a miserable slog to watch last season.  I don’t even want to write about them.  Even the thought of watching two ball dominant guys dribble around looking for shots while everyone else stands around fills me with envy and makes me go watch Yellowstone or Wheel of Time.  Or Wheel of Fortune.  Or an old 30 minute infomercial on YouTube.  But I am contractually obligated to maintain my theme, so I’m doing this.

Riser and Faller:  Patrick Williams.  He is among Bulls fans quite polarizing.  Some think he’s the next big thing and is being held back by coaching and/or veterans getting all the shots.  Others think Passive Pat is too nice of a nickname and wish he would take a long walk off a short pier but he doesn’t have the energy or motivation to do such a hard thing.  Like watch number 44 in these clips:


But then watch him on these:


Of course clips from TwitterXXXtension aren’t perfect, but they do show a player who is inconsistent in his aggression.  I don’t think this is easy to fix.  I’ll make the case, though, for Williams as both a riser and a faller and let you decide.

Williams shot 41% on 3s last year in a low volume.  He might get more minutes and more shots this season.  He also has a chance if more aggressive to get 1 steal and 1 block per game.  That’s a Robert Covington profile.

Or, he could get beaten out by Torrey Craig and only get 20 minutes per game, which kills the entire value.  It’s up to you what to believe.  I tend to be pessimistic.

Bonus Faller:  DeMar DeRozan.  Bro is gonna be 34 and coming off of a season where he was injured, and his teammates want to play faster and he doesn’t.  Also in a contract year.  I think this is the season where the Bulls deal DeRozan and he takes a hit there


Riser:  Bojan Bogdanovic:  Kudos to the Pistons for having some veterans in the room with their rookies.  I love what their future looks like, in theory.  Of course, I also disapproved when Netflix moved to streaming and TV shows instead of movies cuz who would ever want to watch old TV?  A popular take is that Bogey might get dealt and lose his value.  My unpopular take is that they keep him and try to get their kids in a good spot for competitive development and not like we had to watch the Rockets try to do.  Anyway, he’s going later than he should and you should draft him confidently.

Faller:  Jaden Ivey:  I like how the kids looks and he has potential.  But I just wrote a paragraph about the Pistons trying to win.  I should also mention that they added Monte Morris who is a solid veteran who could shift Cade Cunningham off of the point.  They also drafted a Thompson twin who I can’t tell apart, and I’m supposed to tag them but I don’t know which is which so go ahead and cut my salary and all that.  So to make a short story long, Ivey has to earn his minutes and I’m not sure the guy does.


Now that I’ve read this, I realize I have to do five more of them.  That’s almost as bad as you reading over 1300 words!  Have a great day, everyone.