siakam

So here we are, heading towards the start of the season and what a difference a few weeks makes. If you have been following the rookie rankings (remember these rankings are just from the 2016 NBA draft, and thus exclude draft and stash candidates), then you know that we are at the home stretch, bringing you numbers 41-60.

For those of you that have not quite caught up to speed, and only just starting to get your research together, then here is the previously stated top 40:

 Player Team  Position
 1. Ben Simmons Sixers SF/PF
2. Brandon Ingram Lakers PF
 3. Kris Dunn Timberwolves PG
 4. Jamal Murray Nuggets PG/SG
 5. Dragan Bender Suns PF
 6. Marquese Chriss Suns PF/C
 7. Buddy Hield Pelicans SG
 8. Wade Baldwin Grizzlies PG/SG
 9. Jaylen Brown Celtics SG/SF
10. Jakob Poeltl Raptors PF/C
11. Thon Maker Bucks PF
12. Timothe Luwawu Sixers SG
13. Ante Zizic Celtics C
14. Furkan Korkmaz Sixers SG
15. Taurean Prince Hawks SF
16. Ivica Zubac Lakers C
17. Guerschon Yabusele Celitcs SF/PF
18. Denzel Valentine Bulls PG/SG
19. Tyler Ulis Suns PG
20. Deyonta Davis Grizzlies PF/C
21. Henry Ellenson Pistons PF
22. Chinanu Onuaku Rockets C
23. Domantas Sabonis Thunder PF
24. Juan Hernongomez Nuggets PF
25. Paul Zipser Bulls SF
26. Georgios Pappagiannis Clippers C
27. Malik Beasley Nuggets SG
28. Skal Labissiere Kings PF/C
29. Malcolm Brogdan Bucks SG
30. Brice Johnson Clippers PF
31. Georges Niang Pacers SF
32. Caris Lavert Nets PG/SG
33. Pascal Siakam Raptors PF/C
34. Dejounte Murray Spurs PG/SG
35. Malachi Richardson Kings SG
36. Check Diallo Pelicans PF
37. DeAndre Bembry Hawks SG
38. Patrick McCaw Warriors SG
39. Isaiah Cousins Kngs PG/SG
40. Ben Bentil Celtics PF

Man what a difference a few weeks makes! Evidence that rankings change all the time and that player values are constantly fluid. Already reflecting on my own ranks, there are quite a few changes that I would already make, and we haven’t yet seen any meaningful ball (outside of pre-season).

So to some of the movers and shakers, before the final deep dive for the deepest of man-cave leagues. We are familiar now with the Ben Simmons injury, but I remain firm in my judgement that he is still the first rookie to be taken off the board in any form of keeper/dynasty leagues. In Simmons you have such a unique skill set and opportunity that once he does take to the court, he remains the safest play to be truly special from the draft class.

Marquese Chriss had himself quite the night last week, going 16/8 with a block and steal in 25 minutes off the bench giving the Suns faithful hope that maybe Chriss is more ready than advertised. Most encouragingly was that it came against one of the more mobile units in the NBA. This performance was coming off the back of fouling out in the previous game, but Chriss has shown enough to switch places with Dragan Bender for me in the rankings.

My aggressive ranking of Wade Baldwin has thus far seem justified, amply filling in for the missing Mike Conley during pre-season and not looking out matched in the slightest. The most encouraging point in his performances have been the improved protection of the ball, and if Conley is to miss more time this year (something which is happening with regularity each season) Baldwin should see ample opportunity to showcase his talents, or even with the possibility of occasionally seeing floor time at the 2 in certain game situations.

For those of you that don’t follow European basketball you might have missed the phenomenal performance of Ante Zizic a few days ago, putting up 37 points and 20 rebounds. Now it did come in 46 minutes but it is important to remember that the Adriatic league is highly competitive and boasts some of the best young talent in Europe (especally in the big men department). Through 4 games Zizic is averaging 24.3 points and 10 rebounds per game at an astonishing FG% of 70%. Zizic may be spending the year in Europe, but Celtics fans have to be delighted by the early returns from one the fastest emerging players internationally of the last 18 months.

Talking of strong performances from Celtics draft and stash players, Yabusele had himself quite the night for Shanghai in a preseason opener against the Rockets, with the dancing bear putting up 24 points (9-18 shooting) with 12 rebounds. I stated in a previous I love the potential and unique physique for this talent, and Celtic fans should be too.

I thought the Bulls nabbed themselves a bargain when they grabbed Paul Zipser off the board at 48, but after being buried at the back end of the bench in pre-season (considering he was one of the more NBA ready types) it could be a long two years for the former Bayern Munich star. Zipser falls dramatically in the rankings.

Props to the reader (David M) who called out the low rank on Pascal Siakam. Coming off the bench Siakam has looked more ready than anticipated and has impressed in his limited time thus far. Dwayne Casey has also stated that he thinks he has the tools to play the 3 which would also help on court opportunities moving forward. Siakam gets a dramatic bump up into the top 20.

Naturally there are way more movers and shakers than this, but naturally you are tuning in to find the back end talent of the draft and the wait for Mr Irrelevant then the wait is over.

NBA Draft 2016 Rookie Rankings 41-60:

Player Team Position
 41. Joel Bolomboy  Utah Jazz  PF/C
 42. Kay Felder  Cleveland Cavaliers  PG
 43. Rade Zagorac  Memphis Grizzlies  SF
 44. Diamond Stone  LA Clippers  C
45. Isaiah Whitehead  Brooklyn Nets  PG/SG
46. Zhou Qi  Houston Rockets  C
47. Demetrius Jackson  Boston Celtics  PG
48. Michael Gbinijie  Detroit Pistons  SG/SF
49. AJ Hammons Dallas Mavericks C
50. David Michineau LA Clippers PG
51. Stephen Zimmerman Orlando Magic PF/C
52. Abdel Nader Boston Celtics SF
53. Isaia Cordinier Atlanta Hawks SG
54. Damian Jones Golden State Warriors C
55. Marcus Paige Utah Jazz PG
56. Daniel Hamilton Oklahoma City Thunder PG
57. Petr Cornelie Denver Nuggets PF
58. Wang Zehlin Memphis Grizzlies C
59. Tyron Wallace Utah Jazz PG
 60. Jake Layman  Portland Trailblazers  SF

Getting into waters this deep you might be in need of a snorkel, but we must not forget that nearly every year someone comes out from the depths to surprise us all. My personal candidates for these honors are as follow:

Kay Felder, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers:kay-felder

Kyrie Irving might be in town, but let us remember that Mathew Dellevodova has found a new home in Milwaukee, potentially freeing up some minutes along the way for Kay Felder. A personal favorite of Lebron James, Felder is a good ball handler who is aggressive in the lane, getting to the line 8 times per game last season. The one drawback though is his size given the fact he is not the quickest. Still if opportunity comes via injury then Felder is a player with offensive skill worth monitoring.

Isaiah Whitehead, PG/SG, Brooklyn Nets:setonhall-whitehead

Whitehead who is a player whom I really like, and in Brooklyn should get a long term shot at solid playing time. A quick player who plays transition basketball well, Isaiah could well be a good fit for the Nets as an aggressive player who isn’t afraid of contact when driving the lane. Only thing limiting a higher ranking is poor shot selection and question marks about his ball handling capabilities at the next level. Still, as fliers go Whitehead is as good a bet as anyone in this range.

Demetrius Jackson, PG, Boston Celtics:demetrius-jackson

Would rank higher if drafted by someone other than Celtics. Although only 6’1, Jackson has outstanding athleticism that is comfortable both shooting and distributing the ball. If Jackson can eventually improve his defensive capabilities to compete at the NBA level then this is a pick that could well be one of the steals of the draft. The downside of course is the amount of depth that the Celtics have currently, and would likely need a trade at some point in the future to really carve out fantasy value.

You can find me on Twitter @storytelling41

 

  1. Drez1 says:
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    What do you guys think about Wade Baldwin vs. Cameron Payne in a dynasty?

    • Craig Bozic

      Craig Bozic says:
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      @Drez1: That is tough, as I am a fan of both players. The injury was awful timing for Cam Payne, and although Oladipo is now in the fold I can see plenty of 3 guard sets being used by the Thunder second half of the season to open the floor in order to help stretch it. At the same time I am a huge fan of Baldwin’s, and think there is a shot for immediate playing time that will increase over the season. Important to remember Conley has missed a ton of games over the last 4 years and the Grizzlies could also opt to play the two next to each other to get Baldwin’s wingspan on the perimeter to disrupt the passing lanes. In a dynasty format it is very close for me

  2. Slimbo says:
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    where would you place saric on this list if he qualifed?

    thanks

    • Craig Bozic

      Craig Bozic says:
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      @Slimbo: Swapping Chriss and Bender on the list (so Chriss 5 and Bender 6) I would have Saric in between the two. Saric is very one handed and his D has a lot to be desired at the top level.

      • Slimbo says:
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        @Craig Bozic:

        thx!

        nice to see zizic so far up this list, ended up grabbing him for $1 in a 20 team dyno, i hope he is well worh the wait 🙂

        cheers

        • Craig Bozic

          Craig Bozic says:
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          @Slimbo: I am very high on Zizic…No player has shot up n the last 18 months in Europe more than Zizic, whome made a huge name for himself in the Adriatic league last year against good competition. With lots of $$ coming off the books next year in the frontcourt for the Celtics he has a shot as early as next year to crack the rotation, and in recent years gotta remember Adriatic league was home of Nurkic, Jokic and Pekovic. Ceiling might not be quite as high, but he as safe as it comes in this draft with a high floor.

  3. David M says:
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    Thanks for the shout out Craig

    Watch this space. Went to a raps preseason and Siakam looks really good. Kid has a serious motor and can move!! runs the floor. I’d bump him into the top 20. Learning the game really well and his jump shot looks very smooth for a guy that wasn’t meant to be able to shoot

    • Craig Bozic

      Craig Bozic says:
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      @David M: No problem David, credit where credit is due. Really impressive the way Dwayne Casey and the front office utilize the right guys in situational play and mould an adaptable roster to be able to counter nearly all systems in the NBA on both ends of the floor. Both Siakam and Poeltl will only add to that (and hopefully eventually Bruno Coboclo too eventually,lol)

  4. Brett Nelson

    Brett says:
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    Hi Craig, just want to shout out and thank you for a unique perspective on the Rookie class. It is really tough to find a list so extensive and dynasty focus that as an LM of too deep, touch dynasty leagues this is invaluable. Glad to see you didn’t just go with the chalk either and really went out on a limb for some guys. The top guys are the easy picks(or should be), it is that 40th overall pick in your leagues drafts that will pay the biggest dividends. I hadn’t even heard of a lot of these guys so makes for some fun researching.

    I personally think you have Hield too high – think he will have a tough time getting his shot at this level even with Brow getting all the attention. Really like the aggressiveness on Baldwin, was hoping my Bulls would take him but oh well!

    • Craig Bozic

      Craig Bozic says:
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      @Brett: Appreciate the kind words Brett and glad you enjoyed the rankings. I am with you on Buddy Hield and if you have read my other work elsewhere you will have seen the same. Held very much a placeholder rank because of the playing time, and think the huge step up in class against NBA defence’s could be a step too far.

      I am very high on Baldwin as you might have read in the first article. It is no secret Conley has missed plenty of games last 4 seasons and with the ability to wreak havoc n the passing lane with that wingspan (as well as an accomplished pre-season) there is every possibility of Conley and Baldwin co-existing eventually on the same team n what wll now be a more uptempo offense.

  5. I’m a bit late on this and once again great insight on the rookies. I’ve throw the towel in early and are taking flyers on a lot of these guys for my Dynasty League. Prince, LeVert, Luwawu-Cabarrot and thanks to a couple of injuries and a Draft pick trade I’ve added McCaw, Ellenson and Siakam. I’d love to think I’ve got studs long term on all those picks but we all know that won’t happen. Out of those guys who in you guys opinion has the best chance of becoming a real player in this league?

    I’m adding them to unproven 2nd year guys in Stanley Johnson and Hollis-Jefferson so it’s looking pretty grim if I shoot blanks on all and these 2 guys don’t step up over the next season or two.

    • Craig Bozic

      Craig says:
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      @Bulldogs2016: of the guys listed I like Siakam, Prince, Luwawu and Lavert if he can prove he can get over the injury. I think Prince’s athleticism will be huge for the hawks and Siakam looks well ahead of development. Luwawu will take time but like the long term upside for the former mega lechs player.

      • @Craig: Thanks for the quick response. I’m trying to be patient. Huge dynasty league, 11 years running. I have dropped some serious talent in the past and don’t want to make the same mistake. Also watching Zizic closely. Is he due to come over next season?

        • Craig Bozic

          Craig says:
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          @Bulldogs2016: I am very high on Zizic and think he is a great high floor add. There is a lot of cash coming off the books in the Boston frontcourt next season and the likelihood is that Zizic will be over for next season. He has once again started strong in the Adriatic league and is already proving himself as one the best big men in European basketball despite his young age.

          • @Craig: Yeah I will be stashing him at some stage. Probably more sooner than later.

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