Let’s recap the four-year Stan Van Gundy era in Detroit. One season above .500 (44-38). Three seasons with win totals of 39, 37, and 32 games. Acquired Blake Griffin and his five-year, $171 million contract for essentially a first-round draft pick and Tobias Harris, who put up 19.3 points, 6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 2.2 threeecolas last season. Ricky Lake Griffin contributed 19.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 1.9 threeecolas. In the 2017 NBA Draft, SVG selected Luke Kennard ahead of Donovan Mitchell. Shaking my head vociferously. His previous draft picks were Henry Ellenson, Michael Gbinije, Stanley Johnson, Darrun Hilliard, and Spencer Dinwiddie, who has turned out to be the best of the group but, of course, was traded for Cameron Bairstow back in 2016. Re-reading what I just wrote makes me think of a part from my favorite movie. There’s hope, though, as the Wicked Witch of the East….urrr….I mean SVG is dead. Not literally of course.

 

2017 record: 39-43

Key acquisitions:

Key losses:

 

Outlook:

Vegas has the over/under win total at 37.5. Remember, that the SVG era is dead. The new sheriff in town is Dwane Casey. His first season in Toronto back in 2011, the team won 23 games. The next season they improved to 34 wins. Then came a five-year run of 48, 49, 56, 51, and 59 win seasons. By the time he got the machine humming along, the Raptors were consistently top five in offensive rating and finished 5th, 11th, and 11th in defensive rating the last three seasons. In regards to offensive pace, the Raptors finished 14th last season, but that may be an outlier as that number was routinely near the bottom of the league. In addition, with Griffin and Andre Drummond as the foundational pieces, an uptempo gameplan may not be the best for this Pistons squad.

 

PGReggie Jackson is atop the depth chart for now, but he had minor ankle surgery in the offseason and is still rounding into form. He’s expected to be ready for the opener, though. Ish Smith is the backup and I have the minutes split evenly between the two, around 25-26 minutes each. I do think they will play alongside each other for brief periods of time. RJax provides threeecolas, good free throw percentage, double-digit points, a couple rebounds, and a tick over 5 dimes per game. Ish is not a good free throw shooter, doesn’t shoot from downtown often, and should provide around 4 dimes per game. Both will contribute a shade under 1 steals per game without much contribution in the blocks department. Ish takes care of the ball a little better than RJax, but the turnover number is still only 2.2 per game for him. Jose Calderon was signed to a one-year deal. Why? I’m not too sure. For depth in case of injury and he did play for Casey back in 2011 and 2012.

SGReggie Bullock, Luke Kennard, Langston Galloway, and Bruce Brown fill out the depth chart at shooting guard. Bullock should get the bulk of the minutes here and should be a fantasy asset for those that are threeecola hunting. 1.8 per game on 4.5 attempts is what I have him down for. Just don’t expect much outside of that. Kennard is….the player picked one spot ahead of Donovan Mitchell in the 2017 NBA Draft. Galloway is….Didn’t he play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Brown is the second-round pick of the Pistons in this year’s draft. Probably won’t make the rotation.

SFStanley Johnson, Glenn Robinson III, and Khyri Thomas are the small forwards. SVG sure loved him some Johnson. What a pervert. The shooting percentage from the field will be bad with SJ, but he will provide some threeecolas, boards, and be a maven on D. Projected for 1.6 steals per game. That ain’t bad, yo. I also have him soaking up most of the minutes here with 30 minutes. Robinson is a new addition to the squad, after spending three years in Indiana and splitting time his rookie season in Minnesota and Philadelphia. Can shoot from downtown but not much else. Thomas is a rookie who the Pistons traded up for in the second round of the draft. From what I saw in the Summer League, he plays good D, hustles, can knock down the perimeter shot, operates well in transition, and is a willing facilitator. Don’t think he cracks the rotation, though.

PFBlake Griffin and Henry Ellenson will be the power forwards. I had fun last season tracking the blocks and assists for Serge Ibaka because there wasn’t much to track. There’s a reason why I call him Ricky Lake Griffin. Anyways, for how much shit I give him, he is still a focal point of this team and garners a 28-29% usage rate. The field goal percentage isn’t great, but he does shoot well from the charity stripe. 19/6/6 is nice and there’s no denying the raw points upside and ability to mess around on any night. And as Brent and Craig like to point out, the assists from the big man position is B. U. T. ful. As for the D stats?

There’s also the fact that he’s played 58, 58, 61, 35, and 67 games the past five seasons. Ellenson is a 6′ 11″ forward from Marquette who the Pistons selected with the 18th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Not the most athletic player, Ellenson can shoot from downtown and handle the ball on the perimeter. He’s able to grab a rebound and lead a transition break, while also initiating offense from the top of the key. Should get some minutes due to the lack of depth in the front court, so possibly someone to keep an eye on.

CAndre Drummond, Zaza Pachulia, and Jon Leuer are the centers. Everyday is Dre Day in Detroit, as Drummond is the man. Elite in rebounds and field goal percentage, will rack up around 1.5 steals and blocks each, and dish out a few dimes. It’s all about the free throws for Dre. A career 42% shooter from the line, he posted a 60% rate last season. I’ve seen his stroke from downtown and it’s nice, so I’m not completely dismissing the huge improvement. I have him down for 57% this season. If he does continue to improve from the charity stripe, Top 20 player. Pachulia is the goon squad. Here to provide toughness, sets some hard screens, and make sure everything is kosher. Leuer is still recovering from surgery on his right knee.

 

  1. I just wanna Kawhi says:
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    9cat/12team
    PG1 – Holiday
    PG2 – D.Murray
    SG1 – Oladipo
    SG2 – Harris
    SF1 – Porter jr.
    SF2 – Richardson
    SF3 – Covington
    SF4 – Osman
    PF1 – Durant
    PF2 – Isaac
    C1 – Gobert
    C2 – Allen
    C3 – Bell

    Sup man! So I just made a thorough assessment of my whole league, I now have a better picture of where my team stands, which categories I’m great at and where I’m so-so. I’m punting dimes so I’m good with having just two pointguards, though I wouldn’t mind getting another one as long as he doesn’t destroy my FG and tank my turnovers.

    Looking at my squad I’d like to believe that my dominant categories are 3PM, STL, BLK, TO; while having above average FG%, FT% and PTS. Despite having Gobert on my squad, I think my rebounds is still meh—not enough support in my opinion. If Allen turns out to be an 8 RPG guy then we’re settled, but I would still want to get a PF/C that would help boost my boards.

    I know we still have Jordan Bell, but damn I’m not sold. I mean Kerr isn’t known for playing guys not named Stephen, Draymond, Klay, KD heavy minutes. Plus Green for sure will play also some center minutes! And based on what I have read from various reports, Kerr is looking to field in two other centers besides Bell. So here’s what I’m thinking, swap Bell for Nance? Heard the cavs front office told Lue to give the young guys decent minutes.

    And yes, I’m keeping both Osman and Isaac! Hah. I’d love to see what they can do in consistent playing time. Let me know your thoughts ma man! Thanks!

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @I just wanna Kawhi: Sup! I just hope you don’t have to Kawhi this season. The squad looks nice. KD, Gobert, Holiday, and Dipo is a formidable core.

      I hear you on Bell. There is uncertainty and risk there. I wouldn’t make a swap yet, though. See how the minutes are divied up for both players then reassess.

      • I just wanna Kawhi says:
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        @Son:

        Hah! The Kawhi drama that came along with winning last season was unimaginable. Lol. Almost lost all my hair with all that stress Kawhi has caused me. Hah..

        Yea, our team looks great, I just went ham on the small forwards lol. The thing is it was too hard to pass up on em. They were available in rounds where they should’ve been gone already, and if we did try ignore them they would only be taken maybe by the guy after me so I just really took the chance and nabbed em. But I’m really liking the Porter/Jrich/Roco SF-trio!

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @I just wanna Kawhi: You got my RichardSON, so you all good!

          I did a mock last week and I encountered the same thing. Scooped up all the wings because they were there.

          Good luck this year my man! I hope it’s drama free….although you did win it win the drama

  2. Cohen says:
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    Son, i looked at both Craig and your rankings. Im in a 8 cat league where turnovers is not a category.Two questions. Between the two rankings is one more leaning to my preference and do u have a ranking coming out that doesnt factor in turnovers?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Drop your email address and I’ll get that to you

  3. Ben says:
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    Keeping Vucevic for a year at $21? 12 teams, 15 spots, $200 auction. Think it might be too high. Thanks!

    • Son

      Son says:
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      A tick high, but you have to factor in league context as well.

      • Ben says:
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        @Son: true, decisions, decisions, thanks!

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @Ben: Anytime. The mind F’ing is what makes fantasy what it is

  4. WINTER says:
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    Trade Question

    12 team 9catg h2h

    Trade Horford + Fournier for Middleton. then pick up Poeltl or Brodgen from waiver.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      In a vacuum, I’d probably want the Horford/Fournier side

      • Winter says:
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        @Son: Thanks for the reply. who would you pick up Monk or Brodgen for the last bench spot.

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @Winter: Anytime. Monk for upside. Brogdon for floor

  5. Dave says:
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    12 Team 9 catg h2h

    Giannis Antetokounmpo Mil, PF
    Kyrie Irving Bos, PG
    Rudy Gobert Utah, C
    Al Horford Bos, C
    John Collins Atl, PF
    Nicolas Batum Cha, SG
    Zach LaVine Chi, SG
    Serge Ibaka Tor, PF
    Evan Fournier Orl, SG
    Jonathan Isaac Orl, PF
    Caris LeVert Bkn, SF
    Jaren Jackson Jr. Mem, PF
    Malik Monk Cha, SG

    would you swap Gannis for Harden.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I would. You are good in blocks so losing G’s contributions there wouldn’t hurt. You downgrade in rebounds, but get a slight boost in points and significant bumps in assists and 3s. Mess around with the Draft Companion

  6. Ayo Son!! Trust you’re great mate! Would need your advice for 18team 9 Cat H2H

    Who do you think will be ideal picks at 18th and 19th to build around? Any suggestions on what would work and approach as a strategy based on these first 2 picks?

    Cheers!

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Ayo! All is well. Hope the same for you.

      Man, it really depends on how the draft goes. Channel your inner Bruce Lee and be like water. In a vacuum, it’s be nice to come out with an elite PG and big man, but don’t be a space to that. There are so many routes you can go, so don’t forgo value if it falls to you

  7. Pitt says:
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    Hi Son,
    Would you drop Markkanen on 10 teamer league without IL spot? Or do you think he’s worth the hold?
    It may take a while for his return and i’m worried as well as expected due to the injury being on his shooting hand.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Yeah, he’s droppable in your league

      • Pitt says:
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        @Son: Thanks Son. Dropped Markkanen for Monk.

        May I ask what you think of my team?

        G: Stephen Curry, Oladipo, jamal murray, ball, fultz, monk
        F: tobias harris, Isaac, Millsap, Wcj
        C: Marc Gasol, Ayton, Kanter

        • Son

          Son says:
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          Like it a lot.

          Plug it into the Draft Companion

          • Pitt says:
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            @Son: Thanks Son, Everythings looking balance for me. What do u think on dropping monk for either Gay or Bridges.
            I think I have too much guards and don’t think monk will get the starting role. Gay might be better this year without leonard and 1 year removed from surgery while bridges is looking good and could be this year’s mitchell..

            • Son

              Son says:
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              Sounds good. As for Miles being this year’s Mitchell, I’m not on the same tip. Not sure he has the creation ability to dominate and he’d need a bunch of trades and/or injuries to garner the usage

              • Pitt says:
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                @Son: Got you on Miles, maybe just preseason hype!

                • Son

                  Son says:
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                  The hype is warranted for Miles. He’s good, but DMitch good? Not sure about that

  8. Pitt says:
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    @Son: Thanks Son. Dropped Markkanen for Monk.

    May I ask what you think of my team?

    G: Stephen Curry, Oladipo, jamal murray, ball, fultz, monk
    F: tobias harris, Isaac, Millsap, Wcj
    C: Marc Gasol, Ayton, Kanter

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Pitt: I like it. Stacked at guard so would try and use some of those chips to upgrade at the big man positions

      • Pitt says:
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        @Son: Thanks, will drop monk to get either of these 3 fron FA. Who do you like the most?
        Gay, Poeltl, Bamba, Bridges

        • Son

          Son says:
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          Gay

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            What did I tell you about tolerance for lifestyles?

            • Son

              Son says:
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              @Grey: Ha! I have a gay disposition towards all, unless they cause harm

  9. Ricky says:
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    Hii Son,

    Needa advice, would you drop these players for FA ?? h2h, 9cat,12 teams

    my team :
    PG : westbrook
    SG : fournier
    G : Lowry
    SF: Otto
    PF : Embiid
    F : Ibaka
    C : Kanter
    C : Gortat
    Uti : Doncic
    Uti : Melo
    Bn : Rozier,RHJ,E. Moore

    FA : crabbe, dedmon,marvin,dinwiddie,reggie jackson,oubre,markieff,aminu,taj,avery bradley

    thanks son

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Naw, you good

      • Ricky says:
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        @Son: Thanks Son… would you trade westbrook for curry or durant ??

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @Ricky: in a heartbeat

  10. Eric says:
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    hey Son, any chance we get rankings update before the season starts. Selfishly hoping so…. my draft isn’t until Sunday and I’m curious how pre season may have changed your perception.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      I’ve made some adjustments due to injury. I feel good with most of the guys but I’ll go through and take a look

  11. Don Majikowski says:
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    10 team 10 catH2H
    Been offered DeRozan and Brook Lopez for Gary Harris & Mirotic.

    Normally I am all about acquiring the best player in deal (who I believe is DeRozan), but I am second guessing myself on this. Do you take the deal?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Don Majikowski: Well, I’m not a DeRozan guy so…..I like the Harris/Mirotic combo better

  12. Tankin’ My Talents says:
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    Where would you draft Cousins in a 12 teamer H2H redraft (9 cats) as we have a IR slot to fill?

    Same question on Porzingus. Thank you.

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Last pick for me. I don’t think Porzingis plays this season. As for Cousins, he should play but I view him as a glorified David West. If you want them, you’d have to select them much higher. 10th or 11th was where I say them going earlier.

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