Jump Ball A Matty Series PNG

Previous “Jump Ball” articles:

9/19 – Russell Westbrook v Damian Lillard

9/26 – Kawhi Leonard v Jimmy Butler

10/2 – Blake Griffin v Serge Ibaka

TALE OF THE TAPE

ANDREW WIGGINS GORDON HAYWARD
Minnesota Timberwolves Team Utah Jazz
SG, SF Position (Y! Eligibility) SG, SF
2014 Results
T-87th 9-Cat Rank (Total Value) T-29th
T-130th 9-Cat Rank (Per Game) T-36th
82 Games Played 76
36.2 Minutes Per Game 34.4
21.1 (T-101st) Usage Rate (Rank) 25.4 (T-32nd)

THE CASE FOR ANDREW WIGGINS

You might be wondering why two players who were separated by nearly 100 ranking positions (per game basis) in 2014 are going head-to-head just one season later. Well, it really is quite simple – JB is irrationally high on Wiggins this year and he forced me to write this.

Kidding aside, the Wolves young swingman is poised to make a big leap in his second year on an exciting team that will demand a lot from him on both ends of the floor. Wiggins saw the second most total minutes in the NBA during the 2014/2015 season (only James Harden played more), due in large part to his raw talent, but also attributable to the lack of healthy NBA-calibre players Minnesota had available for long stretches of last season. So even entering the 2015 with a deeper, healthier roster, Wiggins is poised to see a ton of floor time. Opportunity, of course, comes by way of minutes, but also via usage. In 2014 Andrew Wiggins was outside the top-100 players in terms of usage rate and I would look for that to rise this year as the young Canadian is reported to have spent the offseason working on his ball-handling as well as his long-distance shooting. These efforts already started to bear fruit as Wiggins connected on 15 of 29 (.517%) 3-point attempts during the FIBA Americas tournament and was the only player to average over 10 FGAs per game. He also showed some aggression, as evidenced by his team-leading 44 attempts from the charity stripe. Granted, it’s a small sample size against lesser opposition, but these numbers can be seen as an encouraging sign coming off a rookie NBA season where he shot just .310 from deep and would, at times, defer to teammates several notches lower on the offensive totem pole.

Beyond the development of Wiggins’ own skills, there is the benefit of a healthy Ricky Rubio returning to the fold. As one of the best pure passers in the league, Rubio will be a boon to AW’s value by generating easy transition buckets as well as delivering passes out of half court sets that will make shot selection simpler. As the game slows down and the pieces around him improve, Andrew Wiggins should enjoy a bump in his shooting percentage which will help his fantasy value tremendously. I also believe that Wiggins will improve on the defensive end of the floor with the confidence of having a potentially elite rim protector (rookie Wolves PF/C, Karl-Anthony Towns) behind him. The 20-year old Canuck was second on his national team this summer in both steals and blocks and having watched all 10 of those games, it appeared to my eyes as though he is starting to figure out how to better utilize his elite athletic gifts on the defensive end of the floor.

Ultimately what you’ll be getting by drafting Andrew Wiggins is an exciting young player who will see a lot of floor time on an equally exciting team. And during all those active minutes, you can expect Wiggins to enjoy the company of a talented – albeit very young – core of players who should help him improve his efficiency and ability to contribute meaningful statistics across more categories.

THE CASE FOR GORDON HAYWARD

Given my national bias as a Canadian, it somewhat pains me to have to juxtapose the talent and upside of Andrew Wiggins with a player in Gordon Hayward who I believe has a very good chance at posting top-20 fantasy value in 2015.

With the season-ending injury suffered by the Utah Jazz’s incumbent starting PG Dante Exum, there is a cascade effect that will wash over the rest of this team’s roster. When it comes to how it will impact Gordon Hayward, I believe fantasy owners will be treated to a rare year of a player posting 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Add to that 3.5 combined steals, blocks and three-pointers made, a nicely weighted FT% in the low-80s, and the comfort of owning a player who hasn’t played less than 72 games in any of the past three seasons, you have yourself a surefire fantasy stud.

As a team, the Utah Jazz are almost unanimously believed to be “on the rise,” and one of a handful of squads that should contend for a lower playoff seed in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. With no reliable true point guard, the offense could – and should – run through its best offensive player, Gordon Hayward. Now entering his sixth season with the Jazz, the former Butler standout is poised to see a career-high in both minutes and usage rate which should help propel him to new statistical high water marks nearly across the board. Consider also for a moment that Utah was dead last in the Association for team pace last year – so they have only one way to go in that regard.

Most avid basketball fans will have noticed a fairly drastic physical transformation over the last couple years when it comes to Hayward, and I believe the 26-year old is now better built to withstand the rigors of being the focal point of an offense over a competitive 82 game season. There really are very few negatives to Hayward’s game and situation for this coming season, and if he can continue to post a respectable FG% (.445 in 2014), there are only a handful of wing players who have a higher fantasy ceiling.

Let’s take a look at how these two players should stack up head-to-head for fantasy owners in 2015 looking to roster a high upside swingman with an early round pick (* denotes my projected category winner):

ANDREW WIGGINS GORDON HAYWARD
  Points *
* Rebounds  
  Assists *
  Steals *
* Blocks  
* FG%  
  FT% *
* TO  
  3PM *
4 Categories Won 5

JUMP BALL

I think I knew this before, during and after I made each player’s case – the American takes this jump ball over my brother from the North…but it’s closer than I thought it would be (with some hair-splitting in a number of categories).

The decision to pick Gordon Hayward over Andrew Wiggins has more to do with the former’s upside this year than any sort of deficiencies in the latter’s game. I strongly believe that Hayward can post numbers placing him in a similar class as fellow multi-cat studs, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler – two players who are routinely being selected a full round earlier than Hayward. Wiggins has that potential, but just not as a sophomore; he’s still a year or two away from posting top-20 value in my opinion.

The Utah Jazz are an up-and-coming team who, with good health afforded to their core players (Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert), will be able to make some noise in the Northwest division. Savvy owners will see to it that Gordon Hayward is a core part of their roster if they want to make that same kind of noise in their fantasy leagues.

 

Agree/disagree? Who is your choice when you’re on the clock? Feedback is always welcome, so please share your thoughts in the comments section below or come find me in the Twitterverse at @moneyballmatty. Cheers!

 

H/T to the following sources for providing the stats & info that help build the foundation of this article: Basketball Reference, Basketball Monster, ESPN (Hollinger’s Stats), Rotoworld.

  1. ED Frobman says:
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    they are both ones to reach for. I am confliceted with my #23 pick(#3pick), i would even reach and take him there. Draft boards are starting to morph and our draft comes so late that it is hard to really prepare for. Sometimes it is nice to know the people you want or going to be there even if you are contantly reaching a tad. In the end, you get a team which strengths you undoubtebly know.

    • ED Frobman says:
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      @ED Frobman: I should of said Hayward when i typed him. I can’t imagine people reaching that high for Wiggins yet. A few preseason games and a lot can change. I am really bummed on Porter Jr’s performance today. I was hoping he would keep rather quiet in the preseason. I think he is a solid backend wing.
      yours truly
      The sausage king of Chicago

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @ED Frobman: Hey ED – thanks for the comments, brother. It’s a funny feeling that I have about these two guys…I am very comfortable “reaching” for Hayward a few spots ahead of his ADP to make sure he’s on my team, but I think I’ll be pretty indifferent seeing Wiggins taken earlier than I’m willing to by someone who’s higher on him. It feels like their ceilings are about the same if they each max out their potential, but Hayward’s floor just feels so much higher…and I value that with a top-30’ish pick.

  2. kai says:
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    Just curious – why did you give Wiggins the advantage on rebounds?

    • Jeremy says:
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      @kai:

      Because Favors and Gobert are gonna grab everything. Gobert is going to average 11- 12 boards easy, and there’s just no comparison on the wolves. Towns is going to need to play more than 30 mins to do that and i don’t think that will happen, given his conditioning and the front court depth. I think Wiggins will win boards too but points is really close.

      • kai says:
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        @Jeremy: hmm, they are certainly close on rebounds and it probably doesn’t matter. but idk that that logic quite holds for me. some things to chew on anyway:

        -rebounding isn’t a zero sum game – see especially the work that nylon calculus has been putting in on this
        -hayward still averaged 4.7/game w/Gobert starting
        -ricky rubio is one of the best PG rebounders in the game, and if the wolves are running then their athletic wings might be leaking out rather than crashing the d boards. i sort of doubt that the not-analytically-inclined wolves understand this, but Rubio should http://nyloncalculus.com/2015/09/09/rebounding-positionality-and-transition-play/
        -it doesn’t really matter how many minutes Towns plays. There should always be two competent rebounders on the floor with W (Towns/KG/Bjelica/Dieng). KG actually posted his career best DREB% the last two seasons.

        idk, like I said it’s beyond insignificant for fantasy, just something that stuck out to me

        • kai says:
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          @kai: (also…i always forget to say this, but great article and analysis!)

          • Slim

            Slim says:
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            @kai: Yeah I don’t pay too much attention to the bigs impacting a wings boards. I’ve got Wiggins down for 5.2 and Hayward at 4.7. If Gobert were injured and Booker starting I might see it a little differently for Hayward but not by much, maybe 0.5 a game, probably not even that much. I would probably bump Favors by more than Hayward in that scenario. I’ve got Wiggins over last year by a fair amount but I don’t think it’s too much. He was 4.4 before the break and 4.9 after and I think that progression continues, along with the minutes.

        • Jeremy says:
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          @kai:

          haha true, it probably doesn’t matter anyways.

          I can’t really argue against your first point since your throwing in some calculus in there, and i don’t have time to read that at work right now haha.

          But your second point is sorta questionable because a person’s ability to rebound the ball effectively definitely affects the number of rebounds his teammate gets. In this case let’s say even if Hayward crushes the board every single opportunity, he will be less likely to get a rebound with Gobert around the paint versus having one of the 4 guys you mentioned above in the paint. KG won’t be playing more than 15 mins a game and even if does, he’s still a lesser rebounder than Gobert and Favors at this point of his career. Plus, we are not just talking about defensive rebounds.

          Obviously, this point alone is not gonna win the argument that Wiggins over hayward in rebounds but that’s certainly one way to look at it.

          • kai says:
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            @Jeremy:

            i know it seems counterintuitive, but you gotta look at the stats. KG is as good of a defensive rebounder as gobert and certainly better than favors. the MPG is obviously going to be less, and bjelica and towns are huge question marks too. but it’s not like wiggins is running out there next to brook lopez or something.

            although logically the “what if” point you make about bigs having a negative impact on teammate rebounding makes sense, in practice it doesn’t always hold. some bigs – robin lopez and nikola pekovic are the preeminent examples – don’t get many rebounds themselves, but have a net positive impact on teammate rebounding because they simply take their man out of the equation. so, it’s really more of an empirical question.

            • kai says:
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              @kai: sorry to nerd out over this, but i think that individual and team rebounding is really interesting from a statistical perspective. i’m not quite sure how to translate the information into a fantasy perspective yet – things like pace, mpg, 3pa, etc are still going to be more important for fantasy.

              • Adam

                Adam says:
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                @kai: You would also have to factor where the boards are coming from. So is it simply using athleticism to get long rebounds that come out to the perimeter, or is that players style to crash the glass. That’s where the effect of the bigs will play in.

                This would change game to game based on whether the opposing took more or less outside shots, and whether the player being guarded was a shooter or driver.

                I think there are too many variables to accurately give a fantasy impact in this area.

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @kai: He kai – it’s been argued pretty well here in this mini-thread, but I’m right around where Slim is. Hayward flirting with 5.0 RPG and Wiggins bumping his average from last year by about half a board per game as a result of increased confidence and aggressiveness in all facets of the game. It’s one of those categories that should be really closely contested between these two guys.

      Glad you liked the article and thanks for generating some really great comments here.

  3. Woo says:
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    Wigg fg% – .437
    Hayward fg% – .445

    • kai says:
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      @Woo: 2014-15

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Woo: That’s last year right? I’ve got Wiggins down for .450 and Hayward at .450, but I think I’m underselling Wiggins FG% and more than likely overselling Haywards. I think I should edit that closer to .460 for Wiggins and .445 for Hayward. My money is definitely on Wiggins winning FG%.

      • JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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        @Slim: Even if Wiggins has a better fg% is it really a win, so to speak? I see some speak of his progression last year but he was awful with 3 ball as the year wore on. I can see Hayward easily beating out Winnings in 3’s again this year, where he average 1.6 a game to Wiggins 0.5. Hard to see Wiggins coming to close to sniffing even 1 three a game. I would rather take the small hit in fg% and get the 3’s. The gap in their fg% shouldn’t be much at all, but the win for Hayward in the 3’s cat is significant.

        • Slim

          Slim says:
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          @JoeMorgan’sMustache: In the predraft ranks for my RCL I have Hayward at 26 and Wiggins at 30 so overall I’m with you. Although it isn’t the 3s that puts Hayward over the top for me, it’s the assists. But yeah I’m taking Hayward ahead of Wiggins every time. The main reason I even have Wiggins that high is because his ceiling is so high and there’s a chance that gets realized this year. I think LaVine in the starting lineup should help him too since I imagine LaVine will concede shots to Wiggins far more often than Kevin Martin did.

          To play devils advocate for a sec, the best case I can make for Wiggins over Hayward would be their pASB numbers.

          .410/.821/1.3/18.3/4.7/3.7/1.5/0.3/2.7 :33 Min for Hayward
          .446/.783/0.2/20.0/4.9/2.3/0.9/0.7/2.5 :39 Min for Wiggins

          That is a significant FG% advantage considering the volume, and in April Wiggins was even better overall than those numbers, also his numbers in January which isn’t a part of the above stat line, was boarderline top 10. The upside is definitely real and I can not believe how many places are ranking him in the 80s. I saw one the other day that had Wiggins at 89 and Hood at 86, which I found to be absolutely insane! I know he struggled with his 3pt shot but I believe it’s something he will work on and be very good at. I know some people don’t like the 2 I keep comparing him to but LeBron shot 29.0% 3pt% at 19 and Durant shot 28.8% at 19. Wiggins shot 31%. Just sayin…

          • JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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            @Slim: Understand. Yes agree with you on ast…Hayward has a big advantage there when you consider their TO aren’t far off. My issue with the improved fg% for Wiggins in second half is that it came with an empty 0.2 3’s. Just a sticking point for me there. It’s also hard to ignore the fact that Wiggins was still outside the top 100 in 9 cat over the last 2 months.

            Basically, I have a hard time reaching for Wiggins, which it seems anyone who wants him will, when I can get Hayward who has a higher floor at this point. I get chasing upside, and it could happen for Wiggins this year, but if it doesn’t then there is no profit to be made. I would be on board with you with his 3 ball expect it got much worse in the second half. I am sure he was worked on it this offseason, but gotta see it to believe it.

            • CTMN says:
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              @JoeMorgan’sMustache: For what it’s worth (which might not be much), Wiggins shot 13/25 or something on 3s in the FIBA Americas this summer. I know it’s a closer line, but I watched every one of Canada’s games and he hit some deep ones. His shooting form looks really good, better than LeBron’s form has ever been, so I’m sure he can improve to be at least as good a 3 point shooter as LeBron is, which is good but not great (LeBron shot over 40% from deep one year but he’s been around 35-37% lately). He almost definitely won’t get there next year, but the point of the comparison is just to show that even as a slasher, he can become a pretty solid 3s guy.

              • JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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                @CTMN: That’s fine, but people are making the argument about his fg% improving but it came at the expense of the 3 ball in the second half. He shot 16.1% from deep in the second half. Obviously, that’s really bad. I don’t think he is that bad from 3….but not sure how much he can improve on it from last year, if any. I don’t disagree that he will eventually be a great fantasy player, as he is very young, but he must improve significantly in 3 cats this year to make the type of leap people are talking about. Hard to bank on that.

                • CTMN says:
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                  @JoeMorgan’sMustache: That’s fair, for sure. And I agree he’s behind Hayward too. It’s just, I don’t think he should be anywhere near the 80s. Top 40-50 is a lot more realistic to me, even if the metrics might not support it.

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Woo: Awesome thread/discussion here, fellas. A healthy Rubio is going to be huge for Wiggins’ FG%. Simple things like being fed the ball in your preferred “shooting pocket” really help a young player with his shot confidence. Rubio is an elite passer, not just a good one, and he’ll care about details like that. The easy transition buckets are obviously huge for FG% as well and few PGs run the break and create opportunities better than Ricky.

      Hayward has the experience advantage and arguably a better shooting stroke, but he’s going to be seeing more defensive attention and will have to create more of his own shots and that just doesn’t lend itself to much improvement in his efficiency.

      I’m pretty confident that Wiggins takes this cat, though it’s not going to be in a landslide unless one of these guys develops the shooting “yips.”

  4. Jeremy says:
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    Yay! this is finally here. Thank you for your analysis, and i think you sold me on Hayward over Wiggins. If he can go 20, 5, 5 he will definitely be a top 20 player. But i think Wiggins is going to win points. Utah is a defensive minded team. I think if i missed out on an elite big man on the first 2 rounds ill go Wiggins for the blocks though, i think he will be around the 0.8- 1.1 range. Like you said, he’s starting to know how to use his freakish athleticism to play defense. But other than that, Hayward is probably the better pick after reading your piece.

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Jeremy: Hey Jeremy – you’re welcome…and thanks to you for reading and commenting. Hayward is one of those guys who I print in BOLD on my draft sheets as a targeted player. Wiggins, who I like, is in the same ballpark rank-wise but is someone who I’m fine seeing go to another team. That’s likely as much a “gut” feel as it is metrics-based. I just like GH better this year and feel more confident in building a championship-calibre roster with him on it than Wiggins. It’s the same with someone like Butler over Kawhi or Lillard over Wall/Westbrook…can definitely see the other side, but my gut pushes me to one side and I’m going to trust it. Next year it could be a totally different story between these two…

  5. I'm Harden for your love says:
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    Hands down Hayward is the better chose but what I think Matty has done a good job of is measuring Wiggins massive upside. If you don’t have to reach for Wiggins and he is available in 40ish range you could be handsomely rewarded which I will be trying to do this year.

    Good job Matty! you’re a great addition my favorite Fantasy Basketball site and it doesn’t hurt that ur from my hometown Toronto.

    Cheers

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @I’m Harden for your love: I think you’re doing Wiggins a major disservice by not giving credit for his steady rise throughout the year. Post All-star break Wiggins was an absolute beast, with rising percentages in both FT and FG categories. In fact, during the month of April, Wiggins attempted over 10 free throws a game, connecting on over 80%. He also averaged over 23 points a game during that time. Simply put, he’s the only go-to option on the T-Wolves, and while I love Hayward as well, I think Wiggins edges him in points and FT% (Factoring in FT% impact of course).

      Hayward is a great, high IQ, player, but he will always be limited by his physical abilities. The Ceiling with Wiggins is so high that it’s too much to pass on. It’s a tough comparison, because Wiggins doesn’t have a track record to go on, but if last year is any indication, Wiggins will break 1st/2nd round value in the very near future. With an entire off-season to improve, there’s no telling how good he’ll get this year.

      • JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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        @Adam: Speaking from a fantasy standpoint he wasn’t really a beast. The last 2 months he was still ranked outside the top 100 in 9 cat. While his fg4% did rise, the 3 ball was terrible and essentially non-existent in the seconf half. People seem to be expecting some huge jump in fantasy value for him this year. I get that he is very young and he should improve some….but he has quite a few things to work on and his backers are overlooking his flaws. I see you speak of April…but even over the last 7 games with those averages he was still only the 70th ranked player.

        • CTMN says:
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          @JoeMorgan’sMustache: The rankings systems all kinda overvalue 3s though. Klay Thompson and those types of players are usually overrated, while guards/wings who don’t hit 3s can fall. 3s are really the least important category to get with early guys considering how many late round picks and waiver guys can give you some.

          • JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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            @CTMN: Right, but those guys are usually specialists with fairly empty lines…not well-rounded players. Points are pretty easy to find in the fa pool too. Either way, there was a reason he was ranked outside the top 100 after the break….it’s a combination of a lack of 3’s, steals, and his ast/to ratio was/is nothing special. I’m just going off the stats and ranks man…and it all tells me Hayward is better.

            • CTMN says:
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              @JoeMorgan’sMustache: I definitely agree that Hayward’s better, and by a good bit. But Wiggins is a lot better than any metrics indicate. I think he should be at least top 50.

              • JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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                @CTMN: That’s prob best case for him this year. Problem is to own him one will have to reach and draft him at around what I deem his ceiling is this year. Not ideal in early rounds…imo. Meanwhile Hayward can be had at what I deem his floor is. Just like those odds better.

                • CTMN says:
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                  @JoeMorgan’sMustache: For sure, it makes more sense to take Hayward in any case.

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @I’m Harden for your love: Thanks, man. Appreciate the kind words and GO JAYS GO!!! (What an unbelievable Game 5 – I watched it on my JetBlue flight coming home from Florida last night and thought I was going to get thrown off the plane I was cheering so loud.)

      Razzball is definitely the place to be for quality fantasy roundball info. I’m pretty stoked they’re allowing me to spill some digital ink on their site.

      I agree that Wiggins has value in the right spot – I just won’t be reaching for him. I also think that because I’m so high on guys like Jimmy & Kawhi, I won’t be placing much of a premium on a wing player in the 3rd/4th rounds…whereas I understand that a guy like AW is a very attractive target to the owner who locks up PG/C in the first couple rounds.

  6. IndianalandMan says:
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    So, um, off topic but …

    …our 14-team fantasy basketball league needs one good owner. This is a $40 league (LeagueSafe) drafting Sunday, Oct. 11 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN. I hope to fill the spot in the next couple of hours as we’ll do a supplemental offline round to disperse players from two contracted teams.

    This is a H2H league with five cats (pts, reb, ast, stl, blk) – weighted towards points, then rebounds and assists and then steals and blocks.

    We use simple 1-year, 2-year, 3-year, etc. contracts, keep 4 this year (inching up next three seasons before settling at 7).

    The team is strong: Aldridge, Bosh, Dragic – with 2-year deals; Favors on a one-year deal – but can be extended a year.

    I have a full Charter (for rules), a Google roster document and I’m happy to answer any questions.

    Email me if interested or reply here.

    [email protected]

    We had a late opening and I really hope to get this filled ASAP so we can do the supplemental round right away.

    One more thing: The owners in this league are top-notch guys. I started it in part to have strong replacements for a higher stakes league I run, but this league quickly came into its own and is quite fun.

    Thanks!

  7. Adam

    Adam says:
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    Oops, I didn’t mean that as a reply to you Harden. My bad lol

    • Mike says:
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      @Adam:

      How would you compare Wiggins and Hayward in 10 cat (including Free throws made)?

      • Adam

        Adam says:
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        @Mike: I’d give him the edge in 8 and 9 cat to start with, but free throws made would really push it into Wiggins favor. He’s a higher volume guy, and if his improvements throughout last year keep up, he should be nearing 10 attempts a game. Take into account that he was borderline 80% at the line in the second half, and he could be a monster in that category.

      • JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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        @Mike: Would still take Hayward there. He still shoots plenty of ft’s himself. He also has a significant edge in 3’s, steals, and ast/to ratio. Fg% will be close enough to where I prefer Hayward and his significantly more 3’s. Simply put, he is the the better fantasy player and Wiggins must vastly improve his 3 ball, steals, and ast/to ratio make a significant jump this year. Hayward doesn’t have to improve anything to be a top 30-40 player.

  8. Jason says:
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    are these good trades for me?
    wall for westbrook
    bosh for vucevic

    • Jeremy says:
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      @Jason:

      im not sure if you have wall and bosh or westbrook and vucevic, but wall and westbrook are really close, no need to make a trade, assists is hard to find, i would keep wall if your team is all set on points and free throws. Vucevic is better than bosh by at least a round of value, trade for him if you have bosh, don’t if you have vucevic lol

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Jason: Hey Jason – what’s good, man?

      It depends on your scoring format, but generally speaking I prefer Vuc to Bosh. The PGs are really close and I am just not that high on Westbrook this year, even on the heels of him delivering me a championship in my main league last year. I think a stacked OKC roster, Westbrook’s reckless style of play and mounting medical chart, and the uncertainty around what Billy Donovan is going to do once the games matter makes him a higher risk player. His reward is obviously sky high as well, but I like what I’m hearing from Wall and assists are a tough category to chase later in drafts, so he can really help you take care of a tough cat early on. Pretty close to a coin flip, but I think I’m starting to lean Wall the closer we get to opening night.

  9. Michael says:
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    gordon hayward is good, he kind of reminds me a white version of paul george. he needs to cut his TOs down a bit I think

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Michael: Thanks for the comment, Michael. I don’t see much chance in Hayward cutting his TOs down since I project him to be running the show more often than not given the injury to Exum. The Jazz know that Trey Burke isn’t a long-term solution at point and Alec Burks is kind of a tweener. They know where their bread is buttered and GH is going to be piloting this ship…that will all but certainly lead to an increase in TOs, but should easily be offset in positive increases to his other usage-related stats.

  10. DK says:
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    “JB is irrationally high on Wiggins this year and he forced me to write this.”

    LOL!!! One of the reasons I love coming here! 😀

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @DK: Never pass up an opportunity to take a swing at the editor, right? (Wait – that actually sounds like pretty lousy advice. Forget I said anything. JB’s Wiggins love is perfectly reasonable. Ha.)

  11. stumlu says:
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    Hi
    Im in an 8-cat Roto-league (11 teams). I will have the first pick and take Davis but im not sure who to take next.
    Option 1: Marc Gasol is still available and I take him with bledsoe (But i will be missing some 3p and ass later on)
    Option 2: Bledsoe and Lawson (But im not sure about lawsons role)
    Option 3: Bledsoe and Oladipo (Low% and low assists?)

    I’d love to here your opinion!

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @stumlu: An 11-team league? Huh. Must admit – that’s the first time I think I’ve ever seen an odd numbered team league. Unique!

      Congrats on nabbing the top overall pick – Brow just needs to stay healthy and you should be laughing all the way to the playoffs.

      Of the three options you presented I think I like combining Bledsoe and ‘Dipo with Davis. Your assists shouldn’t be that bad actually, especially if Victor sees time as backup PG to Elfrid. Obviously EBled is going to have solid usage as well and provide solid assists. You’re right though about them potentially hurting your FG% and neither guy is elite when it comes to draining triples.

      I wouldn’t consider Lawson anywhere near the third round. He’s an avoid for me because of Harden’s presence and the fact that Beverley is still going to get considerable run at the point (and probably won’t see much time alongside Lawson). So option two is by far my least favorite of the options.

      It’s tough to get the “perfect build” after three rounds, so don’t worry about one or two category deficiencies at that point. You can find specialists in certain cats, but shoring up assists and blocks is a pretty good idea. Option 3 does that pretty well for you when you have ‘Brow locked up right from the opening bell.

      Good luck!

      • stumlu says:
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        @Matty:
        Lol I play in a league where everyone knows eachother but we only got 11 players haha.
        My last couple of mockdrafts I am going with Bledsoe and Hayward if I can (otherwise i take Oladipo). With my fourth and fifth pick i like going with the best combination of (Horford/Bosh/Valanciunas/ with Dragic/Lawson/Ellis). If I can get 5 of those guys I think i have a good base!
        Tnx for the respons!

  12. Matty

    Matty says:
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    Hey all…

    Apologies for not responding to the comments. I appreciate every one of ’em and thanks to all who read this article. I am on vacation and the place we are staying at is having major internet connection issues so I’m pretty much “unplugged” at the moment. I don’t get back ’til the 14th so I can’t promise responses until after that.

    I know the guys are rolling out lots of great content over the next week so I will check back in and see if I can add to it in about a week. Good luck if you’re drafting in the next few days. Cheers!

  13. Slim

    Slim says:
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    I’ve got a pair of guys I’d like to see compared. It’s a tough one since they are both young rooks but I think worth doing since it looks like both are going to start… Russell vs Mudiay.

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Slim: Lemme see what I can do about that…

      I did have eyes on comparing a couple rooks before the season starts, and these two youngsters might be a good way to go.

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