The only constant in life is change. In the NBA it seems like no place changes as often or as unsuccessfully as Sacramento, where tearing it down and starting over isn’t a one-off project but an organizational credo. A shuffle took place upstairs over the summer and now the Sacramento worm has begun to turn once more. The Kings aren’t taking it down to the studs this time around, though another regime shift ensures that there will be some moving pieces in California’s capitol and, hopefully, some growth.

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The very name Utah Jazz evokes a strange and out of place image.  New Orleans Jazz. Well, that makes sense.  Alas, we live in a funny world where the funkiest thing in the state of Utah is, beyond epic snowboarding, epic wild water rafting; the Utah Jazz basketball team.  This city thrives on their pro sports franchise and warms the hearts of the players who play here with down home charm.  In today’s fast paced, metropolis based NBA landscape, the Utah Jazz play to their own trumpet.  They develop players, extend them, and build year after year upon the prior year’s efforts.  Last year’s Jazz made ripples in the West, garnering the 6th seed without the 20 ppg from Bojan Bogdanovic.  They would fall to the Nuggets for a first round exit in the Bubble.  Will this snub from the 2nd round provide some grit and determination?

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I dabbled with the other Los Angeles team last time, so that there is balance in all things, we now turn our gaze toward the Clippers team and organization. And quite the time its been for this team the last few years. Going from the beloved “Lob City” era to the gritty blue-collar iteration that managed to take some games of the Warriors in the playoffs just a little over a year ago, to becoming vaulted title contenders with an offseason overhaul that brought both Kawaii Leonard and Paul George to the team. So there’s been plenty of transition, exorbitant expectations, and sweet-sweet failure. But not all is lost! Just one year into this new look Clippers and with a new head coach leading into the 2020 start of the season, there are two ways to look at what lies ahead for the Clippers. One good, one bad…balance! We’ll go over both perspectives after the jump…

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I told you that we won’t stop. We keep going, and going, and going like the Energizer bunny. Here is the next iteration of projections/rankings. If you missed previous editions, here you go:

Top 10
Top 25
Top 50

Before I begin…

THESE RANKINGS MUST BE UTILIZED IN THE CONTEXT OF YOUR LEAGUE SETTINGS, TEAM ROSTER CONSTRUCTION, AVERAGE DRAFT POSITION, AND PERSONAL PHILOSOPHIES.

I shouldn’t even name them rankings, as they are simply projections, but the people want rankings so here they are. As for my process, I went to each team and tried to figure out their rotations with minutes distributions as best I could. Then I went to each player and projected the per minute stats for each player. So, yes, there is subjectivity in the process. I’m also still refining my process and trying to get better with each iteration. With all the players in the overall pool, I then took the z-score for each category and added up those numbers to produce an overall value number. For free throw and field goal percentage, I weighted them for volume.

So, where a player lands in the rankings doesn’t mean that I would draft said player there. It simply gives a macro view of a player’s overall value.

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The Orlando Magic have made it to the playoffs in two straight seasons and they’ll be returning with pretty much the same lineup, same head coach in Steve Clifford, and not a whole lot to be excited about except rookie Cole Anthony. Jonathan Isaac suffered a pair of devastating knee injuries which will reportedly sideline him for the entirety of the 2020-21 season.

That will leave a huge hole to fill as he averaged a shade under 29 minutes per game last season to go with 18.3% usage. Most importantly though it leaves the team with a severe lack of identity. There’s a logjam at point guard and very little to suggest they will get a different result than last season. It looks like another year of drudgery for 30-year-old Nikola Vučević and 28-year-old Evan Fournier, who should headline the offensive side of the ball.

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Sun Tzu, the Chinese general, military strategist, philosopher, and author of the Art of War wrote: “what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.” Before undertaking any endeavor in life, knowing and understanding the landscape provides a tremendous advantage for those who put in the time to obtain the information. Every fantasy basketball site has their own rankings and projections. As a result, there will be opporunities to exploit depending on which draft room you are situated in. If you know the landscape before entering the fray, you will have an advantage come draft day. Below, I’ve made a Google sheet that compares my rankings to those at ESPN, Yahoo, and Fantrax. This should give a basic lay of the fantasy landscape.

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The Philadelphia 76ers are a peculiar bunch. As much as I hate to say it, because they proved me oh so wrong, I was really high on this team and even had them going to the NBA Finals. But, alas, Kawhi Leonard hit an unforgettable bounce shot that left Joel Embiid in tears and my predictions in shambles. The Process had hit a brick wall. I was always one to trust the process and that can factor into all walks of life, but this off-season, the Sixers brought in the guy to, perhaps, finally complete the process. This individual is quite possibly their biggest addition so far and it isn’t even on court. This great addition comes in the form of Daryl Morey.

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Even typing the year 2020 for the title almost made my keyboard break. What an absolute mess of a year for humanity, basketball, and fantasy basketball. Usually, my Top 155 roto projections are out by September but, in this special season, we have to wait until the end of December to see some NBA action. As are result, the projections have been postponed accordingly. But they are ready now, and, for the fourth straight year, you can trust a complete internet stranger for your fantasy drafts. Hey, at least I do a yearly review of my projections from last year where you can mock me for my missteps and silently acknowledge my correct projections, because that’s how the internet works.

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