Did you know about 75% of hops grown in America come from the Yakima Valley? Of course you didn’t. Unless you’re reading from the Pacific Northwest, you probably don’t even know where the heck Yakima is. Which means you also don’t know about this hilarious billboard declaring it the Palm Springs of Washington (funny because Yakima is kind of a craphole). But, if you’re paying attention to your NBA rookie origin stories, you’d know that MarJon Beauchamp is the first and only NBA 1st round draft pick to come out of this quasi-desert rose of a geographical location.
Here’s some examples of the type of hops the Valley produces:
If you’re wondering “Why So Sad Marjon?” while looking at the cover photo there, the draft night tears were an outpouring of emotion from the young man after an whirlwind of an amateur career. Beauchamp’s unconventional path to the NBA had stops at four Seattle-area schools, various development programs – including the Ignite team – and (most awesome) part of a season on the Yakima Valley College Yaks. Watching film from his JUCO time, you can almost hear him humming The Coasters “Yakkity Yak (Don’t Talk Back)” while dropping 30-point games left and right (including a 50-point game).
In 24 G League games, Beauchamp impressed with 15 points, 6.5 boards, 2 assists, 1.5 steals. .8 blocks and 1.9 turnovers. He shot 51% from the field and was one of the better cutters/finishers in the draft. But he shot sub-30% from deep, which was likely the reason he fell to the Bucks at 24. He’s a great 3-and-d player, minus the 3.
He’s got all the appetizing intangibles for a 6-foot-6-inch guy with a 7-foot wingspan: Strong defense, good motor, ability to hit the offensive glass (he’s averaging nearly 8 boards per 36 minutes played so far this season), good in transition and moves well without the ball.
Beauchamp alternated between career nights and duds in the last week, getting around 30 minutes of run as a starter. In his three best games this season, he shot 10-of-16 from behind the arch; otherwise he’s just 2-of-23. But he makes up for it with a nearly 65% mark on 2-point shots.
The vets will all be back from injury soon, but Beauchamp has established a solid role with the defending champs. Milwaukee is being rumored to be shopping Grayson Allen for a lengthy wing defender. If the Pride of Yakima Valley could get a consistent three-point shot going, they may already have that on the bench. Beauchamp should provide value in deep leagues throughout the year and could be a fun streamer at times when his shot is working.
Moving on, Nikola Jovic got the start for the Heat Wednesday with Bam Adabeyo out and Dewayne Dedmon limited by being Dewayne Dedmon. The league’s second best Serbian started hot, scoring 11 of the Heat’s first 15 points against Toronto. He finished 4-of-8 from the field, 1-of-3 from deep and 4-of-4 from the line for a grand total of 13 points. He chipped in three rebounds, an assist and a steal, and most importantly for him, only 1 foul in nearly 24 minutes of play. He moved well without the ball and set some screens leading to open shots. No need to look him up on the wire at the moment, but Miami has questions in regards to its bigs rotation, so keep an eye out.
Jaden Ivey has put up similar stat lines in four games without Cade Cunningham as the previous 10 with him. The three-point shooting has been pretty abysmal, other than a 4-for-6 night against Boston, but you’re rostering him for numbers not percentages. I don’t have any Ivey shares, but if I did, I might be testing the market in redraft leagues to see what the return looks like.
Andrew Nembhard – or, Drew Hard, as he would be known in the adult film industry – continues to be an early rookie season surprise. In the last two weeks, he’s been a top 125 player in 9-cat leagues, averaging a steal per game, to go with a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and good percentages. A four-year college player, he’s one of those weird rookies who’s actually of legal drinking age, so won’t be as prone to slumps as the teens. The Pacers are 3-1 with Nembhard in the starting lineup, so his role is secure at least for the next couple weeks while Chris Duarte is out.
Shaedon Sharpe keeps getting better and is Top 50 in the NBA in true shooting percentage (.619), trailing only Bennedict Mathurin (.626) from the rookie class.
I realized I haven’t mentioned Jeremy Sochan once in these reports, and really there’s not much to say other than the guy is as advertised and will become a solid fantasy asset down the line. He also did this last night:
I inserted Walker Kessler into my RazzJam squad this week … and am realizing as I type this how dirty that sounds.
Speaking of dirty deep dives, I’ll be digging into the Wide World of G League in next week’s report. Until then, best of luck to all this weekend — other than Hooper in the Razzball Writers’ League.