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Basketball season is approaching quickly, as signaled by the start of our Razzball Basketball Commenter Leagues!  The RCL leagues are a ton of fun, so make sure to get in one of those.  I’ll be hosting at least one or two in the near future, so if you join one of those, just think of this as a list of guys you should let me draft!  We’re starting to get into the more interesting sleepers as we work our way deeper into the rankings.  So lets get into it!

Sleepers:

Jordan Clarkson

Possibly my favorite sleeper for the upcoming season, Clarkson somehow managed to fly under the radar last year, despite posting very solid numbers on an otherwise underwhelming Laker team.  Unfortunately it looks like JB beat me to the punch on this one with his recent rankings, and I agree with his assessment, putting Clarkson at 57th overall.  Clarkson is a very dynamic scorer, and playing next to D’Angelo Russell should only help his growth.  Actually, I’ll just include D’Angelo in this blurb as well!  These two guys had great chemistry in summer league, and there’s no reason to think it won’t grow as the season progresses.  Russell still has a little ways to go in terms of shot selection and turnovers; however, he has amazing court vision and passing ability.  The turnover issues are definitely overblown, and I think Russell could put up very solid assist numbers while setting up his back-court team-mate.  Regardless of how they turn out, these two are going to be a ton of fun to watch, and both are almost certain to be undervalued.  I’m going to love owning both of them on all my teams!

Julius Randle

While we’re on the theme of Lakers, I might as well mention Julius Randle.  Last season he only managed 14 minutes in his first game before a broken leg knocked him out for the rest of the season.  The good news is, he’s healthy heading into this season, and with Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill out of the way, there’s a clear path to playing time.  I’m not sure Randle is going to blow anyone away with his stats this year, but his solid contributions in points and boards could put him within striking distance of the top 100.  Think Zach Randolph range.  Personally, I’d take Randle first, he’s younger, quicker, and better off the dribble than Randolph, but the skill sets are still fairly comparable.  Plus I would really hate to have Randolph on my team, so I might be a tad biased… Regardless, you get the point!

Deron Williams

Deron Williams is a hard player to pull the trigger on, given his injury history and performance with the Nets, but he is frankly much better than what he showed in that dysfunctional system.  With better talent surrounding him in Dallas, his percentages are sure to climb, and players like Wes Matthews, Chandler Parsons, and Dirk Nowitzki are a dream for a pass first point guard.  His assist totals could easily approach double digits again, and 16-18 points per game wouldn’t surprise me at all.  D-Will is a career 45% shooter, and it’s pretty likely that his numbers will be closer to that, than the 41% he averaged with the Nets.  If you can get him in the mid rounds of the draft, he’s definitely worth a shot.  Deron still has borderline elite upside, and if you’re willing to gamble a bit, then you could be rewarded with a huge season in Dallas.

Myles Turner

And another Sleeper that JB beat me to… The appeal with Turner is pretty obvious though, great blocks, boards, and points potential from a young athletic big, who doesn’t have any competition for minutes.  On top of all that, he’ll be playing in a fast paced offense! BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! He also can knock down the occasional 3 ball, he has great free throw percentages, and he doesn’t turn over the ball! JB has him aggressively ranked at 63rd overall, and the fact of the matter is that this could be on the conservative side! Basically this all boils down to one thing… Draft this kid!

 

Kinda Busts:

Brandon Jennings

Possibly the most unnecessary bust prediction ever.  Jennings is always drafted too early, and with his upside it’s easy to see why.  The problem is, he keeps disappointing year after year.  He’s a very talented player, who’s made of glass and who arguably has the worst shot selection west of J.R. Smith.  Stay away if you value winning… or your sanity for that matter.

The Cleveland Cavaliers

I’m not really calling them busts, I would say that they lack upside though.  With the insane amount of depth on the team, the key players will be rested more this year.  Lebron James will obviously be a great player, but with the extra depth, the Cavs will likely preserve him for the playoffs.  The same goes for Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love as well.  The Cavs are going to be a great team, but stacked teams tend to hurt fantasy values.  I always say that I’d rather have a great player on a bad team than a great player on a good team for fantasy purposes, and I think this year’s Cavalier squad will prove that.

 

  1. TOPSZN says:
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    Hey Adam!

    Great article. I’m in your RCL so I won’t try to poach any of these guys… on purpose haha. I definitely do agree about DWill though!

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @TOPSZN: Awesome! I’m totally kidding about the poaching, go for it if you’re willing to pay! Yeah, durability is a concern for DWill, but the talent is still there, and the Mavs seem to have a way with PGs, (Think Jason Kidd). Should be a fun year! A ton of unknowns this year.

      • TOPSZN says:
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        @Adam: Haha not sure if I’m willing to pay the price for the other guys! Health will be the big thing for DWill. I trust that Carlisle will be able to get the best out of him, as you alluded to!

    • A Potamus says:
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      @TOPSZN: I’m on the DWill bandwagon too. I think Kidd is a borderline bad coach, especially for PGs (which could partially explain the 2014 numbers) and DWill’s 2nd half last year was legit. Brooklyn had a lot of ball stoppers (Not necessarily a bad thing, but not good for assists from a PG), whereas Dallas has shooters, assuming health. Even Zaza is pretty solid at the pick and pop. I know DWill is 31 and has injury concerns, but I’m buying.

      • TOPSZN says:
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        @A Potamus: All aboard man haha! You made some great points about how DWill put up good numbers in less than ideal situations. You also can’t overlook how DWill is from Dallas and so hopefully he plays with a little bit of motivation and looks at this as a chance to rejuvenate himself!

  2. David Ralston says:
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    Hi Adam, I’m really big on Rob Covington and Aec Burks this year. Thinking about taking them a round early. What do think there best case numbers might look like.

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @David Ralston: Hey David, I actually like both of those guys, but I would hesitate a bit on Covington, depending where he goes. Alec Burks is going to put up a great year for the Jazz, but a big part of it is due to the injury of Exum. The Jazz have a lot of depth at SG with Hood and Millsap behind Burks, so I think most of the minutes bump will come because he’ll function as the backup PG as well. This bodes well for assist totals.

      I’d say 15 pts. 5 boards, 5 assists, a steal and a trey a game, would be a solid estimate for Burks. He’s never been a huge steals guy, but the percentages are going to be solid and a jump in assists should be there. Plenty of upside to that estimate if he can get 35 mins a game.

      Covington is tougher, because his defense is mediocre at best, and he shoots a terrible percentage from the field, (39% in fact last year). I’d say he’s a Trevor Ariza lite type of player, and probably shouldn’t be taken til somewhere in the pick 110-125 range. I think someone will grab him before that. Rumor has it that Grant may start over Covington because of Phillie’s lack of defense.

      Hope that helps!

      • Adam

        Adam says:
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        @Adam: Oh, as for Covington’s stats, they shouldn’t fluctuate much from last year. The Sixers are still pretty disfunctional, and Covington will continue to force shots without a good shot creating PG. Last year’s breakout looks legit, but I don’t see a huge improvement coming, especially FG% wise.

  3. ByeFelica says:
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    Is this the same adam from my baseball league with Tehol? Hate us cuz they ain’t us?

    • Adam

      Adam says:
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      @ByeFelica: Hate Us Cause They Anus? Yep! I was top 10 til the Gincarlo injury, then had a spectacular meltdown. Basketball is definitely a stronger area for me than baseball lol. Which is your team?

      • ByeFelica says:
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        @Adam: The one that traded away all my slumping players to you and the other guy. SAGNOF SPECIAL. If I held firm i probably would have won. It’s all good cuz basketball has always been my strongest game. I’ll see you in the REL. I took over a team this year. Good luck this year. I’d trade you for Westbrook except im not paying $65 for him. That’s 1/3 of my budget and i have a pretty damn good core of young talent for less than $85 total!

      • ByeFelica says:
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        @Adam: Sagnof night special is my team. I know all about meltdowns. Lol

        I led for awhile too remember (4 months ago) haha

      • ByeFelica says:
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        @Adam: i traded Cargo & Crush Davis right before they started mashing for JOFER!

        See how that worked out for me…lol

        If i would have waited 1 week… I would most likely be leading. They have hit over 40 hr for that guy since i traded them away! CRAZY SHIT

        • Adam

          Adam says:
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          @ByeFelica: @ByeFelica: Haha ok! yeah! thanks for Joc! although he’s sucked in the second half… Yeah the REL is gonna be a lot of fun, Westy is only $59 actually, he’s just too good for me to not keep him. Which team did you take over? Cargo and Crush have been insane… I dealt crush in my main league I have with my buddies, so I feel ya there.

          • Adam

            Adam says:
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            @Adam: nvm I found it. Deandre is a steal at $15 and Millsap and McCollum are deals as well. Probably will blurb CJ in my next sleeper column. Deandre does present a punting dilemma though… probably could get a substantial amount for him with that low of a price tag

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