I don’t know why JB would do this to me. Do you know what he told me? He told me I didn’t fit in. He told me my only chance of being accepted was for me to join some program he was calling, “Avatar”. I believe his exact words were, “Yeah we can change your avatar, what were you thinking?” Wait… this was my idea? Was it me who asked him to take my sexy, bearded, aboriginal face and join it with my real life sexy, bearded, non-aboriginal face? I can’t tell what is reality and what is a dream anymore. All I do know is that in this world of mixed mediums, my body, or as JB keeps calling it, my “Avatar”, is merely a shell for my one track mind. A mind dedicated only to fantasy basketball; unfortunately sometimes this mind can wonder. Wonder back to yesteryear when Patrick Beverley was a sleeper or when Alec Burks was supposed to start for the Jazz. In an attempt to relieve those nostalgic days, I present to you my beginning of the season All Under-Owned Team. My cutoff was 30% owned in Yahoo leagues and hopefully with season-long appeal.
All Under-Owned Team
Tony Wroten – PG – PHI – 26% – With Michael Carter-Williams down for at least the first couple of weeks, Wroten should get all the minutes he can handle. As a starter last year in 16 games, averaging 34 minutes, Wroten went 17.8/4.4/5.2 with 1.2 steals and 1.1 3s made, granted the 3.2 TOs and .551 FT% on 4.9 attempts were difficult to stomach. As a sub, Wroten only played 22 minutes so the obvious question becomes, how many minutes will Wroten play when MCW returns? It’s probably safe to say 22 minutes would be the floor since Philly has even less depth than they did last year. I think when MCW returns to full strength, Wroten will come off the bench and play 28 minutes per game, meaning he should continue to be a 12er worthy player, albeit with massive caveats.
D.J. Augustin – PG – Det – 10% – More of pick and pray kind of play, but from reading between the lines in preseason it appears a timeshare could be already in the works. We can’t expect DJ to immediately get 30 minutes per night like he averaged with the Bulls last year, but he should give a very useful 24 minutes right away. For now I wouldn’t plan on anymore than 2ish 3PTM and 4ish assists per game, but if/when Brandon Jennings plays like the Brandon Jennings of old, Stan Van Gundy could nix the timeshare all together and give all those glorious starting PG minutes to DJ.
Ramon Sessions – PG/SG – SAC – 9% – When Sessions took over the starting PG job for the Bucks last year, he became a hotly sought after commodity and for good reason. In 28 games averaging 33 minutes per game, Sessions put up a line of 15.8/3.1/4.8 and a measly 0.6 steals and 0.7 3s made. What made him a top 75 player though was the .461 FG% and .841 FT% on a monster 6.1 attempts per game. I imagine that was a league-winning pickup for many. For the Kings I expect Sessions to come off the bench behind Darren Collison. Collison has failed before, but I’m not counting on that and it isn’t why Sessions makes this list anyway. It appears Sessions can play alongside Collison and the competition for SG minutes is limited to Ben McLemore and Nik Stauskas. I think Sessions should see 28 or so minutes per game immediately, lead the 2nd unit, and play crunch time minutes.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – SG – DET – 16% – Truth be told I was shocked to see KCP’s ownership so low. Everything points to a starting job and as many minutes as he can handle from day one; I see no reason that minutes number doesn’t hit 34 per game. Coming out of college KCP was lauded for his scoring and defense. He struggled last year, but after a strong summer league and preseason KCP should come out confident and aggressive, a trademark of his time at UGA. I think we could expect 15 points per game with 1.5 3PTM and nearly 2.0 steals per game, and isn’t that why he we draft wings in the 1st place?
K.J. McDaniels – SF – Phi – 27% – KJ just barely makes my cuttoff, but he shouldn’t be here. His biggest competition for wing minutes is Hollis Thompson and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Neither should be starting in the NBA and I don’t think it’ll take long for McDaniels to separate himself. We can’t expect a whole lot of points from the rookie, but blocks galore, good steals, he won’t kill your FT%, and he’ll hit 3s. He’s basically an underpriced Draymond Green. Will he keep the job all year? I think he would have to be a massive disappointment for that to happen and from what I’ve seen that is not how I would describe him.
Chris Copeland – SF/PF – IND – 11% – Every team needs their ThrAGNoF and Copeland is mine… for now. With all the injuries Copeland is going to play. How many minutes is the question, but if he gets 30 minutes he could very well shoot 8 3s per game. He’s shown a decent FG%, .477, but that’s where the benefits he offers dies. I’m less and less impressed with what he’s going to give me as I write this, but all I want from him is 2.5 3s per game in 30 minutes. I think that could be reasonable, but even if it turns out C.J. Miles, 18% owned, is the Indy wing we want then I’ll just drop Copeland for CJ.
James Ennis – SG/SF – MIA – 2% – I could have gone with Otto Porter or Evan Fournier as a injury fill-ins, but I wanted to go the other direction and add someone without a role now but a big one should open up eventually. Playing behind Luol Deng and Dwayne Wade means at some point in the year Ennis is going to play 30 minutes per night. I don’t know when, but I have an idea of what to expect. 15ish points? Yep. At least 5 boards and 2 assists? I think so. 1.5 steals, 1.0 3s made, and 0.5 a block? Absolutely. Are those the kind of numbers I can expect from Porter or Fournier in 30 minutes for a month or so? I don’t think so.
Marvin Williams – SF/PF – CHA – 4% – Your starting PF for the Hornets. As a starter in Utah, Marvin only saw 26 minutes per game and I think a slight uptick is in order with Charlotte. 9/5/1 with 1.3 3s, 0.8 Steals, and 0.5 blocks isn’t anything special, and prorated to 30 minutes and it still isn’t special. But it is useful.
Boris Diaw – PF/C – SAS – 16% – It’s going to be difficult to trust old man Diaw for the entire season, but with Tiago Splitter down and Tim Duncan destined to be rested there should be plenty of fantasy relevant minutes. He won’t wow us with his scoring but he should be an OK rebounder and chip in a 3PTM. Why he makes this team is his out of position assists.
Kyle O’Quinn – PF/C – ORL – 5% – Our favorite Irishman was a monster at the end of the year last year, and with Channing Frye down I see no reason for that not to continue. As a 19 game starter last year, in 24 minutes per game he went 9.7/6.8/1.4 with 0.7 steals and 1.9 blocks. With Frye down, that appears to be his floor! Tobias Harris is the starting SF and it doesn’t look like he will factor into O’Quinn’s minutes. Will Frye come back and ruin the fun? I don’t know, but if O’Quinn continues to improve then Frye should come back to a bench role.
Steven Adams – C – OKC – 24% – It won’t be 24% after tonight, or last night, whatever. I write this before the games and you read it after. I don’t know which tense I’m supposed to use. Lurch appears to have won the starting center job and there is absolutely no way Kendrick Perkins can ‘win’ it back. Does that mean he’s going to play 36 minutes per game? Not a chance. He’s still going to get into foul trouble more than he should, but 28 minutes should be attainable and with the absurd number of injuries for OKC he could be called upon to score. For now, as in until Kevin Durant returns, I think Adams will be somewhere around 10/10 with 1 steal and 2 blocks, he will help your FG% and he will hurt your FT%, hopefully without too much volume.
Rudy Gobert – C – UTA – 10% – I know, Enes Kanter is starting, but should he be? Gobert’s minutes were on the rise late in preseason and while he won’t score much he could give 10 boards and 1.5-2.0 blocks in only 24 minutes. With absolutely no depth he should have no problem averaging 24 minutes per game. In order to overtake Kanter in the starting lineup he’s going to need to cut down his fouls. So, will it happen? I don’t think it’s all that bold of a prediction but I think by the All-Star break Gobert will be starting and Kanter will be coming off the bench, and the Jazz will be a .500 team. … I know, not a chance.