Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week (in which case I’m interested to know how you manage), you have heard the news about the Blake Griffin trade. For those aforementioned people who don’t, here is the summary:
Clippers get: Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, a first round pick, a second round pick and the always charming Boban Marjanovic
Pistons get: Blake Griffin along with his portable clinic, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson
I would love to read your thoughts down in the comments about who won the trade. My first instinct was that it all depends on Blake’s health and on how well he will mesh with Andre Drummond. Another conclusion that can be derived from the trade is that loyalty is dead in the NBA. Remember all the efforts the Clippers made to convince Blake to re-sign, which included filling the court with his photos and even raising an actual banner with his name into the rafters as a sign of their future devotion??
As always, let’s take a quick look at last week’s suggestions and how they performed. The Spurs duo of Dejounte Murray and Kyle Anderson were not very impressive, but their minutes are safe and will only improve moving forward. Murray is even averaging an absurd 8.6 rebounds in the last eight games. The Sacramento duo of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield, on the other hand, were not so hot as only one of them is having a good game each night. At least the Kings are sticking to their veteran-resting plan for now… Finally, Ersan Ilyasova’s minutes continue to trend in the wrong direction, but you can still get some value if you trade him right now…
Moving on to the new suggestions, this will be a heavy “Buy” week as injuries and the aforementioned trade have created opportunities for more players to become fantasy relevant.
My spidey senses be tingling, mingling, and straight up singling. Injuries are among us and we must act… fast. Like BOOM! Fast Actin’ Tinactin on a fungus toenail preparing for battle. John Madden would be proud. Nothing gets Madden going more than some popcorn, turducken, Brett Favre, and toe fungus. Injuries have come and will come Ray, they most definitely will come, and when they do, you best be ready to hit the wire harder than Terry Tate, Office Linebacker. ALL PUNS INTENDED BABY!!!!
As a Lakers fan, it pains me to say this, but the Clippers are going to be a juggernaut sooner rather than later. I’m a firm believer in the notion that success comes from the top. Well, the Clippers have an owner who is smart (Harvard BA), brilliant (dropped out of Stanford to join Microsoft), rich ($33.1 billion net worth), and passionate.
In addition, he brought in Jerry West this year, the literal GOAT, to serve as a consultant. The last team to hire West as a consultant was the Golden State Warriors. That worked out pretty well. I still can’t believe West is with the Clippers, as he really should be a Lakers for life. I’m sad now. Anyways, he knows basketball and has such a great eye for talent.
Last week for my debut piece for Razzball, I bought you my dynasty rookie rankings part 1. And what better way to follow up than bringing part 2, in which I cover my rankings from 21-40, delving deeper into the nitty gritty of those players likely to come at more of a bargain price.
If you read last week’s article, you will know the reasons why I will be reaching for Wade Baldwin and Deyonta Davis and in this article you will find more targets that I will be looking to aggressively draft come season start.
In traditional fashion (or following up from last week) I will bring you my favorite target, my top stash, my safe pick and the player I will be avoiding from each multiple of 10, but remember opinions are like assholes, we all have one (and any opinion shared here is that of my own, and not representative of Razzball in its entirety).
Let’s quit the jibber-jabber and get straight to the beef with the rookies I have ranked 21-40:
Finally, we’ve got some action to break down on the court! And what better venue than the Summer League, where raw NBA rooks and sophs go to strut their stuff and get fantasy basketballers needlessly excited. Remember all the Mario Hezonja hype last Summer League?! Hopefully I did pretty well to quash that! Wow, surprised I was right that “quash” was a word… I thought people were just saying squash too fast!
But one guy I definitely don’t want to squash/quash is second-year PG Cameron Payne. We were pretty big on this guy coming out of the draft last year, and he really surprised as a rookie overtaking D.J. Augustin as the backup to Russell Westbrook by going 14.6/4.4/5.6/1.9/0.3 in per-36 during 2015-16, with only 2.3 TO. He didn’t shoot particularly well (41%), but a lot of that was due to nearly 40% of his shots being treys. In his one start of 2015-16, he went 17/3/7 against the Spurs who shockingly weren’t resting anyone.
In the Orlando Summer League which wrapped a couple days ago, Payne led the league in scoring at 18.8 Pts a game, averaging 4 AST to only 2.5 TO. Not huge in the AST total, but that’s a ton of usage for a very few giveaways. The deep ball was still a little meh only going 4-14 from the perimeter, but he did have a 14-14 FT game in there. The Thunder squad (or quad, maybe?) went 4-0 in the games he played, and Payne looks primed for a bigger role with OKC.
With all the talk on Russell Westbrook being shopped (and even if he isn’t traded pre-season, a deadline deal would be very likely), a lot of focus has been on what newly acquired Victor Oladipo could do. No Westbrook and no other big-time creators would obviously be big for RainbOladipo. But lost in that noise is what it would mean for Cameron Payne. I think he’d all but certainly shift into the starting line-up (or at least near-starting minutes, if they still wanted to start Andre Roberson), and give a nice low-TO line with a handful of dimes and steals. The FG% might be lacking, but he would become a top-80ish asset in my mind. So while visions of sugarplums and rainbow lines for Oladipo might cloud your Christmas Eve dreams if Westy is traded, don’t forget about the huge opportunity it would give Major Payne. Here’s what else has caught my eye thus far during 2016’s Summer Ball:
Man, crazypants Thursday night! I know what you’re all thinking… “A live reaction to the madness would be better!” Well, hopefully you downloaded and listened to our Draft Day Live Podcast! If not, listen to it while reading this if you have a fluky-good, multi-tasking mind. It’s tough for me to read while listening to a Podcast, it’s like that feeling when someone just starts shouting random numbers at you when you’re trying to count. 1-2-3-4-5 “17!” 6-7-8 “22!” 8… 8… ugh, I lost my spot! Assholes…
The first 9 picks went fairly unsurprisingly, although we did miss on virtually everything in our Mock Draft. Pretty sure I beat Slim 2-1 overall(edit – ugghhhh Slim’s right he got Zizic, we tied, ahhhhh!)! Then when the Bucks made their 10th pick… All hell broke loose! Dudes I jokedaround about as 2nd round sleepers getting picked in the lottery, Suns making baller trades, someone’s twitter getting hacked… Oh wait, that was the NFL draft. I guess it wasn’t quite THAT crazy! Here’s my analysis for each rookie’s fantasy impact, along with my grade for each team’s pick in a real-life context and my guess at where each rookie will rank in my 2016-17 redraft rankings to come out this summer:
The draft is coming, the draft is coming! Since I have no NBA allegiances, I personally get more excited by the NBA draft than by postseason basketball. I know – that’s blasphemy!
You’ve heard it murmured. You’ve heard it yelled. You’ve heard it pounding down on your brain like voices drowning out your inner thoughts. “This year’s draft class SUCKS!” Well, that’s only, kinda-sorta true. I think it sucks in the sense that there’s little “easily-projectable” talent. Lots of rawness getting thrown around here, like a food fight at a sushi bar. “Can I get another Rice Wine!” And with rawness comes upside, and upside comes dynasty moves. Mmmmm, can’t wait for the upcoming season 4 of the REL League! I think since our deep dynasty is my favorite fantasy hoops league, it makes sense that this year’s draft is pretty exciting to me. A lot of speculation that would make The Prospector proud. In that regard, it’s not such a Stinky Pete after all! So be the eternal optimist, dream of some of the 1-and-done upside, and read with us as Slim and I go back-and-forth drafting for NBA teams in our 2016 Mock NBA Draft:
Also – come and join the Razzball League on Fantasy Movie League! You can join our league through this link here, and the Password is “rball”. I’ve usually been pushing for readers to join us on the Podcast, but wanted to get an invite to all as the Summer Season is starting today! Their cutoff for week 1 is at EST so there’s not much time, but you can still play every week starting in week 2 and get pumped up and practice for the Fall Season, which we’ll promote hard and have some Razzball prizes and talk it on the Pod. So be sure and make your picks and try to dethrone yours truly as the winner from Spring! Plus I ended on a perfect cinema – one of only 22 people – and I’m gonna brag about there everywhere I can!