Welcome to the second installment of Weekly Yinteresting Thoughts (WYT). In these posts, I’ll be sharing some of my random thoughts, opinions, and questions about the NBA landscape as it pertains to fantasy basketball. Feel free to drop your comments and questions below! Let’s get started.

Underperformers

For this week’s segment, I’m going to start by channeling all of my negative hater energy in a productive way to really emphasize just how poorly some players have been playing thus far into the season. 

Jrue Holiday had a Yahoo! ADP of 43. This was already a bit too low for me considering Holiday has finished 32nd, 20th, and 40th in his last three seasons buoyed by his incredibly consistent 1.6 steals per game mark amongst strong assist and field goal numbers. Coming into this season, he was supposed to take over as a strong number two option on the Bucks behind Giannis Antetokounmpo in Khris Middleton’s absence. This has not happened, but not for lack of trying. Holiday is averaging 16 FGA in the last three games, which is a bit more than his typical range in the 14s, but shooting a woeful 31% from the field. He’s pilfering only 1.3 steals, and if not for his abnormally high 1.3 block rate, he would be ranked even lower. 

Anthony Edwards has the entire highlight reel package: tight handles with crafty hesitations, funny unfiltered post-game quips, and the unmistakable superhuman athleticism very few others can match. He seems destined for superstardom; a prophecy foretold by his lofty Yahoo! ADP of 20. There’s no denying his shine, but from a fantasy perspective, his current ranking of 136 just ain’t gonna cut it. He’s held back by an atrocious 58% free throw shooting rate and 4 turnovers a game. The points have not yet exploded into the 25+ range many have expected, but he is undeniably the best player on his team and the gaudy numbers will come, hopefully sooner rather than later. Special shoutout to his similarly underperforming teammate Karl-Anthony Towns, who is ranked 57th. 

I really like Cade Cunningham’s game; he moves with a veteran savvy not present in many young players but unfortunately has a lot to improve. He’s careless with the rock. His three-ball needs serious work (career 31%). His shooting around the rim needs to improve. For comparison, Cunningham shot 58% at the rim last season to Chris Paul’s 76%. And to Fred Vanvleet’s 65%. I purposefully chose shorter, undersized guards to illustrate that Cunningham’s 6-foot-6 frame should probably not be shooting a lower percentage than guys who are a full six inches shorter. 

The Pistons’ acquisition of Bojan Bogdanovic this offseason was a good move in theory: give your developing stud playmaker a sniper on the perimeter to work magic with. Give him young, athletic bigs like Jalen Duren in addition to Isaiah Stewart and Marvin Bagley to roll to the rim with and let him learn how to make good decisions. For Cunningham to claw his way back from his current rank of 140, he’ll need to get that efficiency up, cut out the careless turnovers, and improve his offensive decision making. There’s still time, though.

What else?

In other happenings around the league, the Philadelphia 76ers have not quite gotten the start to the season they were hoping for. A supposedly contending team starting 1-4 with a loss to the rebuilding Spurs? It’ll be a big year in Philly not just for the James Harden/Joel Embiid experiment, but also for Doc Rivers’ future as the team’s head coach. Anything short of a Finals appearance will be considered a failure, and I’d expect Daryl Morey to be making some big changes if the 76ers don’t get there. 

The Los Angeles Lakers are in an eerily similar situation. They’re currently 0-4, and any team with LeBron James on the roster in the year 2022 is championship-or-bust. The Lakers currently have the fourth best defense in the league, but it’s hard to win games when you’re shooting like this: 

Russell Westbrook has been notoriously scapegoated by, well, everyone. It’s a bit confounding why Rob Pelinka didn’t follow the tried and true recipe of giving James a bunch of shooters. Just take a look at other successful LeBron-led teams across different eras. He needs snipers like Kyle Korver, Daniel Gibson, Ray Allen (not that you could just find dudes like Allen off the street). Westbrook sitting in the corner simply won’t suffice, especially when people are leaving him this open. 

If fellow Laker superstar Anthony Davis is healthy heading into the postseason, this team can still do some damage, but I’d bet my house that the Lakers are exploring every possibility of dumping Westbrook somewhere for someone who can even remotely put the ball in the hoop from distance. 

Speaking of distance, remember to be patient in this young season. Don’t be that guy in one of my leagues who dropped Mitchell Robinson after two games just so I could pick him up in time for the block party (6) in the Knicks’ overtime thriller against the Hornets. Don’t panic trade anybody. And don’t leave this page without dropping a comment. See y’all next week.

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miles proudfoot
miles proudfoot
3 months ago

What do you think of trading my old man chris Paul for his old man LeBron?