April 26, 2016, 9:20 am
This is the third issue in a series of Dynasty focused articles.
If you missed the first issue (and the whole premise behind this series), feel free to check it out here.
For those not willing to look back at past articles, the idea behind the series is to pick out keepers that I think are ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ types of players at this point in their careers. Small forward seems to be a powerful position with many big names playing the position. NBA fans over the past decade think of names like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and even Kevin Durant more recently, when thinking of the small forward position. However, some of these big names are aging and it might be a good time to get ahead of the curve and prepare for a “changing of the guard” (or forward in this case).
Here are some names to consider buying or selling as keepers in your dynasty league:
Changing of the Guard
Kawhi Leonard, 24
It’s no secret how valuable Kawhi Leonard has become during his five years in the league. It has become even more apparent that he will be the face of the Spurs for the foreseeable future as their offensive schemes have featured Leonard more and more each year. Leonard has managed to improve each season in his young career and finished this last season as the number three ranked player in fantasy, behind only Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. He is the complete package and a fantasy owner will have to shell out a pretty heavy combination of players if they hope to land Leonard in a keeper league at this point in his career.
Paul George, 25
George looks to be close behind Leonard as a guarantee to become elite talent at the small forward position. After missing nearly all of the previous season, George returned with a bang and finished this year near the end of the first round in value. George is the clear-cut leader of this franchise, as evidenced by his playoff performances thus far. The combo of Monta Ellis and Paul George is locked in for Indiana for the foreseeable future and George is set to explode with his prime years just around the corner.
Gordon Hayward, 26
Hayward deserves more recognition that the title of “best haircut” and “that NBA player that plays video games a lot”. Just now at the beginning of his prime, Hayward has put up 4th to 6th round value over the past three seasons. He doesn’t miss very many games and looks to break the 20 points per game threshold next season. Beyond scoring, Hayward is a great source of assists at his position. Hayward may not ever reach that all-star level, but he will offer fantasy owners with efficient, across-the-board stats that you would want to see from a player that is locked in with a young, growing franchise. He may take a hit in scoring if the Jazz start to distribute the ball more as their young core grows, but Hayward is a safe bet if you are looking for a cheaper option that still has good upside.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, 21
It is crazy to think that Giannis aka “The Greek Freak” is still only 21 years old. I also struggled on which issue of the Dynasty Dose I should slip Giannis under as it appears head coach Jason Kidd plans to start him at point guard next season. That can only add to his value if he offers point guard, small forward and power forward eligibility. That type of roster flexibility is very valuable. Giannis showed tremendous improvement in fantasy value in the period of one season. After only returning 8th round value in 2014-2015, he jumped up to 3rd round value in the 2015-2016 season. In addition, Giannis posted early second round value during the final six weeks of the season after Michael Carter-Williams went down with injury and Giannis was called up to lead the offense. He posted four triple-doubles in that time frame and several more close lines. If this is any indication of the future of this player, this may be the last opportunity to get any value in a trade on him.
Tobias Harris, 23
Harris is a tough player to filter in to a certain Dynasty Dose issue as he is more of a “tweener” at the forward position. Harris stands 6’8” and is frequently compared to Carmelo Anthony, so for the sake of this series, we will count him in the small forward category. Tobias has now posted 5th round season-long value for two consecutive seasons and offers a very unique stat set for his position. Harris’ value was actually suppressed while he played for the Magic and saw an improved stat set of 4th round value during the final two months of the season following a trade to the Pistons. The Pistons offer a balanced offense with their starting group and Harris should be able to hold similar value for as long as the Pistons decide to roll this same crew out on the floor each night.
April 4, 2020, 4:45 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
Speaking on ESPN on Friday, Brian Windhorst said that there has been increasing pessimism about the NBA season resuming.
Windhorst noted that the league has begun to discuss the financial ramifications of shutting the league down, and we've seen reports about the league looking for players to take paycuts as a result of the season's uncertain future. The fact that the CBA in China was set to resume and then delayed again is an ominous sign with NBA markets nowhere near the apex of COVID-19.
April 3, 2020, 7:57 pmKobe BryantSG, Los Angeles Lakers
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett will be inducted into the 2020 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Formal announcements will be made on Saturday, but it appears to be a done deal. The three aforementioned players helped define and then redefine the sport during their primes, making the 2020 class one of the most star-studded since Michael Jordan was inducted. Bryant, especially, who was often compared to his "Airness" will be a bittersweet entrant as the NBA and the world is still dealing with his sudden passing.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
April 3, 2020, 1:44 pmZach LaVinePG, Chicago Bulls
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Bulls have begun their search for a top executive who will have full authority on basketball decisions.
Interviews will begin next week, with Toronto GM Bobby Webster and Denver GM Arturas Karnisovas on Chicago's wish list. Ownership will have discussions with current GM Gar Forman about his place in the organization moving forward, whlie VP of Basketball Ops John Paxson is expected to move to an advisory role with the franchise. The Bulls have been lost in the wilderness for some time now, and it's mildly surprising that it's taken them this long to hunt for someone to take the power out of GarPax's collective hands.
April 3, 2020, 12:57 pmMichael Porter Jr.PF, Denver Nuggets
Michael Porter Jr. said that his right ankle is now properly healed.
Porter missed six games with a right ankle injury, and though he was able to play in nine of Denver's last 10 games (the absence was a DNP-CD) before the hiatus, he admitted that his ankle was still bothering him and he was playing through pain. MPJ flashed tremendous potential when given the appropriate minutes but it's going to be hard for him to hold fantasy value outside of deeper formats when the Nuggets are fully healthy — he topped 15 minutes just three times in those nine games. The silver lining of the league's suspension is that hurt and injured players are getting the chance to heal up, Porter included.
Source: Denver Post
April 2, 2020, 2:40 pmKemba WalkerPG, Boston Celtics
Kemba Walker has been rehabbing his left knee while in quarantine, and says that it's "doing well."
Walker actually played in the Celtics' last three games before the season was shut down but has missed a total of eight games this season (plus one in preseason) due to left knee soreness. It's clearly a chronic issue at this point, and fantasy GMs just have to hope that this lengthy layoff will help Walker get back to full strength if and when the season resumes.
April 2, 2020, 2:32 pmMeyers LeonardC, Miami Heat
Meyers Leonard is still rehabbing his sprained left ankle and estimates that his recovery is at about 90%.
Leonard shed his walking boot at the end of February but it's been slow going, as he's still not recovered despite getting hurt on February 3. The NBA hiatus might've saved Leonard's season, but even when healthy there won't be any fantasy appeal here despite some strong runs earlier in the campaign.
Source: Anthony Chiang on Twitter
April 2, 2020, 2:28 pmNikola JokicC, Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets have announced that the person who tested positive for COVID-19 is now symptom-free.
The team never said who tested positive, only that it was a member of the organization. The Nuggets have completed their 14-day quarantine, so hopefully all involved are able to remain healthy moving forward.
Source: Mark Medina on Twitter
April 1, 2020, 7:54 pmRomello WhitePF, College
Romello White declared for the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday.
White is "keeping his options available" despite declaring for the draft. It is probably a good idea considering he isn't a lock to be drafted. The junior power forward averaged 10.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks for Arizona State this past season. He isn't likely to be on the fantasy radar even if he does earn a roster spot in the NBA.
Source: Jon Rothstein on Twitter
April 1, 2020, 3:53 pmKevin DurantSF, Brooklyn Nets
The four players from the Nets who tested positive for COVID-19 are symptom free after passing a 14-day protocol but are still self-isolating, according to Greg Logan of Newsday.
Logan went on to say that the entire traveling party for the Nets are healthy at the moment. This is a good sign to see players and staff recovering from the virus without any new cases reported.
Source: Greg Logan on Twitter
March 31, 2020, 9:05 pmMarcus SmartPG, Boston Celtics
Marcus Smart plans to donate his blood plasma to the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project for research on how the virus affects the blood of those infected or have been infected already, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
This marks an interesting end (fingers-crossed) to Smart's coronavirus infection and subsequent quarantine. Only five NBA players have received confirmed positive tests for COVID-19 but the NBA obviously isn't taking any chances during this global pandemic. With speed being medical professionals' biggest pressure with regards to a vaccine, Smart really stepped up to the plate. Hopefully other public figures who have recovered from the virus will follow his lead in donating necessary items for research. This also doesn't hurt Smart's public image, which has been known to fluctuate dramatically during his college and professional career.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter