May 5, 2018, 6:50 pm
Welcome in HoopBallers! As we’ve gotten a little distance from the end of the season and the emotional highs and lows of the fantasy campaign have evened out, it’s worthwhile to take a look back on the year that was. I asked some select members of our tremendous HB staff, from feature writers to blurbers to podcasters to people in our journalism and scouting arms, to answer a handful of questions about another fun year of hoops and what went right or wrong in their fantasy endeavors. We’ll be bringing you those answers in the coming weeks.
Today we’ll cover the most straightforward question of the bunch — Who was your Fantasy MVP? I left the question open to a little bit of interpretation, and you can see below that some of us chose to go with the straightforward numbers answer and provide a “true numbers” MVP while others offered up their own personal selections or value-based answers. Quite frankly, 10 guys just saying “Anthony Davis” doesn’t make for a great read.
As for me, I’d have to say that my personal MVP would be Tobias Harris. I really cut down on my leagues this year and wound up in only 30-team formats, which may or may not have been a good call. It really warped my perception of the average waiver wire if nothing else. Harris is a guy that I ended up with on every team (literally), and that wasn’t too surprising since he’s a player that I’ve really targeted in the past. Last season he was a shade overhyped, especially in leagues with lots of die-hard fantasy players, but this season I was able to grab him around 70th overall if not a bit later. For a guy who settled inside the top-30 (total value) with 80 games played, that’ll play. Now onto the rest of the crew.
Anthony Davis. During the first half of the season, Davis was known more for not getting hurt than he was for the season he was about to have. When DeMarcus Cousins went down everybody assumed he was about to go off but the injury concerns lingered and then they never came. Davis had an historic run and surged up to the top spot in both 8- and 9-cat leagues, leaving both Roto and playoff owners happy.
Thad Young? Kidding. It’s Anthony Davis and no one is close.
Victor Oladipo – Can’t say enough about Oladipo and how valuable he was for me this season. He was a steal for so many people out there, and he carried me to victory in multiple leagues. He finished as a top-10 guy in 9-cat leagues, something no one thought he could do prior to the season. What a year for Mr. Oladipo!
It sure wasn’t Kawhi. I’d say it has to be the Brow. Anthony Davis had an average ADP of 7 and finished the regular season ranked No. 1 per game and for total cumulative value (almost 35 percent more valuable than No. 2 KAT) on the season. Then take his battling for the playoffs down the stretch: he didn’t miss random games for maintenance like James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and was No. 1 for that period, too. He tied a career high with 75 games played and was ranked first in blocks, second in points, fifth in rebounds, fifth is weighted field goal percentage and fourteenth (tied) in steals. And he didn’t shave the unibrow! Just a splendid all-around season from the homeboy from Chicago.
The runner-up would have to be Victor Oladipo. He blew away his average ADP of 55 and completed the season at No. 10 per game, No. 7 on the season. Dipo led the league in steals, was ninth in scoring (both career highs) and played in 75 games. That’s. What. I’m. Talking. About.
My personal fantasy MVP has to be Nikola Jokic, was able to snag him in multiple leagues. He didn’t blow away expectations like last year, but he delivered right around his ADP, stayed healthy and helped lead a bunch of my teams into top-3 placements (which is all you need to get paid in Yahoo! Pro Leagues).
I’ll give my fantasy MVP vote to LeBron for grinding out 82 games at the age of 33 and finishing the season as the No. 6 player in 9 cat leagues. If you play in competitive leagues you really have to reach/gamble at the early rounds of the draft as most managers are well prepared and there are really no “sleepers.” Selecting LeBron ahead of Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Damian Lillard and Kawhi Leonard was the right move this year and kudos to everyone that had the courage to do so.
From a value standpoint, it’s Will Barton for me. Josh Richardson gets a lot of hype as a fantasy MVP because he’s flashier but Barton actually finished above him by just being generally solid all-around.
Anthony Davis. It was between James Harden and Anthony Davis for this one, and while Harden will likely take home the real NBA MVP Award, Davis will be bringing home the fantasy one. When I think of the “Fantasy MVP” I think of the best fantasy player this season, and that was Davis. He finished first in total and per-game value in both eight- and nine-category leagues and his owners were likely able to get him outside of the top-5 in most drafts as FantasyPros has him at an ADP of 7.0. He played the most games of his career with 75 this season, which is more than Stephen Curry, James Harden and Kevin Durant as well as “Iron Men” Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson. The man averaged 29.6 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 3.0 blocks on 52 percent shooting in the last 27 games of the season, what more can an owner ask for? He didn’t require a top-5 pick in most drafts, he put up videogame like numbers for most of the season and contributed in almost every category. That sounds exactly like a fantasy MVP to me.
May 27, 2020, 9:06 pmAndre IguodalaSF, Miami Heat
Andre Iguodala returned to South Florida after living in California since the NBA season was suspended.
Iguodala returning to the market where his team is could mean that he believes team workouts will begin soon. However, there is no official timetable on when team workouts will begin and Jimmy Butler has yet to return to Miami.
Source: Ira Winderman on Twitter
May 27, 2020, 7:52 pmZach LaVineSG, Chicago Bulls
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls were cleared by the Governor of Illinois and are in talks with city officials to open practice facilities on Friday for voluntary workouts that would follow the NBA guidelines.
The NBA's guidelines currently state that a maximum of four players are allowed in the facility at any given time and there can only be one player per hoop. The Bulls are currently eight games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls may not play again this season given how far behind they are in the standings and the recent reports of proposals to not continue the regular season.
Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter
May 27, 2020, 7:08 pmLuka DoncicPG-SF, Dallas Mavericks
Marc Stein of the New York Times has reported that the Mavs plan to open their practice facility on Thursday.
This news would make the Mavs the 23rd team to have their facilities open for "voluntary and socially distanced player workouts". Continue to monitor the wire as we should learn more about the potential of the league resuming in early June.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 10:07 pmKawhi LeonardSF, Los Angeles Clippers
On Tuesday afternoon, AmicoHoops reported (via Twitter) that an unidentified NBA GM told them the league has seriously discussed resuming the current NBA season on Wednesday, July 22.
Nothing has been officially announced, by any means, and this is the first we've heard of specific target date(s) from anyone. It's looking like the continuation of the season will occur in Orlando at Walt Disney World at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, which has accommodations for at least some of what the NBA has planned for a resuming activity. As we have relayed numerous times recently, the next week or two seem to be a likely window for some decisions from Adam Silver and Co. at the NBA league office to start to come down. Stay tuned, hoops fans.
Source: AmicoHoops on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 8:47 pmDamian LillardPG, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard announced on Tuesday evening that, in the event of a continuation of the NBA season, he would not be participating if the Blazers are scheduled to play 'meaningless games' with no shot at making the playoffs.
"If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating," Lillard told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday morning. It's hard to blame him, as it is quite easy to see the potential situation from his point of view. There have been countless scenarios tossed around by the league office during the pandemic period, but nothing is set in stone so far. Lillard, for his part, is only interested in returning to action if there exists a legitimate shot for his Blazers to reach the NBA Finals. Fair enough.
Source: Yahoo! Sports
May 26, 2020, 8:34 pmJoel EmbiidC, Philadelphia Sixers
The Sixers, who have their practice facility located in nearby Camden, NJ, will allow voluntary player workouts at the facility beginning on Wednesday, raising the number of NBA teams who have been able to do so to 22.
The Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Pistons, Wizards, Mavericks, Spurs and Warriors are the final teams remaining who are unable to return to their practice facilities. The NBA seems to be inching ever so close to, at the very least, announcing a plan for a continuation of the current season. This next week or two should be very eventful on that front.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 8:26 pmClint CapelaC, Atlanta Hawks
Hawks GM Travis Schlenk indicated on Tuesday that Clint Capela (right heel, plantar fasciitis) could very well play in the event of an NBA restart.
"Clint [Capela] says he's feeling better, and there's a possibility that we can get him back on the court," Schlenk said in a phone interview with ESPN. "Practicing and playing five games would be valuable to us." Capela has yet to see the floor for the Hawks since he was acquired at the deadline from the Rockets, and one would have to surmise that he would be under a heavy minutes restriction if the league resumes and if the Hawks deem him healthy enough to give it a go. Still two big "ifs," but this is obviously positive news for the Hawks and potentially for fantasy owners who have managed to stash Capela in an injury slot this long.
May 26, 2020, 8:17 pmMohamed BambaC, Orlando Magic
Magic center Mo Bamba said on Tuesday that he's spent the quarantine period bulking up, self-proclaiming that he's put on close to 30 pounds of muscle.
Bamba said of his time off, ""I’ve worked my tail off during this quarantine. This is going to sound weird, but I put on probably about 28 pounds since quarantine (started)." He laughed and added that only about 2.5 percent of the weight he's put on is body fat. Bamba, along with many other NBA players, "can’t wait to get back out there and work" which is a great sign for the Magic and their fans. Jonathan Isaac is becoming more and more of a potential option for the team when/if the season is resumed as the days pass, so his presence would limit Bamba's chances on the offensive end of the floor. The team has yet to decide whether or not they want to play Isaac at all the rest of the season, regardless of the rumblings about a restart from the league office. However, this bulk-up on Bamba's part is nonetheless pretty impressive and is certainly noteworthy.
May 25, 2020, 3:16 pmTerry RozierPG, Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are the latest team to re-open their facilities, with the Novant Health Training Center set to open up on Tuesday.
With this, there are only eight teams left to open their practice courts back up, though nobody has been able to engage in any sort of team work yet. Individual workouts are better than no workouts, however, and the league appears to be getting its ducks in a row in terms of returning to play. There's still no firm timelines but things do appear to be heading in the right direction.
Source: Charlotte Hornets
May 25, 2020, 3:13 pmJon LeuerPF, Milwaukee Bucks
Jon Leuer has announced his retirement from basketball.
Injuries completely destroyed Leuer's career, as he played in a combined 49 games over the previous two seasons with zero appearances in the 2019-20 campaign. Leuer's high point came with the Suns, where he averaged 8.5 points to go with 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and a 38.2 mark from deep. His eight-year career comes to an end, with Leuer saying that his body simply won't let him play at a high level anymore.
Source: Jon Leuer on Instagram