May 13, 2018, 2:07 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.
This week we talked sleepers. There’s nothing more satisfying than nabbing a player well below perceived value who ends up making you look smart. Your big name picks will help carry you throughout the season but it’s a middle or late round pick who delivers in spades that can be the difference-maker in a tight matchup. Sleepers are always a fun discussion topic and are a major point of pride for any fantasy owner, so here are our big success stories from last season.
I’ll avoid adding to the Joe Ingles parade that follows, though it is tempting. Kelly Olynyk ended up coming through despite some rough patches early on, while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was a guy I like even if he wound up on zero of my teams. I’ll probably avoid waiting until the last possible second to take players I feel good about after round 10 this season. Delon Wright was probably up there for me as well, and I got shares of Troy Daniels wherever I could in deep formats. That’s more of a specialist play but 2.3 triples per game in 30-team formats is huge, especially considering the acquisition cost. On to the rest!
Joe Ingles. Ingles was sort of poo pooed by the various outlets and that kept his ADP nice and low. It was such an easy call that Hoop Ball owners had all of the Ingles. It was great.
Can Niko Mirotic be considered a sleeper, considering how well he finished the previous year? On a per-game basis, he outperformed anybody’s expectations, giving top-40 numbers in 55 games. Of course, getting decked and missing two months was a bit of a buzzkill, but it’s hard to argue that getting a top-40 guy with your 110th pick wasn’t a great result.
Josh Richardson – He wasn’t a major sleeper but I took him in the third round of a 30-teamer and it turned out to be a fantastic pickup. He gave me top-55 value throughout the season and was a menace as far as providing defensive stats.
I nabbed Dipo in the fifth and sixth rounds in two leagues so that qualifies. I also scooped up Gary Harris (ADP 90, ranked No. 35) late in two leagues but he missed my H2H playoffs, so nuts. Does Bloodsport count? I drafted James Johnson in three leagues from picks numbered 75 through about 100. He started out the season fine, then sucked for months and I dropped him in all three. I re-added him for the playoffs and won two while he had top-55 value over that stretch.
Honorable mentions: John Collins (top-95 on the year, was better earlier in the season) and Taurean Prince (top-100, top-70 over the last month).
Joe freakin’ Ingles. This guy is a solid player in both fantasy and reality, the uptick in 3PA didn’t knock his efficiency, in fact, his FG% increased from last year. He finished inside the top-70 and you could have gotten him as late as the 12th round in your drafts. For some reason I think he’ll be slept on next year as well.
I gotta go with my Euros and Bogdan Bogdanovic whom I targeted especially in dynasty leagues. Being familiar with his overall game helped, while the situation in Sacramento was ideal for him as he got plenty of playing time from the beginning. His numbers were not extraordinary but the value was there as he offered scoring and assists in the late rounds were those stats are hard to find. I was surprised to see him go undrafted in many leagues, but I was able to pick him up after the crucial first couple weeks of the season and he made a difference in a 20-deep format where I won the crown.
He’s not REALLY a sleeper per se, he’s just kind of undervalued even though he’s consistent and fits almost every team construction, and that’s JJ Redick. He’s kind of a decorated 3-point specialist but the combination of good percentages and offensive numbers made him a top-75 guy this year.
Victor Oladipo, Josh Richardson, Darren Collison, and Dirk.
Victor Oladipo. I drafted Oladipo last year and he really let me down but for some reason I never really lost faith in him. Every year I draft a player who disappointed me the year before and they always seem to work out, and Oladipo was that player this year. I selected him in the sixth round of my draft because most of my league mates didn’t believe in him. Well, halfway through the season they knew they had made a mistake. Out of all the players I drafted, Oladipo was one of the only two players that I didn’t trade the entire season.
Oladipo is 25 years old and was once the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft. The talent had always been there but he just hadn’t been given the opportunity to really show it. In Orlando he dealt with undeserved benching from Scott Skiles after having an amazing sophomore year and in Oklahoma City he simply had to share the ball with Russell Westbrook, who attempted the most shots of his career (24.0) in Oladipo’s lone year with the Thunder. I figured that in Indiana, on a team that had just traded one of the best players in franchise history, he’d be forced to produce and he’d finally get to show off all of that talent, and I was right.
August 22, 2019, 3:27 pmKemba WalkerPG, Boston Celtics
Team USA has named Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart and Donovan Mitchell as captains for the FIBA World Cup.
Congratulations to Mitchell, Walker and Smart on the tremendous honor of being named captains for the USA men's team. This won't have any impact on their upcoming fantasy seasons, but it is a major accomplishment nonetheless. Team USA has an exhibition rematch against Team Australia on Saturday.
August 22, 2019, 12:25 pmIsaiah CanaanPG, International
Isaiah Canaan has signed a contract with the Shangdong Heroes of the Chinese Basketball Association.
The veteran journeyman played for the Suns, Wolves and Bucks last season, appearing in 30 games total. Canaan will be looking at a more prominent role and payday overseas as he attempts to build his value back up before trying to latch on to a team towards the end of the year. Canaan is off the fantasy radar.
Source: Zhang Duo on Twitter
August 22, 2019, 11:58 amPatty MillsPG, San Antonio Spurs
Patty Mills put up 19 points, three assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers in Thursday's international exhibition between Team Australia and Team USA.
The Boomers figure to be one of the chief threats to the Americans in the World Cup and put forth a competitive effort in today's exhibition. Mills has typically been a steady, late-round fantasy option for deep-league play but that may change this season as the Spurs will need to mix in both Derrick White and Dejounte Murray in the backcourt. Chris Goulding tied for the team lead in points, also scoring 19 while hitting four 3-pointers in 22 minutes off the bench.
August 22, 2019, 11:54 amMyles TurnerC, Indiana Pacers
Myles Turner put up 15 points and 14 rebounds in Thursday's exhibition win over Team Australia, shooting 6-of-8 from the floor with a 3-pointer.
Turner didn't get any blocks but we know that last year's league-leader can rack those up in a hurry, whether he's getting them in international competition or not. Look for another early-middle round season out of the talented big man. Kemba Walker led Team USA with 23 points in the 102-86 win.
August 21, 2019, 6:26 pmTrevon BluiettPF, Utah Jazz
Trevon Bluiett and Juwan Morgan sign with the Jazz in the hopes of one day playing in an NBA game.
Bluiett was on a two-way contract with the Pelicans last season while Juwan Morgan played for the Jazz in the 2019 Summer League. They will both compete for a roster spot in training camp but neither is a guarantee to make the final roster. They both have yet to see the court in an NBA game and can be ignored from a fantasy perspective until that day comes.
Source: Tony Jones on Twitter
August 21, 2019, 5:25 pmZach CollinsC, Portland Trail Blazers
Zach Collins (ankle) began daily contact workouts on Monday and is on pace to head into training camp fully healthy.
Collins is heading into what could be a breakout season as he is likely to start at the power forward position. In the 2019 playoffs, the Gonzaga product blocked a shot in 11 of the 16 games including three games in which he blocked three, four and five respectively. Collins has averaged around 33% from distance throughout his career which is exactly what he shot in the postseason (7-21). If he is able to improve from long range and plays starters minutes, Collins is a can't-miss player. It's far from a guarantee though as the 21-year-old has never finished with standard-league value. It does seem like Collins will be ready for training camp barring a major setback.
Source: The Athletic
August 21, 2019, 10:34 amCory JosephPG, Sacramento Kings
Nick Nurse said that reports of Cory Joseph missing the FIBA World Cup are “incorrect”.
Nurse added that he spoke to Joseph on Wednesday and that the guard has his flights booked to China. Joseph was in Canada’s camp at home earlier this month, but did not make the trip to Australia and has missed the past four exhibition games. The situation has become a little bit murky but Canada Basketball keeps holding out hope that Joseph will rejoin the team before they depart for China, which doesn’t happen until Monday.
Source: John Casey on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 10:33 pmTyronn LuePG, Los Angeles Clippers
Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting former Cavs championship-winning coach Tyronn Lue has agreed to join the Clippers as their top assistant coach to Doc Rivers.
The Lakers and Clippers rivalry continues to heat up. Lue was very close to a deal with the Lakers in May to become their head coach, but the sides couldn’t reach an agreement. Lue now joins Kawhi Leonard as another person to spurn the Lakers this offseason.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 10:28 pmPJ TuckerSF, Houston Rockets
P.J. Tucker says he is optimistic about signing a contract extension soon.
The 34-year-old 3-and-D wing hopes to extend his deal with the Rockets, but a potential extension wouldn't begin until his age-36 season. Houston has him under contract for two more seasons at this point, so they may not be motivated enough to get something done this offseason. However, a maximum Tucker extension would only have him in the $10 million per year range. Even as a 37-year-old, that could be a great deal if he can keep up his current production. Tucker remains a sneaky source of threes and steals late in fantasy drafts or off the wire.
Source: Kurt Helin on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 6:11 pmJaylen AdamsPG, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks officially announced the signings of guards Jaylen Adams and Rayjon Tucker on Tuesday.
Adams and Tucker have their work cut out for them in their bid to claim a roster with the big club, as the Bucks have a reasonably deep guard rotation. Adams and Tucker are more than likely competing to get playing time in the G-League this season and can be ignored in fantasy.