June 12, 2020, 2:19 pm
Our annual tradition returns! Dan Besbris compares Yahoo’s preseason to final ranks and begins to dissect what it means for future drafts.
July 7, 2020, 10:54 pmCody MartinPF, Charlotte Hornets
Cody Martin, the sixth pick of the second round of the 2019 NBA draft out of the University of Nevada, showed signs of productivity during his rookie campaign with the Hornets, averaging 5.0 PTS, 3.3 REB, 2.0 AST and 0.8 STL in 18.8 minutes per game (48 games).
Those per-game numbers actually put him below his twin brother, Caleb (who was not drafted), despite Cody playing in 30 more games. Cody ranked right around 300 in 8 and 9-cat leagues on the season but was playing well to close out the year. He snuck inside the top-230 over the final two weeks prior to the COVID-19 pause, and was a streamable player in March due to his versatility and consistency.
July 7, 2020, 10:51 pmDevonte' GrahamPG, Charlotte Hornets
Devonte' Graham emerged as the biggest beneficiary of the departure of Kemba Walker, taking over the reins as the starting point guard and finishing the season ranked 55th in 8-cat and 77th 9-cat scoring formats.
After averaging just 14.7 minutes per game in his rookie season in 2018-19, Graham got thrust into the spotlight in 2019-20, jumping to a playing time of 35.1 minutes per game. The 24-year-old sophomore saw an across-the-board improvement in his stats and became a solid source of threes and dimes for small-ball fantasy lineups. Graham shot just 38.2 percent from the field but ticked other boxes with averages of 18.2 PPG, 3.5 3PG, 7.5 APG and 1.0 SPG. If he can somehow rein in his poor shooting and allow the game to slow down for him, he should be someone to watch come 2020-21.
July 7, 2020, 10:41 pmTerry RozierPG, Charlotte Hornets
Terry Rozier ranked inside the top-75 in both 8 and 9-cat fantasy leagues on a per game basis in 2019-20, his first season with the Hornets after four years with the Celtics.
Rozier swapped places with longtime fan-favorite and Hornets legend, Kemba Walker. Rozier inked a sign-and-trade for three years, $56.7 million ($18.9 million annually) that included Walker going to the Celtics. Starting all 63 games he played this season, Rozier averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.7 threes per game for an underwhelming Hornets squad (23-42). Fellow backcourt mate Devonte' Graham unexpectedly put up outstanding numbers from the outset, so that put a bit of a damper on Rozier's first season with the team, as the two finished with similar numbers and fantasy rankings. Look for the backcourt tandem of Graham and Rozier to stay together moving forward for the Hornets, at least for next season. They will likely inhibit each other's fantasy ceilings, however.
July 7, 2020, 10:19 pmPJ WashingtonPF, Charlotte Hornets
P.J. Washington was one of bigger pleasant surprises from the rookie class of 2019, making a name for himself with the Hornets as a key player and finishing the season ranked 142/159 in 8/9-cat per-game value and 126/136 in 8/9-cat on total value.
As a rookie, Washington proved doubters that he was far more NBA-ready than initially projected. A strong Summer League and promising preseason run, translated reasonably well into viable fantasy value. Washington ended up playing 58 games for the Hornets and notched averages of 12.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.5 3PG, 0.9 SPG and 0.8 BPG in just over 30 minutes per game. Still, Washington's biggest weakness remains his .647 shooting percentage from the free throw line. Overall, he gets solid marks for passing the eye test and flashing some promising impact on the box score on occasion.
July 7, 2020, 10:09 pmCody ZellerC, Charlotte Hornets
Cody Zeller took a step backward during the 2019-20 season, finishing the year ranked 178 in 8-cat and 185 in 9-cat.
The emergence and immediate productivity of rookie PJ Washington was a key reason for Zeller's rather disappointing year. He played in all but seven of the Hornets' games but had a rough stretch in February that included three straight DNP-CD's to close out the month. Zeller, as one might expect, came back strong after that absence, averaging 11.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 blocks in five games to close out his 2019-20 campaign. Zeller will be an unrestricted free agent after next season.
July 7, 2020, 9:53 pmCaleb MartinSG-SF, Charlotte Hornets
Caleb Martin, twin brother of Cody Martin, closed out the 2019-20 season playing his best basketball of the season for the Hornets after spending the majority of the year in the G League.
Martin played over 35 minutes in both of the Hornets' final two games in March. He finished inside the top-270 in both 8 and 9-cat leagues and was ranked inside the top-125 during the final two weeks before the season was suspended. In 21.7 minutes per game over the course of those two weeks at the end of February and into March, Martin put up per-game averages of 8.9 PTS, 2.5 REB, 1.8 AST, 0.9 STL, 0.5 BLK and 1.8 3PT. In addition, he went 20-for-37 from beyond the arc (in 18 games played), good for 54 percent. That is a very promising number, albeit in a fairly small sample size, so the Hornets are obviously hoping he can maintain his prowess from deep next season.
July 7, 2020, 9:49 pmMalik MonkSG, Charlotte Hornets
Despite the departure of Kemba Walker, Malik Monk remained mostly unimpressive in 2019-20 with averages of 10.3 PPG, 1.1 3PG, 2.9 RPG and 2.1 APG to finish ranked 257/277 in 8/9-cat per-game value.
Monk logged 55 games for the Hornets this season but could not hold any real momentum, except in February where he was able to string together an eight-game streak of double-digit scoring. His strong run came to a screeching halt when he was suspended indefinitely for violating the league's anti-drug program. Monk was eventually reinstated during the hiatus brought about by the coronavirus.
July 7, 2020, 9:29 pmJalen McDanielsPF, Charlotte Hornets
Jalen McDaniels, who was on the Hornets roster when the league went on pause in March, played only 16 games for the team in 2019-2020, all but two of which came in succession to close out the year.
The plan all along, per GM Mitch Kupchak prior to the season, was for McDaniels to spend most of the season in the G League with Greensboro. A 6-foot-10, 195 pound power forward out of San Diego State, who was drafted 52nd overall in the 2019 draft, McDaniels played well in limited action (18.3 minutes per game) with the big club. He averaged 5.6 points, 4.1 boards, 0.8 steals and 0.6 3-pointers per game and will look to carve out a role with the Hornets in 2020-21.
July 7, 2020, 9:03 pmBismack BiyomboC, Charlotte Hornets
Thanks to injuries that sidelined Cody Zeller in 2019-20, Bismack Biyombo managed to serve as a streamable shot-blocking specialist for fantasy teams, finishing the season with averages of 7.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 0.9 BPG on .543 shooting in 19.4 minutes per game.
Through 53 games, Biyombo managed to produce total value just outside of the top-250. However, his per-game value at 299/306 in 8/9-cat formats. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of his stat line and the drawback of his .603 free throw shooting, Biyombo was not able to contribute more than his rim protection during his run as a starter.
July 7, 2020, 8:40 pmWilly HernangomezC, Charlotte Hornets
Second-year Hornets big man Willy Hernangomez finished the 2019-20 season ranked 345/364 in 8/9-cat in Per Game value and 347/353 in 8/9-cat total value in 31 games played.
Despite the Hornets' thin frontcourt, Hernangomez was unable to earn any significant minutes. The team's decision to go "ultra-small" as a playstyle didn't help his cause either as Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo came away with most of the minutes at center. In just 12.1 minutes per game, Hernangomez recorded averages of 6.1 PPG and 4.4 RPG on .529 shooting from the field. Until a team finds a way to feed this young Spaniard some quality time, he's not going to be a fantasy-relevant any time soon.