MPG Projections: Southeast Division

  • (33-37) – In the rotation, estimate of minutes at the end of the year
    (0, 10-18) – 0 indicates player may not be in rotation at times, 10-18 indicates probable mpg at end of year)
    (0, 5-10,*) – * indicates player may not make the roster

    Lloyd Pierce
    Coach, Atlanta Hawks

    PG: Trae Young (31-34) / Evan Turner (21-26)
    SG: Kevin Huerter (27-31) / Allen Crabbe (23-26)
    SF: De’Andre Hunter (22-26) / DeAndre Bembry (23-26) / Charlie Brown
    PF: John Collins (30-33) / Cam Reddish (0, 19-24) / Vince Carter (0, 12-16) / Chandler Parsons (0, 11-15)) / Ray Spalding (0, 7-14)
    C: Alex Len (20-25) / Jabari Parker (25-29) / Damian Jones (0, 14-20) / Bruno Fernando (0, 7-14)

    Notes: This is a sneaky injury risk squad that still faces a talent deficit, though minute munchers like Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe could plug the holes if injuries strike. It’ll be another year of max Trae Young and then on the wings it’s a question of who rises to the top. If Jabari Parker could credibly play any center minutes it would ease some of the logjam at the 3/4 and John Collins can’t do what he did on defense last year if the Hawks have any ideas of going small there. If injury-prone Alex Len gets hurt, things could get weird fast.

    James Borrego
    Coach, Charlotte Hornets

    PG: Terry Rozier (33-35) / Malik Monk (17-23) / Devonte’ Graham (0, 6-12)
    SG: Dwayne Bacon (29-32)
    SF: Nicolas Batum (27-30) / Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (18-24) / Cody Martin (0, 9-18)
    PF: Miles Bridges (29-31) / Marvin Williams (24-26) / P.J. Washington (0, 14-25) / Jalen McDaniels / Robert Franks
    C: Cody Zeller (23-27) / Bismack Biyombo (15-19) / Willy Hernangomez (14-20)

    Notes: This has mess written all over it and in a potentially good way for fantasy owners, though none of these guys jumps off the page as somebody to do a ton with any opportunity. Going down the list Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller all profile as some sort of risk, though Williams doesn’t play enough minutes to get hurt these days. Terry Rozier might get more run than this but let’s see how everybody looks in the preseason before handing him a higher-end workload, even with that big contract in hand.

    Update: James Borrego made life easy by telling us all the specific number of minutes that Rozier is going to play. Talk about Bacon and Bridges, also a great restaurant name idea for any city with a bridge in it, continues to roll to a slow boil.

    Erik Spoelstra
    Coach, Miami Heat

    PG: Goran Dragic (28-32) / Justise Winslow (31-35) / Kendrick Nunn (14-20)
    SG: Dion Waiters (24-27) / Tyler Herro (18-24) / Davon Reed (0, 7-14)
    SF: Jimmy Butler (33-34.5) / Derrick Jones Jr. (24-27) / Duncan Robinson (0, 9-19) / KZ Okpala (0, 8-16)
    PF: Bam Adebayo (32-34) / James Johnson (16-20) / Yante Maten
    C: Kelly Olynyk (23-26) / Meyers Leonard (0, 14-17)

    Notes: The Heat lost more than they gained in pure player minutes and in Dwyane Wade’s retirement, they really did pave the way for Jimmy Butler to come in and run this team. The pieces are a bit more complimentary and the perpetual logjam has been eased a bit, if anything by the organization’s ability to distance itself from Dion Waiters and James Johnson’s contracts if they continue to falter. Of course, Bam Adebayo is poised to do big things. Derrick Jones Jr. could hit the radar if he continues to put things together. Goran Dragic might thrive next to a lower volume star in Butler and there is plenty of intrigue in Miami to start the season.

    Steve Clifford
    Coach, Orlando Magic

    PG: D.J. Augustin (25-27) / Markelle Fultz (16-23)/ Michael Carter-Williams (0, 12-17)
    SG: Evan Fournier (29-32) / Terrence Ross (25-27)
    SF: Al-Farouq Aminu (25-28) / Wesley Iwundu (16-21) / Melvin Frazier (0, 7-14)
    PF: Aaron Gordon (32-33.5) / Jonathan Isaac (27-30)
    C: Nikola Vucevic (30-32) / Mo Bamba (0, 14-18) / Khem Birch (0, 14-18)

    Notes: One of the league’s most stable teams got the whole band back together and paid them a boatload to maybe make the playoffs. The only questions that linger are whether Mo Bamba can beat out Khem Birch, whether Jonathan Isaac takes the proverbial step and how D.J. Augustin holds up at point guard. As for Markelle Fultz, he’s out of the rotation for me until he proves he can actually handle time on an NBA basketball floor.

    Scott Brooks
    Coach, Washington Wizards

    PG: Ish Smith (24-28) / Isaiah Thomas (0, 18-26)
    SG: Bradley Beal (35-36) / Jemerrio Jones (0, 13-21) / C.J. Miles (0, 16-19)
    SF: Troy Brown Jr. (19-25) / Admiral Schofield (0, 10-20)
    PF: Davis Bertans (22-25) / Rui Hachimura (18-26)
    C: Thomas Bryant (21-26) / Moe Wagner (18-26) / Ian Mahinmi (0, 10-14)

    Notes: We know that Scott Brooks will let Bradley Beal play until his legs fall off and that the Wizards have very little depth as a team, so his numbers could be gaudy at an increased risk. We’ll be watching to see what we can learn on Isaiah Thomas throughout the preseason, and if he’s reasonably healthy then a productive 25 mpg wouldn’t be out of the question. If he’s not, then Ish Smith might get full run. There are a bunch of young, possibly productive players that Brooks is going to hate playing. The ugliness in Washington isn’t going away anytime soon.

    Update: Thomas was the early favorite to start according to beat writer Candace Buckner, but left (shooting) thumb surgery and the 6-8 week timetable put him on a late October, early November timetable. That early injury scenario has felled many a player and moved them into different roles for entire seasons, and Ish Smith will start off as a starter but Scott Brooks is a big roles guy and I’d think this smaller absence wouldn’t shift his overall strategy. For Thomas to get leaked as a starter, too, that signals an organizational attitude toward the idea, too. Of course, all of this hinges on his hip and explosiveness.

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