• After weeks of research and mock drafts, the NBA Draft came and left many followers very surprised and confused. There were some surprise trades (including a big one between the Magic and Thunder) and some teams expected to make some big moves were awfully quiet. Now, with very little time until free agency gets underway and commands all the attention of the fantasy world, I would like to review the additions that NBA teams made on draft night that look to have immediate fantasy value.

    Top Fantasy Rookie Picks

    I’ve pegged the below rookies as players that are walking in to more ideal situations right away.  These rookies are safer bets to offer fantasy value next season due to expected opportunities and lack of roster competition.

    Philadelphia 76ers – Ben Simmons (PF)

    Maybe this is too obvious, but the 76ers will be looking to shape their roster and offense around Simmons. Look for him to be an immediate fantasy contributor with his ability to score, rebound and pass. Simmons will be favored to win rookie of the year as the 76ers are looking to move their other big men to clear the way for him. Most years, the top projected rookie is ranked somewhere around the 6th or 7th rounds. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Simmons is overvalued and fantasy owners reach on him because of the immediate success we saw in KAT. KAT was a once in a lifetime fantasy rookie, be careful of your temptations on fantasy draft day.

    Los Angeles Lakers – Brandon Ingram (SF)

    Ingram is another player that should have every opportunity to produce. I view Ingram as a player that should contribute in points, 3-pointers and some defensive stats immediately. He has little roster competition to worry about, but the Lakers are full of young guns looking to prove themselves. How well this group meshes will determine his fantasy value.

    Phoenix Suns – Dragan Bender (PF)

    Bender plays a position that the Suns were desperately in need of. Yes, they drafted a second power forward that may cause some competition for minutes, but Bender is supposed to be more NBA ready than Chriss. I expect Bender to play a stretch forward role and should be able to average double digit scoring, some 3-pointers and the potential for some blocks and rebounds.

    New Orleans Pelicans – Buddy Hield (SG)

    I do not foresee Eric Gordon returning to the Pelicans. There is a good chance that both Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday are gone the following offseason as well. This means Buddy Hield could be the number two scoring option on this team as early as next season. While several factors will have to play out in his favor, Hield’s game should translate very well to the NBA level. Even if the Pelican keep all three aforementioned players, there is a good chance Hield still sees ample opportunities when they inevitably go down to injuries again.

Fantasy News

  • Lou Williams - G - Los Angeles Clippers

    Lou Williams went off for 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting in a 129-121 win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.

    Williams went 1-of-2 from deep and 8-of-9 from the stripe. He also contributed four rebounds and 10 assists to the stat sheet. When the Clippers were down 118-117 with under two minutes left, Williams hit a 4-point play to go up three points. After that play, he made two more buckets to widen the gap to 125-118. Williams iced the game for the Clippers and he is one of the cogs that keeps the team successful when he is on his game.

  • Patrick Beverley - G - Los Angeles Clippers

    Patrick Beverley put up 17 points with 14 rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.

    He shot 6-of-13 from the field and 5-of-11 from 3-point territory. His attitude and energy provide the young Clippers much-needed confidence. His defense and toughness have helped the Clippers push this series to six games and possibly further, which is something many people would have counted out before the playoffs started.

  • Danilo Gallinari - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    Danilo Gallinari put up 26 points on 9-of-22 shooting in a team-high 42 minutes as the Clippers beat the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday to avoid elimination.

    He did not shoot the ball well from beyond the arc as he went 3-of-11, but he did shoot 5-of-6 from the stripe. He also contributed seven rebounds, two assists and one steal to the box score. Gallinari has not been efficient during this series, and it is quite disappointing to see him taking a dip from his high level of production in the regular season. Gallinari will need to bring another performance like this one if the Clippers hope to force a Game 7.

  • Montrezl Harrell - F/C - Los Angeles Clippers

    Montrezl Harrell played well in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday as he had 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting in 27 minutes of action.

    He added five rebounds, two assists and one block while shooting a perfect 2-of-2 from the line. Harrell provided energy and paint dominance for the Clippers throughout this game, which lifted them to a win to force a Game 6. Harrell's only block came late in the fourth quarter on a Kevon Looney dunk attempt, which shifted momentum in the Clippers' favor.

  • JaMychal Green - F - Los Angeles Clippers

    JaMychal Green started in Game 5 and scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting with three triples in 27 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors on Wednesday.

    Green was guarding Kevin Durant for much of his court time during Game 4, and Game 5 was no different. Durant is unguardable, so the 45 points that he scored is not Green's fault. He has been playing well in the starting lineup and there is no reason to believe that his role will change for Game 6.

  • Stephen Curry - G - Golden State Warriors

    Steph Curry scored 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc in Game 5 as the Warriors lost to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    The Warriors are still up by one game in the series, but it would have been nice to end it on their home court. Curry added three rebounds, four assists, and one block to the box score while shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the line. Curry has had a phenomenal series thus far, which is seemingly inevitable with the Warriors' stars. The rest of the roster will need to step up in order to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.

  • Klay Thompson - G - Golden State Warriors

    Klay Thompson followed up his 32-point performance in Game 4 with a 22-point outing in Game 5 on 9-of-20 shooting in a loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    He made four triples while adding three rebounds and two assists to the box score. Thompson is having a solid series with averages of 18.3 points and 2.5 triples per game in the first four games, The Warriors will have another chance to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Kevin Durant put up 45 points on 14-of-26 shooting with six rebounds and six assists in a Game 5 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.

    The Warriors had a chance to end the series tonight but could not capitalize as they got absolutely torched by Lou Williams down the stretch. Durant added two steals, one block and five 3-pointers to the box score. He was their main scoring option down the stretch and really kept them in the game, but Williams got the best of him and pulled out the win.

  • Chris Paul - G - Houston Rockets

    Chris Paul got it done in Wednesday night's win over the Jazz, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and three turnovers.

    Paul finished this series scoring 17.4 points on 46 percent shooting, both above his regular season averages. He has a habit of increasing his production in the post season and should continue to be a linchpin for the Houston offense as long as he stays healthy.

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    Clint Capela looked healthy in Wednesday's 100-93 win over the Jazz, scoring 16 points to go with 10 rebounds, two assists and three blocks.

    Coach Mike D'Antoni indicated that Capela was feeling a lot better and it certainly looked it tonight. The lob-catching big man is essential to Houston's playoff success and could be in for a huge role in a potential showdown with the Warriors.