• 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

  • Kenny Wooten
    PF, New York Knicks

    The Knicks have signed Kenny Wooten to an Exhibit 10 contract.

    Wooten posted 10 blocks in only 52 minutes during Summer League and possesses some serious leaping ability. He will spend most of his time in the G-League and should not be on the radar in drafts.

    Source: Marc Berman of The New York Post

  • Oshae Brissett
    SG-SF, Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors have signed Oshae Brissett to an Exhibit 10 contract.

    Brissett, a Toronto native, went undrafted after two seasons at Syracuse and played with the Clippers at Summer League, where he averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 17.6 minutes a night across five games. This puts Toronto's roster at 20 for the time being, so barring any further transactions the Raptors have their camp group set.

    Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter

  • Jordan McLaughlin
    G, Minnesota Timberwolves

    The Wolves have inked point guard Jordan McLaughlin to a two-way contract.

    McLaughlin went undrafted in 2018 after a four-year USC career where he averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals in his senior season. After his strong play for the G-League's Long Island Nets last season, he earned a spot on this years Wolves summer league roster where he continued to impress, leading his team to a 6-1 record. He is unlikely to get many NBA minutes this season with Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier and Tyrone Wallace on the roster.

    Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter

  • Emmanuel Mudiay
    PG, Utah Jazz

    The Jazz have officially announced the signing of Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green and Ed Davis.

    All three project to come off the bench this season with Green and Davis part of the frontcourt second string while it is unclear if Mudiay or Dante Exum will assume the backup point guard duties. Davis is coming off a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game in only 17.9 minutes last season while Mudiay enjoyed his best year as a pro with the Knicks but all three players can be left undrafted in standard leagues for the time being.

    Source: NBA.com

  • CJ McCollum
    SG, Trail Blazers

    C.J. McCollum has withdrawn his name from the Team USA training camp and 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    Following the trend, McCollumn is the fourth player to withdraw his name this week in order to focus on the upcoming season. The original 20 invites are now down to 16 with the final 12-man roster expected to be announced on August 17.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Frank Mason
    PG, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks have agreed on a two-way contract with Frank Mason III.

    Mason did not get much opportunity with the Kings last year and sat out all of Summer League with a sore hip. He projects to spend most of his time in the G-League and called up only if Eric Bledsoe or George Hill need to miss time. The Bucks recently signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal and still have Bonzie Colson on one from last season so they are one over the limit. They still have an empty roster spot even after signing Kyle Korver so maybe one of their two-ways gets a standard deal instead. Otherwise, one of them will need to be waived.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Kyle Korver
    SF, Milwaukee Bucks

    Kyle Korver has agreed to a one-year deal with the Bucks per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

    This is not the worst landing spot for Korver but he will strictly be a backup and entering his 17th season, he should not be relevant in standard leagues. He was able to knock down 2.1 triples per game in only 20.1 minutes last season so he may have value as a specialist in super-deep leagues however.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Chris Paul
    PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Chris Paul has reportedly settled on the idea of starting the season for the Thunder.

    Although Oklahoma City and Miami did not have formal discussions regarding a Chris Paul trade according to Brian Windhorst, the Thunder were willing to discuss giving back the Heat some picks but the Heat would have also wanted Paul to decline his $44 million player option in 2021-2022, which is not going to happen. The Heat want to remain flexible in the next big free agent class of 2021 and adding Paul on his current deal would take that away. Paul's usage rate will likely increase on the Thunder but keep in mind that he has missed at least 21 games in each of the three seasons before drafting him as the 9-time All-Star enters his 15th season in the league.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Eric Gordon
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Eric Gordon withdraws from Team USA training camp for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    Gordon is the third player to withdraw this week after James Harden and Anthony Davis. The original training camp list of 20 is now down to 17 and the official 12-team roster will be announced on August 17.

    Source: Shams Charanis on Twitter

  • Luke Kornet
    PF-C, Chicago Bulls

    The Bulls have officially announced the signings of Luke Kornet and Shaquille Harrison.

    Kornet can provide threes and blocks as a backup big for the Bulls. He is currently behind Lauri Markkanen, Thaddeus Young and Wendell Carter Jr. but may be able to carve out some minutes for deep-league owners. Harrison will be fighting for minutes with the Bulls' plethora of point guards at the moment. If he can find some minutes during the season, he can be a source of steals as a player to stream or for deep leagues.

    Source: Bulls.com