Mike Gallagher

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Fantasy Hoops Mailbag

Saturday, August 02, 2014

@AthleticPoetics @MikeSGallagher Thoughts on Kyrie Irving' value and draft position -- this year -- with LeBron, and possibly Love, joining the team?
This is a #HotTake right here, folks. Simply put: I’m really worried about Kyrie’s fantasy value.
Only Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry started at point guard and had a higher usage rate than Kyrie last year, and I think we all know that’s going to take a huge hit. LeBron James ranked fifth in the NBA for usage, and Kevin Love ranked ninth overall. Usage rate is an underrated stat, so let’s just take a look at the elite usage guys ahead of Kyrie: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Jefferson, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, DeMar DeRozan, Paul George and Stephen Curry.
Basically every one of those guys except DeRozan will be off the board in the first two rounds of your fantasy draft. Kyrie wasn’t even that great with his high usage rate last season, turning in third-round value on the season.
A common thing I’ve seen in columns and on Twitter is that Kyrie’s assists are going to go up, but I’m not sure about that. His best month of his career is just 7.2 assists per game, so he’s never even really gone on a month-long assist fest like just about every elite point guard will do. He's always been a score-first point guard, which makes sense because of the lack of talent around him. Still, great passers will get sub-par NBA players the ball in advantageous positions.
Unless he becomes a lights-out shooter from deep, I don’t think he’s worth a pick in the third round, especially considering his injury history.
@chaddrews  @MikeSGallagher love the article. I have a dynasty rookie draft Sunday. Not using %'s. Does this adjust your rankings? Who's the studs in 3-4 yrs
Thanks! In case you missed it, you can check out my Dynasty Ranks right here. It was done before free agency, but I’m surprised that not much has changed.
I think the first guy that comes to mind is Aaron Gordon. He was a dreadful free throw shooter at Tucson and he’s probably not going to shoot the ball well in the NBA either. I’d also be expecting Elfrid Payton and Marcus Smart to get a boost. Besides that, it should pretty much look similar.
@TimmyDrisk  @MikeSGallagher what is the ceiling for TJ Warren? I was surprised when he had the promise but after seeing him ball the dude can flat score
As far as ceilings go, I’m not quite sure Warren is going to be a star. I think his fantasy ceiling is a fourth-round guy because he’s not a very effective 3-point shooter. Warren will need to get his minutes in the 30s in order to do that, and I don’t think that’s going to happen in the first three years, which is how long P.J. Tucker’s contract is. Here's what I said about him last week: 
I’ll admit this one is a bit biased. Warren has such a great offensive game and he’s really a nice guy, too. While I was in Vegas, I had a little walk-and-talk chat with him and he was a real joy to be around. He’s a smart guy and threw out a lot of basketball jargon, which I always love to hear from young guys.
One thing I was encouraged the most about with Warren was how the Suns used him at summer league. He was lined up at power forward a lot, and they even had him out there at center. He’s a legit 6’8” and he has tremendous body control off the dribble. Obviously, his stats were great as Warren led the NCAA in field goal makes and was at the top of most offensive NCAA rankings next to Doug McDermott, so he’s shown he has some serious polish to his game. He shot a sterling 59.8 percent on his two-point shots at NC State, but he’ll have to add a 3-point shot to be a more well-rounded guy.
Coach Jeff Hornacek has run some wacky lineups out there and Warren would really be a nice fit with Goran Dragic,Eric Bledsoe and Markieff Morris. Of course, P.J. Tucker just got a new contract and will get the bulk of the minutes at the three.
@MisterJasonPTU @MikeSGallagher What the hell will the Bucks starting lineup look like? Minutes breakdown for each player? Thanks
This is probably my pet project of the summer. I’ve been watching just about every little video on the Bucks site and followed the Bucks very closely while I was at Las Vegas Summer League.
Right now, I really think their starting lineup should be Kendall Marshall, Brandon Knight, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Larry Sanders. Knight isn't a great passer, and with Jabari's ability to score, a pass-first point guard is a much better fit. Plus, Knight is arguably a better SG than PG. If I ran the Bucks, I'd have my rotation look something like this:
Marshall 29, Knight 33, Antetokounmpo 32, Parker 34, Sanders 27, Bayless 21, Wolters 17, Henson 23, Middleton 24.
Yes, I would do anything I could to deal Zaza Pachulia, Ersan Ilyasova and O.J. Mayo
 @MikeSGallagher what do you see happening w/ deron williams to start the year? trade, starter, come off the bench?
As bad as he was in the playoffs and at the beginning of the season, Deron was actually very good after the break. He averaged 15.5 points, 2.8 boards, 5.6 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.7 triples on 44.8 percent from the field in 33.8 minutes per game.
I don’t think there is any doubt that Deron will be the starter. Yeah, he was a complete disaster in the playoffs, but the Nets shouldn’t feel comfortable with Jarrett Jack as the starting point guard.
Their rotation is a bit in flux and Joe Johnson will likely have to play more shooting guard than he did last year. That could open up some minutes for guys like Bojan Bogdanovic. Plus, keep an eye out for Mirza Teletovic. One other aside: Mason Plumlee can’t play power forward and actually didn’t make a single shot outside of the paint last season.
@PhogForce5 @MikeSGallagher the possibility of a Lance letdown after getting paid.
I don’t think so. He’s a very good fit for the Hornets in relation to Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker. Kemba touched and passed the ball more than any player last season, but he’s a capable guy off the ball, as well. Stephenson should be able to put up similar numbers in a very similar system, except for maybe less pick-and-roll plays. Of course, it should be interesting to see how Gerald Henderson does at the three.
@Yoloballhard  @Rotoworld_BK @MikeSGallagher who should (not will) start at the 2 for the @PelicansNBA and why ?

I think Eric Gordon has to start here. Tyreke Evans is the better player by far, but he’s the type of guy who dominates the ball. This is a similar story for guys like Jamal Crawford.

EJ (Eric Gordon Jr.) is a much better floor spacer than Evans, which is what the Pelicans will need for Jrue Holiday and superstar Anthony Davis. 'Reke had a 28.3 usage rate -- an elite number -- in the last month of the season, so he can carry the load for the second unit in around 27-30 minutes per game. 

 @MikeSGallagher Which 2 should i keep for the 2014-15 season? Afllalo/AveryBradley/GlenDavis/JaredSullinger? THANKS!
That’s an easy one: Arron Afflalo and Avery Bradley. Yes, Bradley was overpaid, but he has upside now that his 3-point range is coming together.
@VP90244  @MikeSGallagher what rd u taking oladipo in 12 tm std h2h 9 cat to maximize value? Dude is gonna go bonkers w 35+ minutes
If it’s an eight-cat league, you’re looking at late-fourth and early-fifth. However, he turned the ball over way too often and even a move to shooting guard shouldn’t curtail that troublesome area. I’d see him as a solid fifth-round guy in nine-cat.
I do think he has a chance to get up to 35 minutes, which could put him in the 2.0 steals, 1.3 triples, 16.0 points and 4.0 rebounds neighborhood. He also could be a 44 FG% and 80 FT% guy. In an eight-cat, he seriously has top-25 upside.

Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.

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