Hello and welcome back to the NBA Roundtable! With fantasy playoffs starting up, there are a lot of salty owners out there that have been eliminated, so this feels like the perfect time to vent about some players who could be to blame. With that said, I asked the Rotoworld hoops crew to come up with a list of players to put on their “Never Again” list, meaning they won’t be drafting them again for the foreseeable future. I’ll start us off…
Jonas Nader (@JonasNader)
Derrick Favors- Still only 25 years old, Favors looks like he’s playing in quicksand this season. I kid you not, this guy missed 16 games in a row in 2015-16 with a bad back because of a mattress issue, and he’s had knee problems for nearly a year. Just check out his numbers compared to last season:
2016-17: 9.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.9 blocks, 0.9 steals
2015-16: 16.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 blocks, 1.2 steals
Of course he’s playing about eight less minutes per game, but his shooting percentages are way down. I get the sense that the Jazz are incredibly frustrated as well and there’s a reason why they “quietly” listened to trade offers at the deadline. Never again.
Chandler Parsons- He’s such a joke. Parsons received a four-year deal worth nearly $95 million over the summer, yet he’s scored in double digits in six out of 30 games and looks exhausted despite playing an average of 37 seconds per game. It looks like Mark Cuban’s fears about Parsons’ twice surgically repaired knees saved them from a miserable contract. His role on the Grizzlies is the equivalent of getting a job with six months of paid sick days.
Reggie Jackson- You know you’re bad when your coach admits his team is better without you. Jackson had platelet-rich plasma injections in his left knee over the summer, and he’s lost almost all of his explosion which is one of the few things he had going for him prior to the season. He’s shooting 41.9 percent from the field this season and he’s so close to getting benched for Ish Smith.
Jahlil Okafor- Noticing a trend here? Okafor is yet another player who can’t seem to shake his knee issue — He had knee surgery back in March of 2016 and hasn’t had the same bounce since. The 76ers couldn’t even get a first-round pick in return for the No. 3 pick in the 2015 Draft, and if you don’t include his fluky 28-point game this week, Okafor has been dreadful with averages of 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in his last five games. And I’m not the only one who feels this way, as Philly reporter Derek Bodner tweeted that if Okafor is Joel Embiid’s insurance, then “we need a new policy.”
The Brooklyn Nets: I’ll re-evaluate this in a few years, but I don’t want anything to do with the NBA’s most well-rested team with nothing to play for. Parsons should've joined them.
Rudy Gay- He will be 31 years old this summer and is coming off an Achilles tear. That’s a recipe for disaster.
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Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)
Joakim Noah: While none of us were foolish enough to pay him $72 million over four years, some of us were willing to spend a late-round pick on Noah back in October. That decision hasn't turned out too well, although we probably shouldn’t be surprised. Noah has appeared in more than 67 games in a season just once since 2008-09. The Knicks are stuck with him, us fantasy leaguers don’t have to be.
When Mirotic is focused and playing well, the upside is quite tantalizing but I won’t be sucked in anymore. He’s just too inconsistent on both ends of the floor to earn major minutes, which is why he is untrustworthy in fantasy circles.
After a relatively disappointing debut with the Spurs in 2015-16, Aldridge was expected to post improved numbers this season, especially with Tim Duncan not in the mix. Yet, while his playing time increased (from 30.6 to 32.2 minutes per game), his scoring and rebounding averages dipped. Aldridge is averaging fewer than 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the first time since his rookie season back in 2006-2007. In the future, I plan to steer clear of Spurs not named Kawhi.
I took Favors in the infamous 30-Deep League, where availability is crucial, and he burned me badly. I shall not forget this transgression.
He’s in the conversation for “Most Disappointing Player” for the 2016-17 season. Knight’s ADP was around 70th overall during drafts prior to the season and now he hasn’t played a second since the All-Star break, receiving three straight DNP-CD’s.
Ethan Norof (@Ethan_Norof)
Nikola Mirotic: Mirotic has been consistently inconsistent and it's hard to imagine a team paying him to play a big role in restricted free agency.
Emmanuel Mudiay: It's hard to believe in Mudiay's future fantasy potential when he hasn't progressed as a player and his own organization has demoted him to third-string point guard.
Reggie Jackson: R-Jax once made a believer out of Stan Van Gundy, but he has really struggled to make any kind of impact this season in fantasy or reality. His game isn't exactly built to be a difference-maker on the digital hardwood, either.
Chandler Parsons: No description necessary
Matt Stroup (@MattStroup)
A lot of talk about Favors, which I completely understand, but while we're in Utah we should probably mention the name Rodney Hood. After missing Wednesday's game with knee trouble, he has now appeared in just six of the last 19 games. Even worse, he keeps coming back from injury and putting up a good game or two only to sit again as soon as he gets into our lineups. Hood is only 24 so I won't say never again, but definitely not next year.
I'll also second Tommy on Brandon Knight, who I took in the 30-Deep league thinking he'd be solid even in a sixth man role. I missed the playoffs by one spot in that league, and taking Knight (and Mirotic) was a huge reason why. The good news is I'm not bitter about it at all.
Ryan Knaus (@Knaus_RW)
I'm in total agreement with guys like Chandler Parsons, Joakim Noah, Brandon Knight, Emmanuel Mudiay, etc. I might roll the dice on Favors in the late rounds in future seasons, but nowhere near his ADP from this year.
Carmelo Anthony has been on my 'never again' list for a few years now, and even more so for 2017-18. He has a contentious relationship with Phil Jackson, an early-termination option at the end of next season, and at age 32 his injury history is more ponderous than ever. He's a perennial shut-down candidate and I don't see that changing.
Dion Waiters...simply because his fantasy stock has rocketed and I'm not willing to pay a premium for him. In his past 10 games, Waiters is averaging 18.0 points, 2.1 threes, 3.8 boards, 5.4 dimes, 1.4 steals and 0.8 blocks, while shooting 47.7% from the field. Those would all easily stand as career-highs, especially the FG% (41.3% for his career). He's barely cracking the top-150 (9-cat) on the season, and I won't be burning a top-75 pick to get him.
I've never owned Derrick Rose in any fantasy league, so 'never again' isn't quite accurate...how about 'never, period'. Rose has missed *only* nine games this season, so far, and plenty of owners will be intrigued by his 17.6 points on 46.3% shooting, 4.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists. Those numbers come with negligible 3-pointers, steals and blocks, however, and he remains a glaring injury risk despite his relatively healthy 2016-17 campaign. No thanks.
To avoid unnecessary explanations, I'll just list some veterans who had an ADP in the top-150 for Yahoo leagues this season, whom I will never draft: Deron Williams, Luol Deng, Andrew Bogut, Zach Randolph and Tony Parker, among others.
Steve Alexander (@docktora)
Perhaps nothing is more rewarding than making a "never again" list after a disappointing season. I've got some good teams and some bad ones, so here we go.
Al Horford - Really, Al? I get that the concussion was rough and slowed him down, but he's in the midst of the worst slump of his career as I type this, and he literally has no competition for his job or minutes. A lost season.
Rajon Rondo - I haven't owned him anywhere in years, but my negative outlook on him was certainly reinforced this season.
Reggie Jackson - Do I even need to comment?
Carmelo Anthony - More a matter of principle when I'm teaching my son not to be a ball hog/stopper, but then again, he burned me pretty bad a year ago, so he was on my list coming into this one too.
Darren Collison - I don't know how many chances a person deserves, but he's hit his limit with me.
Gregg Popovich - I'm convinced Kawhi Leonard will be the last reliable fantasy stud we ever see play for Pop. And while I'd gladly draft Leonard again next season, I'm not touching another Pop player, ever.
Derrick Favors - As I've said on Facebook 'Live at 5' almost every Friday (if you haven't tuned in, you should check it out), here is what I see when I think about Favors: A tall, old man, riding a three-wheeled bike to the beach, wearing sunglasses, a Hawaiian shirt, high white socks and flip flops. In the basket of the bike sits a cane and a metal detector, and the old man is riding slowly, exuding admirable effort and sweating a bit in hopes of reaching his destination under the bright sun. He finally gets to the beach, parks his bike, pulls out his cane and metal detector, and makes his way to the sand. Scene! Fade to black...