Just as the 2013-14 NBA season concludes and the 2014 NBA Draft approaches, I thought it would be a good time to launch into a 2013 NBA Draft review.
Widely castigated as one of the worst draft classes of all time before the season even began, a lot of factors transpired to really stifle any chances this group had to surprise.
Preseason injuries or surgeries to four out of the top six picks and six of the top 10 really hampered these rookies’ abilities to get acclimatised to their new teams and to the rigors of an NBA preseason.
With a full and healthy preseason on the cards, the opportunity to prove a lot of the doubters wrong rests solely in these players hands and this next season could be career defining for a number of the players.
As I finish off the end of round one, you can catch up on picks 1-10 and 11-20 here.
21. Gorgui Dieng, C, Minnesota Timberwolves — 60 games, PER 16.5, 14 mpg
4.8 ppg, 0.0 3pm, 5.0 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.8 bpg, 49.8 FG%, 63.4 FT%, 0.9 tpg
Fantasy Rank — 243
Looking at Dieng’s season long numbers hardly takes your breath away. But if we were to look at what the big Senegalese man was able to do in the season’s last month, our opinions would be completely different.
With Nikola Pekovic struggling with injury, Dieng entered the starting lineup next to Kevin Love and exploded. In the season’s final 17 games, Dieng averaged 12.0 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks which included a monster 20/20 game. Those numbers ranked him 34th over that time frame and gave a big glimpse into his future. Speaking of that future, Dieng’s fantasy impact is volatile. If he gets starters’ minutes, he’ll be a top 100 player no doubt. But if Love and Pekovic both play the majority of the minutes in Minnesota, which is highly unlikely, his impact will be limited. Even if Love is moved, will any the pieces that come back squeeze Dieng for minutes?
As it stands now, he can be grabbed and stashed at the end of drafts, but he looks to have quite a bit of potential for the coming seasons.
22. Mason Plumlee, C, Brooklyn Nets — 70 games, PER 19.0, 18 mpg
7.4 ppg, 0.0 3pm, 4.4 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.8 bpg, 65.9 FG%, 62.6 FT%, 1.1 tpg
Fantasy Rank — 189
Like Dieng, Plumlee really started taking off when he entered the starting lineup for Kevin Garnett in the season’s waning months. He didn’t put up the big numbers exactly like Dieng, but his fantastic field goal percentage and decent rebounding and coring meant that Plumlee had fantasy relevance in the playoffs.
With Garnett’s future murky and even if he does play, he’ll be unable to give more than 20 minutes a game, Plumlee will have a role to play in Brooklyn next season.
23. Solomon Hill, SF, Indiana Pacers — 28 games, PER 7.6, 8 mpg
1.7 ppg, 0.3 3pm, 1.5 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.2 spg, 0.1 bpg, 42.5 FG%, 85.7 FT%, 0.5 tpg
Fantasy Rank — 399
I’m ready to call it quits on Solomon Hill already. He looked lost in his rookie season and showed nothing to suggest he will have any NBA or fantasy relevance at any stage n his career. On a team that is still calling out for a solid bench unit, there is opportunity for Hill, but it’s doubtful he will be the guy to take it. Even in dynasty leagues, I’d be leaving him for others.
24. Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, New York Knicks — 81 games, PER 12.7, 23 mpg
10.2 ppg, 1.6 3pm, 1.5 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.1 bpg, 42.8 FG%, 82.8 FT%, 0.6 tpg
Fantasy Rank — 195
Like most outside shooters, Hardaway was streaky. He would often string three or four big games together in row, which was inevitably followed by a lean run. Overall though, Hardaway was one of the season’s surprises and probably the lone shining star (Melo excluded) on the Knicks.
With a year of seasoning under his belt, I’d expect Hardaway to up his output, particularly if Carmelo Anthony leaves in free agency. If Melo does leave, Hardaway could be a top 120 player and owned in all leagues, but otherwise, he will be a valuable player to stream in when you are in need of points and treys.
25. Reggie Bullock, SG, Los Angeles Clippers — 43 games, PER 6.7, 9 mpg
2.7 ppg, 0.5 3pm, 1.3 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.2 spg, 0.0 bpg, 35.5 FG%, 77.8 FT%, 0.3 tpg
Bullock is stuck in a tough situation in Los Angeles. Pegged behind Jamal Crawford, Jared Dudley, Darren Collison, J.J. Redick and Willie Green, the first year man from North Carolina struggled to make an impact. As well as dealing with injuries, the squeeze for minutes was real on a very good Clippers’ squad.
There was quite a bit of hype surrounding Bullock at times last season, but even when extrapolating his stats to per 36 numbers, there’s nothing to really impress. He won’t be an impact guy in 2014-15, but there is some intrigue for a bargain basement dynasty price.
26. Andre Roberson, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder — 40 games, PER 9.0, 10 mpg
1.9 ppg, 0.1 3pm, 2.4 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.3 bpg, 48.5 FG%, 70.0 FT%, 0.5 tpg
Fantasy Rank — 344
Roberson, somewhat surprisingly, started 16 games for the Thunder this past season, but that’s more to do with Scott Brooks‘ baffling rotations rather than anything Roberson did to stand out from the pack. He obviously didn’t do a lot in his NBA time, but when he played in the D League, he was very productive. In 17 games, he averaged 15.9 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks in his D League time.
On a stacked Thunder team, Roberson will find it hard to make much of an impact, but should he find himself on another team, the potential is there to be a bit of a sleeper.
27. Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz — 45 games, PER 12.9, 10 mpg
2.3 ppg, 0.0 3pm, 3.4 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.2 spg, 0.9 bpg, 48.6 FG%, 49.2 FT%, 0.7 tpg
Fantasy Rank — 371
Although he has a bit of competition in the front court in Utah with Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, Gobert showed enough to prove he will be a decent NBA player. If anything, he can be a game changer off the bench blocking shots. Whether he can develop into a full time starting centre remains to be seem, but playing a role like Chris Andersen did this year for the Heat is something that is not out of the realm of possibility.
In his D League assignments, Gobert blocked three shots per game and his per 36 NBA numbers translated to 3.4 blocks, along with 12.9 rebounds. I’d expect for Gobert to get closer to 16 minutes this season and he has high dynasty potential, but in a re-draft league, yu can look elsewhere.
28. Livio Jean-Charles, SF, San Antonio Spurs — 30 games, PER 13.0, 14 mpg (LNB Pro A 2012-13)
3.4 ppg, 0.2 3pm, 2.8 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.2 bpg, 52.6 FG%, 61.9 FT%, 0.6 tpg
Jean Charles missed the entire 2013-14 season due to a torn ACL, but will be back playing for ASVEL next season, according to part owner Tony Parker. There’s obviously no fantasy impact next season, but given the Spurs history of drafting Europeans, stashing Jean-Charles in a dynasty may be prudent.
29. Archie Goodwin, SG, Phoenix Suns — 52 games, PER 10.3, 10 mpg
3.7 ppg, 0.1 3pm, 1.7 rpg, 0.4 apg, 0.4 spg, 0.2 bpg, 45.5 FG%, 67.3 FT%, 0.8 tpg
Fantasy Rank — 389
On the surprising Suns, Goodwin wasn’t given much of an opporutnity to show what he can do. But, in the season’s final game, Goodwin exploded, scoring 29 points in 31 minutes, also grabbing two steals. It was a good showing, but it hardly means that we should be drafting Goodwin next season. He is still behind Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Gerald Green and really needs to improve his poor 13.9 percent from beyond the arc.
30. Nemanja Nedovic, SG, Golden State Warriors — 24 games, PER -1.7, 6 mpg
1.1 ppg, 0.1 3pm, 0.6 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.0 spg, 0.0 bpg, 20.5 FG%, 87.5 FT%, 0.5 tpg
Fantasy Rank — 445
The adage goes, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
When your PER is below zero and only one player, Vander Blue, is ranked below you in fantasy production, odds are your season wasn’t anything to write home about. Let’s forget about his rookie campaign and instead look at what he was able to do in the D League. In 15 games, Nedovic averaged 14.9 points and 4.2 assists with a PER of 12.9, which isn’t fantastic either, but at least gives us pause to not completely write him off.
Will he do anything this coming season? Unlikely. Will he ever be a fantasy name on the radar? Again, unlikely. I’d wouldn’t be bothering myself too much with Nedovic.
And that’s the first round. Make sure you keep an eye on the site for a quick run down on the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft as well as the 2014 Mock Draft Podcast coming next week.