We've pretty much known that Wall was going to be the first pick in the draft for about six months now. He's a dynamic talent with the skills to be an instant impact point guard as a rookie. With that said, I would still proceed with caution when drafting Wall. Most rookies take time to develop. Think
Wall is going to get his minutes and post nice numbers, but he's still just 19-years old, so his game hasn't fully developed. He needs to work on his jumper and will likely have to adjust a bit on defense. Trust me, he didn't face anyone like
I love this pick for the Kings. He is in a position where he can step in and play right away. I would take Wall 100 times out of 100 if I were building a team for the future, but I do believe that Cousins could have a bigger impact than his former Kentucky teammate in his rookie season.
Cousins could easily step in and average 10-12 rebounds per game. Great stat: Cousins averaged 9.8 rebounds per game as a freshman while playing just 23.5 minutes. That's about one rebound every 2.3 minutes. Nice. Cousins also averaged 1.8 blocks per game and provided a nice touch in the paint. I can easily see him averaging close to a double-double and being the most productive rookie fantasy baller this year.
Johnson can step in and start right away at the small forward position for the T'wolves. Obviously, that makes him a winner as far as fantasy owners are concerned. He can shoot the ball, rebound well, and even play a little defense. He'll be one of those rookies who has a quiet, yet effective fantasy season.
I'm not in love with Turner as a fantasy option this season, since the 76ers are loaded at the wing positions, but I still think he'll have nice value. He's a great rebounder for a two guard (9.2 per game last season) and can certainly put the ball in the bucket (20.4 points). Again, I just don't see where he fits right now unless the 76ers make another move. That doesn't mean he won't have any fantasy value, but it does mean he's not a better option than Wall and Cousins.
Monroe is another rookie who will get burn early. He's going to a Detroit team that lacks depth and size. He runs the floor well for his size and has the skills to play a complete game -- scores, rebounds, and dishes the ball well. I would take a flier on Monroe in the later rounds of the draft.
When you combine the fact that Aminu is not only a rising talent but he's also an instant need for the Clippers, you have a guy who can step in and provide nice rebounding and scoring numbers as a rookie. I still think he has a lot of growing to do, so he'll likely get off to a slow start. Also, we don't know what the Clips look like with
Aldrich doesn't have the upside that many of the other lottery players do, but he's in a position in OKC where he is desperately needed to rebound and block shots in the paint. Aldrich is going to be one of those draft-for-need fantasy players. If you're short on rebounds (9.8) and blocks (3.5), you can take a flier on him in the last couple of rounds. Aside from that, he doesn't have great appeal as a fantasy baller. But as we know, a guy who can contribute in a few categories can still add nice value.
We heard throughout the draft that Henry was taken as a back-up plan should the Grizzlies lose
Bledsoe is another player whose value is contingent upon the status of the veteran ahead of him on the depth charts. With
Once again the Spurs got what seems to be the steal of the draft. They are so good at selecting talent in the draft, aren't they? Anderson is an NBA-ready scorer who can shoot the rock. He's going to an aging San Antonio team that will want him to provide an immediate impact from the moment he signs his rookie contract. I think he'll be one of the sleepers of the fantasy draft as well. I wouldn't get too itchy and select him in the 10th or 11th round, but he's a nice late-round option who should become a sneaky value guy.
I love Favors. I think he could be a superstar in this league. I'm just not sure that he'll have a great impact this season. He'll naturally have some value, but not superstar value -- effective big man value. My main concern is that the Nets are pushing big time to sign
I'm not sure what the Warriors were thinking. Udoh was a bit of a reach at No. 6. He has talent, but I'm not sure if anyone told the Warriors that they have
Unless the Pacers move
Williams was a bit of a question mark heading into the draft. His range seemed to be pretty wide. He's an athletic scorer and terrific defender, but the problem with Williams is that he's a combo guard on a team that is pretty stacked with guards right now. Unless the Blazers find a way to move
Once thought to be a lottery pick, Orton nearly dropped out of the first round of the draft. The good news is he got guaranteed money as a first rounder. The bad news is he has to play behind the best center in the game,
Not only did Whiteside drop out of the first round, but he ended up going to the Kings, a team who just drafted the top rookie center (Cousins), traded for a veteran big man (
I should put him in the "winners" section since no one thought he would get drafted at all, let alone this high. The major problem for Fields is that the Knicks already have a franchise small forward (
Of course with free agency still a week away we may see some changes that will impact these rookies. We'll address those as they happen.