Sep 9, 2009 News
The NBA season is still about 2 months away but it is never too early to start thinking about draft rankings for fantasy basketball. I am starting with the Point Guard (PG) position and will take a look at all 30 starting PG’s, as well as a few that might qualify at the position and see big minutes as backups or combo guards. I’m sure these rankings will change as the season approaches, so check back. I’ll post a link to this post in the ‘Rankings and News Page’.
Chris Paul (New Orleans, #3, 6’0-175, 24yo) Easy choice for the top spot on the draft board with 22.8 pts and 11.o ast per game. Throw in the league leading 2.77 steals per game and 5.5 reb from the PG position and there isn’t anyone close to Paul. Only 64 3PM, but if you are in a league that counts FTM Paul made 455 of them. 50.3 FG%, 86.8 FT%, 36.4 3P%.
Deron Williams (Utah, #8, 6’3-207, 25yo) His stats are a little behind Paul with only 19.4 pts/10.7 ast last season. He only grabbed 2.9 reb with 1.07 steals per game and he turned it over a little more than Paul with 3.35 per game. He had 70 3PM and 326 FTM and percentages of 47.1 FG%, 84.9% and 31.0 3p%. While I’d love to have Paul on my team, I’ll gladly take Deron and his across the board stats.
Devin Harris (New Jersey, #34, 6’3-185, 26yo) Harris really broke out last year and I look for him to have an even better year in 2009. The Nets got rid of Carter, so Harris is clearly the team leader and the focal point of the offense. Harris is a scorer and he draws contact to get to the line (496 FT made last season). Only 64 3′s made and he only shot 29.1% from 3P range. His major stats were 21.3 pts/ 6.9 ast. He helps in steals with 1.75 last season. His percentages are mediocre with 43.8 FG%, 82.0 FT% and 29.1 3P%.
Tony Parker (San Antonio, #9, 6’2-180, 27yo) Parker’s stats were very similar to Harris’ with 22.o pts/ 6.9 ast per game last season. Parker wasn’t quite as good in the steals category with only .93 per game. Parker also has a limited shooting range with a great FG% of 50.6, but very weak in the 3Pt category with only only 19 3PM (29%) last season. I could see Parker’s scoring taking a dip and assists going up this year with Richard Jefferson on the team and Manu Ginobili healthy.
Chauncey Billups (Denver, #7, 6’3-202, 33yo) Billups is almost the exact opposite shooter from Parker. Chauncey shoots well from beyond the arc (41.0%) but not so good from inside it (42.0%). He contributes heavily to the 3 Point category with 162 of them made last season. His major stats were 17.9 pts/6.4 ast and he protects the ball very well with only 2.25 TOV per game. Billups gets to the line frequently making 418 free throws last season at an excellent 91.3% rate. He is 33, but I think he can put up good stats again this season in Karl’s running system and he has no real competition for the PG minutes.
Steve Nash (Phoenix, #13, 6’3-178, 35yo) A couple of old guys in the next two spots, but they both just keep producing and I expect them to keep it up this year as well. Nash stats took a decline last season as he put up 15.7 pts/9.7 ast in 2008. He didn’t take very good care of the ball posting 3.35 TOV per game. He put up 108 three pointers and made 196 free throws. As usual, his percentages were great and can really help you in those fantasy categories. He put up a 50.3 FG%, 93.3 FT% and 43.9% 3P%. Nash signed a contract extension, so he isn’t playing for a big payday, but I think he still puts up stats close to what he did in 2008.
Jason Kidd (Dallas, #2, 6’4-210, 36yo) Kidd also signed a contract extension and should finish out his career in Dallas. His stats declined a little last season just like Nash’s. He put up 9.0 pts and 8.7 ast, but unlike Nash, he took great care of the ball with a turnover rate of only 2.28 per game. Kidd is the best rebounding PG with 6.2 per game last season and he also contributed to the steals category with 1.98 per game. He contributed 131 3′s but only 86 FTs. Much like Billups, he is a better long range shooter with a 41.6 FG%, 81.9% and a great 40.6 3p%. Time is running short for Kidd to get Dallas to the championship, so look for him to play hard this season.
Gilbert Arenas (Washington, #0, 6’4-215, 27yo) Arenas is an absolute wildcard this season and a huge gamble on draft day. I ranked him this high based on the reports I have seen that his health is good. Arenas is a pure scorer but his percentages aren’t that good with a career 42.7 FG%, 80.9 FT% and 35.8 3p%. If he is healthy, he can outscore any PG on this list and also outshoot any other PG from 3PT range. He isn’t a huge assist guy (around 6.0 per game) and he will probably give you 1.5 steals per game. Depending on his health, you will either look like a genius drafting him-or a complete idiot for ignoring the injury history.
Derrick Rose (Chicago, #1, 6’3-190, 21y0) Last year’s rookie of the year is ranked this high based on his enormous potential to improve in year 2. He is only 21, but Rose put up 16.8 pts/6.3 ast and kept his turnovers low at 2.49 per game. He is a decent rebounder with 3.9 per game and .81 steals per game. Like Tony Parker, his shooting range is limited. Rose hurts you in the 3P category, only making 16 (22.2%) of them last season. He was great inside the arc with a 47.5 FG% and a decent 78.8 FT%. Keep an eye on how Rose adjusts to losing Ben Gordon. I think Rose improves on last season’s stats and makes him a solid top 10 PG.
Baron Davis (L.A. Clippers, #1, 6’3-215, 30yo) Davis turned in a subpar fantasy season in 2008, but he was still better than half the PGs in the league. I’m not sure whether it was age (30) or just a bad attitude after grabbing the money from the Clippers. Hopefully he rebounds this season, but even if he doesn’t, his stats are still on par with the next couple of guys on the draft list. Baron turned in 14.9 pts/7.7 ast last year, but he declined in almost every category from his career averages. His percentages were pretty bad at 37.0 FG%, 75.7 FT% and 30.2 3P%. He hit 99 3′s and 159 FT’s.
Rajon Rondo (Boston, #9, 6’1-171, 23yo) Rondo turned in a great year in 2008 and should only improve since he is only 23 years old. He put up 11.9 pts / 8.2 ast, 1.8 steals and 5.0 rebs per game. His turnovers were 2.61 per game. He is a little weak in the 3 point category, making only 15. He is also a little weak shooting FTs with a 64.0 FT%. His 50.0 FG% is excellent.
Jose Calderon (Toronto, #8, 6’3-210, 28y0) Calderon is an excellent shooter and his averages can really help your percentage categories. Last season he put up averages of 49.7 FG%, 98.1 FT% and 40.6 3p%. He averaged 12.8 pts/ 8.9 ast, 2.9 rebs and 1.1 steals per game. He contributed 82 3′s and 151 FTs. Calderon slides down the rankings this season because I think he is going to lose some minutes to Jarrett Jack. Jack got in a fight with T.J. Ford last season, so keep an eye on how Calderon and Jack get along. Calderon is also 28 years old already and I’m not sure how much upside he has left.
Monta Ellis (Golden State, #8, 6’3-180, 24yo) Ellis might slide up my rankings depending on what happens with the Stephen Jackson trade requests. There have also been rumors that Golden State is looking to trade Ellis. The guy is definitely a scorer putting up 19.0 pts a game last year. He isn’t a true point guard though and only managed 3.7 ast and turned it over 2.68 times a game. He rebounds well with 4.3 per game and can get you some steals with 1.56 per game. His averages are decent at 45.1 FG%, 83.0 FT% and 30.8 3P%. He doesn’t contribute much in the 3Pt category, making only 8 last year. Keep an eye on what happens in Golden State and adjust his ranking accordingly.
Jameer Nelson (Orlando, #14, 6’0-190, 27yo) Nelson was having a great season until a shoulder injury shut him down. Not sure how the Vince Carter acquisition is going to affect his numbers though. Nelson is an excellent shooter with a 50.2 FG%, 88.7 FT% and 45.3 3P% last season. He put up 16.7 pts/ 5.4 ast, 3.5 rebs and 1.2 steals in 2008. He takes very good care of the ball posting only 1.98 turnovers per game.
Mo Williams (Cleveland, #2, 6’1-190, 26yo) Williams was underappreciated in fantasyland last season. He put up 17.8 pts/4.1 ast, 3.4 reb, .85 steals and only turned the ball over 2.21 times per game. His averages were excellent at 46.7 FG%, 91.2 FT% and 43.6 3P%. His 183 3′s were the best among PGs. Mo is only 26 and I expect that he will have a repeat year in 2009.
Andre Miller (Portland, 6’2-200, 33yo) Miller is dependable but not spectacular and his fantasy value could be affected by what Portland wants to do with Steve Blake. Miller put up 16.3 pts/ 6.5 ast, 4.5 rebs and 1.33 steals per game. He isn’t a threat from beyond the arc, making only 15 (28.3%) last season. His 47.3 FG% and 82.6 FT% are solid. He does draw fouls though and made 338 FTs last year. His value will depend on how the minutes are split with Steve Blake.
Mike Bibby (Atlanta, #10, 6’2-195, 31yo) Bibby has a new contract in Atlanta, but he may have his minutes cut by Atlanta 6th man, Jamal Crawford. Bibby’s defense is horrible, but luckily that isn’t a fantasy category. He put up 14.9 pts/5.0 ast, 3.5 rebs, 1.24 steals and was excellent protecting the ball only turning it over 1.62 times per game. Bibby is strong in the 3Pt category making 167 last season. His averages are mediocre at 43.5 FG%, 78.9 FT% and 39.0 3P%. Keep an eye on how much Crawford cuts into his minutes.
T.J. Ford (Indiana, #5, 6’0-165, 26yo) Now that Jarrett Jack is gone, Ford has the position all to himself. Someone has to score in Indiana, right? Ford is ranked a little low due to his injury history. He put up 14.9 pts / 5.3 ast, 1.2 steals and 2.43 turnovers in a timeshare only getting 30.5 minutes per game. Look for his stats to go up across the board with more minutes.
Raymond Felton (Charlotte, #20, 6’1-198, 25yo) Felton is getting jerked around by the Bobcats right now and his ranking could change. He has D.J. Augustin breathing down his neck for playing time right now so he needs to turn it up this year. In 37.6 minutes per game Felton put up 14.2 pts/ 6.7 ast, 1.54 steals and 2.78 turnovers. His 3Pt shooting is terrible at 28.5% and his overall FG% isn’t much better at 40.8%.
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City, #0, 6’3-187, 20yo) Westbrook needs to work on his shooting to move up the draft rankings. His percentages were terrible at 39.8 FG%, 81.5 FT% and 27.1 3P%. He averaged 15.3 pts/ 5.3 ast, 4.9 rebs and 1.34 steals. His turnover rate was a terrible 3.34 per game. Shaun Livingston is also looking to get some minutes. We will have to see how much Westbrook improves before moving him up.
Aaron Brooks (Houston, #0, 6’0-161, 24yo) Brooks got his shot last season when Alston was traded and he made the most of it posting 11.2 pts/ 3.0 ast, .58 steals and 1.56 turnovers in 25.0 minutes of action per game. He hit 113 3′s and 149 FTs. Houston is a mess this year with McGrady and Ming out. Somebody has to pick it up and hopefully Brooks will get his share.
Rodney Stuckey (Detroit, #3, 6’5-205, 23yo) Rodney Stuckey also got his shot last year after Billups was traded and he responded with 13.4 pts / 4.9 ast, .99 steals and 2.19 turnovers in 31.9 minutes per game. He isn’t a great shooter posting percentages of 43.9 FG%, 80.3 FT% and 29.5 3P%. He is only 23 and should be given every opportunity to improve in 2009.
Lou Williams (Philadelphia, #23, 6’2-175, 23yo) Much like Stuckey and Brooks did last year, Williams will get his shot this season with the trade of Andre Miller. Williams put up 12.8 pts/ 3.0 ast, 1.1 steals with 1.86 turnovers in 23.7 minutes per game. Like Stuckey, Williams isn’t a great shooter with at 39.8 FG%, 79.0 FT% and 28.6 3P%. He did pick up 63 3′s last season, but his real game is driving to the basket, as evidenced by his 304 free throws made.
Mike Conley (Memphis, #11, 6’1-180, 22yo) Conley’s value depends on what happens with the signing of Iverson. His numbers last season weren’t that great anyway with 10.9 pts/ 4.3 ast, 1.1 steals and 1.74 turnovers in 30.6 minutes per game. He is a good 3PT shooter making 88 at a 40.6% rate. He is still very young, so maybe having Iverson as a mentor will be good for his long term development, but that doesn’t really help our fantasy team this season.
Mario Chalmers (Miami, #6, 6’1-190, 23yo) The Heat are expecting 35-37 minutes per game out of Chalmers. That is if they don’t trade for a veteran before the season starts. Chalmers is a mediocre shooter posting a 42.0 FG%, 76.7 FT% and 36.7 3p%. He did make 114 3′s and 148 FTs. He posted 10.0 pts / 4.9 ast, 1.95 steals and 2.0 turnovers in 32.0 minutes per game.
Chris Duhon (New York, #1, 6’1-185, 27yo) Duhon probably turned in his ceiling last year with 11.1 pts / 7.2 ast, .91 steals while turning the ball over 2.8 times a game. He does help the 3 PT category making 127. His percentages are decent 42.1 FG%, 85.6 FT% and 39.1 3P%. Nate Robinson is waiting to grab some of those minutes if Duhon slips at all. In D’Antoni’s system a good player would have produced better numbers than Duhon’s.
Ramon Sessions (Minnesota, 6’3-190, 23yo) Sessions landed in Minnesota when the Rubio circus moved to Spain. I’m not a Sessions fan. He has no real experience and most of his stats last season were empty figures collected when Redd and Bogut were both out with injuries. Sessions doesn’t shoot the 3 and only has a 44.5 FG% and 79.4 FT%. He can score though putting up 12.4 pts / 5.7 ast in 27.5 minutes per game last year. I need to see more before I consider him.
Beno Udrih (Sacramento, #19, 6’3-205, 27yo) Udrih already has an injury to his knee, but he should be ready for camp. The Kings are looking for any excuse to hand the offense to Tyreke Evans so Udrih may be on his way out at any time. Udrih isn’t a terrible player as he put up 11.0 pts / 4.7 ast, 1.11 steals with 2.16 turnovers in 31.1 minutes last season. The Kings want more though.
Derek Fisher (L.A. Lakers, #2, 6’1-211, 35yo) Fisher is the classic ‘better in real life than in fantasy’ player and quite an anomaly in that the 29th ranked PG comes from the World Champs of the NBA. Fisher only put up 9.9 pts / 3.2 ast, 1.2 steals and 2.3 rebs a game. He doesn’t turn it over though posting an excellent turnover rate of .88 per game. He does help you in the 3PT category making 120. His percentages are decent wtih a 42.4 FG%, 84.6 FT% and 39.7 3P%.
Luke Ridnour (Milwaukee, #13, 6’2-175, 28yo) Somebody had to be last and that honor falls to Ridnour, although the only person Ridnour could be out for a job (Sessions) is ranked ahead of him. Brandon Jennings will have Ridnour’s job soon. Ridnour put up 9.6 pts / 5.1 ast, 1.28 steals and 1.78 turnovers in 28.2 minutes per game last season. His shooting percentages are below average at 40.3 FG%, 86.9FT% and 35.0 3P%.
Some PGs that may get starter type minutes:
Jamal Crawford (Atlanta, 6’5-200, 29yo) Crawford should see starter minutes in Atlanta backing up Mike Bibby and Joe Johnson. He can play the point and has averaged 4.2 ast over his career. He shoots the 3 pointer well. His defense is suspect though.
Jarrett Jack (Toronto, 6’3-197, 26yo) Jack ended up in a great situation since Toronto has no established shooting guard. Jack can play the point and shooting guard and should get starter minutes in Toronto. He averaged 13.1 pts / 4.1 ast and 3.4 rebounds per game last year in a timeshare with T.J Ford.
Nate Robinson (New York, #4, 5’9-180, 25yo) For some reason Nate isn’t signed yet and neither is David Lee. Duhon probably still gets most of the minutes but keep an eye on Robinson, especially if he gets traded.
DJ Augustin (Charlotte, #14, 6’2-180, 22yo) Keep an eye on what happens with Raymond Felton. Augustin could move into a starters role if Felton isn’t resigned.
Rafer Alston (New Jersey, #1, 6’2-175, 33yo) Alston will backup Devin Harris, but he could be trade bait at any time so keep an eye on trade possibilities for him.
Steve Blake (Portland, #2, 6’3-172, 29yo) Blake is too good to ride the pine and at 29 he doesn’t have that many years left. I look for him to get traded and we can re-evaluate at that point.
Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee, #3, 6’1-169, 20yo) Watch out Luke Ridnour. Jennings spent last season overseas and Milwaukee may throw him into the fire since their season is going nowhere.
Tyreke Evans (Sacramento, #13, 6’6-220, 20yo) The guy is a stud and could have Udrih’s job after the first couple of months.