2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Pacific Division Preview

by Andrew Barton
2021-22 Fantasy Basketball Division Preview - Pacific

Welcome to the 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Pacific Division Preview!

This upcoming season the Pacific will be home to a huge number of fantasy-relevant players. All five teams will start the year with playoff aspirations. The squads at the top have the makings of championship contenders.

The Golden State Warriors are defending champions and return a strong core of players that blend veterans with rising young prospects. If young players like Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and James Wisemen continue to develop, the Warriors may be playing for another Larry O’Brien trophy in June.

The Phoenix Suns were arguably the best team in the NBA, winning 64 games and winning a first-round series against the upstart Pelicans. With Deandre Ayton back in the fold alongside Devin Booker and Chris Paul, the Suns will look to redeem last year’s playoff letdown.

Both Los Angeles teams have struggled the past few years to find their footing. Since winning the title in 2020, the Lakers have struggled with injury and roster construction. If LeBron James and Anthony Davis can stay healthy, the purple and gold should be at least better than last year. In the case of the Clippers, their outlook is dependent on the return of Kawhi Leonard. If the two-time Finals MVP gets back to form, the Clippers have a deep roster loaded with playoff experience.

Finally, we come to the Sacramento Kings. Having spent years at the bottom of the Pacific division, the Kings may have a team worth monitoring this year. A full season with Domantas Sabonis and newcomers like Keegan Murray and Kevin Huerter could lead to some success in Northern California. Maybe this is the year the Kings finally break their 16-year playoff drought.

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Pacific Division Preview

Starting off with the defending champs the Golden State Warriors have one of the league’s premier fantasy options in Stephen Curry. His status as an all-time great is no longer in question after winning Finals MVP. When it comes to three-point shooting there isn’t a better option in the league. Aside from Curry, Golden State’s roster is relatively average from a fantasy standpoint. Veterans like Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green will each have moments throughout the season.

The young talent on the roster could be intriguing but until they show tangible production on the court players like Jonathan Kuminga or James Wisemen may be tough to trust in fantasy lineups. The Warriors are built to contend for actual titles, not fantasy ones.

The Suns have three players that will assuredly be on everyone’s fantasy draft boards. Devin Booker is establishing himself as one of the premier scoring options in the NBA. After posting a career-high 3PT % and 26.8 points per game, Booker could push for a scoring title this year.

Deandre Ayton expressed issues with the Suns organization but finally secured a new contract. While he won’t challenge the likes of Nikola Jokic or Joel Embiid for the title of the best center in the league, Ayton is the definition of consistent. After four straight years of averaging over 14 points and 10 rebounds a game, the smart money is on him finishing around the top-10 fantasy centers in the league. Lastly, Chris Paul remains a viable fantasy point guard until proven otherwise. He may have posted a career low in points per game but he is still one of the best passers in basketball.

The Los Angeles Lakers were many things last season. Few of them were good. The bright spot for the Lakers has been Lebron James who continues to defy Father Time even at the age of 37. He averaged a career-high in points per game and finished as the third overall fantasy small forward on ESPN. Even in a down year, Anthony Davis posted 23 points and 10 rebounds per game, he just needs to find a way to stay on the court. Over the last two years, James has only averaged 38 games played per season. Talent doesn’t matter if a player can’t stay on the court. Lastly, there is Russell Westbrook. From a basketball standpoint, I am out on Russ being a productive starter, let alone an all-star. But, for the sake of fantasy Russ still has value for his ability to stuff a stat sheet.

When it comes to the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are the top-shelf players. When he’s healthy, Kawhi is an elite fantasy basketball player. You can pencil him in for 25 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Unfortunately, you can also count on him to likely miss close to 30 games a season. Leonard is the poster boy for “load management’ and coming off an ACL tear could mean 35 or more missed games. Paul George has also had issues staying healthy the past three years but when he plays, he is an excellent addition to fantasy rosters as starting wing.

While the Sacramento Kings have struggled as an organization for well over a decade, they roster a few fantasy-worthy assets. De’Aaron Fox had a down year when looking at his advanced stats and general box score. Regardless, he still should flirt with top-12 fantasy point guard numbers this year. He should comfortably land in the top-20 at his position. Domantas Sabonis has been one of my go-to fantasy players for years now. He may not offer much three-point shooting like most modern NBA big men but he is an outstanding rebounder and finisher at the rim. With is 12 rebounds per game he offers a really safe fantasy floor every game knowing he is going to be a force on the glass.

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Pacific Division Preview

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New Faces in the Division

NBA Draft

The rookie of note out in the Pacific division is going to be the Kings' 4th overall pick, Keegan Murray. After an outstanding sophomore year at Iowa, Murray was selected for his scoring and three-point shooting ability. He shot 40% from three in college at almost five attempts a game and also pulled in 8.7 rebounds each contest as well. Some, including myself, were a bit skeptical of Murray’s scoring translating to the NBA. He answered those questions with a resounding yes in summer league play. Across seven games he scored 21 points per game, had a true shooting percentage of 64.9%, and averaged over seven rebounds a game. Once the season starts it may take Murray some time to get used to the higher level of competition, but he should absolutely be on draft radars.

Impactful Additions

The Golden State Warriors may have landed one of the best bargains of free agency by signing Donte DiVincenzo to a two-year, $9 million contract. While DiVincenzo fell out of favor with the Milwaukee Bucks last year, his 2020-2021 season saw the Villanova product shoot 38% from three, average over 10 points a game, and provide solid rebounding and assists totals. He could quickly establish himself as a key piece of the Warriors' rotation and provide some solid bench depth to your fantasy roster.

The Lakers added two guards in Dennis Schröder and Patrick Beverley to shore up the shaky point guard play of Russell Westbrook. Beverley should provide defensive intensity and intangibles to a team in desperate need of them. His fantasy impact, however, should be marginal at best. Schröder is a much more interesting player to evaluate. His last stint in Los Angeles didn’t end well due to failed contract negotiations. He had a good summer dominating the Eurobasket FIBA event to the tune of 22 points and seven assists a game. Schröder could become a viable bench piece on your fantasy roster. If he can average 15 points, five assists, and maintain solid shooting splits he will be worth rostering.

In terms of most impactful additions to the division, I believe that title will belong to the Clippers. Technically Norman Powell joined the Clippers roster last year in a late-season trade. He only played in five games with his new team so I believe he warrants some consideration here.

In his limited action with his new team last year, he averaged over 21 points and shot over 50% from the field. With the return of George and Leonard, his offensive role will likely diminish. Regardless, there should still be plenty of shots to go around and he could easily average north of 16 points. John Wall is a total unknown at this point in his career. After numerous injuries maybe he is washed. Yet, at only roughly $6.5 million in salary this year maybe he can recapture some of his former all-star caliber play. Keep an eye on him in later rounds or the waiver wire.

The Kings' additions of Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter shouldn’t move the fantasy needle all too much. While both players are proven rotational pieces, in fantasy they are best viewed as bench pieces. The one caveat is in category-specific scoring leagues. Both players have come into their own as three-point shooters. Monk shot 39% from three on almost six attempts a game. Huerter was also at 39% on 5.6 attempts a game. Both players are cheap options come draft day to shore up your roster's shooting ability.

Lastly, the Suns opted to spend free agency bringing back Deandre Ayton. Having already covered his consistent, if unspectacular play, Ayton is a starting fantasy center without question. He checks all the boxes you want from a fantasy center. He features efficient scoring at 63% from the field; double-digit rebounds and serviceable free throw shooting numbers. If he ever adds a three-ball he won’t have many weaknesses to his game.

Draft With Confidence

      • PG- Stephen Curry, De’Aaron Fox, Chris Paul
      • SG- Paul George, Devin Booker
      • SF- Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James
      • PF- Anthony Davis
      • C- Deandre Ayton, Domantas Sabonis

Category Specific Players (last season stats)

True Shooting (TS%) - shooting efficiency including 2pt field goals, 3pt field goals, and free throws

Effective Field Goal (eFG%) - adjust for the fact that a 3pt FG is worth more than a 2pt FG


PlayerPts per GameFG%3PT%eFG%TS%Pts per 100 Poss
Andrew Wiggins17.246.639.354.356.026.3
Norman Powell18.946.141.954.960.328.6
Harrison Barnes16.446.939.455.462.323.5
Mikal Bridges14.753.436.960.162.719.6
Russell Westbrook18.444.429.847.651.225.8
Dennis Schröder13.543.134.449.053.923.2

3pt Shooters

Player3PT Att3PT%eFG%TS%
Klay Thompson9.238.552.954.7
Luke Kennard6.044.959.861.9
Cameron Johnson5.942.559.662.5
Malik Monk5.839.157.859.7
Kevin Huerter5.538.955.957.0


PlayerREB per GameREB Per 100 PossREB %BLKS per GameBLK%
Ivica Zubac8.417.
Draymond Green7.312.313.71.13.6
Kevon Looney7.216.818.80.62.85
Richaun Holmes7.010.616.10.93.3


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