Fantasy Football: 2014 NBA Draft Review

by Joe Bond

This draft class was loaded with talent. With plenty of NBA knowing that coming into the season, we saw quite a few of them try to "tank" the season to improve their draft pick. There were three players all discussed as possible number one picks. Joel Embid wound up becoming the consensus top pick before a stress fracture in his foot had him slide a couple of spots. Embid should be a great NBA player, but I'm letting somebody else deal with him this season in my fantasy leagues. Anyway, let's get to the guys you can expect to make an impact in fantasy leagues this season

Jabari Parker (MIL)Jabari Parker (MIL - SF) - Parker was mentioned as a top pick before the season started and honestly nobody would have argued if he had been taken number one. Paker lands on a team ready for somebody to take over, as they are fairly devoid of talent, and I think he will.

The Bucks are talking about playing him at the four. He is a bit small for that position, but will provide plenty of mismatches on the court, and should score at will. Overall this kind of reminds me of what we saw in Philly this year, where Michael Carter-Williams was able to produce at a high level, especially for fantasy, due to the lack of other options on his team.

Andrew Wiggins (CLE - SG) - I'm only discussing him second here because he was the first overall pick. However I do not like his situation as much in Cleveland as I do Parker's, from a fantasy point of view. Wiggins will have to work with super star Kyrie Irving and also a good but not great supporting cast of Dion Waiters, Spencer Hawes and Tristian Thompson. This leaves Wiggins as the starting small forward, but there are rumors swirling in free agency that the Cavs are going after Gordon Hayward. If the Cavs do sign him, Wiggins may not even start and will have to split time between Waiters and Hayward. The most likely scenario there is, eventually Waiters is the odd man out, but this definitely hurts Wiggins value.

Even if that isn't the case, he isn't my favorite target this year in fantasy. He should do fine in the defensive categories, but will struggle to create his own shot. Something that Kyrie can and will do very often.

Julius Randle (LAL - PF) - This is my second favorite rookie from this draft class. He is going to a good situation, not quite as good as Jabari Parker because of Kobe Bryant, but besides him what else do the Lakers really have? I'm waiting for an answer... yeah I thought so. Randle might not score anywhere near 20 a night, but he should have no issues averaging close to a double-double this season with no other real option down low for the Lakers.

Dante Exum (UTA - PG) - Exum going to Utah confused me at first, since the Jazz drafted Trey Burke last season. Burke was inconsistent last season, and was hurt more by his shooting percentages than anything. I doubt Utah is ready to give up on him just yet. Exum has to hope that Utah is planning on moving Hayward to the three spot or that he doesn't resign with them. This would open up the two guard for him and I honestly think we could see a nice overall player here, averaging around 15 points, 5 assists and rebounds a game. After realizing the potential here of him playing the two with Burke, I wasn't so confused about this pick.

Marcus Smart (BOS - PG) - I think this is a sign that Rajon Rondo is on his way out of Boston, but even if he isn't I think using Smart at the two guard could work, although that hurts his value some. Best case scenario for Smart is Rondo is dealt and he takes over at point, working next to Avery Bradley at the two. Smart is a physical guard with a very high motor, who struggles with his shot, but can get to the basket. He is a great rebounder for a guard and plays great defense. He'll be a good all around player with or without Rondo, but without expect more points and assists.

Shabazz Napier (MIA - PG) - A bit of a sleeper pick here, and not one that I would draft in my fantasy league, instead keep an eye on early in the season. Napier could easily take over the starting point guard spot for the Miami Heat, and if they do keep LeBron this is a great thing. He won't be asked to do too much, instead just make sure he gets the ball to Bron and the other superstar(s) that decide to sign with Miami (in case you were wondering, I think Bron, Wade and Bosh all resign). A waiver wire pick up that could score near

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