2013 Fantasy Basketball, Value Keepers: Guards & Forwards
Tobias Harris, Orlando | Final Ownership: 86% | 2012-2013 ADP: 149
One team’s serviceable player is another team’s superstar in the making. Harris rated amongst the most versatile and dynamic fantasy options during his 27 games with the Magic: 17 points and nine rebounds, with a steal, block and three-point make (not to mention 3.4 assists per game in April). His style will likely be more under wraps and less freelance as Orlando tries to establish a team identity, but on any given night no key statistic is out of bounds. With that said, don’t expect the same quantity of three-point attempts in future seasons. His teammate, small forward Maurice Harkless (ADP: 157), also possesses tremendous fantasy promise. He started 59 games as a rookie, filling up defensive categories on a nightly basis and upping his scoring average by 8.6 after the All Star Break.
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio | Final Ownership: 84%| 2012-2013 ADP: 121
Leonard remains a tad rough around the edges, but he has a solid framework of skills to build on. After shooting 40% from three in the first half, his efficiency retreated to the mean as he dipped to 32% in the second half. If Leonard can combine his advanced mid-range game with consistency spotting up from deep, he can develop into an elite role player. He averaged 12 points on 50% FG, six rebounds and 1.7 steals in 57 games as a starter. He missed time with both knee and quadriceps injuries; if healthy, Leonard should see 35+ minutes in his defining third season.
Jimmy Butler, Chicago | Final Ownership: 52% | 2012-2013 ADP: 177
The 30th pick of the 2011 first round, injuries cracked open the door for Butler in his second year and he exploded on through behind substantial minutes. He had a large say in determining fantasy champions during the month of April scoring 15 points, grabbing seven rebounds, dishing out three assists, swiping 1.7 steals and shooting 56% from distance in ten games. While Butler is a definite position tweener at 6’7 220, he’s improved his shooting stroke and brings defensive versatility that the Bulls covet. He will be a rotation mainstay next season even on a healthy roster.
Isaiah Thomas, Sacramento | Final Ownership: 88%| 2012-2013 ADP: 92
Thomas did not always see eye to eye with head coach Keith Smart, and he has obvious point guard limitations (which is why he almost went undrafted in ’11), but man is he explosive. Thomas finished the season at 14 points and four assists per game in just 27 minutes, figures that escalated to 17 and five post All Star break (still in only 31 minutes). He shot 36% from distance at 5’9, and ranked 7th in the NBA in free throw accuracy at 88%. With Smart highly unlikely to return on the sidelines, Thomas has legitimate top-15 PG potential heading into next year. It should be noted that Thomas and Tyreke Evans sharing one ball will never be a settled situation.
Gerald Henderson, Charlotte | Final Ownership: 91%| 2012-2013 ADP: 105
Henderson followed up a strong 2011-2012 season with another underrated campaign, particularly his standout second half. Post ASB Henderson averaged 19 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal. A slasher by trade, he got to the free throw line nearly six times per game over that period, converting upwards of 84%. Henderson will be a restricted free agent in the fall, and has already expressed his desire to remain with the Bobcats. Keep in mind that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with a year of experience under his belt will eat into his overall productivity. Henderson won’t turn 26 until December.
*Ownership Percentages/ADP provided by CBS Sportsline
Follow on twitter @AdamGaneles