Doing your research and homework to be as prepared as possible for draft day is important. What is also imperative is adjusting throughout. I have posted ranking columns as well as columns specifying strategies, which are all equally important with each step owning its own identity. What must be done from this point on are adjustments and tweaking as recognizing trends and roles will play a major factor in determining Who. Will. Rise. Above.
With rising in mind, this week’s Runnin’ The Weave will consist of players that are having the good fortune of seeing their value ascending.
Anthony Davis – In an earlier Runnin’ The Weave, I obviously listed AD as a top rookie and mentioned to expect nice numbers across the board. However, I may have understated how great he will be. After seeing his average draft position between the third and fourth rounds of standard drafts, I am of the belief he should be drafted no later than the second round. In fact, if you happen to be drafting in the later part of round one, I absolutely recommend strong consideration of scooping him with your second pick. In a competitive league, Davis surely won’t make it back to you in the third. In a relatively short time, he has shown offensive skills with the New Orleans Hornets that will equate into a higher scoring average than previously thought, and we already know about his defensive presence.
Kirk Hinrich – Hinrich has always been a steady, yet unspectacular fantasy basketball option. With the news and rumblings that Derrick Rose might be out longer than expected, the Chicago Bulls will undoubtedly hand the reins over to Kirk to run the point. Still underrated and not flashy, he is being drafted in the last few rounds of recent drafts and residing on waivers in others. It’s just plain crazy. If your league uses shooting guards, Hinrich qualifies there as well and will provide assists while most other shooting guards don’t have that ability. Draft him with confidence and reap the benefits and it’s quite possible they will last longer than you anticipate.
Jrue Holiday – Holiday season has arrived! With the departure of ballhog, Andre Iguodala, the Philadelphia 76ers are in desperate need of someone to be a playmaker and be the decisive person they count on. Look no further than this young and oozing with juicy upside baller. Coach Doug Collins has already claimed that he will give Holiday every opportunity to be that player and I have no issues or reasons to believe he won’t be successful. Drafting Holiday as your number one guard will be where his value rests and owning him as a number two is absolutely piling it on your competitors.
Andre Drummond – This player drafted out of the University of Connecticut was thought of as a project and not quite ready to contribute right away. Those sentiments might need to be reassessed. Drummond has shown an ability to score better than what was thought and hasn’t looked outmatched on the court, being the presence on the defensive end they thought the Detroit Pistons would eventually get. Well, eventually may have arisen a lot sooner than expected. I’m a buyer.
Michael Beasley – Just a few years back, Beasley was drafted with the promise of being an impact player. While this player never did realize the potential bestowed upon him, he finds himself in a situation that very well might allow to him to tap and fulfill that potential. The Phoenix Suns, his new team, have made numerous roster changes and are certainly in need of someone to step up. Enter Beasley. Shots are available and this kid can rebound, figuratively and literally. A career best season is absolutely in clear sight.
Tristan Thompson – Forget about looking at last year’s numbers. Thompson, as most rookies experience, did not get the consistent opportunity to showcase his skills. He did show an ability to block shots, but that is only the tip of this kid’s talent. Cut from the same mold as LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers, this long and lanky big man does indeed have the skills to produce on the offensive end. This year he will get the chance to play more consistently and be relied upon by the Cleveland Cavaliers. A player being drafted very late with this much upside makes this a player you want to own.
Brook Lopez – Not that long ago Lopez was one of the first centers to be drafted and that was happening in round one! Yes his rebounding numbers have suffered and a few nagging injuries have cut into his production. Consider those facts a blessing now that he is being drafted as late as the 5th round! Of course it’s only a blessing if you are the one lucky enough to land him. I don’t think drafting him in the third round is too much of a stretch as he will provide a definite value in that range and quite possibly higher.
Elton Brand – The possible Hall of Fame power forward might be staring with a huge role with his new team, the Dallas Mavericks. Questions surround the knee of Dirk Nowitzki and early reports have him contemplating surgery if the pain does not subside. The fact Dirk is experiencing pain is reason enough to speculate with Brand. Hearing surgery makes Elton a must own player.
Darren Collison – Sure point guard is a deep position this year, but Collison is going very late and is worthy of a higher draft selection. Another player that finds himself in new surroundings with the Mavericks, Darren joins a team with a coach that is needing and counting on him to lead. After not living up to hype with his previous team, the Indiana Pacers, we like the fact DC is flying under the radar and has much to prove.
Bradley Beal – Most of the time rookies are overhyped, but this rook doesn’t seem to fall in that category. Due to an injury to stud point guard John Wall, there is an opening and need for Beal to produce for the Washington Wizards. A smooth shooter who has three-point range I think he is worth a late round pick that can surely outproduce his draft spot. Just temper expectations and be aware of bumps along the way.
Omer Asik – Finally, Asik has a chance at a starting position and clear path to consistent minutes with the Houston Rockets. What we know about Omer is his ability to rebound. We also are aware of his abysmal free throw shooting ,although he shouldn’t get to the line that much to hurt your team all that bad. Not that much of a shot blocker, but occasionally could post a few big lines along the way to justify calling his name if you are in need of a terrific number two center.
Dion Waiters – Another rookie who strangely enough is not being billed as the next big thing. Even with much competition for playing time, early indications seem to be that the Cavaliers want to see what they drafted with Dion. As is the case with most first year players expect up and downs. Place your order in the late rounds and see what the Waiter(s) bring you. You might end up being surprised.
Brandon Roy – The former All-Star is back! After a premature retiring, Roy finds himself with a situation worth monitoring. His new team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, could certainly use this player’s all-around game at shooting guard. The big questions are how limited Roy will be with minutes played and will he be able to play in the latter parts of back-to-back games. You can’t go wrong taking the chance on the upside of Brandon in the last few rounds to see how he responds.
Quote of the Week: “What to do with a mistake – recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” — Dean Smith