Selecting one team consisting of sixteen players might seem quite daunting. While you’d love to go after some high-octane talent, it’s crucial to select players that are bound to receive a multitude of volume with minimal injury concern.
Players such as Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Chris Paul might average more PPG than the players on this list, but after selecting your two star players in the first two rounds, go for these high usage, low risk players to round out your starting lineup.
Washington Wizards | 52.0 ADP (G23)
The NBA world was shaken with the summer trade of 24-year-old Jordan Poole to Washington for the elderly Chris Paul. While it seems like this move was essential to retain Draymond Green, there’s a good chance the Warriors end up regretting the first move under new GM Mike Dunleavy Jr.
All and all, Jordan Poole was an integral part of Golden State’s 2022 Championship team and has only improved since lifting the trophy alongside the splash brothers.
While his three-point shooting isn’t the most consistent out of the top tier guards in Underdog Best Ball drafts, the amount of opportunity Poole should receive in his first solidified starting role in the NBA should prompt you to select him above his ADP and within the top 20 guards.
Jordan’s near 30% usage rate on the 2022-23 Warriors team showcased his ability to lead an offense as a scorer and secondary playmaker. This season he will play alongside Tyus Jones and Kyle Kuzma instead of Curry, Klay, and Draymond.
More assist opportunities, more shot attempts, and ultimately a green light all season long should move Poole closer to the 25 PPG mark which would be a steal outside the top 50 of your Best Ball draft. A key area that Jordan has improved on throughout his career has been carving out free throw attempts.
Learning from Klay and Curry as the #3 option in an elite offense should help him average multiple career highs in the ‘23-24 campaign.
Portland Trail Blazers | 61.3 (G28)
If you believe Scoot Henderson is a future superstar like I do, his game-wrecking offensive ability will be shown right away in his rookie season.
Elite vision, a linebacker’s build, and improved shooting mechanics throughout his 2-year G-League career has catapulted Scoot into the conversation of “next great NBA PG”.
Between the intangibles and elite work ethic, Henderson will feast post-Dame, whether it is before October or after the trade deadline.
Scoot’s 17.6 PPG, 6.6 APG, and 5.1 RPG on 43% shooting was extremely impressive given the talent in the “G” last season. However, if you watched his limited Summer League tape, you saw flashes of John Wall, Russell Westbrook, and D Rose among other elite athletic guards.
The poise, smile, and ability to take anyone one-on-one will continue to make this kid a fan favorite. As for the fit with Portland, Scoot will lead this offense the day Dame lands in Miami and with Chauncey Billups’ guidance, can become a 20 PPG, 5 APG guy right out of the gate as he works the PnR with Jerami Grant and finds either Ant Simons for a triple or the high-flying Shaedon Sharpe at the rim.
While no one is certain Lillard will be there at the start of the season, look for Henderson to propel your squad to victories later in the season as he fully adapts to the Blazers scheme. As the most-ready NBA prospect I’ve scouted in a few seasons, believe the hype and buy Scoot to make a massive impact in his rookie year.
San Antonio Spurs | 115.4 ADP (W39)
If you love this new era of positionless basketball, you are going to love when Jeremy Sochan flashes on your screen this fall and winter.
The Baylor Bear is mostly known for his multiple change in hair-color in his rookie campaign along with a wacky 1-handed free throw form.
However, Sochan is on his way to becoming an elite point-forward and alongside Keldon Johnson and Victor Wembanyama, should have an extremely productive fantasy season.
“He competes, guards 1-5. He is a point guard, a four-man. He is a rebounder, a defender,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said recently.
Sochan’s 13.5 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 2.6 APG in his second half of the season gained the staff’s attention as moving forward, most likely will build the offense around his facilitating and Victor Wembanyama’s unique playstyle.
The Spurs’ PG room consists of Tre Jones, Blake Wesley, and Cam Payne, none of whom San Antonio seems pretty attached to. In the case of Sochan, next season he could easily be the team’s secondary playmaker and primary wing defender allowing for a multitude of hustle stats and finishing top tier in assists and rebounding categories at the wing position.
Select the Dennis Rodman-type player in the early 100s to make an impact on your Best Ball squad.
Chicago Bulls | 168.2 ADP (W62)
Playing in all 82 games last season, it seems as if Williams just needs the ball in his hands more. Despite shooting an impressive 42% from beyond the arc on a career-high 3.4 attempts, Pat's remarkably low 15.2% usage rate highlights the Bulls' struggle to keep pace with the evolving offensive trends in today's NBA.
In Golden State, we see Draymond Green orchestrating the offense (which took years to master) as Jokic, Banchero, Doncic, Giddey, and Bruce Brown are all position-less players that play-make for others consistently.
The Bulls' offense under Donovan has become predictably stagnant, making it a tough experience to watch. Pat Williams' 5.8% assist rate (AST%) must be a focal point of improvement, aiming to surpass the 10% mark to enhance the team's overall playmaking and offensive fluidity while DeRozan and LaVine become more active off-ball.
As a 40% three-point shooter that has the ability to become a solid secondary playmaker and primary defender (2 stocks per game), Williams should breakout this season and average numbers that project to be a top 50 wing in Best Ball formats.
With Chicago becoming potential sellers at the deadline, expect an uptick in numbers during the 2nd half of the season for the power forward.
Detroit Pistons | 117.0 ADP (B26)
The 19-year-old is primed for a huge season working alongside Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and Ausar Thompson among others within the young Pistons core.
As a starter last season, Duren averaged 10.5 PPG alongside 10.6 RPG, solidifying himself as a force down low at just 18 years of age.
With Monty Williams as his new Head Coach alongside the Pistons guards PnR attributes, it’s only a matter of time until Duren becomes a 15 & 10 guy. Well, could that be this season?
While I’m still questioning the move to draft Ausar Thompson at 5th overall, Detroit had a fantastic offseason that began with the hiring of Monty Williams.
With Williams at the helm, Duren's game is bound to reach new heights. As the 26th big man drafted in Best Ball, the value is just right to take a chance on this young, promising talent.
With his energetic style of play and defensive prowess, Duren is sure to make a significant impact in every game for the Pistons at 25-30 minutes per game.