Now that the pressure of getting past the first round is gone, we might see some managing of minutes for Lowry (37 minutes a game) and DeRozan (35.9 minutes a game), who have both showed signs of getting worn out towards the later end of the regular season.
|Jakob Poeltl NBA Draft
Jared Sullinger Boston Celtics
|Bismack Biyombo Orlando Magic
James Johnson Miami Heat
Luis Scola Brooklyn Nets
Toronto Raptors Depth Chart
Rotation Player Projections
Starting Power Forward
Whatever way you look at it, Sullinger and Patterson will be splitting minutes this season, which limits both of their fantasy basketball potential. Sullinger seems like a better fit with the starting unit and is worth a look at in deep leagues, while Patterson should be kept on the waiver wire unless Sullinger gets hurt.
Backup Shooting Guard
We’ve seen enough of Terrence Ross to know who he is; a timid three-point shooter who once or twice a season gets hot from behind the arc. Compared to Norman Powell, a young energetic 3&D player who got hot towards the end of the season, averaging 12.7 PTS, 1.9 3PM, 4.1 REB and shooting percentages of 48% FG and 81% FT over his past 17 games and it’s obvious who should be getting the bigger share of minutes at backup shooting guard.
Decrease in Value
Sullinger is going from being somebody who was used in a Boston offense, known for sharing the ball to an iso-heavy offense in Toronto, where he’s in a position battle for the starting power forward spot. You can expect a small decrease in production across the board.
Other Player Summaries
Lowry has averaged big minutes over his past three seasons, (36, 35 and 37), with his 37 minutes contributing to Kyle returning late first-round value. A healthy Lowry is crucial to Toronto’s success come playoff time, and given how run down he has been during their last two playoff campaigns it makes sense to manage his minutes. By manage, I mean cutting it down to 34-45, rather than the 37 he averaged last season. He’s still likely to return second-round value even if he sees a small dip in minutes, which will hopefully keep his body healthy.
DeMar DeRozan Overrated
At this stage of his career we know what kind of player DeRozan is. High usage, high points and a high free-throw rate. He’s often overrated because people love players who score a lot of points, so it’s best to let somebody else draft him unless he falls to you.
Jonas Valanciunas Breakout
If you’ve ever drafted or traded for Jonas, you know he has copious amounts of untapped potential as a big man who can get you close to a double-double with 1.5 BLKS and great shooting percentages. And you probably hate Dwane Casey. Last season he averaged just below 26 minutes a game, and with Biyombo out of the picture, it finally looks like he’ll get close to getting 30 minutes a game. If that’s the case, expect big things from Jonas, especially if he continues to be a part of Toronto’s offense, like he was in the playoffs last season.
DeMarre had a season to forget, only managing to play in 26 games, struggling with health during most of them. While he’s a better player than fantasy player, you can expect a big increase in his FG% (38.9% last season) and a small increase in points as he finds consistency that comes with playing more than 26 games in a season.