Real Dream Team NBA Team Previews – Part 2

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Updated: October 13, 2018

Today we continue our season preview for the Real Dream Team NBA season. If you missed Part 1 of the season preview, you can find it here.

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets will be hoping that Isaiah Thomas can return to somewhere near his All-Star form from his Boston Celtics years. Thomas sacrificed his body, pushing through a debilitating hip injury to propel the Celts deep into the playoffs. They rewarded him by trading him to the Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving, who in turn traded him to the LA Lakers for a couple of role players and a packet of Samboy Chips. Thomas has signed a one year deal and is aiming to once again prove his worth to an NBA team. He will likely come off the bench to start the season, so keep an eye on his minutes. No-one doubts his drive and mental resiliance, it’s just a matter of if his banged up body is still up to the rigors of an 82 game NBA season.

The Nuggets will also be hoping that Gary Harris can continue to improve, and that their star centre Nikola Jokic maintains his excellent form from last season. Michael Porter Jr. was added at pick 14 in the draft, and veteran forward Paul Millsap will provide the bump and grind in the low post.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – Isaiah Thomas (injury discount) – PG; Gary Harris – SG; Nikola Jokic – PF/C; Michael Porter Jr (Rookie) – SF

Detroit Pistons

There is not a lot here to look at from a Fantasy perspective. All-Star Centre Andre Drummond will continue to pull in big numbers, so look to bring him in when he has a stretch of 4 game weeks. The Pistons traded for Blake Griffin mid-way through last season, and he also is one that you can keep an eye on as the season progresses. Apart from that, Detroit have a roster of role-players and veterans, who are not typically big Fantasy scorers.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – Andre Drummond – C; Blake Griffin – PF

Golden State Warriors

It’s crazy to think that as stacked as the Warriors starting 5 was, that they added another All-Star in the off-season. DeMarcus ‘Boogie’ Cousins signed a 1 year deal as a Free Agent to join the reigning champions. This means that it is highly possible that come playoff time, they will have 5 future Hall of Famers playing for them. One thing to keep in mind though is that Cousins is currently recovering from an Achilles injury, and his effectiveness once he returns is uncertain. The best case scenario for the Warriors is that he comes back in January, but they won’t be rushing him back, so expect to see him sometime around the All-Star break in February.

To put into perspective how powerful this starting 5 could be, we ran a poll when the news was first announced asking how the Warriors would fare against the best team from the ENTIRE EASTERN CONFERENCE from last season.

What will be interesting to see is how all this affects the players Fantasy output. You would expect Draymond Green’s numbers to be impacted the most, but again, nothing to worry about until January at the earliest.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – Steph Curry – PG; Klay Thompson – SG; Draymond Green – PF/C; Kevin Durant – SF/PF; DeMarcus Cousins – PF/C

Houston Rockets

The big question for the Houston Rockets will be whether new signing Carmello Anthony can accept being a role player rather than are marquee star. The Rockets last year pushed the Warriors in the conference finals, and barring injury, will go deep into the playoffs again. They have lost a bit of depth with the departures of Ryan Anderson, Trevor Arica and Luc M’Bah a Moute, but have somewhat off-set that by bringing in Anthony, as well as Michael Carter-Williams, Marquese Chriss, James Ennis and Brandon Knight.

The key players this year will once again be MVP James Harden, point guard Chris Paul, and emerging forward Clint Capela. If they can keep those three players on the court, the Rockets will once again be a dominant force in the Western Conference.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – Chris Paul – PG; James Harden – PG/SG; Clint Capela – PF/C

Indiana Pacers

Victor Oladipo was rightly awarded the NBA’s Most Improved Player last season. He showed just what he was capable of when released from under the shadow of Russell Westbrook at the Thunder. There is no reason to think he won’t continue this in the 2018/19 season. The Pacers have added Tyreke Evans (effectively replacing Lance Stephenson), Doug ‘McBuckets’ McDermott and Kyle O’Quinn via Free Agency. None of these additions should affect the output of Oladipo.

Keep an eye on the output of centre Myles Turner. He had a very up and down year last season, at some stages being eclipsed by Domantis Sabonis. He is slightly under-priced ($8.4 million) to start the season as a result, however his preseason has been pretty underwhelming, shoot a woeful 34.6% from the field, and playing less than 25 minutes per game.

Real Dream Team Relevant Players – Victor Oladipo – PG/SG; Myles Turner – PF/C

LA Clippers

This year will be a significantly different team to the one that made it to the Conference Finals a couple of years ago. Chris Paul signed with the Rockets last off-season, Blake Griffen was traded to the Pistons midway through the year, and the last piece of their ‘Big 3’, DeAndre Jordan, has signed with the Dallas Mavericks in the off-season. You know a team is blowing things up when they also trade the coaches son! Austin Rivers was traded to the Washington Wizards for centre Marcin Gortat.

This leaves the Clippers without a ‘star’ player, so it will be interesting to see who will be the breakout player. There are a couple of contenders that you can look at. Milos Teodosic and Lou Williams are the most likely contenders. Williams played very well in stretches last year, but has only been averaging 12ppg in 19 minutes in the preseason competition. His minutes should increase during the regular season, but don’t bring him in until you see what his role is.

Milos Teodosic is an even bigger risk. He has only played 2 preseason games, and has barely registered a stat. He was much hyped going into last season, but that hasn’t translated to RDT scoring.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – Lou Williams – PG/SG

LA Lakers

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The biggest move of the off-season once again belongs to the LA Lakers. They signed the biggest Free Agent available – LeBron James. Once that signing was announced, there was a lot of talk about which other stars would be joining ‘King James’ in LaLa land. It was assumed that LeBron signed based on agreements from other players to join so that he would once again be well placed to head to the NBA Finals.

Rajon Rondo, Michael Beasley, Lance Stephenson and Javale McGee were definitely not the names expected to be the other big free agency signings. Whilst they are certainly serviceable, they are no Paul George, Carmelo Anthony or Kawhi Leonard, all of whom were rumoured to be heading to the Lakers.

This means that they will be developing their talent from within. We all know that LeBron is the best in the business at making his team mates look good. Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart will all benefit from having LeBron around. Ball in particular should have a great year learning the game from James, as well as Rajon Rondo, who is a championship winning veteran point guard.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Players – LeBron James – SF/PF; Lonzo Ball – PG; Brandon Ingram – SG/SF

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies will be largely irrelevant for Fantasy this year. Veteran centre Marc Gasol will be worth looking at during different points of the season, but apart from that, there is not much to see. Pick 4 in the draft was used to select Jaren Jackson Jr (PF – $3.75 million) who has had a reasonable run in the preseason. He has been shooting above .500 from the field, and has scored just under 13ppg. Couple that with 5 rebounds and 2 assists per game in 20 minutes of game time, and he is well worth a bench spot for your team.

Real Dream Team NBA Relevant Player – Marc Gasol – C; Jaren Jackson Jr. – PF


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Written by Archie Keeler (@OTLSArchie)

Header graphic by Corey Wade Media (@CoreySWade)

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