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Jonas Nader

NBA Roundtable

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Roundtable: Put Me In, Coach!

Thursday, December 13, 2018


Hello and welcome back to the NBA Roundtable! This week’s topic is a favorite of mine, and I’d love to hear from you if there’s someone you think we should’ve mentioned. 

 

If you could give any three players a full 36-minute workload for your fantasy team, who would you choose? 

 

 

David Leggieri (@legsanity)

 

The first name that comes to mind is Boban Marjanovic. The per-minute king is averaging 25.0 points and 15.7 boards with 2.4 blocks on over 60% shooting per-36 minutes this season. He'd never get 36 minutes per game in today's pace and space game, but, man, I'd love to see it.

 

The second name is Domantas Sabonis. He's currently sharing the center spot in Indy with Myles Turner while picking up a few minutes at power forward. He's putting up 20.7 points, 14.0 boards, and 4.5 assists on 63% this season. If he had a full 36-minute workload, he'd be a fantasy star. 

 

I'll keep the big man theme going for my third choice, which is Jaren Jackson Jr. The rookie has shown flashes of what makes him a tantalizing fantasy prospect, but has been limited to 25.0 minutes per game so far this season. His per-36 minute numbers are 18.8 points, 6.5 boards, 1.4 steals, 2.6 blocks, and 1.2 triples on 51% shooting. Foul trouble would be an issue for JJJ, but I would love to see him with a full 36-minute workload at some point in the near future.


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Steve Alexander (@Docktora)

 

Boban Marjanovic - Who wouldn't want to see the per-minute master get a full boat of minutes some time? He played the whole fourth quarter on Tuesday and looked pretty good, finishing with 18 points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes. 

 

De'Anthony Melton - The Suns are starting him and letting him play, for now. But who knows how long it will last? If I were the Suns, I'd plug Melton in for 35 minutes a night and see what happens, but they need to be careful, as that could result in them winning more games than they want to. 

 

Maxi Kleber - The Mavs only give him about 18 minutes a night, and he's had some nice games in spite of it. In 36 minutes a game, he's averaging 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 2.5 blocks and 1.8 3-pointers, so he could be a fun player to watch if the Mavericks ever decide to turn him loose. 

 

 

Raphielle Johnson (@raphiellej)

 

For one of my choices I’m going to roll the dice a bit and go with Charlotte’s Willy Hernangomez. He’s started just one game that he’s appeared in this season, averaging 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game while shooting 53.0% from the field, 75.6% from the foul line and 57.9% from three (0.6 makes per game). I’d be interested to see if, given a 36-minute workload, Hernangomez could be an effective option in the middle given his ability to step away from the basket. And his presence could make maneuvering around the court just a tad bit easier for Kemba Walker given how much attention the All-Star point guard receives from opposing defenses. 

 

Taking Boston’s Marcus Morris Sr. for this feels a bit like cheating since he’s already playing 26.7 minutes per game, but he’s been quite effective for the Celtics this season. Morris is averaging a career-high 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.2 three-pointers per game, shooting 49.0% from the field, 42.9% from three and 87.5% from the foul line. The man’s well on his way to a career year, to say the least. Would the increase in minutes to 36 per game hamper Morris, given how he’s excelling in his current role? Or would be flourish? I’d be interested to find that out, especially when taking into consideration just how well he’s played — and how tough of a matchup he can be for opposing forwards/centers — thus far. 

 

Lastly, for a decent percentage of players seeing their minutes drop would have an adverse effect on their numbers. That hasn’t been the case for Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas, who’s averaging 13.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists in just over 19 minutes per game. While Nick Nurse’s decision to move Valanciunas to the bench has worked out very well to this point in the season, I’d be interested to see if the big man could be just as effective if he were to get 36 minutes per night. 

 

 

Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)

 

Nerlens Noel

Noel ranks just outside the top-100 overall in nine-category leagues despite logging only 14.3 minutes a night. As has been the case throughout his NBA career, Noel has posted impressive numbers when given time. His per-36 minute averages this season are straight silly: 14.6 points (on 61.5 percent shooting), 13.1 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 3.5 blocks. Get this man more run. 

 

Jusuf Nurkic:

Despite logging just 26.5 minutes, Nurk ranks inside the top-50 overall in nine-cat formats and is one of only nine NBA players averaging at least 15 points, 10 boards and two assists per game this season. If he saw closer to 30 minutes per contest, his fantasy value would rise even higher.

 

Montrezl Harrell:

25.7 minutes per game off the bench is plenty, but it would certainly be fun to see what kind of numbers ‘Trez could tally if he played 30+ minutes a night. 

 

Mitchell Robinson:

C’mon NY… Trade (or buy out) Enes Kanter and let Mitch Rob run free. He’s averaging 3.9 blocks per-36 minutes this season. 

 

Dewayne Dedmon:

He’s starter worthy in standard leagues with just 22 minutes of action to work with. He’d be that much more valuable if he were on the floor for more than 25 mins per game. 

 

Larry Nance:

Although Larry Drew decided to start Channing Frye over Nance on Wednesday night for some reason, Nance still played over 33 minutes and stuffed the stat sheet (11 boards, seven dimes, three steals and three blocks). With Tristan Thompson sidelined between 2-4 weeks, hopefully, Nance plays a ton. 

 

 

Jonas Nader (@JonasNader)

 

I’m loving a lot of these answers so far, especially Jaren Jackson Jr. (would easily be a top-10 fantasy player), Nerlens Noel and De’Anthony Melton (what took the Suns so long?). I’ll add three more names to the list including a red hot Richaun Holmes and two guys who haven’t scratched the surface yet.

 

Richaun Holmes: The 76ers have to be kicking themselves for letting Holmes go so cheaply. He’s thriving with the Suns and has been a top-100 player in standard leagues over the past two weeks in just 20 minutes per night, averaging 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.7 blocks on 67.4% from the field. The last time he had a full workload on a consistent basic was back in 2016-17 when he put up top-35 value after the All-Star break in under 27 minutes per night. If the Suns ever give him some minutes next to Deandre Ayton, Holmes will have league-winning potential. 

 

Harry Giles: As raw as he is, Giles has some impressive per-minute production. He’s averaging 18.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.8 blocks per 36 minutes, so his playmaking ability really stands out. The Kings owe their first-round pick to Boston and are currently 15-12, so we may not see Giles with a full workload for a long time, especially since coach Dave Joerger is Kosta Koufos’ agent.

 

Thomas Bryant: He’s been one of the few bright spots for the Wizards, but Scott Brook’s obsession with Jeff Green and Markieff Morris in smaller lineups has kept his minutes in check. The second-year center is averaging an impressive 15.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes, hitting 62.7% from the field and 90.5% from the line. We’re not going to see Dwight Howard for a very long time and the Wizards may be tanking by the time he comes back, so I can see a lot of different paths to a big workload for Bryant. 

 

 

Matt Stroup (@MattStroup)

 

I have a hunch that this topic was rigged to give people a chance to talk about Boban. Instead I’ll take the bait on Richaun Holmes with per-36 numbers of 17.2 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.4 spg and 2.9 bpg this year. The good news with Holmes is he’s not even a hypothetical fantasy option right now. Over his last 12 games, in just 19 minutes a game, he’s at 11.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 0.8 spg and 1.9 bpg.

 

Next on my list I’m going with a real wild card: Derrick Jones Jr. His per-36-minute numbers have him at 12.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.7 spg, 1.5 bpg and 0.8 3s this season. I mention him because he has also put up some eye-catching numbers the last few games: 7.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 3.0 spg and 1.7 bpg in his last three. This may not last at all, but Jones Jr. (2 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) is a pretty interesting flier if you’re randomly searching for upside.

 

For my third choice I’ll put down per-36 monster Mason Plumlee, who prorates to 14.0 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 4.1 apg, 2.2 spg and 1.9 bpg in 36 minutes a game. He is also getting increased opportunity with Paul Millsap (toe) out 4-6 weeks, and had 12 points, 10 boards with a steal and two blocks in almost 36 minutes (35) on Monday night.

 

 

Mike Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher)

 

Solid options! I’ll try to grab some deeper ones.

Chris Boucher - With Jonas Valanciunas (thumb) going down, the favorite for G League MVP could be an interesting name to watch. The 6’11” big man has ridiculous G League stats, averaging 29.3 points, 11.6 boards, 1.2 dimes, 1.1 steals, 4.6 blocks and 2.5 treys in 33.7 minutes on a 51/34/77 shooting line. Say what? Compared to last year, he’s seen improvements per minute in every fantasy stat. Serge Ibaka and Greg Monroe are the only guys ahead of him, and there’s a chance Serge, Monroe and/or Boucher could have to play together if the Raptors lose other forward depth. Plus, Boucher could be one of the most valuable garbage-time players in the league, especially with the Raptors rolling.


Robert Williams - Time Lord! Over the summer, he couldn’t set an alarm and he was rolling over in bed, but now he can set screens and roll to the basket. We’re going on a 73-minute sample this season, but per 36 his stats are 12.9 points, 13.9 boards, 5.5 blocks and 5.0 fouls. The blocks are no fluke with 2.6 per game at Texas A&M over just 25.6 minutes per game last year. Al Horford is dealing with patellofemoral pain syndrome in his left knee, which is something we’ve seen really linger through an NBA season -- sometimes called jumper’s knee. The Celtics are getting on track, so Horford could be a shutdown candidate later in the year.


Boban Marjanovic - I mean, c’mon. He has to be mentioned even if it’s by everyone because he’s arguably the best stat player ever per minute based on his career 28.3 PER being higher than Michael Jordan. Can’t wait to cop the Boban 11 Concords. Free Boban.




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