The start of the NBA season is just around the corner and it’s time to take an early look at who we like as the top 10 overall picks in your 2013-2014 fantasy basketball draft. If you have any draft day questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Basketball Forum.
1. Kevin Durant
Durant comes in as our number one overall player this season and since he will be leading the team all by himself till probably December (with Westbrook out) his numbers should be crazy for the first couple of months. Those that do not play fantasy basketball probably think that this three time scoring champ just puts the ball in the hole but Durant does so much more. Almost crazy good percentages, eight boards a game, over a steal, over a block, almost two threes per game made Durant a powerhouse last season. Coming into last season the only knock was his assists but in Durant fashion he improved on those numbers as well averaging 4.6 a game last season. Some might think LaBron should be the first player taken due to all of his triple doubles but in our mind, Durant is the clear cut number one fantasy player.
2. LeBron James
Just hope you get a top two pick because the all-around abilities of Durant and James are the corner stone pieces for any championship roster (in fantasy or reality). King James, love him or hate him cannot slip past the second overall pick in any draft in any format. James came as close as anyone to averaging a triple double since the Big O did it back in 1961. Over 26 points, eight boards, and almost eight assists a game make James a point guard and a power forward rolled into one player. The is no reason not to think that LeBron does not put up those exact numbers again and with health concerns for Wade his scoring production might even increase slightly.
3. James Harden
Oklahoma must be kicking themselves for dealing Harden to the Rockets. All he did was have an amazing year putting up close to 26 points, roughly five boards, and five dimes a game. Mix in the fact he dropped 2.3 three a game and you have a top three fantasy player. Some might think the fact Dwight Howard is in Houston could hurt Harden. People believe he will be clogging up the lane and demanding the ball but there is not much in terms of offense firepower in Houston so we see Harden still putting up fifteen shots a game. The arrival of Howard should only help his assists totals with easy buckets from Howard. (side note I think Howard has a monster season in Houston)
4. Chris Paul
Doc Rivers is in town for the Clippers and we all saw what numbers Rondo put up with Doc at the helm. Now, of course, Paul and Rondo are two very different players but Doc has no problem giving his point guard the majority of responsibility and almost all of the ball handling duties while on the court. CP3 should put up career numbers in terms of assists. (which I feel he could hit 12 a game this year) while still scoring quite a bit. Throw in the fact Paul is always one of the league leaders in steals and you have fantasy gold at point guard.
5. Stephen Curry
Curry would probably be higher (not that top five is bad) if we could be guaranteed another 78 games out of him (as he did last year) this season but his ankle is always a concern. Curry lit it up last year dropping just about 23 a game while dishing out just about 7 assists but his real fantasy asset lies in his ability to hit the 3 pointer. Averaging an amazing 3.5 a game is a difference maker in roto, point, or head to head leagues. Owning Stephen Curry basically locks up a category for you while helping in points, assists, and steals (1.7 a game) as well.
6. Kevin Love
Love was banged up all last season missing a ton of games, but heading into this year he is healthy and all the reports say he is going to be a huge part of the offense in Minnesota. Of course, you are going to see the boards, points, and threes out of him but the new offense Minnesota is going to run has Love being a facilitator as well. Probably the most underrated part of his game is his passing abilities but that is not why you draft Love this high. He should be back to his 2011 numbers posting 25 points a game with 10 boards. I see Love posting the most doubles/doubles of anyone in the NBA this season.
7. Kyrie Irving
Last season Irving was the youngest All-Star since LeBron James and for good reason. He averaged over 22 points, five assists, four boards, and one and half steals a game, solid all-around numbers. Irving is a stud point guard but more of a shot first than pass first kind of player. Heading into this season we believe he has the chance for his scoring average to go up quite a bit while still maintaining great assist numbers. Look for Irving to take another step in the right direction this season.
8. Carmelo Anthony
We have always had Anthony ranked much higher than many other sites but it seems the rest of the world is finally catching up with us. Always being a high volume scorer Anthony’s rebounding is often under looked. Melo will fend for the scoring championship again this season being the focal point of the Knicks offense but the fact that the Knicks added Bargnani in the off-season is too under played as well. Bargnani is going to space the floor and Anthony could be the best one on one player in the NBA. Look for his scoring to rise again this year and 30 points a game is not out of the question.
9. Paul George
George really came into this own last season averaging over 17 points, seven boards, four assists, and almost two steals/two threes a game. Still there is upside in his game, the 6’9’’ 23 year old could take another step this year eclipsing the 20 point barrier. Some believe that the return of Danny Granger might hinder his growth but we do not see it that way. George is a special talent and will continue to grow this season.
10. LaMarcus Aldridge
Aldridge has never gotten the respect he deserves in fantasy circles and is one of the most solid picks of this year’s fantasy draft. Aldridge is a double double machine while having a career shooting percentage of 49.2. He just does not hurt you and is the main option for the Trailblazers. Fully engulfed into the prime of his career Aldridge is one of the safest bet you can take in fantasy basketball this season.