The 2017-18 NBA season is still a couple of months away. However, it’s never too early to start doing research and preparing for the coming fantasy season. We took a closer look at each division in order to identify one player from each team that might be worth pursuing as a fantasy sleeper option. Here is a look at five fantasy sleepers from the NBA’s Southeast division.
SF: Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic
Ross was acquired by the Magic as part of the blockbuster trade that sent Serge Ibaka to Toronto. It’s clear that management in Orlando has a plan for the 26-year-old. In his 14 games with the Magic, Ross averaged 12.5 points while attempting 11.1 field goals and 5.6 three-point shots in 31.2 minutes per game. His usage rate skyrocketed as Orlando gave him every opportunity to showcase his skill set. With a $10.5 million contract, Ross will once again be thrust in to the spotlight in 2017-18. The opportunity is there for him to put up big numbers with the Magic. It will be interesting to see if he can capitalize on his sleeper potential for this season.
SF: Taurean Prince, Atlanta Hawks
The departures of Paul Millsap and Thabo Sefolosha have opened the door for Prince to play a much bigger role in Atlanta this coming season. Prince averaged just 5.7 points in 16.6 minutes per game for the Hawks last season. However, the 12th overall pick from the 2016 NBA Draft had an excellent finish to the season. Prince averaged 8.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 24.0 minutes per game in March and April. With another year to develop and a bigger role in Atlanta, Prince could be a breakout fantasy sleeper in 2017-18.
PF: Marvin Williams, Charlotte Hornets
Williams is 31-years-old but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the potential to reach another level of production with the Hornets this season. Williams averaged 11.2 points 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 three-point shots per game with Charlotte a year ago. His ability to shoot the three-ball raises his value at the power forward position. Williams could provide even better numbers as the starting power forward for the Hornets with a slight increase in playing time this season.
PF: Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat
The Heat made it clear the Olynyk will be a significant contributor on their roster when they acquired him with a four-year, $50 million contract. Miami brought in Olynyk to stretch the floor at the power forward position and make the most out of his three-point shooting percentage. Olynyk averaged 9.0 pints, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists with the Boston Celtics last season. However, we saw that he’s capable of starring – at times – as he did in the playoffs. And the Heat are a more complete team than they are given credit for with Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and others. It’s not as if Olynyk will be stepping on to a team where he has to do everything himself.
Considering the commitment that the Heat made to him this summer and the playing time he’s expected to see, Olynyk’s production should continue to rise next season.
SF: Kelly Oubre Jr., Washington Wizards
Oubre averaged 6.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and shot 42.1-percent from the field last season. While those numbers don’t stand out on paper, he has the potential to take another step forward heading in to his third NBA season. The fact that he is one of only two small forwards on the roster behind Otto Porter means he is one injury away from averaging close to 30 minutes per game with Washington next season. Even if Porter is healthy, the 15th-overall pick from the 2015 NBA Draft should have a bigger role. Remember that the Wizards bench is very thin and Bogdan Bogdanovic departed in the offseason. It’s time for Oubre to step up and be a reliable contributor on this Wizards team.
Oubre might not be a lock to produce at a high level next season. However, his overall talent and the potential for a bigger role with the Wizards make him a strong sleeper option to watch for in the Southeast division.
The 2017 NBA futures are out. It’s been a wild offseason already, but keep an eye on the betting lines as they move around at Diamond Sportsbook! Get the latest NBA betting lines right here.
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