With the 2017-18 NBA season right around the corner, optimism is high around the association for almost every single team. However, while a case can be made for most teams to be improved heading in to a brand new year there is also a strong likelihood that a number of teams will be overrated. The same is true for individual players, which could lead to a number of potential busts when it comes to fantasy basketball leagues. Here is a look at one potential NBA fantasy league bust to beware of from each Southeast division team.
PF: Markieff Morris, Washington Wizards
Morris underwent sports hernia surgery in late September and could miss up to two months because of the injury. While some might think it’s a good idea to draft and stash him on the IR, there may be better options especially if you only have one IR spot in your fantasy basketball league. Morris has struggled with consistency dating back to his final season with the Phoenix Suns and even when he returns there is no guarantee that his minutes won’t take a hit. The Wizards have a couple of intriguing young players in Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter, who is expected to play at power forward with Morris sidelined. Morris has boom or bust potential and you might be better off going in a different direction and avoiding him entirely this season.
PF: Ersan Ilyasova, Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are loaded with young and inexperienced players that will have every opportunity to breakout this season. That said, with the exception of Dennis Schroder it’s important not to reach too hard on any one player. Ilyasova in particular is one name that continues to come up in fantasy basketball league draft columns as a prime sleeper pick. However, with John Collins impressing in the Summer League while Mike Muscala and Miles Plumlee could eat in to Ilyasova’s minutes as well, it’s important not to reach on Ilyasova too early in your draft.
SG: Dion Waiters, Miami Heat
Waiters overcame a serious ankle injury that hurt his production at the end of last season and he admitted in the preseason that he is still dealing with soreness. That should be a red flag to fantasy owners everywhere as there is no guarantee that he will be able to stay healthy and contribute at a high level for a full 82 games. Waiters’ average draft position suggests he is going far too high in fantasy basketball leagues, which increases his potential to be a bust this season.
C: Dwight Howard, Charlotte Hornets
Howard is well past his prime so while he is still a recognizable name fantasy basketball league GM’s shouldn’t reach on him too early in the draft process. Howard is joining his fourth team in five years and he will turn 32-years-old in December. While he averaged an impressive 13.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game with the Hawks a year ago, there is no guarantee he can match those numbers this season in Charlotte. He’s not going to be relied upon for points as much as the team has scorers. They need him to get rebounds and be a physical presence on defense.
Howard could still contribute in fantasy basketball leagues but the potential is there for him to be a bust if you reach on him too early in your draft.
SG: Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic
Fournier is coming off a year in which he scored a career-high 17.2 points per game but he struggled with efficiency as he shot 43.9-percent from the floor and hit just 35.6-percent of his three-point shot attempts. Fournier will have a difficult time matching his scoring averages if he doesn’t improve his shooting efficiency and there is no guarantee that will happen. The Magic signed Jonathon Simmons and Aaron Afflalo, which could present even more issues when it comes to Fournier’s minutes. The veteran shooting guard is a capable depth option but he also has the potential to be a bust heading in to a year with so much uncertainty surrounding him.
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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