With the 2017-18 NBA season set to begin the focus shifts to the Central division that will look very different following some notable changes on paper. After all of the movement that took place, we decided to take a look at each team in the division and explore at least one potential sleeper option that you might want to consider taking a chance on in your fantasy basketball league. Here is a look at one sleeper fantasy option for each team from the NBA’s Central division.
PG: Derrick Rose, Cleveland Cavaliers
The reports out of Cleveland haven’t provided any additional optimism surrounding the status of Isaiah Thomas heading in to the season. Thomas, who is dealing with a nagging injury, could miss some time to open the year. That would open the door for Rose to play some big minutes early on for the Cavaliers. With some major talent upgrades around him in Cleveland, Rose could emerge as a legitimate sleeper pick at the point guard position this season.
C: Thon Maker, Milwaukee Bucks
Maker turned a lot of heads in last year’s first round playoff series when he didn’t look out of place against the Toronto Raptors. Maker averaged 5.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game in the postseason. With another year of experience and development under his belt, Maker could be primed to take another step forward in Milwaukee this season. The Bucks will give him every chance to succeed. It will be interesting to see if he emerges as a legitimate sleeper option at the center position in the Eastern Conference this season.
SG: Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers
Oladipo has shown how productive he can be when he is the focus of an NBA offense dating back to his time with the Orlando Magic. While he was reduced to a secondary role with Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City last season, Oladipo still averaged 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. After moving to Indiana in the offseason, Oladipo could be primed to put up even better numbers this season. The veteran shooting guard averaged a career-high 17.9 points and 4.1 assists with the Magic back in 2014-15. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he posted similar totals with the Pacers this season. He’s going to be one of their key scorers on a team that really doesn’t have much to work with.
PG: Kris Dunn, Chicago Bulls
Dunn hasn’t proven to be an elite player by any means but he is in the perfect situation in Chicago where he will have every opportunity to put up decent numbers. The Bulls cleaned house in the offseason and that should mean a transition to the future with a full-fledged youth movement. Dunn, who was a top-five pick last year, will get every opportunity to prove that he belongs. While he won’t justify an early round pick, Dunn could be an excellent sleeper option at the point guard position.
He has to get healthy first, though. He is currently out for two-to-four weeks with a finger injury. That’s what has helped dropped his ADP in fantasy basketball as he was already a wild card to begin with. Missing preseason won’t help but from a fantasy perspective, he’ll have a great opportunity for minutes and a chance to succeed.
C: Boban Marjanovic, Detroit Pistons
Marjanovic is another underrated option that could produce at a much higher level if he gets the opportunity in Detroit. Marjanovic has averaged 21.9 points, 14.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per 36 minutes. While those averages sound great, the reality is that he hasn’t played anywhere near those minutes. He’s played an average of 8.4 minutes per contest for the Pistons. Clearly, he hasn’t gotten the opportunity to show what he can do if a team relies. The Pistons appear committed to giving him a look this season so Marjanovic could emerge as a legitimate sleeper option at the center position. He’s not going to get starter’s minutes with Andre Drummond around but he could be a sneaky source for rebounds and blocks if he gets into the 20-minute range.
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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