Kris Humphries always dreamed of being a running back. (Redsarmy.com)
The NBA Draft is now in the rear view mirror and with free agency on the horizon as well, let the feeding frenzy begin! After the dust settles and the top guys are off the market, the true team building commences. With a bevy of solid rotation guys on the market and others waiting in the wings to make a splash if they somehow find themselves thrust into a starting gig, we are going to take a moment to project where we feel some of the best sleepers for next season may come from.
Kris Humphries, PF, Free Agent: As we’re writing this, we are pretty sure Kris Humphries is still herpes free. Pretty good news for him, but even better news is after finally getting some run in Boston he has proved once again that he can rebound! More than likely Humphries will land on a team in need of frontcourt depth like San Antonio or Chicago, but if he is to be truly Fantasy-relevant, he needs big minutes. His best per 36 numbers came during his time in New Jersey — 13.3 PPG, 12 RPG, along with a solid 48 per cent shooting from the field and a combined steals/blocks per game of 2.0. You could do a lot worse in the latter rounds of your draft.
So the question becomes where does Humphries go to both get the minutes needed to regain those numbers and contribute to a playoff contender? The answer is Charlotte. Al Jefferson is in serious need of a frontcourt mate that can take some of the pressure off and Humphries’ offensive efficiency and rebounding skills would do just that. Hey, if nothing else, he may provide some jumpball entertainment (if he ever gets another shot against fellow Kardashian suitor Lamar Odom, as in the video below).
Ray McCallum, PG, Sacramento Kings: When one of last season’s breakout players, Isaiah Thomas, went down with an injury, few Fantasy owners expected much from McCallum. Those who did take a chance on him got to witness the potential in the rookie out of Detroit and with the Kings front office not completely sold on Thomas, McCallum may just see his stock skyrocket in the next few months.
In 10 games as a starter, McCallum averaged 13.8 points, 7.3 assists and 1.5 steals. Those digits are not too bad, so if you could stomach the horrific 36 per cent shooting from the field and lack of three-pointers then you may be on to something. However, if Thomas ends up staying, this becomes a moot point (barring another more serious injury ), so ignore everything you’ve just read. Our gut feeling tells us another point guard hungry team overpays for Thomas and McCallum will end up being the guy you wished you drafted but didn’t because first year full-time starters scare you. Of course, rumours suggest the Kings are also looking at…
Shaun Livingston, PG, Free Agent: A better real-life point guard than a Fantasy point guard, things could change quickly if a team fully commits to Livingston as a starter. His per 36 numbers of 11.5 points and 4.5 assists aren’t gaudy enough to create a bidding war come draft day, though his 48 per cent shooting from the field and solid steals numbers will surely keep him on most Fantasy owners’ radars. The fact that the oft-injured Livingston stayed healthy enough to set a career high in games and saw his most minutes per game since 2006-07 should also open some eyes. Admittedly, however, we are also a fan of anyone who backs up Deron Williams’ ankles.
Anthony Bennett, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers: A healthy Bennett will continue to improve upon his solid per 36 numbers and should be worth a long hard look on draft day.
Jordan Hamilton, SF, Free Agent: Please, please, please get this guy some minutes! Hamilton’s per 36 numbers: 15.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 treys and 1.4 steals. We can forgive his poor shooting percentages with the hope that they may improve in the right system, but fuck, we’d just be happy to see him go to Philly and get some playing time and reap the benefits of an all-you-can-eat buffet style offense!
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below which Fantasy basketball sleepers you’re targeting next season.