When planning for your drafts, you must prepare for your targets to get taken before you. Just because there might be default rankings on your draft site, it does not mean the picks must be made in that order.
CP3 ... No. 3 ... makes sense
The only locks for picks at this point are the first two overall. If you get the 1st or 2nd pick and do not pick LeBron James or Kevin Durant, you are shooting yourself in the foot. What happens, though, if you draw the 3rd overall pick? You already know who will not be on the board at that time, which gives the 3rd pick a bit of an advantage. There is no lock for the 3rd overall pick. Here are a few players who you should consider drafting.
G-F James Harden, Houston Rockets: Harden is coming off of the best season of his career. He scored 25.9 points per game, which is 9.1 points more than he scored in 2012. Harden also saw an improvement in his assist numbers as he averaged 5.8 last season. Harden helps you in just about every standard fantasy basketball category.
I think Harden is a very safe option because he is the offense's No. 1 guy and is very good at getting his teammates involved, especially when on transition on offense. With the addition of Dwight Howard, Harden's points may dip slightly, but I see his assists going up because he will feed the big man as much as possible. Harden has averaged at least one steal per game in every year of his career.
G Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers: Paul is another safe 3rd pick option. I am not worried about his health. He played 70 games in 2013, and I am fine with him missing a few games because of how productive he is when on the court. Paul shot 48.1 percent from the floor and dished 9.7 assists per game. With Doc Rivers coaching the team, you might not see as many alley-oops, but that does not mean his assist numbers will decrease.
The offense runs through Paul, and as disciplined as Rivers' teams are when on the court, it never hurt Rajon Rondo's assist numbers. Paul also led the league (along with Ricky Rubio) in steals with 2.4 a game. Paul has also grabbed 4.4 rebounds per game, which is a bonus. Guards who rebound are very reliable fantasy options.
G Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors: After he played in 78 games last season, it is safe to say that Curry's ankle issues seem to be behind him. Curry is coming off of the best year of his career. He scored 22.9 points while shooting 45.1 percent from the field. He also shot 45.3 percent from behind the arc and may be the best pure shooter in the league.
As good of a shooter as Curry is, he is also a very solid playmaker as he dished a career high 6.9 assists per game last season. Curry also grabbed four rebounds and stole the ball 1.6 times per game in 2013. He is a career 90.1 percent free-throw shooter. I am not worried about all of the other shooters on the Warriors. Curry is the No. 1 offensive option for them.
G Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls: Even though Rose was out all of last season with a knee injury, he has been cleared to play since February. The former NBA MVP is back and has a lot of the same weapons on the Bulls to work with as he had when he last played. Rose scored 21.8 points and dished 7.9 assists per game 2 seasons ago. Rose is a 46.4 percent field goal shooter for his career and goes to the foul line a lot.
Rose is great at drawing contact as he shot 6.1 free throws per game 2 seasons ago. He is a career 81.5 percent free-throw shooter. Picking Rose third overall is a bit risky, but not ridiculous. Rose is a top-tier player when healthy.
F-C Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves: If you want to make a really risky 3rd overall pick, Love is back and his shooting hand has finally healthy. When on the court, Love is a double-double machine. He has career averages of 17.3 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. The risky part of investing in Love is that he has missed at least 20 games in 3 of his last 4 seasons. Last season he played in a career low of 18 games.
Love has shot 44.9 percent from the field for his career. When on the court, he will dominate in points, field goal percentage and rebounding categories. Love can also shoot from behind the arc. He is a career 35.2 percent shooter from downtown. He is the focal point of the Timberwolves offense and is a matchup nightmare because of his shooting range.
About Justin "Fensty" Fensterman
Fensterman covers fantasy basketball for KFFL and joined the team in 2012. He is a Sports Radio Producer on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports Radio channel, the first channel dedicated solely to fantasy sports. An avid fantasy basketball player, Fensty's biggest accomplishment in the fantasy sports world was in 2004 when he had an undefeated season in a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy NBA league and was ranked in the top 30 among all players in the world.
A native from Oyster Bay, NY, Fensty left New York to study Broadcast Journalism at American University in Washington D.C. in 2005. Fensty has previously worked for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, MTV and News 12: Long Island.
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