Hello and welcome back to the NBA Roundtable! The fantasy playoffs are in full swing right now and that means over half of all fantasy owners have seen their season come to an end. That makes this the perfect time to vent about some players who could be to blame, so this week the Rotoworld Hoops crew will be talking about our famous “Never Again” list, or players that we can’t see ourselves drafting again for the foreseeable future. I’ll start us off.
Jonas Nader (@JonasNader)
Kyrie Irving- We still don’t know what’s wrong with Irving’s knee as he seeks a second opinion, but what we do know is that Irving will need to manage his injury for the remainder of his career and Celtics GM Danny Ainge said a future procedure is likely. Ainge also said he knew about these issues before the season even started and admitted that he only expected Irving to be a “72- or 75-game player.” That would’ve been valuable information to know during draft season, as Irving could potentially miss the rest of the fantasy playoffs with no return date in sight. I don’t care if his knee is “structurally sound” like they’re saying it is, because something is definitely up and I can’t see myself drafting Irving in future seasons, assuming his ADP is still in the teens and 20s.
Marc Gasol and Mike Conley- During our preseason podcasts with Mike Gallagher, I made it very clear that I wouldn’t be targeting Mike Conley or Marc Gasol because I was scared of the tank and the move paid off. I don’t see the Grizzlies making it back to the postseason in 2018-19, Conley can’t seem to stay healthy and Gasol has one foot out the door entering the last year of his contract. Barring some major changes over the offseason, Gasol and Conley will definitely be on my “never again” list.
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Warriors- I’m cool with drafting Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry in a Rotisserie league, but I’m avoiding them like the plague in head-to-head formats. They have made it very clear that they don’t care about the regular season, and they are quickly becoming the new Spurs with all these DNPs and fake injuries. For example, Green even admitted that all three of his star teammates were healthy enough to play the day after they were ruled out for multiple games. "Right now, we're in a position where I think all three guys (KD/Klay/Steph) could play if they had to, but it's just not that important for them to play. It's more important for them to be healthy.” There is nothing more infuriating than losing a head-to-head matchup because of a DNP, and I’ll remember this quote vividly during fantasy drafts next season.
Hassan Whiteside- His injury history is troubling and it began even before he made an impact in the NBA with several knee and ankle injuries back in the D-League. Well, the injuries are popping up all over the place again and he’s already had two extended absences this season. The Heat are enamored by Bam Adebayo and Whiteside was already sitting on the bench in a lot of fourth quarters, playing just 25.9 minutes per game compared to 32.6 last season. With Whiteside approaching age 29, I don’t feel comfortable drafting him unless I’m getting at least a one or two round discount.
Mike Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher)
I usually don’t like to say never again because there’s always a point where a guy could become a value, but I don’t see any way I target these guys in the coming years. Of course, I won’t be touching guys with ominous injury history either.
Hassan Whiteside - I’ll go bold here, especially with bigs being hard to come by in drafts. Back on Nov. 29, coach Erik Spoelstra hinted Whiteside was more day-to-day and he was out because of the back-to-back factor, but Whiteside said the opposite and said it was a serious issue. Whiteside then missed four weeks, and now he’s missing a long time with a hip injury. It's also worth a mention that this new hip injury came out of nowhere, and now he's out for two weeks. He’s going to be 29 next season and he’s already getting benched in the fourth quarters. I just see too much downside to even take him in the third. Maybe fourth.
John Wall - We were absolutely shocked how fast Wall got over his double knee surgery summer in 2016, but now it’s come back to bite him. We have the word “knee” a whopping 350 times in all of our John Wall blurbs since he joined the league. It’s also worth a mention that his left knee surgery in 2016 was considered more serious than his right, and now he’s dealing with a left knee injury again. Plus, he’s had left knee tendinitis since 2010 and it’s been an ongoing issue, so that’s also discouraging. For a guy that relies on his athleticism like he does, it feels like he may have a tough time staying healthy or scoring efficiently. I’d easily prefer guys like Donovan Mitchell or Kemba Walker.
Ethan Norof (@Ethan_Norof)
Rodney Hood: Between the false hope and the consistent injuries, Hood is on my DND list for leagues moving forward.
Kevin Love: It's not that I'm loveless, but the price and return on investment just don't line up for me anymore.
Reggie Jackson: I was avoiding him this year, but I won't even consider him on a value pick in the future. It feels like it's only a matter of time until Jackson is wearing a different uniform.
Mike Conley: Get used to investing early if you'd like to score a premium point guard. The days of guys like Conley being considered among the fantasy elite are behind us.
Carmelo Anthony: At this stage of his career, Melo just doesn't do enough in the box score to be considered—even in the middle rounds—with so many other higher-upside plays on the board.
Marquese Chriss: We knew this one was coming, right? Nobody should be blindsided by this.
Jared Johnson (@JaredJ831)
It pains me to say this as a diehard Dubs' fan, but I'm kinda over owning Kevin Durant, and to be honest, all of the Warriors at this point are a bit sketchy. As long as that Core Four is together, Golden State will be a dominate team out West, which increases the likelihood of random rest down the stretch and missing games here and there for minor injuries. You don't really want to own the players on the best or worst teams in fantasy hoops, you want guys on teams that will be fighting for seeding late in the year; the Warriors are not that team.
I don't want to completely say never again with Marquese Chriss, because the potential is still there, but I certainly won't be reaching for him next year. Maybe my last pick in a deep league, but that's about it.
Danilo Gallinari always suckers me with his early-round potential, and then he inevitably gets hurt and they put vague timetables on him, and he goes on to miss the majority of the season. Never again!
Carmelo Anthony looks pretty washed up, I didn't own him anywhere this season and that plan will continue.
Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)
I only drafted him in one league, and that was late. But going forward I don’t see myself rostering him at all. His ADP next season will almost assuredly be pushed up much higher than it should be due to his name recognition. He is currently averaging career-lows across the board, while shooting a putrid 40.8 percent from the floor.
Like Melo, Wiggins is a player that is drafted far earlier than he should be based on his actual on-court production. His ADP last October was 47, yet he’s currently ranked outside the top-200 overall in nine-category fantasy leagues. This despite the fact that he hasn’t missed a game all season and is averaging over 36 minutes a night.
I hope we all have finally learned our lesson.
* Boban Marjanovic:
As we have discussed in these roundtables on previous occasions, Boban has burned many a fantasy GM this year. I still love you Boban, but you have burned me for the last time. It’s not you; it’s me.