Hey everyone, welcome back to the NBA Roundtable! We only have to survive a couple more days of the painfully long preseason, which is a good thing because I’m tired of Nick Young being the best player on my DFS teams.
Anyways, there is a huge debate this year about who will be the best player to own in fantasy this season, but it’s clear that James Harden and Russell Westbrook are the frontrunners. With that said, I asked the Rotoworld hoops crew to make their pick, and asked them to make a few more predictions for the upcoming season as well. I’ll start us off…
Jonas Nader (@JonasNader)
I would've said Russell Westbrook a couple months ago, but I've been on Team Harden since coach Mike D'Antoni confirmed that he will be the full-time point guard this year. I expect similar numbers for both and a ton of turnovers, but Harden does everything Westbrook does with a lot more 3-pointers and more free throws (Mike Gallagher made this argument on the podcasts and I'm finally on board). I'd be happy with either, but Harden has the edge.
Who will win the NBA Title? Warriors over the Cavaliers in five games. I don't see how they don't win more than 70 games during the regular season, even if they do rest their guys more. Bye Harry, hello Durant and McCaw.
League MVP? I think Harden's team will be worse than OKC, so I'm giving Westbrook the edge here.
Most Improved Player? Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic are going to make a ton of noise, but I think this is the year that Jonas Valanciunas finally takes off. Myles Turner and D’Angelo Russell will also be in the mix.
Defensive Player of the Year? Draymond Green won't be as involved on the offensive end, but he could be looking at a career-high in steals and blocks.
Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)
While I do believe Russ will be locked into SEEK & DESTROY mode all season, things are set up so perfectly for Harden in Houston. He has a coach that won’t ask him to do annoying stuff (like play defense) and Harden will have the ball in his hands so, so often as the team’s PG. He’ll rack up ungodly fantasy numbers across the board on a nightly basis.
Who will win the NBA Title?
Cavaliers over the Warriors in 7 games in the 3rd installment of this epic matchup.
LeBron James - One last MVP for peak/prime LeBron
Most Improved Player?
Sixth Man of the Year?
Defensive Player of the Year?
Ethan Norof (@Ethan_Norof)
Who will win the NBA Title? Favorites; Warriors, Cavs. Dark-Horse Picks: Clippers, Pacers.
League MVP? LeBron James
Most Improved Player? D'Angelo Russell
Sixth Man of the Year? Jordan Clarkson
Defensive Player of the Year? Avery Bradley
Ryan Knaus (@Knaus_RW)
Who will be the best player in standard leagues this season, Russell Westbrook or James Harden (or other)? James Harden will be the best player to own in 8-cat and most points-league formats, with his already-gaudy stats increased by Mike D'Antoni's preferred pace. However, I hold the (seemingly unpopular) opinion that Steph Curry will retain his crown as the No. 1 player in 9-cat leagues.
Who will win the NBA Title? The Warriors.
Most Improved Player? Steven Adams. I'm taking a dark-horse candidate here (my initial impulse was D'Angelo Russell or Myles Turner), but after an impressive 2015-16 playoff run I think OKC's center is ready to embrace an expanded role in his fourth season.
Sixth Man of the Year? Brandon Knight.
Defensive Player of the Year? Hassan Whiteside.
Steve Alexander (@docktora)
I got Harden as the MVP...And his stock just went up even more with the Pat Beverley injury news. I'm taking Harden when I have a Top 3 pick...
Who will win the NBA Title? Warriors win it all
League MVP? Stephen Curry for a 3peat
Most Improved Player? D'Angelo Russell
Sixth Man of the Year? Enes Kanter
Defensive Player of the Year? Kawhi Leonard
Jared Johnson (@JaredJ831)
I think the separation between Harden and Westbrook in the rankings this year is going to be negligible, both are primed for stat stuffing seasons so I see it as more of a 1A and 1B kind of situation. Whoever you want is more or less preference, as they both offer similar ridiculousness with Harden having the edge in triples and Westbrook offering a bit more steals and boards. Personally I'd lean towards Westbrook, but I'd be thrilled to have either one.
NBA Title: Dubs
League MVP: Russell Westbrook
Most Improved: Myles Turner
Sixth Man of the Year: Enes Kanter
Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green