We're finally just a few weeks away from the most magical time of year. When ball meets net, rubber meets hardwood, and fantasy basketball owners meet their draftees. After the most tumultuous offseason in NBA history, the league is shaken around and we are excited to bring players out of their new homes and into our lineups.
For the 2019-20 NBA season, we'll break down the top players at each position and list out some of the more innovative team names out there for owners excited to invoke their teams with some player-based puns and references.
5. Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans
6. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
7. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
8. De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings
9. Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics
The class of 2019 point guards is stacked. Curry, Lillard and Irving all offer tremendous scoring upside, but so do the younger points like Young, Doncic and Fox. Westbrook and Holiday offer a more balanced statistical offering, so they're a great bet for teams who want to shore up their rebounding, assist and defensive categories.
1. James Harden, Houston Rockets
2. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
3. Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
4. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz
5. Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings
6. CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
8. DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs
9. D'Angelo Russell, Golden State Warriors
10. Josh Richardson, Philadelphia 76ers
After Harden, Booker and Beal, the shooting guards offer fewer 30-point games but still ensure a bevy of buckets, threes and some rebounds. Fantasy owners who wait to draft a shooting guard can either look to play the waiver wire for unexpected gems or, if they're confident in their team's construction, gamble on grabbing Klay Thompson, who's unlikely to return until the All-Star break.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
2. Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
3. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers
5. Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
6. Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers
7. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
8. Caris LeVert, Brooklyn Nets
9. Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans
10. Otto Porter Jr., Chicago Bulls
Four of the top five small forwards are practically locks to be drafted in the top 10 of every draft. The top tier of 3s absolutely fills the stat sheet and can anchor a team. After those four, the position drops off but still have tremendous scoring upside. If you miss out, look to pair someone like LeVert or Ingram with a wild-card option like Zion Williamson, Kevin Knox or Miles Bridges.
1. Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
2. Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
3. Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic
4. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies
6. Lauri Markkanen, Chicago Bulls
7. Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
8. Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings
9. John Collins, Atlanta Hawks
10. Julius Randle, New York Knicks
It's obvious that Davis is in a league of his own at power forward, even if he's likely to move into a starting role as the Los Angeles Lakers center at some point. After Davis, Siakam is a strong bet to incur a larger workload given Kawhi Leonard's departure. The forgotten position in modern basketball, owners will want to secure power forwards with a lot of expected playing time and the potential for either three-point or defensive upside.
1. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
2. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
3. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
4. Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
5. Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks
6. Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
7. Clint Capela, Houston Rockets
8. LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs
9. Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
10. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
The drop-off after the top five centers is not ideal, as they all have the potential for scoring volume and a balanced mix of rebounding, defensive and three-point production. Afterward, however, there are a bunch of centers who should provide steady production even outside of the top 10. Guys like DeAndre Ayton, Steven Adams and Mitchell Robinson should all get minutes and provide comparable points, rebounds and blocks.
Here are some of the top team names we have for this season. Some are based on player references, like Anthony Davis' "That's All Folks!" T-shirt or Kawhi Leonard's infamous "What it do, baby?" while others are based on pop culture (e.g. D-Lo and Doncic referencing Lilo and Stitch).
Also, I can't take all of the credit and need to give props to my big-brained pals, Lou, Nick and Ty, for hitting the cerebral workshop with me and coming up with some of the better names here.
- A.D. Astra
- Andre Drummand Bass
- Bradley Bealer's Day Off
- Build-a-Barrett Workshop
- Dame Impala
- Dinwiddie Dollars
- D-Lo and Doncic
- Doncic Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?
- Drummond Green
- Every Rozier Has its Thorns
- Go Bert or Go Home
- I Can Be Your Herro, Baby
- Jrue Detective
- Malcolm in the Middleton
- Old Towns Road
- Taco Tuesday
- That's All Folks!
- The Hitch-likers Guide to the Markellaxy
- Trapped in the Klawset
- The Zion, His Hitch and the Scoreboard
- What it Do, Baby?
- When it Rains it Porz
- Zion of Judah