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How will Team USA fair in fantasy basketball this year?

They’re out of the tournament so now it’s time to turn our heads to the NBA season.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Here are the fantasy stats from last year for our players on Team USA, along with the Average Draft Position (ADP) in fantasy drafts this season—which is still a looooong way off, so these are very preliminary drafts, and they’ll, hopefully, change a bunch the closer we get to the season.

We’ll use ESPN Basic Fantasy for the player ratings. All stats courtesy of ESPN.com and NBA.com.

Kemba Walker

2018-19 stats: 25 PPG, 5 APG, 4 RPG, 1 SPG, 20 FGA, 43% FG%, 8 3PA, 35% 3PT%, 5 FTA, 84% FT%

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic Overall Player Rater Rank: 11th
  • 2019-20 Projection: 33rd
  • 2019-20 ADP: 28th

Only 13 players averaged 25+ PPG last season. Kemba will probably shoot less than 20 times a game this season (only three other players shot 20+ times a game: James Harden, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook).

Less than 25 players averaged 18 PPG and 5 APG last season. Even if Kemba’s scoring goes down, his assists will probably go up, and only 25 players averaged 6 APG last season. To me, this means Kemba’s value could maintain, since his loss in shots could be recovered with an increase in dimes (and, possibly, ratios).

Brook Lopez

2018-19 stats: 12 PPG, 4 RPG, 1 APG, 2 BPG, 9 FGA, 45 FG%, 6 3PA, 36 3PT%, 1 FTA, 84 FT%

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic PR: 22nd (!)
  • 2019-20 Projection: 129th (?)
  • 2019-20 ADP: 114th (...between Caris LeVert and Jabari Parker...you whuh huh?!...)

Only six players averaged 2 or more blocks per game last season. BroLo was one of them.

Only 25 players averaged 6+ 3PA and 36 3PT%: BroLo was one of them.

Here’s the list of players who averaged 12+ PPG, 2+ BPG, and 6+ 3PA per game: Brook Lopez.

Here’s the list of players who averaged 12+ PPG, 2+ BPG, and 5+ 3PA per game: Brook Lopez.

Here’s the list of players who averaged 12+ PPG, 2+ BPG, and 4+ 3PA per game: Brook Lopez.

Here’s the list of players who averaged 12+ PPG, 2+ BPG, and 3+ 3PA per game: Brook Lopez.

GTFOH, 129th.

Myles Turner

2018-19 stats: 13 PPG, 7 RPG, 1 APG, 2 BPG, 10 FGA, 48 FG%, 2 3PA, 38 3PT%, 2 FTA, 73 FT%

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic PR: 27th
  • 2019-20 Projection: 61st
  • 2019-20 ADP: 66th

Less than 40 players averaged 13 PPG and 7 RPG, but Turner was towards the bottom of that list. On the other hand, he’s 23, and he’s going to keep getting better. Only 16 players averaged 15 and 9 last season; does that seem like an impossible goal for Myles Turner? How you answer that question will determine how you draft young Myles.

Donovan Mitchell

2018-19 stats: 23 PPG, 4 APG, 4 RPG, 1 SPG, 19 FGA, 43 FG%, 6 3PA, 36 3PT%, 5 FTA, 80 FT%

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic PR: 34th
  • 2019-20 Projection: 51st
  • 2019-20 ADP: 39th

Devin Booker averaged three more points, two more assists, and two more free throws per game than Don Mitch last season. Aside from that, their season stat lines were pretty similar. When you think about Donovan Mitchell, do you think of Devin Booker? Maybe we should! They’re both 22 years old. Don Mitch is on a better team and he doesn’t have to carry the burden of the entire franchise, so his volume will probably be lower than Devin Booker’s, but his ratios could be better.

Khris Middleton

2018-19 stats: 18 PPG, 6 RPG, 4 APG, 1 SPG, 14 FGA, 44 FG%, 6 3PA, 37 3PT%, 3 FTA, 83 FT%

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic PR: 44th
  • 2019-20 Projection: 52nd
  • 2019-20 ADP: 41st

11 players averaged 18/6/4 last year: Harden, PG13, Giannis, LeBron, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Westbrook, DeMar DeChozan, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, and Khris Middleton. I bet you didn’t consider Middleton to be in that group of players. He had the second best 3PT% of that group of players.

I imagine he’ll shoot and score more this season now that Malcolm Brogdon is on another team. We’ll see if his ratios can maintain, but Khris Middleton might be a 20 PPG player this season, just like every other player in that list of 11 above.

Jayson Tatum

2018-19 stats: 15 PPG, 6 RPG, 2 APG, 1 SPG, 13 FGA, 45 FG%, 3 3PA, 37 3PT%, 2 FTA, 85 FT%

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic PR: 47th
  • 2019-20 Projection: 55th
  • 2019-20 ADP: 40th

Tatum needs to get his free throws up, regardless of his shot selection. Lucky for him, he’s only 21 years old.

Marcus Smart

2018-19 stats: 8 PPG, 2 RPG, 4 APG, 1 SPG, 7 FGA, 42 FG%, 4 3PA, 36 3PT%, 1 FTA, 80 FT%

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic PR: 70th
  • 2019-20 Projection: 170th (whut)
  • 2019-20 ADP: 168th (He’ll play more, shoot more, and amass more volume stats. Am I missing something?)

Here’s the list of 15 players who attempted at least 4 threes per game, shot at least 36 percent from 3, and at least 42 percent from the field overall, AND had at least one GOD! DAMN! steal per game: Paul George, James Harden, Maestro Dame Lillard, Robert Covington, Klay Thompson, KAWHI LEONARD, STEPH CURRY, Donovan Mitchell (nice!), Mike Conley, Kyrie Irving, TJ Warren (it’s okay, I know you don’t know who this is, it’s fine, he played for Phoenix last year, now he’s on the Pacers where he’ll look great), Joe Ingles (elite fantasy player), D’Angelo Russell, Otto Porter, Jr., and MARCUS GOD DAMN SMART.

Guess which player was the ONLY player on that list to play less than 30 minutes per game and take less than 9 shots per game? That’s right, Marcus Smart.

Marcus Smart is going to play more this year, he’s going to shoot more this year, and he’s probably going to increase his offensive efficiency (again). He had the third most steals in the NBA last year (143) after PG13 and Harden. He did that in 600 fewer minutes than those two.

Marcus Smart is getting drafted after Carmelo Anthony. Get real, yall. He’s 25 years old. Why wouldn’t he continue to get better?

Joe Harris

2018-19 stats: 13 PPG, 3 RPG, 2 APG, 9 FGA, 50 FG% (!), 5 3PA, 47 3PT%, 1 FTA, 82 FT%

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic PR: 83rd
  • 2019-20 Projection: 137th
  • 2019-20 ADP: 135th

Only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Joe Harris attempted at least 5 threes per game and shot 50% from the field. Seems good. Harris is a ratio play, but he’s a daaaaamn good one. I think it’s hard to predict how the Brooklyn Nets will play with Kyrie Irving in town, and Caris LeVert coming back, but everyone, everywhere, needs shooters. If Joe Harris can maintain his efficiency, he’ll keep getting shots.

Harrison Barnes

2018-19 stats: 16 PPG, 4 RPG, 1 APG, 13 FGA, 42 FG%, 5 3PA, 39 3PT%, 3 FTA, 82 FT%

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic PR: 114th
  • 2019-20 Projection: 141st
  • 2019-20 ADP: 131st

I know, I know: Harrison Barnes is boring. But that being said, nine players averaged 16 PPG, 4 RPG, 40 FG%, 39 3PT% last season: Barnes, Tobias Harris, the Big KAT Karl-Anthony Towns, Kyrie Irving, Bojan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield, TJ Warren (hello again!), Danilo Gallinari, and STEPH CURRY.

Is that list boring?

Derrick White

2018-19 stats: 9 PPG, 3 RPG, 3 APG, 1 SPG, 8 FGA, 47 FG%, 2 3PA, 33 3PT%, 1 FTA, 77 FT%

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic PR: 124th
  • 2019-20 Projection: 147th
  • 2019-20 ADP: 176th

White is one of the plethora of guards on the Spurs, like Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, Patty Mills, DeChozan, and Lonnie Walker IV. Had Murray been healthy last season, who knows how much White would have played? I think White playing for Popovich on Team USA means he’ll receive more playing time than Bryn Forbes this season, but...uhhhh...I really have no idea. I might advise staying away from the Spurs guards in fantasy this season, aside from DeChozan, of course.

Mason Plumlee

2018-19 stats: 7 PPG, 6 RPG, 3 APG, 5 FGA, 59 FG%, 2 FTA, 56 FT% (Jesus Christ, really?)

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic PR: 125th
  • 2019-20 Projection: 146th
  • 2019-20 ADP: 854th (This is real, he’s on the 18th page of ADP)

Plumlee might find his minutes diminish this season, depending on how Denver plays their front court, but the numbers said he was a top 150 player last season. If he gets the same 20+ minutes per game this season, then his counting stats should maintain, no? Less than 20 players averaged 8-7-3 last season, btw.

Jaylen Brown

2018-19 stats: 13 PPG, 4 RPG, 1 APG, 10 FGA, 46 FG%, 3 3PA, 34 3PT%, 2 FTA, 65 FT%

  • 2018-19 ESPN Basic PR: 169th (yeesh)
  • 2019-20 Projection: 122nd
  • 2019-20 ADP: 108th

And, here we go: the guy who everybody believes in! Look at Brown’s ADP compared to his finish last year, and his projections for this year. The people think Jaylen’s going to be demonstrably better this season, and dammit, HARD AGREE. This will be Brown’s fourth season, he’ll be playing for a new contract, and he BETTER be better, otherwise he’ll get jettisoned from the Celtics faster than you can say Nikola Vucevic.

Jaylen’s a player that people want to see succeed. His ADP is indicative of that belief, rather than his career numbers. One thing’s for sure: he needs to improve his free throw shooting. If he does that, then the points will follow, and suddenly Jaylen’s a guy who gets you 15 PPG. Around 40 players averaged 15 and 4 with 46+ FG% last year. I think Jaylen Brown will be on that list by the end of this season.