Since the calendar turned to 2020, Sekou “Dr. Doom” Doumbouya has played in 8 games and scored in double digits in seven of those eight. Doumbouya is the 6’8” rookie forward for the Detroit Pistons, a team out of time and out of options: Blake Griffin is out for the season, Andre Drummond is on the trade block, and Derrick Rose—Derrick freaking Rose—might have the most trade value. The Pistons are most likely out of the playoffs this year, they’re an extremely expensive team, and they’re almost assuredly going to trade away players so they can cut salary and focus on the future.
Enter Doumbouya, who was drafted 15th by the Pistons in last year’s NBA Draft, but he barely played in the NBA until the new year began. Since 1/1/20, Dr. Doom has averaged 14 points per game and 5+ rebounds, along with a steal. He’s shooting 54% from the floor, and 41% from three on 3+ 3-point attempts per game.
If Dr. Doom held those averages for the whole year, rather than just since January 1st, who would he look like? Who’s averaging 14+ and 5+ with a steal per game, and takes 3+ 3PA with a 40+ 3PT%?
Karl-Anthony Towns and Brandon Ingram. That’s it.
Now, obviously, both of those players score a lot more (both 20+ PPG) and, actually, both of them just do a lot more than Doumbouya does so far. They’re both also far more experienced and play more minutes. I’m not saying that Sekou is as good as either of those players. I’m saying that he’s had a two week stretch where he’s given approximate fantasy value to what those two players can do. If Doumbouya’s given the minutes, then why can’t he build on these new year numbers? He was a highly regarded international prospect in the draft, so his pedigree suggests he has the potential to be a good player.
Oh, did I mention that Doumbouya is the youngest player in the NBA? Dr. Doom is 19 years old. He also just helped the Pistons beat the Celtics in Wednesday night’s game, with Doom scoring 24 points (does this spell doom for Boston????). Sekou looks great. He’s currently 16% owned. Go pick him up immediately.
He’s the 101st best player on the ESPN player rater over the past two weeks. As his minutes go up, and his reps increase, Doumbouya’s fantasy value will surely improve, as well. Detroit’s going to play their young guys, and there’s nobody younger than Sekou Doumbouya. Dr. Doom may not have the Beyonder’s powers just yet, but Doumbouya’s potential looks sky-high, if not further. Doom’s ambitions know no bounds. As Dr. Reed Richards can tell you, there is nothing in the world more dangerous than an embittered college roommate.
Doumbouya even has some Doombots surrounding him, the other young Pistons. Presumably, once Detroit trades Drum and DRose and Tony Snell and maybe Markieff Morris, their main rotation will be Bruce Brown, Luke Kennard (when healthy), Sekou, Svi Mykhailiuk, Christian Wood, and Thon Maker, I guess?
Brown, Detroit’s young point guard, is averaging 10+ PPG and 5+ assists per game since January 1st, on 41% shooting, but he’s playing fewer than 20 minutes a game. If he gets more minutes, then his points and assists should go up, too. Trading Rose will open up more minutes for Brown. He’s been a top 100 player over the past two weeks, he’s eligible at both guard positions, and he’s only 18% owned.
Christian Wood, who may be injured, was shooting very well earlier this season, 36% from three and 56% from the floor, with 10 points and 5 boards, but he’s regressed recently, shooting under 30 3PT% over the past two weeks. Regardless, no Blake, and less of Drummond and Morris, should mean more minutes for Wood (he’s under 20 MPG since 1/1/20). Wood is also a top 100 player over the past two weeks, and he’s only 17% owned.
Finally, Svi Mykhailiuk, the young wing. He’s averaging 12+ PPG and 7+ 3PA per game in January, and shooting better than 40% from three and the floor. He’s also averaging a few dimes and a steal per game. He’s been a top 125 player the past two weeks, and he could be in store for a bump in value. He scored 21 points against Boston, with 5 threes made. Svi is under 5% owned, so you can probably stream him, or stash him and see what happens at the trade deadline.
All four of these players are available, and should be seeing an increase in minutes and shots. Luke Kennard is out until the All-Star break, if not longer (he’s under 25% owned, he should be picked up right away and stashed, he was having a tremendous season before he got injured), but he may be returning to a completely different team. A team run by a man named Doom.
Pick up these young Pistons. Even if Detroit doesn’t make a ton of trades, odds are that the young players will receive the majority of the minutes going forward. Time to invest in youth in the D.