It’s been quite a—boring—ride but we’re almost there, folks. Starting July 30, the NBA will enter a vortex of daily action that will get us back to our couches to indulge as much basketball as we can with games coming left and right. With such a short time between now and the restart (and with the four months we have endured without any NBA hoops around) it makes sense to go through the 22 teams that made it to Disney’s bubble to review what they did during the first months of the 2019-20 season and what we can expect from them going forward. Consider this a primer on who to target, who to avoid, and a know-it-all reviewing exercise of what will be there when NBA DFS contests come back in less than 14 days time.
As has always been the case, I will be using data from both the official NBA website paired with information from DFS contests held on DraftKings through the first months of the season. Every chart uses the same scale (salaries from 3K to 10K except when they don’t fit, fantasy points from 0 to 65) so they can be easily compared between teams to see where each player ranks league-wide.
Regular Season Stats
- Record: 40-24 (.625)
- Offensive Rating: 111.6 (14th)
- Defensive Rating: 109.1 (10th)
- Net Rating: 2.5 (11th)
When the Thunder traded Russell Westbrook and Paul George away last summer and got a good bunch of draft picks, Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Chris Paul in return, the plan for the franchise going forward seemed clear: use CP3 to help SGA learn the hidden mysteries of basketball, squeeze the last drops of talent from Gallo and Paul, and in case of emergency trade those latter two away for more young players or future draft picks. Oh how wrong we were...
Not only did Oklahoma City stick to their guns, but they actually improved on them, ultra-boosted oldie Chris Paul, somehow kept Gallinari healthy all season, and found an über-gem on SGA. Not to mention they still played the likes of Steven Adams and Dennis Schroder and went on to finish the pre-hiatus part of the regular season winning 40 games and clinching a playoff spot. Now the Thunder have a very serious shot at finishing fourth in the west, which would mean outperforming the Jazz, Rockets, Mavs, and Blazers among others. Not bad for a washed-up, rebuilding team, am I right?
Team Leaders (per game)
- MIN: Chris Paul (35.1)
- PTS: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (19.3)
- 3PM: Danilo Gallinari (3.0)
- REB: Steven Adams (9.4)
- AST: Chris Paul (6.8)
- STL: Chris Paul (1.6)
- BLK: Nerlens Noel (1.5)
- TOV: Dennis Schroder (2.5)
- USG%: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (23.5%)
- DKFP: Chris Paul (37.4)
- Players Acquired: Devon Hall, Luguentz Dort, Andre Roberson
- Players Lost: Isaiah Roby
The Thunder did all their roster-work during the last summer. They flipped the table and turned the page—or the actual book entirely—by trading Russ and PG13 away and getting SGA, Paul, and Gallo in return. Quite a change for the franchise in how to approach this thing called basketball. More than a year later, here we are, with the Thunder—at least—in the same position they were a year ago.
Andre Roberson should make a comeback during the next few weeks, adding more wood to the Thunder fire. It is unclear how he’ll perform as he’s been out for two freaking years, but keep an eye on him as his salary might be low at least for the first few games and who knows if he’d come out booming off the injury-shadows. Focusing on real, known things, Chris Paul has been the best fantasy asset from Oklahoma City. That doesn’t mean he’s been the most valuable, though, as Schroder has been able to put on the highest ROI (Price/DKFP) among Thunder players this season while becoming the 11th-best player in those terms barely edging the very own LeBron James, just for context.
Obviously, Schroder is a rotational piece not worth building around, but keep him in mind when filling and giving the last touches to your DFS lineups. SGA is the third-best player in terms of ROI from the Thunder and another top-50 player in the league’s leaderboard. Adams is the fifth-highest DKFP-scorer of the team but I’d advise avoiding him as his price is a bit too high for his production, and he’s shown a very random boom/bust profile all year long.