I got a chance interview Yahoo! Sport’s fantasy basketball guru Marc Spears about how the Golden State Warriors stacked up, fantasy wise. Check out Marc’s other articles here. Read on to find out how why the Warriors might have one of the greatest fantasy rosters in the league this year.
Dhara Taheripour: Let’s start with Stephen Curry. Obviously the most recognizable face of the Golden State Warriors franchise and a player who can score effectively from anywhere on the court, but very much so before the arc. Where do you take Stephen Curry in your fantasy draft?
Marc Spears: That’s a good question. This league is filled with great point guards and I guess the one thing about Steph when you look at him from a position standpoint is you can use him as a point guard or a shooting guard. Unfortunately they won’t have him listed as a 2 guard so I guess you could use him … you can’t use him as the dual guard position I guess you could say, but he is going to score a lot of points, going to be one of those leaders in scoring, or maybe not one of the league leaders like top 5 but maybe top 15 candidate in scoring. He is going to have a lot of assists and he is going to hit a lot of free throws and three-pointers so there’s a lot of different things he could do. Still may not be at a high number, but he is a solid player. The one concern people always worry about Steph is injuries. He played a lot of games last year although his body broke down during the playoffs. The thing is, do you pick him over Derrick Rose? Do you pick him over Chris Paul? Probably not those two and probably not Russell Westbrook if he was completely healthy. I think with Steph, there are a lot of guys you could look at a number three-point guards there will be Tony Parker, there will be Kyrie Irving, there will be Stephen Curry and might even look at John Wall that high. Russell Westbrook when he is healthy. I think after Chris Paul and after Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry would probably go into consideration as a point guard selection.
D: Yeah that sounds about right. It would be hard to see you taking him over DRose or Chris Paul. I guess going in order of positions…
M: And Rondo is a good pick too.
D: Yeah Rondo but obviously he is not 100 percent. So probably the biggest Warriors offseason addition in recent history or history, Andre Iguodala is a guy who is known as a stat rack. He gets assists, gets rebounds, can score. Where do you value someone like that, someone who is very versatile who can contribute along the board?
M: I think a lot of times in fantasy league, people get too concerned with someone who can score a lot of points. The whole fantasy league is not won by just having a great scorer. It’s funny when you play against some people who draft all these great scorers and they win the scoring category every week and can’t do anything else. Iguodala is certainly one of those stat stuffer guys. No he isn’t going to get you 20 points but he’ll give you 12 to 15, he gets rebounds, blocked shots and a lot of steals and he gets to line by driving the ball in. He isn’t going to hit a lot of threes, but he will donate a couple, but he is a guy at the end of the day will fill up every category and perhaps from a fantasy standpoint one of the best guys on the Warriors to take, depending on the amount of minutes he gets.
D: So if he contributes the same and gets the same amount of minutes in Denver, because he is a go that can contribute along and especially in a categories type of league, you are getting so much out of just one selection.
M: And from another perspective, I think Bogut could quietly be that kind of guy too.
D: Yeah I was about to talk about Bogut too because in your last article, the top fantasy sleepers, Bogut is a guy who has been under the radar because of injuries and various things and he is a guy that is looking really, really coming into this season. There is a sense of anger in him, not anger but like fire, like he really wants this to be his season to show people what he can really do and we got glimpses of that during the playoffs so a guy like Bogut, that’s also a guy like Curry who has injury issues, whose had injury issues in the past who can have all this upside. Where do you potentially take someone like Andrew Bogut?
M: He’s probably, amongst the centers, probably around five or so. Probably take Dwight Howard ahead of him for sure. If you think about it, there are not a lot of great, true centers in the league. I guess Tim Duncan is a guy who was a center. But there really aren’t true centers anymore. He is healthy, he is playing well in training camp so I do think he is a guy who can score, and get rebounds and block shots and get steals and surprisingly get you a lot of assists.
D: Yeah he is one of the great passing bigs. He really likes [passing] and you can see that during these preseason games that a lot of the new people coming onto the team like Toney Douglas, when they play with Bogut, they aren’t looking for that pass, but you know Bogut loves making that pass, that backdoor pass and he is like a pass-first center almost. Like same thing as Iguodala is a pass-first wing, Bogut is a pass-first center.
M: Yeah. He is somebody I think can be a steal. Probably someone people aren’t thinking about. There aren’t a lot of centers out there so if you could get him fifth round, it may not be the sexiest pick in the world, but having a true center that could fill up so many categories, might end up in a lot of ways giving you more than Dwight can. Because he can make free throws too.
D: Yeah that’s something he could work on but at least at the same time, he is better than Dwight. The Warriors’ only All-Star from last season, David Lee, who is this double-double machine, the most double-doubles of anyone in the league last year, consistently going to get you 20 and 10 and he is going to go out there and get you those points and get you those rebounds, how do you value him from a fantasy prospective?
M: Your going to get the points and rebounds, that’s big, and I’m sure you’d like to see more shot-blocking and a good amount of trips to the free throw, but you know he is going to be one of the top rebounders in the league and that’s big and a tough category to win and he could be a big help in that. Conssistent, you know what your getting and he makes free throws as well. Could probably block more shots. Can you expect him to get assists? No. Points, rebounds, and free throws made are three categories that he can be strong in.
D: and a pretty high field goal percentage as well.
M: Yeah you know Warriors [laughs] probably have six guys you would want to pickup in the draft which is hard to say for most teams. I don’t know you could find six players on the roster better than the Warriors’ six.
D: Yeah they have a very strong group especially because Barnes was a starter last year, you have six starting quality guys and you can see Coach Jackson tinker with this lineup during the preseason, you know Barnes is going to start and Thompson can start, but you know he has so much flexibility. Klay Thompson, obviously the other part of the Splash Brothers. Stephen Curry made the most amount of threes last year and it was Ryan Anderson with 213 and Klay with like 211 or something like that. Like Klay was right there as well like people think of Steph but Klay is also this amazing three-point shooter?
M: I think the three-pointers are key. I don’t think there are a lot of guys who are going to make two to three three-pointers per game. So he is going to give you the points and the three-pointers and make free-throws and field goal percentage is pretty good for a guard and the one thing is he is an improving defender so he might give you some steals as well. So I think Klay, when the spotlight being on the three-point shooting that he can give you, is a great pickup because finding guys like that are very hard to find
D: Yeah I still think it’s crazy that the Warriors have two of the top 3 three-point shooters in the league. The last guy, Harrison Barnes, is looking to have a great season. He only averaged like nine points last season during the regular season but we saw his big explosion during the playoffs once David Lee went down when he started averaging like 16 points on pretty good field goal percentage and he was hitting a lot of his free-throws. He was averaging like 16 a game and six rebounds and also managed to ish out a dime or so. Where do you take someone like Harrison Barnes, who has displayed his potential but it’s very much a small sample size.
M: I think Harrison is going to continue to get better. Might be some ups and downs because his role seems to constantly change as in the back of his mind he is thinking, am I starting? Am I coming off the bench? And I’m curious to see how many minutes he is going to get. If given enough opportunity, I think he will be a really good fantasy player. You just have to wait and see how his role is going to be, but he is another guy who can do everything. There is nothing he can’t do. He rebounds well for a small forward. He can hit threes. Make free throws. Score the ball. He is one of those guys who can give you 12 one night and give you 25 the next. What they call a box of chocolate player, you don’t know what you’re going to get out of them all the time, but I think for the most part, he is going to be a guy who maybe starts off a little slow to figure out his role, then continue to get better as the season progresses.
D: That’s very true and it’s very much dependent on how Coach Jackson decides to utilize him in the lineup and I think once the season starts, it’s going to be very clear who is going to be playing what position because he is a guy who was playing power forward for most of the playoffs despite playing small forward for most of the year since he is a long and lean small forward so it’ll be interesting to see where he finally finds his niche during the regular season this year.
M: [Laughs] There really are 6 guys on this team that you can make solid picks of. I’m sure that when you look at the rosters and when people finish their drafts, the Warriors will probably be sitting on rosters fantasy wise as most.
D: It’s great because this a team a couple of years you couldn’t even have imagined like saying that like “the Warriors are going to be this great fantasy team” so it’s awesome to see that happen. Thank you very much for speaking to us and go Warriors!