- 1. Nikola Jokic – C, Denver Nuggets
- 2. Joel Embiid – C, Philadelphia 76ers
- 3. Kevin Durant – F, Brooklyn Nets
- 4. Giannis Antetokounmpo – F, Milwaukee Bucks
- 5. Luka Doncic – PG, Dallas Mavericks
- 6. Stephen Curry – PG/SG, Golden State Warriors
- 7. Jayson Tatum – F, Boston Celtics
- 8. James Harden – G, Philadelphia 76ers
- 9. Tyrese Haliburton – G, Indiana Pacers
- 10. LaMelo Ball – G, Charlotte Hornets
- 11. Karl-Anthony Cities – PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
- 12. Trae Younger – G, Atlanta Hawks
Fantasy basketball season is underway, and it’s time to start out drafting. With opening evening solely 26 days away, it’s useful to take part in mock drafts so you may get a really feel for when gamers are chosen. With that in thoughts, right here’s a primary have a look at how I believe the primary spherical will shake out for class leagues. And for added perception, try our newest Yahoo professional rankings to help your draft prep.
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Let’s get to the primary spherical. With out additional ado, the primary choose within the 2022-2023 fantasy basketball draft goes to …
1. Nikola Jokic – C, Denver Nuggets
No shock right here. Jokic is a fantasy basketball cheat code after posting a historic 27.1 factors, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.3 threes and a pair of.4 shares (steals plus blocks) per recreation with 58/34/81 capturing splits final season. He had the very best single-season Field Plus/Minus (BPM) in NBA historical past and is the unanimous first general choose right here.
2. Joel Embiid – C, Philadelphia 76ers
Coming off his finest statistical season and enjoying a career-high 68 video games, Embiid would be the point of interest of a fantasy-friendly Sixers offense. As one of the dominant huge males within the league, he completed fourth within the NBA in double-doubles and added 2.7 shares on the defensive finish. He shouldn’t have any points replicating a top-three efficiency on a per-game and totals foundation if he can play at the least 60 video games this 12 months.
3. Kevin Durant – F, Brooklyn Nets
Kevin Durant is a strolling bucket whom you possibly can’t move up right here. He completed second on a per-game foundation in 2021-22, and he’ll proceed to see a 30 % utilization charge this season. I count on the Nets to complete top-10 in Tempo and Offensive Score, and KD will prepared the ground. He checks each field for fantasy basketball.
4. Giannis Antetokounmpo – F, Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis is the one participant in NBA historical past to common at the least 25 factors, 10.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in a number of seasons, and he’s executed it 4 years in a row. He completed tenth on a per-game foundation final season, however an uptick in three-pointers made whereas capturing over 72% from the free-throw line will assist justify drafting him right here.
5. Luka Doncic – PG, Dallas Mavericks
Luka Magic is in impact. Yeah, he’s identified to show the ball over at a excessive charge and miss a ton of free throws, however I’m shopping for his numbers after the Kristaps Porzingis commerce: 31.3 factors, 9.5 rebounds, 8.1 assists with 3.9 threes and 1.0 steals. He’s ripe for an MVP-like season.
6. Stephen Curry – PG/SG, Golden State Warriors
The 2022 Finals MVP and four-time champion yearly anchors the factors, threes and free throw proportion classes in fantasy basketball. I undertaking Curry’s minutes and utilization will stay within the 30s because the centerpiece of top-of-the-line groups in basketball.
7. Jayson Tatum – F, Boston Celtics
Nonetheless solely 24 years outdated, Tatum put up career-highs in factors, rebounds and assists final 12 months with a 32% utilization charge.
8. James Harden – G, Philadelphia 76ers
Harden’s choice to make much less and return to Philly on a two-year deal reveals he’s able to ball. The hamstring harm that’s plagued him for 2 seasons is behind him, and he’s reportedly in nice form heading into this season. He was the one participant within the NBA to put up over 20+ factors and 10+assists per recreation in ’21-’22 and completed fifteenth on a per-game foundation regardless of altering groups mid-season and enjoying on a bum leg. A bounce again ought to put him squarely within the top-10 in fantasy basketball.
9. Tyrese Haliburton – G, Indiana Pacers
In case you don’t know, now you already know.
I’ve seen Haliburton chosen within the high 5 in business professional drafts, however I’m snug grabbing him within the high 10. I’m teetering between Haliburton and LaMelo Ball on this spot, however the former is an effective guess to common essentially the most assists per recreation this 12 months and rating over 20 factors per evening with strong peripherals. In 18 video games with out Malcolm Brogdon final season, Haliburton tallied 18.6 factors, 10.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 threes and 1.8 steals with 50/46/89 capturing splits. Breakout!
10. LaMelo Ball – G, Charlotte Hornets
LaMelo Ball enters his third NBA season seeking to construct off career-highs in factors, rebounds, assists, threes made and FT%. He’s additionally among the many league leaders in steals. Final season, Miles Bridges accounted for 23% of Ball’s assists in 2021-22, however there’s nonetheless loads of alternative to see a 30% utilization whereas filling up the field rating alongside Terry Rozier.
11. Karl-Anthony Cities – PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves’ frontcourt all of a sudden received crowded after they traded for Utah Jazz All-Star Middle and three-time Defensive Participant of the 12 months, Rudy Gobert, this offseason. Gobert’s presence ought to slide KAT to a true-stretch 4, which has dangers and advantages. He completed eighth on a per-game foundation final 12 months, however I’d count on his rebound numbers to drop barely with a lift in made threes. KAT is accustomed to enjoying with an offensively restricted frontcourt (Taj Gibson, Jarred Vanderbilt) so I’m not overly involved about Gobert being on the town. KAT ought to nonetheless have the ability to gather at the least two shares and be the most effective capturing huge man within the league; 41% from past the arc final 12 months and 40% for this profession — simply sayin’.
12. Trae Younger – G, Atlanta Hawks
Trae Younger has a brand new backcourt mate in All-Star G Dejounte Murray, however he ought to nonetheless be top-of-the-line fantasy guards this upcoming season. He’s a quantity scorer who ranked fourth in utilization charge final 12 months at 34.4. I count on Hawks head coach Nate McMillan to stagger Younger and Murray’s minutes on the level but in addition give Younger the possibility to work extra off-ball to create higher seems on the perimeter. He ought to nonetheless boast substantial fantasy numbers with out a lot offense round him and Murray.