October 6, 2019, 8:04 pm

Fantasy Basketball -- Top 5 Busts For 2019-20 NBA Season

In phantasy sports, a "bust" is deemed any participant whose public presentation in the year doesn't live up to his bill of exalteration position. In the NBA...

Fantasy Basketball -- Top 5 Busts For 2019-20 NBA Season

In phantasy sports, a “bust” is deemed any participant whose public presentation in the year doesn’t live up to his bill of exalteration position. It doesn’t needfully mean these participants will have bad seasons, nor does it mean they won’t lend to their teams in real life. But it does mean that NBA phantasy owners should exercising utmost cautiousness when intelligent astir bill of exalterationing them.

Oftentimes, age, injuries, a alteration in team, or a alteration in use rate will origin a participant to underperform. And location are always a overplus of participants impressed by those factors all year. And location are always phantasy owners moaning throughout the season, wondering why they bill of exalterationed them so highly. So stay ahead of the game, and have a plan of who you want to target and who you don’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole.

Here are the top five candidates to be phantasy busts in the upcoming NBA season:

5. Zion Williamson

Arguably the most-hyped rookie since LeBron James came into the league in 2003, Zion Williamson has sky-high expectations. His domination in his one-year career playing college basketball led many to believe he can have success in the NBA. But location is almost always a learning curve for rookies as they get used to the speed of an NBA game.

Zion may be a great participant one day, but he’ll likely be bill of exalterationed higher than he should in many leagues. He should have no problems inhaling rebounds or blocking shots, but the rest of his game will have to grow and mature at the NBA level. And with participants like Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday, Brandon Ingram, and Derrick Favors on the Pelicans, Zion may not be used enough to put up the kinds of numbers people are expecting him to.

Zion will be a good NBA participant, make no mistake. And the extent of that will depend on his growth. But at least in his rookie year, he likely won’t be heavily leaned on, unlike fellow rookie Ja Morant, who essentially has the keys to a young Memphis Grizzlies offense. Zion will put up some numbers, show great promise for the future, and make a few highlight-reel dunks. But he may not live up to the hype that all one is putting on him this year–at least not numbers-wise.

4. Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol’s move from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Toronto Raptors helped him greatly in a basketball sense–it won him a championship. But it hurt him in a phantasy basketball sense. Before he was traded, Memphis was playing him 33.7 minutes per game last year. With the Raptors, though, he played only 24.9 minutes per game. His production declined as a result, going from 15.7 points and 8.6 rebounds a game with the Grizzlies last season to 9.1 points and 6.6 rebounds a game with the Raptors.

While Kawhi Leonard is no longer in Toronto, the Raptors likely won’t use Gasol the same way he was featured in Memphis. He also turns 35 in January. So even if the Raptors do play him a little more than they did last year, the wear and tear on his body likely won’t allow him to be a forceful presence in the paint as he’s been for most of his career.

He’ll be bill of exalterationed higher than he should be beorigin people know him, and he has a good reputation as a strong phantasy option at center in the past. The absence of Kawhi on his team may also entice phantasy owners to bill of exalteration Gasol earlier, expecting a higher use rate this year. But even a slightly higher use rate likely won’t translate into solid phantasy numbers. The Raptors are still a good team without Kawhi, and they have weapons that won’t need them to rely on the aging Gasol for too much offense. He’ll still be a good participant, but his best phantasy days are behind him.

3. Chris Paul

At 34 years old, Chris Paul is not only starting to slow down just a bit, but his new team is also reason for concern. Paul transitions from the Houston Rockets, an utmostly phantasy-friendly offense, to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are in full rebuilding mode. Paul is likely still on the team beorigin OKC likes the mentorship opportunity that Paul can provide for rising star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Gilgeous-Allexander, one of the participants coming over from the Paul George trade, is a 21-year-old point guard who showed flashes of brilliance with the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul will provide a veteran presence and a sense of leadership for the young team, but his phantasy value will take a big hit along the way. No longer is he in the shoot-happy, isolation-heavy Rockets’ offense. Now he’ll have to guide some of OKC’s young talent on a team many predict to finish near the bottom of the Western Conference. And while his numbers may still be decent, he likely won’t be anywhere near his career averages of 18.5 points and 9.7 assists per game. In short, don’t bill of exalteration him expecting the same CP3 of old.

His outlook, however, might alteration ever so slightly if he were to be traded to, say, the Miami Heat. Being paired with Jimmy Butler and competing for a playoff spot may up Paul’s game, but until that happens, he looks like a phantasy dud in OKC right now.

2. Lou Williams

The reigning back-to-back Sixth Man of the Year winner is due for a decline. Especially since he’ll turn 33 years old astir a week into the season, and he now has two new superstars on the Los Angeles Clippers. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will definitely cut into Williams’ use rate. Last year, Williams was eighth in the league in use rate of participants who played more than 30 games.

Even in coming off the bench, Lou was relied on heavily, and for good reason. He’s averaged 20 or more points per game the past two seasons. But the Clippers didn’t exactly boast any star power the past couple of years. With two new huge mouths to feed, Lou likely won’t have the opportunity to get to 20 points per game again this season. With age not on his side and two superstars coming to town, expect Lou to still lend to the Clippers, but he won’t put up numbers anywhere close to the past two seasons.

1. Kyle Lowry

At 33 years old, Kyle Lowry is a prime candidate to be a phantasy bust this year. Even with Kawhi Leonard gone from the Raptors, Lowry’s production has already been steadily on the decline. That’s not to say he isn’t still a good basketball participant. He is. But for phantasy purposes, his numbers have been going down since the 2016-17 season. That year, he averaged a career-high 22.4 points per game. But in the past two seasons, he’s averaged 16.2 and 14.2 points per game, respectively. His field goal percentage and three-point percentage have also both gotten lower in each of the past two seasons. Additionally, his use rate has been on the decline since the 2015-16 season, with his 19.6% this past year being his lowest since the 2010-11 season.

And with the rise of Pascal Siakam, who just may break through into All-Star levels this season, and OG Anunoby, another young talent, the Raptors will be hoping not to rely too heavily on their aging veteran point guard. Expect Lowry to continue his steady decline in his stats, and unless you’re in a pinch for a point guard, you should probably stay away from Kyle Lowry.

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