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3 Rookies To Draft For Your Fantasy Basketball Rosters

Victor Wembanyama. Scoot Henderson. Brandon Miller. All three of these picks are more than likely going to be excellent NBA players for the foreseeable future. But everybody in your fantasy leagues already knows about those guys. The real value lies in the rookies your league mates don’t know, or at least don’t expect, to be valuable for your fantasy basketball season. We know some of them…let’s get into it!

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3 Rookies To Draft For Your Fantasy Basketball Rosters

Bilal Coulibaly, Washington Wizards, SF

I’ve always hated the way the Wizards draft. With the exception of John Wall and Bradley Beal, they’ve usually just drafted for need, as opposed to the best player available. And it rarely works out. This year, they’ve actually drafted one of the best talents in the draft (at least in my eyes). The 6’6″, 200 pound, teenage, forward was a teammate of Victor Wembanyama in France. He’s a great rebounder, he finishes around the rim, he’s a switchable defender (but still too scrawny for that to translate to the NBA), and he can score on all three levels (shot over 40% from three). He’s not going to get much development as a scorer alongside Jordan Poole, but he’ll do all of the dirty work, and get plenty of fantasy points doing it. When you draft Coulibaly, you’re drafting a younger version of Josh Hart (at least for this year). Only time will tell what he turns into!

Cam Whitmore, Houston Rockets, SG, SF

For reasons I will never understand, Cam Whitmore went from being an expected lottery pick, to getting drafted as a late 1st-round steal by the Rockets, at 20. The rookie is going to have a relatively easy pathway to playing time, as a sixth man, if not a starter outright. He can jump out of the gym, and at 6’8″ (and bulky), he’s got an NBA body to defend guards and forwards. He’s not a shooter (at least not yet, sub-40% from three), but if you’re in a categories league, he’s going to get you steals, blocks, boards, and free-throws, as he’s a bully when driving to the lane. You’ll be able to draft Whitmore very late, if not grabbing him straight off the waiver wire.

Emoni Bates, Cleveland Cavaliers, SG,SF

The Emoni Bates story is far from finished, but it certainly got off to a wild start. The 6’9″ string bean from Michigan is one of the only young kids you will see that has successfully patterned his game after Kevin Durant. A lot of them try. A lot of them look the part. Only a select few actually have the goods. He was first sophomore to ever win the Gatorade National Player of the Year in high school (averaging 32/9/3). He went to Memphis, expecting to be a one-and-done. He got injured and averaged under 10 PPG. Then he transferred to Eastern Michigan and raised that average back to 20 PPG. He shoots over 40% from three, and he’s a three level scorer. I don’t expect him to provide any other stats at his age and role, but there will be plenty of nights where you need 20 points scored to win your matchup, and Bates will be a threat every night, and you won’t have to draft him until your last round.

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