Happy Thursday! Wake up with me picking more players for $15, won't you??
Build a Team for the Future (Players Under 25)
Zion Williamson $5 (Remaining: $10)
He's the star of this show. He's my high dollar player and everybody picked after him will be to complement him. The injury history and weight concerns don't bother me, here or in real-life. He projects to be a 25+ PPG scorer that shoots efficiently from the floor, gets to the line, and fills the box score with more than points.
Jaren Jackson Jr $2 (Remaining: $8)
My frontcourt is set: JJJ is the perfect partner for Zion. He spaces the floor extremely well (40% 3P on 6 attempts per game) for Zion on offense. This lets Zion go to work in the low post without the paint being cluttered. Opposing bigs have to stick with JJJ as their teammates second a double team at Zion. This leaves somebody on the perimeter open and Zion's a great passer. Defensively, he can protect the rim which will allow Zion to wreak havoc in passing lanes/as a weakside shot blocker
Lonzo Ball $2 (Remaining: $6)
When I said everything picked after will be to complement him, I meant everything. I already know Lonzo/Zion have great alley-oop chemistry and Lonzo has shown he can play on the ball or with another ball-handler. This gives me some options for my remaining picks. Ball is also a great multi-positional defender and has turned himself into a threat from beyond the arc (38% on 6.5 attempts per game). I've got plus shooting and great defenders around Zion. I'd like a little more ball-handling at this point.
Jamal Murray $1 (Remaining: $5)
If you thought I was getting through this without picking any of my Baby Boys, you're crazy. Of course, I have a spot for Jamal Murray! In real life, he and Simmons have the same contract but here? Simmons cost five times as much. Feels like Simmons' agent should be fired and Jamal's agent should be made into a demigod of some sort. We saw Murray carry Denver's offense for stretches during the postseason. I've long thought that Jamal as a third scorer would be his best role. We may see it in Denver with Jokic/MPJ/Jamal but we'll definitely see it here. Murray is good enough on-ball to run your offense at times, but enough of a threat off of the ball to be valuable when someone else is initiating the offense. Zion is one but who is the other scorer that he'll be playing off of?
Jayson Tatum $5 (Remaining: $0)
What a joy it is to keep a fiver in your pocket knowing that I can always double back and get a blue-chip prospect. The answer is Tatum. Tatum is the other scorer that Jamal and Zion will be playing off of. Tatum showed this season that he can be a #1 option on offense for a team with high hopes. He's my option 1A, and Zion is my 1B. Whoever leads the team in shots that night will probably be dictated by the matchup. Tatum is also another plus-defender for the squad and a high volume/high-efficiency shooter (40% on 7 attempts per game)
That's the gang. I've got my scoring (Zion/Tatum/Jamal), my shooting (Tatum/JJJ/Tatum/Lonzo), my ball-handling (Lonzo/Jamal/Tatum) and defenders at every level (JJJ/Lonzo/Tatum). Jamal is my third scorer. In this role, his inconsistency won't kill you but him catching fire will make your team just about unstoppable. My main concerns are rebounding (JJJ/Zion aren't exactly Rodman out there) and will Jamal be picked on defensively. He will be, but I trust he can hold his own. He's big enough (6'4", 215 with a 6'6" wingspan) to compete and he'll have great help defenders around him. 78-4 after working through a couple of regular-season missteps.
Who you got?