Rookies in the West are going down faster than the Titanic, but they’re still rookies who can pay dividends down the line.
Trey Burke, Uta PG
Burke will miss six weeks with a broken finger. This puts a damper on his value in standard leagues, but only increases his value in keeper/dynasty leagues because he will fall a few spots in the draft. His injury will not affect his conditioning, but will cause his already subpar field goal percentage to drop even more (if that is possible). Look for Burke to average around 12 points, 6 Assists, 3 Rebounds, 1 Steal, and 0.5 threes on 40% shooting from the field. These numbers will increase in his second year.
C.J. McCollum, Por PG/SG
McCollum, another rookie taking on water, will be out at least six weeks with a broken foot. Unless your league has an injury reserve slot he is no more than a final round pick in standard leagues. In franchise/dynasty leagues he has value considering Portland had the worst bench (by a wide margin) in the NBA so Portland will need him to play. I forecast 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a three, when healthy.
Ben McLemore, Sac SG
The only top-of-the-line rookie still floating on western waters, McLemore is shoe-in for the best rookie in the West. A great scorer and solid defender, the sky is the limit for USS Sacramento King. Target him in rounds 9 through 11 in standard drafts and 1 or 2 in keeper/dynasty drafts. 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.5 three’s, and 1.2 steals will be the norm for McLemore following the All-Star break.
Archie Goodwin, Pho SG
The former Wildcat is a versatile player who will get plenty of opportunity to show his skills in Phoenix. He should be watched closely in standard drafts and is worth a late round pick in Keeper/dynasty drafts. Look for around 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 three.
Nemanja Nedovic, GS PG/SG
The rookie guard from Europe had 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal in 25 minutes in his last preseason game in China. Nedovic is a savvy guard who will compete with fellow rookie Seth Curry for minutes in Golden State. Around 5 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds are expected if he can beat out Seth for the minutes.
Seth Curry, GS PG/SG
Steph Curry’s younger brother, Seth (thanks Del), will compete with Nedovic all preseason to crack the Warriors’ rotation. Like his older brother, Seth is dead-eye from downtown and not afraid to take the big shot. In his last preseason game he posted 2 threes, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in 18 minutes. Expect more of the same from Seth if he gets ahead of Nedovic in the Warriors rotation.
Rudy Gobert, Uta C
The talented big has not seen much action during the preseason, but could log heavy minutes once Utah is out of the playoff picture. With his 7’9 foot wing-span, blocks and rebounds will come by the bucket load for the big from France. Keep an eye on Gobert, as his minutes and value should increase toward the end of the season.