Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Being included in a trade with two All- Star centers last August meant that Nikola Vucevic was an afterthought.
And in most fantasy leagues, he didn't get a thought at all.
Vucevic was drafted with an ADP of 137.7 in Yahoo! leagues, compared to 11.1 for Dwight Howard and 15.6 for Andrew Bynum.
But the 22-year-old ended up being the most valuable fantasy player of the three, finishing as the 24th overall player in default leagues.
That's enough to make him the top fantasy bargain of the 2012-13 NBA season.
The 22-year-old averaged 33 minutes, 13.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.8 turnovers in 77 games, and he became a nightly double-double threat in mid-December.
In his final 56 games, Vucevic averaged 14.4 points, 13.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.0 blocks, and he really announced his presence as a dominant fantasy center with a 20-29 game on Dec. 31 against the Miami Heat.
He would go on to hit up the Heat for another 20-20 game on March 6 with 25 points and 21 boards, and he posted two more 20-20 games after that, which came back-to-back on April 7 and 10 (the latter was a 30-20 game against Milwaukee).
Here are the other members of our 2012-13 All-Bargain Team:
Tim Duncan, PF/C San Antonio Spurs (57.7 ADP) - The Big Fundamental reversed his decline last season and posted sixth-round value in Yahoo! leagues, and that's what fantasy owners paid for in 2012-13 season drafts. However, they got back the ninth overall player in fantasy this season. Duncan averaged 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists, shot a career-high 81.7 percent from the foul line and had his highest blocks average since 2003-04 with 2.7 per game. Instead of taking it easy down the stretch like he did in 2011-12, Duncan peaked in his final 15 games, averaging 21.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.5 steals and 2.7 blocks and shooting .518/.854 (FG/FT) in that span.
Stephen Curry, PG Golden State Warriors (32.8 ADP) - Fantasy owners shied away from drafting Curry in the first two rounds after he missed most of last season with ankle issues, but the sharpshooter ended up setting the NBA single-season record for made 3-pointers with 272 over 78 games (3.5 per game), which helped him average 22.9 ppg. He added 6.9 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.6 steals and a .900 free-throw percentage to finish as the No. 3 overall player in fantasy leagues.
Paul George, SG/SF Indiana Pacers (39.3 ADP) - George was valuable to fantasy owners last season, when he provided third-round value, but owners underrated him in 2012-13. Danny Granger's knee injury allowed George to become the No. 1 offensive option, and he responded by increasing his scoring average from 12.1 to 17.4 ppg. George made 2.2 threes and averaged 7.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He ranked as the No. 12 overall player.
Kemba Walker, PG Charlotte Bobcats (104.1 ADP) - A horrific 36.6 field-goal percentage as a rookie meant that Walker wasn't high on draft boards this season, but he returned early third-round value. The Bobcats let D.J. Augustin walk in free agency, so Walker was the No. 1 point guard from the get-go, and he averaged 8.0 more minutes per game than last season. Walker shot 42.3 percent from the field and averaged 17.7 points, 5.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.3 triples.
Brook Lopez, C Brooklyn Nets (75.4 ADP) - A bum foot limited Lopez to five games last season, and that combined with his reputation as a poor rebounder led to Lopez taking a draft-day tumble. Lopez only had 6.9 rebounds per game this season, which is an insult to seven-footers everywhere, but he also scored 19.4 points, blocked 2.1 shots and shot 52 percent. And he did it in 74 games, making him the 22nd-best player in fantasy.
Damian Lillard, PG Portland Trail Blazers (86.2 ADP) - Spending four years at Weber State meant that Lillard was ready to gallop right out of the gate, and that was good because Portland had no other point guards and no discernable bench. Lillard played all 82 games and averaged nearly 39 minutes and 16 shots this season. He turned in averages of 19 points, 6.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 2.3 treys and ran away with the Rookie of the Year award before Christmas.
Larry Sanders, PF/C Milwaukee Bucks (126.1 ADP) - Foul trouble and Scott Skiles' coaching held back Sanders' production at first, but he gave us gems like Nov. 30 at Minnesota -- 10 points, 12 rebounds, 10 blocks -- to remind us what he could do. He averaged 8.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in just 25 minutes per game before the All-Star break, and the team turned him loose for 30.5 mpg in the second half. He finished with 9.8 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 0.7 spg, and his average of 2.8 blocks per game was second in the NBA to Serge Ibaka's 3.0.
Chandler Parsons, SF Houston Rockets (127.3 ADP) - The high-flying Rockets tied for the NBA lead with 28.9 3-point attempts per game, and Parsons got off 5.2 per game and made 2.0. That helped him average 15.5 ppg over 76 games, and he also was active in the rebound, assist and steal categories. He averaged 5.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals and finished as the No. 32 overall player in fantasy leagues.
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