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New Orleans guard Chris Paul had a great NBA fantasy season in 2008. So did LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade. But then if you look at each of their respective Average Draft Positions (ADP), they were expected to be great.
This article is about five players who exceeded their 2008 ADP expectations and performed at a higher level. It will be interesting to see if they can continue to improve on their new "expected" performance level or whether they will get "fat and satisfied" with their accomplishments.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder increased his statistics in six of eight fantasy categories. It included a five-point increase in scoring while raising his shooting percentage from the field and from three-point range. Durant's low ADP (40) was due to a weak three-point shooting percentage and rebounding total in 2007 which he dramatically improved this season. He will likely be a second-round pick in 2009-10 as there is no reason to believe he will back slide in any category.
With Manu Ginobili hurting and Tim Duncan starting to show his age, Tony Parker picked up his game in all areas except rebounding. He had the lowest ADP of any of the five players discussed here at 72.5 which made him quite a bargain as an eighth-round selection. Parker's not old at 27, but he's already played eight full seasons. I think he overachieved this year and his numbers will either plateau or fall back a little next season.
Brandon Roy (ADP 49) has improved his scoring in each of his first three seasons in the NBA (16.8 to 19.1 to 22.6) along with his field goal percentage. But his rebounding and assists-per-game have stayed relatively flat over the three years. He's already playing more than 37 minutes-per-game and with the team around him improving Roy might not get statistically better next season although the team could win more games.
Danny Granger (ADP 20) has raised his scoring average in each of his four seasons and not by just a little bit. He jumped from 7.5 ppg in 2005-06 to 13.9 to 19.6 to 25.8 points last year. I wouldn't expect those type increased to continue and with him not being an inside-type player his rebounding totals are limited. His shooting and three-point percentages leveled off in 2008. I'd expect that next season will look very similar to this year.
Devin Harris (ADP 64) increase his time on the floor by almost five minutes- per-game and saw his points, rebounds and assists go up correspondingly. With Vince Carter showing his age, Harris became the Nets' "go-to" guy. Unfortunately, his shot selection left something to be desired and we saw a drop in both field goal percentage and three-point percentage. Unless the Nets get another scoring option or Carter finds the "Fountain of Youth," Harris' shooting percentages won't improve in 2009.
2007 vs. 2008 Statistical Comparison