Whether it’s because of injuries, a perceived lack of talent, or any other reason you can think of, some professional athletes find themselves on the outside at some point in their careers. They are forgotten, they are part of their sport’s past and they must make a comeback and rekindle the passion of the fans who once supported them.
I wanted to bring in a few players whose names are already (or may soon) enter the “forgotten” realm of the NBA, which is why I’m highlighting them in this small series of preseason articles. That doesn’t mean you should rush to smash that “draft” or “add” button into your league draft or WW pool in some cases, but it’s definitely meant to provide a comprehensive list of names you should definitely keep one eye lit, just in case.
Here is a partial part of the list of players I have chosen for this series, who may or may not have rebound campaigns depending on the odds they get, where they land or even if they are signed to play basketball at all next year. One thing, however, is clear: do yourself (and the NBA as a whole) a favor, and don’t forget them!
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Fantasy Basketball Forgotten Players to Watch
Joe Harris, SG/SF – Brooklyn Nets
So much has happened around Brooklyn in the past year that it would be reasonable to find the occasional fantasy GM who forgot about Harris. Joe Harris, remember, played basketball in the borough last year but was only able to do so for 14 games before having his run cut short due to a season-ending injury.
Of course, with all the Kyrie and drama during this offseason, and the storylines that developed before that during the regular season involving Kyrie, Ben Simmons and James Harden’s playing time, well… let’s just say Harris went into at least a second faded plane.
Harris, even though he’ll be playing basketball at 31 next season, has a style of play that isn’t really based on pure athleticism. He is, in fact, the antithesis of that type of player, which should help him maintain his numbers without dropping too much in the rankings due to the inevitably declining physicality of his game.
Harris has posted game times above 30 MPG for four straight seasons, but he finds his mojo in the perimeter and shooting. Harris has attempted 5.1+ 3AP per game in all of those years while hitting 42.4% of those in all of those seasons. You can count all the players who have done this in the the story of the NBA since its creation on the one hand. Harris (four times), JJ Redick (four times), Kyle Korver (five) and Steph Curry (six). There you go, that’s the complete list.
There’s nothing stopping Harris from going outside the three-point area, waiting for a KD/Kyrie/Simmons distributed ball and hitting cluster triples next season. Harris could end 2023 averaging 4+ RPGs, 1.5+ APGs, and less than 1.5 TOPGs without too much trouble. Assuming a healthy season (that’s around 70 games played for Harris considering his recent past), Harris can be seen as a lock to finish the year as a top-50 player with one or more other of the G/F eligibility.
James Wiseman, C – Golden State Warriors
Wiseman was a very dominant high school player, suffered a bit in the NCAA Tour, but ultimately he was drafted in the summer of 2020 with a second overall pick by the Golden State Warriors more because of his form (Curry and Klay were already in tow without many big men in the roster) than anything else. These days, however, Wiseman’s name might not even ring the smallest bell in some casual fans’ heads, as ridiculous as that sounds.
Wiseman spent two years at Golden State (including becoming an NBA champion), but he only played 39 of a possible 164 games. He recorded 836 minutes in the regular season, but none in the playoffs. You get an idea of how things went for the Sage and why he fell a bit into forgotten territory.
Wiseman returned to the picture this summer after performing well in the NBA Summer Tournament. He has just completed 81 minutes of total playing time in the last Summer League in four games. The big man from Memphis posted a 10-5-1 average line with 2 BPG on top of that. He shot 48% from the field, although he attempted 1.5 3PAs per game, hitting 33% of those.
GMs Fantasy draft Wiseman with the 132nd OVR pick as we approach mid-September. This ADP will surely increase a little in the coming weeks.
Harry Giles III, SF – Free Agent
The forgotten player par excellence, isn’t it? Giles, he of Oak Hill Academy tradition, was the nope. 3 rookie in the country and a Duke basketball rookie just over five years ago. The third best prospect of this fucking nation, let me point it out again. Now, all Giles is… is a free agent still looking for a team just a month away from the start of the 2023 season. Cold world, folks.
If you forgot about Giles, well, I guess I can’t blame you, even in the slightest way. Giles, mind you, spent three seasons in the NBA with the Kings (two years) and Trail Blazers (2021) before missing last year entirely without a deal to play in the NBA. The truth is, however, that Giles should be a very attractive recovery project for some franchises, as he should still be a malleable basketball player with 10+ years of play in him.
The Clippers signed Giles last September, but he was waived by the NBA franchise and fell through the G League ranks before suffering a season-ending injury in January. He should be fine by now, but his health issues are still a serious concern, considering he’s already entered the NBA with two ACL injuries under his belt. But hey, the kid is only 24 years old!
In his three NBA seasons, Giles never averaged more than 15 FPPG, but his efficiency numbers per minute were excellent, posting marks of 1.07, 1.05 and 1.00. Considering the league average figure stayed at 0.90 for quite a while, Giles was arguably better than your mediocre guys out there. Giles’ stat lines (per game) again read 7-4-1, 7-4-1, and 3-3-1 in his senior year, though his minutes went from 14 MPG (twice) to just 9 MPG in his last NBA. season.
You might not even find Giles in your league’s squad, but if you’re in the deeper leagues, you happen to be playing fantasy basketball on a platform that includes Giles in its roster. players and enjoy playing, adding Giles to your squad should be a step in the right direction!
John Wall, PG – Los Angeles Clippers
Believe it or not, John Wall is back. And it could actually be return for real because the franchise offering another chance is a very legitimate, talent-packed competitor in the LA Clippers.
Wall may not have played a single game since mid-2021 and sat out entirely last season (not to mention the last three campaigns he’s played in, he’s never topped 41 games or 1410 minutes) , but he’s always been a perennial top-five player when active and there’s no reason they could be fantastic value play as an aging vet.
As it stands, there’s still the question of whether Wall would start the games or not (he seems to be cool with the latter option though, so no ego-related issues around the end result are expected ), but even in a limited/bench role he should flourish. The Clippers only had one “true” point guard last year in Reggie Jackson and he was nowhere near a real asset in the fantasy realm averaging just 30.3 FPPG and 0.97 FP /min. Wall and Jackson could work in a kind of alternating PG platoon-by-committee starts.
Best-case scenario, Wall can play 60+ games, log 30+ MPG, and hit around 30-35 FPPG to finish the year in the top 75 overall. Whether he starts or not, he’ll get tons of assists (for PG13 and Kawhi, or as the main second unit playmaker) and is also expected to be a legit shooter for the Clips judging by recent reports from beat reporters. covering the team this summer and in the known of Wall’s current training regimen.
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