So if you’re a savvy fantasy basketball manager like I am, you’ve probably already participated in mock drafts even before training camp opens. Shoot, if you’re a savvy fantasy basketball manager, you’ve probably read tons of fantasy basketball articles 2 months prior to season’s tip-off. So, here we are.
In most mock drafts I’ve done, I’ve noticed a glaring trend that disturbed me. Derrick Rose. He’s been coming off draft boards in the first 3-4 rounds, and every time he gets drafted, I do a little fist pump to myself- because I know that I’m not that guy who reached for him.
I’ll get to the point. Derrick Rose is an over-rated fantasy basketball player. There- I said it. He really shouldn’t be drafted in the first 4 rounds of most leagues (assuming you play in a standard 12-man league- I mean, if you play in a 30-man league, first 4 rounds sounds about right).
Don’t get me mixed up. Rose is an outstanding basketball player. He’s fast, flashy and very adept at scoring. If I were a general manager of an NBA team, I wouldn’t mind building my team around him. However, I’m merely a fantasy basketball manager. And as for me, as it should be with all fantasy managers, I only care about the box score.
And quite frankly, Derrick Rose just doesn’t fill up the box score as a 3rd-rounder should. Let me show you his average stats per game (including turnovers) in his first two seasons in the league:
Year 1 (his rookie campaign): 47.5 FG% (on 14.9 attempts), 0.2 treys, 78.8 FT% (on 3.1 attempts), 3.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks and 2.5 turnovers. (According to basketballmonster.com’s player rankings, that puts Rose at 125 [or 11th round]).
Year 2 (his most recent season): 48.9 FG% (on 17.6 attempts), 0.2 treys, 76.6 FT% (on 4.3 attempts), 3.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks and 2.8 turnovers. (According to basketballmonster.com’s player rankings, that puts Rose at 97 [or 9th round]).
So yeah, Rose improved his game a bit last season, but besides an uptick in more field goal attempts (and consequently more field goals made) and points, not much has changed. His numbers are actually almost identical.
I suppose the reason why everybody is so high on Derrick Rose is because of his potential. I mean, after all, he’s only going to enter his third year in the NBA- he has so much room for growth. He’s supposedly working on his three-point shot. He’s supposedly working on his defense. He’s in Turkey right now, tearing it up for Team USA, all the while playing with (and learning from) the best players he’s ever played with in his entire life.
If Rose can hit more than one three per game and can steal the ball more than once per game (which I doubt), then his fantasy value would definitely increase. But skyrocket from a 97 rank to top 36? I’m not so sure about that. Especially with new Bull Carlos Boozer in town.
You see, Rose’s value comes from his running the offense. He always has the ball in his hands. And with the Bulls’ reloaded roster, he simply doesn’t have the same responsibilities that he had in the past two years. He will not be expected to carry this team offensively every single night. His career usage rate of 24.8 is very close to Boozer’s of 23.6. (The Bulls 2009 usage rate is about 105, and it’s unrealistic to assume that Rose and Boozer will control half the Bulls’ offense [Think of Noah, Deng, Brewer, Korver and co.]). Which means- either Rose or Boozer- or both- will get less touches. And less touches = less stats.
But let’s think about the best case scenario for Rose. Let’s say that he does improve his three-point shot and his ability to grab a steal. Let’s say that he scores just as much and just as efficiently as last year. And let’s say that he gets more assists due to the upgrade of the roster around him. All those things would probably warrant a 3rd-round pick. But that’s a lot of things that need to go right. And there are so many better players who are a proven commodity. Players you know for certain that can post 3rd-round numbers night in and night out.
You don’t want to reach for Derrick Rose- shoot, you don’t want to reach for anyone. When you draft, you want every pick to have value. And if you draft Derrick Rose in the first three rounds, you are not getting 3rd-round value for your 3rd-round pick. You’re only getting potential (and I’m throwing this word around very lightly) 3rd-round value for your 3rd-round pick.
So don’t do it. Let someone else reach for Rose.
This post was submitted by David Yang.