Malcolm Brogdon and Joe Harris battle for title of Virginia’s best NBA fantasy league pickup
Since the 2013-14 season, the Virginia basketball team has had one of the best runs in the NCAA, finding themselves as a 1 seed in the NCAA tournament four times, and taking home the championship once. With this rise in national notoriety, basketball fans certainly would have seen a few of these players make the leap from college to the NBA, with two of the most prominent being Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris and Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogden.
Neither of the two played on the title team, but they were both there as key players that saw the rise of the program into a national powerhouse, which is especially impressive considering they only made the tournament twice from 2001-2013.
Who has the fantasy edge?
Those out there who participate in an NBA fantasy league probably don’t care about any college accolades – they want to know who is performing right now and can help them win in their league.
The Nets guard established himself as a name in the league when he won the Three-Point contest during the 2019 NBA All-Star weekend, where he rose about notable NBA sharpshooters like Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, and Dirk Nowitzki. Putting a wager on him would have had a nice payout based on who he was facing then. He’s been considered one of the best outside threats ever since.
Recently, the national pressure on him and his team has been raised with the addition of NBA superstars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden – all within the last two seasons. This has put the 29 year-old in a spot on a contender he hasn’t found himself in before.
All the extra attention has not phased him though, as he’s averaging a career highs with 14.9 points per game on 50% from deep. Considering he’s launching over 6 threes per game, shooting at that high of a percentage is incredible.
According to ESPN fantasy rater, he’s currently the 20th ranked guard in the league. Not bad considering two of the people ahead of him play on his team. Certainly he’s a quality player to have on a roster, especially if you’re in a roto league, as he’s been great in the three point category.
As for the Pacers point guard, he blossomed the past couple of years in a new role on a new team. Initially being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks, he won Rookie of the Year in 2016, however it was a fairly weak draft class, so people were still not too high on his potential.
Once he signed with Indiana last season though, he’s been putting up career numbers, including a high mark of 21.2 points per game this year. Plus, with the departure of Victor Oladipo to the Rockets, he’s found himself as the go-to option in the back court for the team.
Plus, it’s not just scoring. He’s fit in great as the ball handler and distributor for the team, averaging 6.4 assists per game this year. This is great news for any of his fantasy owners, in a league with lots of huge names playing the point guard position, he’s an under the radar gem that went lower than he deserved, currently rated as the 9th best point guard in ESPN’s scoring system.
Other notable players
Along with those two, there are a few others in the league who played for the Cavaliers in college that might want to be in consideration for best player out of that college.
De’Andre Hunter would be in the conversation (read more) if he could stay free of injury. Unfortunately, the second year man has found himself on the court less than he would like to start his career. He’s the type of guy that could find himself in a conversation for Most Improved Player next season though, because he’s shown flashes when he can stay healthy.
That’s the type of wager that some might be on the lookout for heading into next season if you’re using something like the ATS sports betting app to gamble on sports.
Some other names that fans will recognize would be Philadelphia 76er forward Mike Scott, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Ty Jerome, and Sacramento Kings guard Kyle Guy. Certainly an impressive list of players the school has put out over the past few years.
With the Cavaliers continuing to be a presence in college basketball, do not be surprised if the NBA has even more players out of the college that enter the league over the coming years.
Story by Derek Saling