With the third worst record in the league, the New Orleans Hornets are surprisingly chock-full of Fantasy talent. They probably won’t be making the playoffs anytime soon, unless Anthony Davis morphs into the second coming of Bill Russell, but there’s enough nuggets buried under the rubble of a 7-23 record to deserve some digging into.
(For a good laugh, check out the team’s +/- category. Definitely a sad sight).
Despite little fanfare, Greivis Vasquez is quietly shaping up to be a formidable point guard. If you overlook the fact that he might be hurting the Hornets the most—he has their lowest +/- at a minus-139—Vasquez seems primed to be a top-10 point in years to come. At 6-foot-6, he’s big enough to bother opposing players with size, and is both an able passer and scorer, which puts him at the forefront of scouting reports. In only his third year in the league, Greivis is averaging 13.4 PPG, 8.8 APG, 4.4 RPG, and is shooting for 42.2% from the field and an even 82 percent from the charity stripe. 8.8 APG puts him as the league’s 4th-best enabler, and is only trumped by fourteen other guards in the rebounding category.
As Anthony Davis becomes a more vocal leader, and clamps down defensively, expect to see a rise in Vasquez’s defensive focus as well.
Long lost in his twin brother’s shadow, despite a 7-foot frame, Robin Lopez is finally coming into his own. The Hornets’ starting center is raising his worth by averaging 12.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.0 BPG, while shooting 56% from the field, and making an impressive-for-centers 79.5% of his free throws. Also important to note, for those of you who play in Fantasy Leagues that factor turnovers, Lopez is posting only 1.38 TOs a contest.
With Eric Gordon back, Lopez’s scoring output should improve as defenses focus their attention on the high-scoring guard.
Finally, we have the sharpshooting Ryan Anderson who leads the league in 3PM (three points made) with 3.2 a game. He helps make up a maturing frontline comprised of Anthony Davis, Robin Lopez, and himself, and certainly helps spread the floor for NOH. He is putting up career numbers, averaging 17.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, and is shooting 44.2% from the field, 40.2% from behind the 3-point line, and 90.9% from the top of the key.
While the loss of Chris Paul, a young roster, and uncomplimentary players, NOH’s problems are far from over, but that doesn’t mean no one else should benefit from a stat-studded squad.