Fantasy Basketball: First Time All-Stars

Story posted March 7, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Matt Noah

The NBA season has reached the All-Star break and the trade deadline is on March 25.
Second half schedules have been released and some teams have more games left to play than others.

Let’s look at some first time All-Stars and the jump they made to get to this status.

Zach LaVine, G, Bulls

Originally with the Timberwolves and known for unique dunking ability, LaVine is now a great all around player. Since being traded in 2017, the guard has gradually improved his scoring from 17 points per game to nearly 29.

LaVine’s other stats are up as well with 5.1 assists and 5.2 rebounds per game. His points, assists, rebounds, field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage are all at career highs.

LaVine has blown away his fourth round average draft position in fantasy leagues, and has rightfully earned an All-Star selection.

Zion Williamson, F, Pelicans

Williamson is not a stranger to the spotlight, going viral with his empathic dunks dating back to his high school days. The forward has made the jump to All-Star status following a solid rookie season that unfortunately was headlined by injuries.

This season Williamson has been healthy, already playing in more games than last season. His stats are up too, as he’s recording 25.6 points per game, 3.4 assists and 7.2 rebounds. The Pelicans star has been better defensively and is shooting more efficiently.

Williamson has returned his fantasy draft value and will most likely exceed it by the end of the season.

Julius Randle, F, Knicks

Randle was mentioned in an earlier article but deserves another mention. Critics did not believe Randle’s play was sustainable but he has proved them wrong en route to his first All-Star appearance.

Just as importantly, the Knicks are the No. 5 seed in the East with a 19-18 record. New York has not made the playoffs since 2013, but thanks to Randle’s stellar play that streak is on pace to be broken.

Randle is averaging career highs with 23 points per game, 5.5 assists and 11 rebounds. He is playing nearly 37 minutes per game which is tied for second in the NBA.

His breakout season has impacted the Knick, their fans and fantasy owners alike.

 

Matt Noah is a sophomore majoring in journalism. To contact him, email matthewnoah29@gmail.com.