Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we pose a question to a rotating panel of ESPN fantasy basketball experts to gauge their thoughts on a hot topic. Today's contributors are ESPN NBA reporter Ohm Youngmisuk, and ESPN Fantasy's Kyle Soppe and Joe Kaiser.
Let's hear a bold prediction for the 2017-18 fantasy basketball campaign.
Joe Kaiser: Kristaps Porzingis won't be a top-40 fantasy player. Hey, you said to go out on a limb, so there it is.
Now, the big man doesn't turn 22 until August and has looked like a future star in his first two years in the league, but there is reason for concern when you look closer at his stats this season. While Porzingis' minutes rose 4.4 per game compared to his rookie season, going from 28.4 to 32.8, and his shooting improved from 42.1 to 45 percent from the field and 33.3 to 35.7 percent from 3-point range, all of his other numbers remained right where they were last season.
That would be worrisome even if Porzingis logged the same amount of minutes as last season, but to have his rebounds (7.3 to 7.2), assists (1.3 to 1.5), steals (0.7 to 0.7) and blocks (1.9 to 2.0) all stay relatively the same, despite more playing time, is a big red flag if you ask me. As excited as we all were by Porzingis' quick adaption to the NBA as a rookie, there is a chance he could settle in as mostly a scorer, 3-point shooter and shot-blocker who also contributes as a secondary rebounder.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Brook Lopez will finish in the top 25 in 3-point field goals made next season. Sounds crazy for someone who had taken a total of 31 3-point attempts in his first eight seasons. But this season, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson gave Lopez the green light to be his version of Al Horford. Lopez made 134 treys at a 34.6 percent clip this season in his first year in Atkinson's new system. Think of how many more 3s Lopez might have hit if Jeremy Lin was able to remain healthy. If Lopez stays with the rebuilding Nets and plays in 70-plus games for a fourth straight season, Lopez should have no trouble surpassing 150 3-pointers made next season at a more accurate clip.
Kyle Soppe: You want a hot take? You get a hot take. Jrue Holiday gains comfort with this roster and explodes for fantasy owners. There wasn't a single player to average 20 points on 45 percent shooting, 10 dimes and 5 boards this season -- Holiday gets there next season. While their frontcourt gets the headlines, the fantasy value will be with Holiday, and the Pellies flip their win-loss record from this season on their way to the most improved team of the 2017-18 season.