Rookies are the sirens of fantasy basketball. Sirens are, of course, the dangerously seductive sea nymphs in Greek mythology who lured sailors to their deaths on rocky shores with their singing. When assessing the potential fantasy value of NBA rookies, it’s easy to get caught up with their ceilings while ignoring the basements of potential. This, along with the fact that most rookies can be had in the bottom half of drafts, makes them seem pretty alluring.
But consider this: Last season, in a draft class that was arguably more talented than the one we’ll see next season, only about six or seven rookies (Blake Griffin included) turned out to be worth drafting in 2010-11. There were a handful of others that had fantasy value for spurts of last season, but they didn’t turn out to be worth spending a draft pick for. Let this be a cautionary tale for fantasy owners licking their chops at the thought of drafting a rookie when fantasy basketball drafts roll around again. (continue reading…)