2014-15 NBA Fantasy Preview
POSTED: Oct 6, 2014 12:09 PM ET
The 2014-15 NBA season is right around the corner, which means it's time to start preparing for your Yahoo! NBA Fantasy draft!
Use our Fantasy Draft Kit to find out which players are the best in each statistical category and outsmart your competition. Make sure to check back to NBA.com/fantasy throughout the month as we reveal our NBA.com Fantasy Big Board, positional rankings and feature articles.
The Clippers' point guard took control of the assist crown last season and appears positioned to retain it in 2014-15.
Assist percentage = The percentage of teammate field goals a player assisted while he was on the floor.
13-14: 10.7 APG on 45.9 AST% -- 12-13: 9.7 APG on 44.3%
The reigning king of assists averaged 10.7 dimes per game last season, marking the first time he's led the league in assists since the 2008-09 season. Paul averaged 72.0 passes per game and 24.5 points per game were created off his assists. With the Clippers only getting better, it seems likely Paul will find himself atop this list again at season's end.
13-14: 8.8 APG on 39.2% -- 12-13: 7.6 APG on 40.7%
Due to Chris Paul playing only 62 games, John Wall led the league in total assists last season with 717. This total beat his previous career-high by nearly 150 assists and as the Wizards (and Wall) continue to improve, the assist opportunities should present themselves at an even higher rate this season.
13-14: 9.8 APG on 48.0% -- 12-13: 11.1 APG on 49.0%
No player is more focused on racking up assists than Rajon Rondo, who led the league in assists opportunities last season at 20.0 per game and assist percentage at 48 percent. The biggest issue for Rondo is his health and he's already sidelined for the first few weeks of the season with a broken hand.
13-14: 8.6 APG on 36.2% -- 12-13: 7.3 APG on 39.1%
The loss of Kevin Love will hurt the amount of easy assist opportunities Ricky Rubio gets this season. But with Rubio's passing skills, the assist opportunities don't necessarily need to be easy and he will have a squad full of athletic youngsters who will surely benefit from his perfectly thrown alley-oops.
13-14: 8.8 APG on 36.9% -- 12-13: 6.9 APG on 29.5%
Ty Lawson ranked fourth in the league in assists per game last season and set his career-high with 8.8 per contest. This number should increase even further this year if players like JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari can stay healthy for the majority of the season.
13-14: 6.1 APG on 31.1% -- 12-13: 5.9 APG on 31.5%
LeBron James and Kevin Love are a little more talented than the teammates Kyrie Irving is used to playing with over his first three seasons in the league. This will allow him to not have to do the scoring himself and look more to setup his new All-Star teammates. Don't be surprised if his assists hover around the 8-10 per game range.
13-14: 7.9 APG on 35.8% -- 12-13: 8.0 APG on 35.8%
Jrue Holiday posted nearly identical assist stats last season in New Orleans as he did during the 2012-13 season in Philadelphia. With a year under his belt as a Pelican and as Anthony Davis improves, those assists numbers should see a rise this season. All signs point towards Holiday being a very solid starting point guard for your fantasy squad.
13-14: 8.5 APG on 37.2% -- 12-13: 6.9 APG on 29.8%
Steph Curry's assist percentage saw a huge jump last season as he further embraced the point guard role and as the Warriors became a more talented squad. The continued improvement of Klay Thompson and health of Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut should further help his assist numbers this season. But for a player who averaged 24.0 points per game on 47.1 percent shooting, it's hard to ask for much more than 8.5 assists per game.
13-14: 7.4 APG on 33.6% -- 12-13: 6.4 APG on 33.6%
Kyle Lowry posted career-high assist numbers last season in Toronto as he played the best basketball of his career. Since assuming the starting point guard role during the 2010-11 season in Houston, he's averaged 6.8 dimes per game. With arguably the most talented team he's ever played with assembled in Toronto, he could be positioned to set new career highs in 2014-15.
13-14: 6.9 APG on 38.0% -- 12-13: 7.4 APG on 37.2%
The theme of Thunder training camp so far has reportedly been ball movement. This movement will begin with Westbrook, who posted the third-lowest assist per game mark of his career last season. With his field goal percentage also dipping as his 3-point attempts increased (4.7 per game at an atrocious 31.8 percent), you may want to look elsewhere for a starting point guard option. However, he clearly still has superstar potential.
13-14: 4.7 APG on 22.3% -- 12-13: 7.1 APG on 39.6%
The assist numbers took a major dip for Jose Calderon last season in Dallas. Now in New York as the presumed starting point guard, expect his assists to rise back to the elite level they were at during his time in Toronto when he averaged 8.1 per game between 2007-12. With what he also provides in field goal percentage and 3-point makes, he has the potential to be a great late round steal.
13-14: 7.6 APG on 33.4% -- 12-13: 6.5 APG on 29.6%
Brandon Jennings can provide you assists, posting a career high of 7.6 per game last season. But these assists come at a price, as you will probably lose field goal percentage every week with him on your squad (averages 15.2 attempts per game at 39.0 percent).
13-14: 6.7 APG on 34.7% -- 12-13: 7.2 APG on 34.8%
After signing a contract during the summer of 2013 to stay in Atlanta long-term, Jeff Teague had a slightly down year under first-year coach Mike Budenholzer. Teague improved every season leading up to last, so expect his play to continue its ascension as he grows more comfortable under coach Bud.
13-14: 6.1 APG on 31.2% -- 12-13: 7.7 APG on 36.4%
Deron Williams averaged 10.5 assists per game between 2007-11 in Utah. This number has steadily fallen by about an assist per game every season since, bottoming at his 6.1 per game mark last season. Along with the career-low assist numbers, Williams tallied his lowest points per game mark since his rookie year in 2005-06. A usual first-round lock, Williams should slip pretty far during your draft this season and could be worth a gamble. He can't fall much further, can he?
13-14: 8.8 APG on 42.6% -- 12-13: 3.0 APG on 30.6%
This ranking is arguably unfair to Kendall Marshall, who was tied for third last season in assists at 8.8 per game. But he seems to have been a clear beneficiary of Mike D'Antoni's point-guard focused offense in Los Angeles. Now in Milwaukee, Marshall still possess incredible vision and should post decent assists numbers. Just don't expect him to flirt with 8.8 assists per game again this season.
13-14: 4.3 APG on 25.7% -- 12-13: N/A
Derrick Rose posted 7.7 assists per game during his 2010-11 MVP season and hit 7.9 in 2011-12. But after missing the entirety of 2012-13 and a short return last season with low assist numbers, it's hard to know what to expect from the dynamic guard. He's one of the most valuable fantasy players (and players in general) when healthy. And he held together well at the FIBA World Cup, showing signs of his quintessential explosiveness. There's just no way to predict if his body can handle a full 82-game season. High risk, high reward.
13-14: 6.3 APG on 29.2% -- 12-13: N/A
Michael Carter-Williams posted quality assist numbers during his rookie season to help him win Rookie of the Year. He has even less talent around him in Philadelphia now, though, and his field goal percentage was bad enough to potentially offset the dimes he provides. It may just be a good rule of thumb to avoid every player on the Sixers.
13-14: 5.9 APG on 27.4% -- 12-13: 7.4 APG on 34.4%
Goran Dragic is entering a contract year in Phoenix after winning the Comeback Player of the Year award last season. His assist numbers dropped as his scoring increased and with the addition of Isaiah Thomas in the Phoenix backcourt, his dimes per game may stay around the 5.9 mark. But he's worth having on your team for his points and field goal percentage, even if his assists don't return to the 7.4 per game level he posted in 2012-13.
13-14: 7.0 APG on 34.1% -- 12-13: 7.4 APG on 32.6%
Jameer Nelson was 11th in assists last season at 7.0 per game and ninth during 2012-13. But he joins a much more crowded backcourt in Dallas with him, Devin Harris and Raymond Felton all competing for minutes. Expect his numbers to fall back down towards his career average of 5.4 dimes per game.
13-14: 6.0 APG on 29.3% -- 12-13: 6.1 APG on 28.7%
It seems like every season is the season Mike Conley will finally breakthrough as an elite assist guy. But after five straight seasons of around six dimes per game, it appears this is the level at which he will remain. He's still a very good overall player to have on your team, providing points, steals and assists at solid rates. But you won't win the assist category often if he's the best distributor on your team.
Extra 10 (no order)