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2012-13 Draft Prep: Busts for Draft Day

Fantasy Writer
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There were plenty of players to come out of nowhere and break out a season ago. But in turn, there were also players who failed to live up to expectations. We call those busts in Fantasy and the 2012-13 season will spring a new batch of underperformers.

Whether it's a player drafted too high or someone coming off a breakout campaign that simply cannot duplicate it, busts are inevitable in Fantasy. Owners who have scoured the rosters to keep up with the offseason moves probably already have a pretty good idea of who may not be able to perform as expected.

We at CBSSports.com have compiled a list of candidates we feel will take a step back this season.

Guards

Raymond Felton, Knicks: Many believe Felton will be in for a bounce-back campaign after returning to New York in a trade with Portland in the offseason. Don't jump to conclusions just yet. He averaged 17.1 points with 9.0 assists and 1.8 steals in 54 games with the Knicks in 2010-11, albeit that was under former coach Mike D'Antoni. Point guards have always thrived in D'Antoni's run-and-gun offense and Felton was no exception. New Knicks coach Mike Woodson, however, runs a slower-paced offense and prefers everything to go through Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire for the most part. While Felton should be able to put up more than the 11.4 points with 6.5 assists he averaged last season for the Trail Blazers, we would advise Fantasy owners not to overreach for the 28-year-old on Draft Day as he probably won't be able to match the production from his first tenure in the Big Apple.

Steve Nash, Lakers: Nash led the league in assists for the sixth time in the last eight seasons a year ago and while his scoring fell off a bit, he remained a solid option in Fantasy. An offseason move to the Lakers has all the makings of hindering his value, however. He gives Los Angeles a true facilitator on offense but with the likes of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard expected to do the bulk of the scoring, the 38-year-old could see his points fall into single digits more nights than not. Nash has already seen his scoring decrease each of the last three seasons and shot just 39 percent from beyond the arc a year ago, which was his worst percentage since 1998-99. Owners know that the offense in Los Angeles runs through Bryant so Nash could be in for a huge letdown in Fantasy this season.

Forward

Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks: Things are already looking bad for Nowitzki as he has been slowed by a knee injury during the preseason and could end up undergoing surgery due to swelling. Good news is that he overcame this issue last season but showed up out of shape and needed an extended break to get back on track. It looks as though time is finally catching up to the 34-year-old. His numbers took a dip in 2011-12 as he averaged 21.6 points with 6.7 points and shot 45.7 percent from the field, which was his worst shooting percentage since his rookie campaign. Nowitzki's run as a must-start Fantasy forward could be coming to an end so owners should keep that in mind heading into 2012-13.

Brandon Bass, Celtics: Bass enjoyed a career campaign in his first season in Boston as he averaged 12.5 points with 6.2 rebounds and nearly a block per game while becoming a reliable option in Fantasy. However, early reports out of Boston are that the team loves rookie forward Jared Sullinger and he will likely steal time from the 27-year-old in 2012-13. Sullinger gives the Celtics a versatile big-man that is a slightly better rebounder than Bass and adds a bit more size to their frontline. Bass could also end up coming off the bench, which would limit his role even further and hinder his value in Fantasy, so putting up the numbers he did a year ago could be tough. Owners should not be too eager scoop Bass up before the later rounds on Draft Day as it looks as though he will come back to earth this season.

Ryan Anderson, Hornets: Anderson was one of the bigger surprises in Fantasy last year. After averaging just 8.6 points with 4.5 rebounds through his first 193 games in the NBA, he put up 16.1 points per contest with 7.7 rebounds and shot nearly 44 percent from the floor in 61 games for the Magic. Anderson struggled in the playoffs without Dwight Howard alongside him, however, scoring just 9.6 points with 4.6 rebounds and shooting 34 percent from the field. He was traded to the Hornets in the offseason and could find trouble scoring on a consistent basis in New Orleans. The offense runs through Eric Gordon and with rookie Austin Rivers and Anthony Davis part of the rebuilding process, Anderson will likely play more of a secondary role with the club. The 24-year-old shoots the ball well from the 3-point line (38 percent for his career) but a repeat of his 2011-12 campaign seems unlikely. Anderson is definitely someone we think will be a disappointment in 2012-13.

Centers

Andrew Bynum, 76ers: Bynum put together the dominant campaign Fantasy owners had been waiting for a year ago as he averaged career highs with 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds for the Lakers. He also played in 60 games for just the third time in his career and shot nearly 56 percent from the field. An offseason move to the 76ers had most owners salivating over the potential numbers he could put up since he would not longer have to share the ball with Kobe Bryant and he immediately became one of the best centers in the Eastern Conference. But, just like it has in the past, injury concerns have begun creeping up during the preseason as the 24-year-old has already received a Synvisc injection on his right knee and was also shut down due to a knee bruise. Bynum had that done each of the previous two seasons but there are also some complaints about his conditioning early on. Bynum has proven to be a must-start Fantasy center when healthy but given his history, owners should temper expectations heading into his first season in Philadelphia.

JaVale McGee, Nuggets: Many people, including us at CBSSports.com, believe this is the season that McGee finally stops frustrating Fantasy owners and takes his game to the next level. After spending the offseason working closely with coach George Karl and Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, it looks like he's on the right track. However, this is not the first time we have heard this about the 24-year-old as he has appeared on numerous breakout and sleeper lists over the last few seasons. This is why we have decided to list McGee as a possible breakout or bust option this year. While he looks to have the skill set to become one of the elite big-men in Fantasy, owners cannot be blamed for avoiding the hype around McGee again in 2012-13.

Rookies

Dion Waiters, Cavaliers: The Cavs reached a bit for Waiters with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 Draft and he has gotten off to a shaky start in his NBA career. After being compared to Dwyane Wade on draft night, there were reports that he showed up to camp out of shape and his struggles during the preseason have caused him to be pulled off the court at times. Coach Byron Scott thinks Waiters could be a dynamic player in the league but it will likely take some time for the 20-year-old to mature. While he believe Waiters has the ability to become a reliable option in Fantasy down the line, that doesn't seem likely to happen in his first season in the NBA.

Thomas Robinson, Kings: Robinson was one of the more dominant players in college during his junior year at Kansas as he averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds per contest and led the nation with 27 double-doubles. He could have a hard time getting his numbers on a Kings team that has a ton of scorers, however, and will likely be coming off the bench in his first season in the NBA. His rebounding will likely not be as proficient too as DeMarcus Cousins has been a monster on the boards so far in his career. Keep tabs on Robinson going forward but don't count on him for a ton of production during his rookie campaign.

Royce White, Rockets: White is certainly one of the more interesting Fantasy options among rookies as he has a unique skill set for someone with the 6-foot-8, 260-pound frame. He averaged 13.4 points with 9.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.9 blocks per game at Iowa State last season. His battles with an anxiety order, however, have raised some red flags. Due to his fear of flying, the Rockets will allow him to travel for some of the team's road games by bus. While White could end up having a huge role in his first season in the NBA, there is some concern that he could end up missing games due to his travel arrangements. There are simply too many question marks surrounding the 21-year-old to consider him a reliable option in Fantasy heading into his rookie campaign.

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Player News
Raptors expect Jonas Valanciunas to be 'more involved' on offense
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:01 pm ET) Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas said he spent part of the summer working with former NBA center Hakeem Olajuwon, according to the Toronto Sun.

"I worked a lot this summer. I was working out with Hakeem with a running coach, so I think that’s going to help me out a lot, especially in the low post," Valanciunas said. "He’s one of the greatest players. He moves fantastic, so I want to get something from him and I want to use something that he taught me."

The work with Olajuwon could pay dividends for Valanciunas since his teammates are expecting him to have a bigger role on offense this season.

"We have to start games off (feeding Valanciunas in the post), we need him, we’re going to put some pressure on him to score the ball for us," guard Kyle Lowry said. "We can’t just do all guard-oriented types of things. We have to make sure he’s more involved and have to put a little pressure on him to score the ball."


Manu Ginobili has no restrictions as Spurs camp opens
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:47 pm ET) Spurs guard Manu Ginobili has been a full participant in practice to open training camp and has not dealt with any lingering issues after being diagnosed with a stress fracture of the fibula days after the NBA Finals last season, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

"(I've done) everything," Ginobili said after Tuesday's practice. "There is a point when the practice gets too long or too rough when Pop (coach Gregg Popovich) gives me a little extra rest, but I have not been told, 'You can't do this.'

"Maybe related to my conditioning, I am a little behind, but I'm actually very happy with what I've been doing and how I'm playing, considering the summer I had. Not bad."


Hornets rookie Noah Vonleh hopes to be fully cleared in 2-3 weeks
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:41 pm ET) Hornets rookie forward Noah Vonleh said he hopes to be fully cleared in the next 2-3 weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery in early September, according to The Charlotte Observer. Vonleh is limited to working out on an ellipitcal machine, as well as some light shooting and jogging.

Hornets starting lineup shaping up as Stephenson, Williams assigned roles
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:33 pm ET) Hornets coach Steve Clifford said Monday he plans to start Marvin Williams at power forward ahead of Cody Zeller and Lance Stephenson will start at either small forward or shooting guard, according to the Charlotte Observer.

With center Al Jefferson and point guard Kemba Walker also securing spots in the starting lineup, the final spot will come down to shooting guard Gerald Henderson or small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Clifford is really excited about the potential Stephenson brings to the lineup.

"I’ve been around Kobe (Bryant) and (Tracy) McGrady and (Latrell) Sprewell in his prime. Lance isn’t there yet," Clifford said. "Lance was 13 1/2 (ppg.) last year. He’s young and talented. His efficiency shooting the ball, getting his turnovers down (need to improve). For us to talk about him as a legitimate All-Star player who we can play through, that’s the jump he needs to make and he knows that."


Mario Chalmers 'very focused' as Heat camp opens
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:01 pm ET) After a poor performance in the playoffs last season, Heat guard Mario Chalmers is focused on proving his postseason struggles were a fluke, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

"My situation is a little bit different," Chalmers said. "Coming into this season, I'm a lot more hungry. I'm very focused for this camp."

Chalmers said he overhauled his approach, which included a new conditioning program. He said he has dropped 10-15 pounds and also feels a lot quicker.

"I don't want to let anybody down," Chalmers said. "And since there is a lot expected of me, I'm going to go out there and give it the best I've got."


Bucks coach feels O.J. Mayo can be solid contributor in 2014-15
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:44 am ET) Bucks coach Jason Kidd said he sees guard O.J. Mayo playing an important role in 2014-15 after Mayo fell out of favor last season with former coach Larry Drew. Mayo played in just 11 games after Jan. 25 last season and did not play in 17 of the Bucks' final 19 games.

"He's 26, 27 (on Nov. 5)," Kidd said, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He's young. He's a big part of this team. He has the Milwaukee on the front (of his jersey) and that's where it starts. He's come in very positive, talking on defense and offensively. He's making plays for his teammates."

Mayo is excited about the game plan Kidd is implementing.

"It's pretty much a pro offense," Mayo said. "It's just making reads and making the right play. It will be a lot more up-tempo, and it fits our game and our style of play a little better than maybe last year. We've got a lot of offensive players."


Jazz begin contract talks with Enes Kanter, Alec Burks
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:38 am ET) Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said this week he has begun talks with Enes Kanter and Alec Burks about contract extensions, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Utah has until the end of October to reach an agreement or both players will become restricted free agents in July.

"They’re both valued members and we’re really proud of where they’re at as people and as players," Lindsey said. "We’ll see if we can get something done early … but we anticipate both of them being with the Jazz for a long time."


Mavs forward Chandler Parsons spends offseason bulking up
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:33 am ET) Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons spent the offseason bulking up. Parsons wanted to add muscle because guarding players like Dirk Nowitzki, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love has been a challenge in the past, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

"I just think strength was the biggest [challenge] for me," Parsons said. "Offensively, it’s just as tough for them guarding me when I take it out, pick-and-pop and do stuff like that. But I wanted to be able to guard them in the post, not have to front and do stuff like that. I think the added strength will definitely help."


Celtics PF Jared Sullinger in better shape as camp opens
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:23 am ET) Celtics power forward Jared Sullinger said he has improved his conditioning since last season, according to MassLive.com.

"Best I ever felt, and hopefully that carries on throughout the season," Sullinger said. "Everybody says they want to be somewhere, but it’s always a couple weeks late. I have the whole preseason and training camp to get to where I need to in order to play the extended minutes I plan for myself to get. I just gotta keep working."

Coach Brad Stevens agreed Sullinger appears to be in better shape, but added he still can improve his conditioning.

"I think he’s in better shape than he was when he got here, certainly, at the start of last year, and really through most of the year. But it’s still about getting in better shape," Stevens said.


76ers rookie K.J. McDaniels opts for one-year, non-guaranteed deal
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:58 am ET) 76ers rookie guard K.J. McDaniels has opted to sign a one-year, non-guaranteed tender that could make him a restricted free agent next July, according to Yahoo Sports.

McDaniels' agent, Mark Bartelstein, would not accept the team's offer of two-guaranteed seasons and two non-guaranteed seasons. 

"The 76ers have a philosophy that they're adhering to, and we totally respect that, but it doesn't fit for K.J. and us," Bartelstein told Yahoo Sports Wednesday. "I just totally disagree with the idea of doing a four-year deal that includes a structure of two non-guaranteed years. We think K.J. is going to be a good player, and it came down to doing a one-year deal and letting the market determine his value.

"There's no hard feelings. The Sixers’ philosophy has worked for them. It just doesn't work for us."


 
 
 
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