Why is LeBron James projected to be a late pick in the 2023 NBA fantasy mock draft?Explore why the 28.9 PPG scorer isn’t a popular choice

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are currently preparing for the 2023-24 NBA season. With the preseason underway, fans are eager to start picking their fantasy NBA teams heading into the regular season. With that in mind, LeBron James has become a controversial fantasy draft pick heading into this season, despite the fact that he’s been excellent in his previous 20 seasons.

When looking at many NBA fantasy draft guides, LeBron James is viewed as a second-round pick at the small forward position. While this may come as a surprise to fans as James averaged 28.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last season, James’ availability has been questioned.

Since fantasy basketball’s scoring relies heavily on availability, the fact that LeBron James has dealt with injuries the past few seasons is concerning. Last season, James only played 55 games.

Last season, James again played only 56 games, although he averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. While those numbers are impressive in an NBA season, his absence is concerning when it comes to fantasy basketball.

If we go back to the 2020-21 season, the likelihood of LeBron James becoming an early fantasy rookie drops significantly. In the 2020-21 season, James suffered a groin injury, causing him to play only 45 games.

See where other players at his position besides LeBron James are drafting in fantasy basketball

With fantasy basketball’s position locked, players interested in drafting LeBron James will focus on a number of other picks at the small forward position. While James may be one of the best players on the planet, there are other small forwards who have generated fantasy interest.

The most notable is Jayson Tatum, who played in 74 games last season and 76 games last season despite struggling in the playoffs. Last season, Tatum averaged 30.1 points, 4.6 assists and 8.8 rebounds per game, setting a career high.

Given his availability and all-around production, Tatum is expected to be a first-round target in fantasy leagues. Behind him, those targeting small forward may have to choose between drafting James or Kevin Durant.

In Durant’s case, the contemporary genius found himself in the same boat as James. Last season, Durant only played 47 games, and last season he only played 55 games. Looking back a year, Durant first came to Brooklyn in the 2020-21 season, when he only played 35 games.

With availability being as big a factor in fantasy rankings as production, and arguably more so, James’ health is a serious concern. While he was a very durable player throughout his career, his durability declined significantly in the later years of his career.

Source link

Leave a Comment