PG – Jose Calderon: 83rd overall, 26th PG
He’s not a flashy talent, but Calderon’s game is slowly becoming more fantasy friendly. He’s always been reliable when it comes to the traditional point guard stats, but he added his second highest scoring season (11.3 PPG) and notched a career best 46.1 percent from behind the arc.
Calderon is going to make nearly all of his free throws and is the perfect point guard to target if you went with big men in the early rounds.
SG – Monta Ellis: 54th overall, 10th SG
I’m not high on Ellis from a fantasy standpoint, but if your roster is constructed in a certain fashion, I can understand spending a fifth round pick on the newest Maverick. He’s a volume shooter who will get his scoring numbers in a less than efficient manner (41.6 percent from the field last year), but the points and 3PM will be there.
He has been surprisingly generous with at least 5.5 APG in each of the last four seasons, giving him a distinct edge over other players like J.R. Smith. I very much doubt Ellis’ willingness to develop the type of well-rounded game that his fantasy owners would prefer, but he did add a career-high 169 steals and 69 blocks last season, and every last statistic counts.
SF – Shawn Marion: 136th overall, 42nd SF
The “Matrix” used to be an elite fantasy option, and while his best days are well behind him, there is a good chance he ends up on most of my teams this season. He’s a cheap way to get 1,000 total points, 550 rebounds and 175 assists.
He’s going to get his fair share of blocks/steals, and while he may not be a great scorer, the NBA has yet to find a way to stop his quirky offensive game, allowing him to shoot over 50 percent in three of his four seasons in Dallas. The risk is minimal given his draft position and he comes without much downside, a nice combination in a late-round flier.
PF – Dirk Nowitzki: 32nd overall, 11th PF
In contrast to Marion, I have a hard time seeing Nowitzki on a single one of my fantasy teams this season. In my opinion, the Mavs franchise centerpiece’s name has become more valuable than his production, resulting in him being drafted well above where my projected stats for him would land him.
Nowitzki averaged less than 20 points for the first time this millennium, his fourth consecutive season in which he has experienced a dip in scoring. At 35 years of age and coming off first real injury, it is hard to imagine this future Hall-of-Famer reversing his downward trending statistics.
On the positive side, he made more than one 3-pointer per game for the second consecutive season, something he hadn’t done since the 2004 and 2005 seasons. His ability to score in an efficient manner isn’t going anywhere, I just fear that he loses some of his opportunities with the acquisition of Ellis.
He’s not overly versatile, which hurts him at the loaded PF position. I’m not against rostering Dirk, but spending anything more than a mid to late third-round pick is living in the past and not the present.
C – Samuel Dalembert: 152nd overall, 53rd C
Dalembert is a streaky player who won’t be rostered in most leagues but can offer some upside if you’re in a pinch. He’s a good source of blocks if you’re desperate and/or if he can earn extended playing time. He had the second best FG percentage of his career last season (54.2 percent) and impressed me with his ability to occasionally produce at a high level.
Once the new year struck, Dalembert posted eight double-doubles in his 10 games with 20-plus minutes of action, averaging 14.6 points and 11.2 rebounds in such games. If the Mavs commit to giving him 30 minutes a game, he’s a double-double lock with 1.5 blocks, but I don’t see Dalembert getting those type of minutes with the Mavericks’ frontcourt depth.
That being said, he is a name to watch should Dallas catch the injury bug or if he gets moved to a team that would play him major minutes.