With another fantasy basketball season wrapping up it is time to hand out some yearly awards. Below are my fantasy basketball awards for the 2012 season:
Fantasy MVP: PF Kevin Love, MIN – The fantasy owners who were lucky enough to have Kevin Love quickly became infatuated with the kid from UCLA. Love averaged a ridiculous 26.5 points and even more impressive 13.7 rebounds so far this season and has quickly become the best fantasy player in the paint. He hits ten-foot jump shots with ease and is relentless under the boards. Love is by far the most unheralded player in the NBA, as he has helped carry millions of fantasy squads in points, as well as rebounds. He is still only 23 years old, so it is scary to think about what this kid could develop into.
Breakout Player of Year: C Andrew Bynum, LAL - Laker fans have been waiting for Bynum to have a breakout season since his rookie season in 2005 and this was the year. The center is averaging a dominant 11.9 rebounds per game and has anchored many fantasy teams this season. He had great draft value this past winter, as almost no one drafted him in the first four rounds.
Fantasy Rookie of the Year: PG Kyrie Irving, CLE – Irving was the easiest pick on this entire list. The former Duke Blue Devil came into a boring Cleveland offense and gave them life. He has averaged 18.9 points, 4 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per contest in his rookie campaign, completely blowing any expectations the fantasy world had out of the water. He has quickly become a top-tier point guard and will be an amazing long-term keeper for the next half a decade.
Free Agent Pickup of the Year: PG Jeremy Lin , NYK – “Lin-sanity” came out of nowhere to take the NBA by storm. Lin went from being a practice squad player to being on the cover of every magazine in the country, as he quickly became a viable fantasy option. His season may have been cut short following knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, but he was still one of the top point guards in the league for over a month, and he helped more than a couple fantasy squads move up their league rankings.
Fantasy Disappointment of the Year: SG Manu Ginobili, SA – Ginobili has missed almost all of the 2011 season so far, and has completely killed his fantasy value for anyone who drafted him. Ginobili finished the 2010 season by averaging an outstanding 17.4 points per game, but the 34-year old has only managed to score a mediocre average of 12.5 points so far this year. He has really turned it on as of late with 15 points in the last three games, but for the fantasy owners who suffered all year the damage has already been done.