12: Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry / Danny Green
The Raptors’ recent trade in acquiring Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green improves their team overall, but their backcourt takes a slight hit, with Danny Green now taking what was DeMar DeRozan’s spot. Lowry is solid, while not explosive offensively he can average 16 points, and plays the role by assisting 30% of teammate’s field goals and surrendering 14 turnovers per 100 possessions. Danny Green can knock down threes and the Raptors’ offense will look a little different. We’ll have to wait a little longer to see how well Lowry and Green gel.
11: Utah Jazz: Ricky Rubio / Donovan Mitchell
A shortcoming of this duo is the 18 turnovers that Rubio commits per 100 plays, in addition, assisting on 28% of his teammate’s baskets while on the floor is the lowest of his career.
Lifting this duo to new heights will be Mitchell as he improves upon his averages of 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.
The vast majority of his shots were either within three feet or for 3. His Usage Percentage was already at 29% and as that increases so will his Player Efficiency Rating of 16.
10: Charlotte Hornets: Kemba Walker / Jeremy Lamb
Kemba Walker is in the upper tier of point guards. The 6’1” point guard averaged 22 points, assisted on 27% of field goals while on the court and averaged just 10 turnovers per 100 possessions. Due to Nicolas Batum being able to play forward, Lamb will be at shooting guard. With the inside presence currently in a state of flux, expect Lamb to get more than 10 field goal attempts while his 13 point average increases.
9: Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons / J.J Redick
Until Markelle Futz is ready, Redick will continue to average 17 points while making 42% from downtown. Redick, the consummate spot up shooter, had every three-point make assisted in 2017-18. There’s a reason the Sixers brought Redick back after a one-year deal in 2017-18. Ben Simmons averaged 15/8/8 and will continue to improve. He attempted 998 field goals with an average distance of 5.5 feet and assisted on 37% of his teammate’s field goals on the floor. Most impressively, he attempted just 11 field goals beyond the arc.
8: Indiana Pacers: Darren Collison / Victor Oladipo
Oladipo’s statistics from 2017-18 will be difficult to duplicate, and impossible to improve upon. He averaged 23 points with 26% of his attempts coming within 3 feet. Defensively 3.5% of opponents plays would end with a steal from the shooting guard. At point, Collison averaged 12 points while leading the league in 3 point percentage and assisted on 26% of field goals made during his playing time. His 10 turnovers per 100 plays were very solid for a point guard.
7: Minnesota Timberwolves: Jeff Teague / Jimmy Butler
Despite being unhappy, Butler will begin the season with the T’Wolves.
If Butler’s intention is to use his player option prior to the 2019-20 season to join up with his friend Kyrie Irving, he will need to produce.
Butler averaged 22 points, with a Player Efficiency Rate of 23.7, well above the standardized league average of 15. Teague was productive as well, for when on the floor he assisted on 30% of the T’Wolves field goals and averaged 14 points.