In fantasy sports, it’s never too early to start looking ahead to next season, and with the regular season all but over, it’s time to shift our focus on to next year’s fantasy drafts. The 2013-14 season gives a clean slate to everybody in the league. Will Amar’e be able to get back to his old self? How much progression can Shumpert show with a full healthy season? Can Melo lead the league in scoring?
This post was written on the assumption that everyone will be back in New York again next season. We’ll revisit these rankings in a few weeks to see if the playoffs have changed any player values.
1. Carmelo Anthony - 2012-13 Stats - 28.7 points 6.9 rebounds 2.3 assists 2.3 threes 0.8 steals 0.5 blocks
Melo finished the season strong, putting up a monstrous 36.9 points on 54 percent shooting with 9.9 rebounds and 2.6 treys in the month of April. He’s as good of a candidate as anybody to lead the league in points and is showing flashes of the ability to play the five when the Knicks go real small, meaning we may very well see a spike in his rebounding.
2. J.R. Smith - 2012-13 Stats - 18.1 points 5.3 rebounds 2.7 assists, 1.9 threes 1.3 steals 0.3 blocks
J.R. has matured before our eyes this season, but has a player option for $2.9 million. You have to think he’ll be able to command way more than that on the market so hopefully Dolan will be more willing to open the wallet for Smith than he was for Jeremy Lin. If he’s back with the Knicks, Smith’s best fantasy contribution will come on the glass, where he ranked sixth amongst shooting guards in rebounds per game.
3. Tyson Chandler - 2012-13 Stats - 10.4 points 10.7 rebounds 0.9 assists 0.6 steals 1.1 blocks
At this point of his career, you know what you are going to get when you draft Tyson Chandler in fantasy. He’s a walking double-double and a lock to be amongst the league leaders (if not the leader) in field goal percentage. Unfortunately, his intense style of play often leads to injury, so you have to draft him with caution.
4. Raymond Felton - 2012-13 Stats - 13.9 points 2.9 rebounds 5.5 assists 1.4 threes 1.4 steals
We saw a couple different versions of Felton this season, but when fully healthy, owners were able to take advantage of having a point guard with shooting guard eligibility. His 5.5 assists per game ranked eight in the league amongst shooting guards and we should see about the same production next season.
5. Iman Shumpert - 2012-13 Stats - 6.3 points 3.0 rebounds 1.4 assists, 1.1 threes 0.9 steals 0.2 blocks
Iman Shumpert can greatly benefit from a deep postseason run. He’s just now starting to hit his groove now so a lengthy playoff run coupled with an offseason where he can actually work on his game should equal success for Shumpert. Expect him to average at least two steals and a trey next season when he is given the opportunity to run freely.
6. Amar’e Stoudemire - 2012-13 Stats - 14.2 points 5.0 rebounds 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals 0.7 blocks
Just when STAT was regaining his old form, he once again succumbed to injury. His achy knees and back history makes me skeptical to think he’ll ever even get back even to this year’s points and rebounds averages. There’s someone you can take in every round with more upside than Stoudemire, so you’re better off waiting for some Knicks fan to draft him when the time comes.
7. Jason Kidd - 2012-13 Stats - 6.0 points 4.3 rebounds 3.2 assists, 1.5 threes 1.7 steals 0.3 blocks
Kidd himself doesn’t know if he’ll be back next season, but if he is, it’s hard to doubt him. For example, take this season, where the common perception was that Kidd’s game is almost considered useless. He still managed to average over 1.5 steals and 1.5 treys, which at this point he can probably do in his sleep. Even though they aren’t as plentiful as they once were, Kidd still puts up more blocks than your average point guard so if you can take the scoring hit, he is more than useful, especially in rotisserie leagues.
8. Chris Copeland - 2012-13 Stats - 7.8 points 2.0 rebounds 0.4 assists, 1.0 threes 0.3 steals 0.2 blocks
Copeland showed enough steady improvement throughout the year to make me believe he can be a sneaky fantasy selection in next year’s drafts. As long as he keeps progressing defensively, he looks to have earned a role as an offensive spark off the bench.
9. Steve Novak - 2012-13 Stats - 6.5 points 1.8 rebounds 0.4 assists, 1.8 threes 0.4 steals 0.1 blocks
Novak’s only contribution to the fantasy game during his career has been with the three pointer. This season, he averaged 0.7 trey less than last, and experienced a dip of more than six percent in field goal percentage.
10. Marcus Camby - 2012-13 Stats - 1.8 points 3.3 rebounds 0.6 assists, 0.3 steals 0.6 blocks
Camby was perhaps the most disappointing Knick this season, but his lengthy contract means he will be be given every opportunity to get back to his old self. Remember, he is only a year removed from having multiple 20-rebound games in the same season.
11. Pablo Prigioni - 2012-13 Stats - 3.4 points 1.8 rebounds 3.0 assists, 0.7 threes 0.9 steals
Given Prigioni’s age, it seems unlikely that he’ll be back next season, but if he returns as a starter, he’ll still be able to provide those sneaky steals in limited time.
12. Kenyon Martin - 2012-13 Stats - 7.2 points 5.2 rebounds 0.4 assists 0.9 steals 0.9 blocks
Martin turned from a last resort signing to a necessary piece of the championship puzzle, but I doubt we’ll see him back next season.
13. Rasheed Wallace - 2012-13 Stats - 7.2 points 4.2 rebounds 0.3 assists, 1.1 threes 0.7 steals 0.8 blocks
I’m excited to see Wallace back in action, but he’ll surely be back to enjoying his retirement come next season.
14. James White - 2012-13 Stats - 1.6 points 0.6 rebounds 0.4 assists, 0.2 threes 0.2 steals
Any start that James White gets next year will be too many.
15. Solomon Jones - 2012-13 Stats – 0.0 points 1.5 rebounds 0.0 assists
Jones is probably the most random signing of the year, which is saying something when the Knicks picked up a retired Sheed and K-Mart.