Stash Season: Rookies to Grab
Ah rookies, everyone’s favorite dynasty basketball commodities. During draft season everyone is speculating on who’s going to make an immediate impact or win Rookie of the Year, but after the season gets rolling people tend to forget about some of the rookies who didn’t come out of the gate on fire. Yes, we’d all kill to have Evan Mobley on our dynasty teams, but sometimes taking the long road pays off big time. Just look at Desmond Bane.
Coming into last season, Bane wasn’t one of the hyped rookies everyone was talking about. He was a 2nd round pick and put up decent numbers, 9.2 ppg and 3.1 rpg, but he was a bit of an afterthought. I’m willing to bet he was sitting on a lot of waiver wires last year. Now, however, we all are VERY aware of who Desmond Bane is now. He’s been a top-30 player all year and has dynasty players kicking themselves for not stashing him or for not seeing the breakout coming.
And I am here to remedy that.
Well, actually no I can’t get Desmond Bane on to your teams, BUT I can help you find the next Desmond Bane. There are plenty of rookies out there who are just chomping at the bit, ready to become a breakout star next year.
I promise I will stop talking about Pacers players soon, but right now we really need to discuss Isaiah Jackson. I’ve talked him up before, but the short version is he’s an incredibly athletic and long big, with tremendous defensive ability and a high motor. All the making of an ideal lob threat, if only the Pacers had a star point guard to pair him with…
OH WAIT, they just added Tyrese Haliburton and these two could be a match made in heaven. Jackson suffers from the same thing a lot of rookies do, which is not being a lottery pick who plays right away. But with injuries and a shuffling roster, he’s shown major flashes lately. He went off for 26 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks in his first real chance at minutes back on January 31st, and put 11 points/3 steals in 1 quarter in his first game with Haliburton. So why is he on this list? Because in between those flashes, he’s been hurt. He’s got an ankle injury that has kept him out of action, but he should be back in the near future.
Once he does get back get ready for a stream of lob dunk highlights, because that pairing with Haliburton is going to be money. The lack of production and uncertainty of the roster likely have him floating out there as a free agent (he’s only 26% owned on Yahoo!) so now is the time to grab him.
When I started putting this article together, Mann had just finishes a three-game stretch where he scored 8, 2 and 2 points. Perfect time to buy low. Since then? He’s scored 30 and 24, so that buy-low window might be closing faster than I thought.
The Thunder are a massively interesting team, mostly because they have somewhere between 1 and 50 first-round picks to spend in the near future, but my favorite thing about them is they let the young guys play. Similar to Jackson, Tre Mann has been one of the more overshadowed rookies this year. Mostly because he was the Thunder’s second first-round pick, behind Josh Giddey, and has also been stuck behind SGA on the depth chart. Now that he’s got a chance to play, due to SGA’s injury, it’s become apparent that he can score on anyone. Please enjoy this clip of him tearing apart my beloved Knicks:
30 points for Tre Mann tonight. The guy is just a talented bucket getter. Look at the variety of shots he creates and makes
Enjoy the 40 seconds of clips. This would be an impressive reel for a season for a lot of rookies pic.twitter.com/wwfkNWz9MD
— Draft Dummies (@DraftDummies) February 15, 2022
A dude with this kind of raw skill and scoring ability already is a perfect candidate to take a massive step in year 2. His numbers are a little wonky this year, mostly from lack of minutes, but take a look at his last year in college. He was hitting 40% of his 3s and was at 83% from the free throw line. He’s got a lightning-quick first step and already has a deep bag of tricks to get by his defender. Give him another offseason to hone his craft, and we could be looking at Desmond Bane 2.0.
I don’t think this is news to anyone, but the Knicks are bad. We had a brief flash of fun last year, but ever since the playoff series against the Hawks things have been pretty typical here in New York. However, we finally have hope beyond winning the draft lottery and that brings us to Quentin Grimes.
Once again I will say the Knicks are bad, which means *hopefully* they start prioritizing developing the young guys over playing Alec Burks. Grimes, like the other guys mentioned, suffers from being one of the rookies taken later in the draft so his potential has been overlooked. He has been getting some minutes from coach Thibs, and really shined in the few games when RJ Barrett was out.
Grimes went off for 20 and 19, while draining 5 threes in back-to-back games on Feb. 12th and 14th. He’s got a sweet jumper and has already earned minutes from Thibs because of his ability on the defensive end. The guy plays hard and knows his role, which explains why he hasn’t really broken out yet. But we all know the future of the Knicks doesn’t lie with Burks or my old classmate Kemba Walker, and when those guys are gone there is going to be a large amount of minutes to fill. This time next year, we could be looking at Grimes starting, draining open 3s and locking opposing guards up. And he’s a great fit next to RJ Barrett, since he doesn’t need to dominate the ball to be successful. Is it just me, or is this starting to sound a lot like Desmond Bane in Memphis?
He’s got all the makings to break out next year, and now is your chance to grab him before his price goes through the roof. As the legend Fat Joe said, “yesterday’s price is not today’s price.”