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Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Jordan, Smart and Drafting Rookies Edition

Phil answers BE readers Fantasy Basketball questions in the very first installment of Fantasy Basketball Mailbag at Blazers Edge!

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

I'm honored that you dear Blazers Edge readers have sent in so many Fantasy Basketball questions. In fact there were so many that we decided that every couple of weeks or so I would select the three most asked questions and them here we go!

Dear Phil,

I drafted Deandre Jordan on all of my teams knowing full well that I wasn't going to win the ft category. My reasoning was that he is a solid guy for 3 categories while only costing you one. Do you think his owners should expect much different out of him this year?

Thanks for the question! You definitely made a wise choice and most of the time you will take a hit in one category no matter who you draft so I would say you made a wise choice.

Jordan is a nightmare at the charity stripe isn't he? You'd think a guy who shoots nearly 500 of them in a season would actually make at least 50 percent of them wouldn't you? That's not the case with Jordan and as bad as his 39 percent was in 2015 he's done worse. Not by much but not his worst. He did shoot 52 percent back in 2012 and I don't expect him to do any better than that and he'll probably hover right around his career average of 41 percent give or take a couple of percentage points either way.

I don't think owners can or even should expect anything different from Jordan. Once he decides where he wants to play (perhaps his indecisiveness is why he can't shoot free throws?) an owner should expect double digit rebounds and scoring and at least 2 blocks per night. His 71 percent field goal percentage is asking a lot but he doesn't venture very far from the rim so even if that drops by 3-5 percent it's still pretty darn good I'd say.

Dear Phil,

Is Marcus Smart worth drafting as a later round pg?

Thanks for the question.

Marcus Smart had a decent rookie season. Nothing to write home about but decent just the same. He did get the minutes (27pg) and his scoring (7.8) and assists (3.1) plus his 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals were really good especially in a deeper league. Those numbers should be encouraging for owners to see and you would think this coming season would be much better, right?

Not so fast. The Boston Celtics traded for point guard Isiaih Thomas during the middle of last season and somehow Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens convinced Thomas to come off the bench. While it might have worked last season I'm a bit sceptical that history is going to repeat itself in 2015-2016, do you?

And that's just it. If you are convinced Thomas is going to get the same 27 if not more minutes and you are convinced that Smart is going to exceed his points and assists totals PLUS one or two triples a night then by all means make the "smart" choice and draft him. I'm going to take a pass on Smart as there are probably I don't know at least 30 point guards who can produce better results more consistantly than Smart can.

Dear Phil,

Are there any rookies that you are psyched up about drafting?

Thanks for the question!

I'm not one of those guys that usually drafts rookies or for that matter recommends drafting a rookie. Too many things can, and sometimes have gone wrong for me to usually draft a rookie. This past season I drafted Andrew Wiggins and while plenty were dropping him after his sluggish start I held onto to him and he had a very nice rookie season. It's awfully early yet but there might be a couple of rookies I may consider drafting this coming season.

Jahlil Okafor Philadelphia 76ers: Okafor is currently the odds on favorite to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He has outstanding offensive skills and should score and rebound at or near double digit numbers in both categories. The problem is his defense; he isn't very good at it and at some point if he doesn't improve its going to pose a problem for the 76ers as well as Fantasy Owners.

Mario Hezonja Orlando Magic: Over the last couple of seasons I've watched this young fella play in Europe and I must say I'm impressed with the way that he shoots the ball; and unfortunately that's about all I'm impressed with. The real question would be how many shots a night Orlando is going to allow him to jack up. If he gets the green light and 25 minutes a night things could get mighty interesting in Orlando.

Karl - Anthony Towns Minnesota Timberwolves: Of the three I think Towns is going to be given the most playing time right away; they Timberwolves have nothing to lose and everything to gain by letting Towns play through mistakes and grow into his game. He's a pretty good shooter from the field and the line plus he's a very good shot blocker. He'll also rebound on both ends of the floor. If his offensive game can catch up to his rebounding and shot blocking he'll be right at the top of the Rookie of the Year race.

If you have a Fantasy Basketball question you would like to see answered in this space or would like to signup to play in a Fantasy Basketball league made up of BE readers and myself please email me at