After one largely uneventful season with the Charlotte Hornets Noah Vonleh now finds himself via trade in a rebuilding situation with the Portland Trail Blazers. He might provide some valuable minutes for the Trail Blazers this season but what about Fantasy Basketball? Does Noah Vonleh have any value on Draft Night?
Here is the projection from 2014-2015.
Vonleh fell into Charlotte's lap at No. 9, and although the Hornets have a plethora of options to replace McRoberts' minutes, Vonleh may be as important as any. What Zeller lacks in athleticism and Marvin Williams lacks in size Vonleh appears to have both. Still, Charlotte could fight for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference, and coach Steve Clifford is expected to ease the youngster into the rotation.
Vonleh didn't get very many opportunities to play in Charlotte playing in only 25 games and averaging just 10 minutes per night. He did have some nice ball games at the end of the regular season including a 12 rebound night against Dallas. He did manage to hoist some threes and averaged 38 percent from behind the line. It was a season much like you would expect for an 18 year old rookie "big".
2015-2016 Fantasy Basketball Projection for Noah Vonleh
There really isn't much to go on, is there? What we do know is this; when given the opportunity to play Vonleh put up decent numbers as evidenced in the latter parts of the season. He's a capable 3 point shooter with a good motor and a 7 foot 4 inch wingspan that could indicate decent numbers in blocks and steals. These are all encouraging signs of future Fantasy Basketball value.
Vonleh has a good game and seems to have a great attitude as evidenced in the quote taken just after his very successful Summer League season.
"I'm getting more comfortable against most of these opposing (power forwards) because I know most them can't stay in front of me," he told Mike Richman of The Oregonian. "But it's going to be different in the NBA. The game is changing and most of these guys are quicker and, kind of like me, they like to get to the basket, do different things. So I got to keep working on that."
The biggest obstacle currently standing in Vonleh's way isn't just a lack of experience; his talent alone can probably make up for that. What's standing in his way is Ed Davis and Meyers Leonard. Both of those players are young and bring different skill sets plus Davis and Leonard have more NBA experience than Vonleh currently has. This is a big problem for Fantasy Basketball owners as they prepare for their drafts.
I would think Vonleh could and probably should get drafted in a Keeper or Dynasty League. Even though the NBA sample size is small what we saw last season coupled by his performance this summer would force owners to at least consider Vonleh. An owner rebuilding his roster much like the Trail Blazers are would probably take an interest in a young athletic big man who can shoot the three, rebound and block shots and find him worth taking a risk on. If I were rebuilding my roster I would absolutely consider Noah Vonleh.
I don't see Vonleh getting enough minutes initially to warrant drafting him in a 10 or 12 team league. I think I'd be hesitant to do so even if I knew for sure Vonleh would get 25 minutes or more a night. There are just too many better options at the Power Forward position for me to recommend drafting him in a smaller standard league.
Leagues larger than 12 teams might be where you see Vonleh drafted. As I said before, Vonleh does have a high upside and might be worthy of a late round flyer. If he's getting the minutes and producing you found yourself a steal. If he doesn't then you didn't lose very much by drafting him.
If you have any Fantasy Basketball questions that you would like to see answered here or are interested in joining a league I'm hosting here at Blazers Edge please, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.