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NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft Busts: Centers

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who find themselves in a bad situation. The wrong pick can completely tank your season.

Today, let's talk about some potential busts at the center position. For whatever reason -- be it talent, lack of opportunity, or some combination of those two things -- these are players who I'm actively avoiding in my fantasy leagues this season.

Let's look at five centers who have bust potential this year in fantasy basketball leagues.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including NBA Writer of the Year, Best NFL Series, MLB Series, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Mitchell Robinson - New York Knicks

The Knicks are so barren of talent that Mitchell Robinson has slowly but surely turned into their most viable trade chip and most valuable player at this point. No wonder, considering Robinson beat Wilt Chamberlain's historic field goal percentage mark last season hitting 74.2 percent of his shots from the field and setting a new NBA record. But still, he smells like busting.

Mitch Rob wasn't that bad or that great. He was limited to just 23.2 mpg because he plays for the Knicks and the Knicks don't have a clue what they're doing. In those 23-plus minutes of run per game, Mitch averaged almost a 10-7 line, stopping at 9.7 ppg. Rob is null from long range, though, so forget about a floor stretching big here. He hit that high percentage of shots, though, but wasn't nearly as good at the line hitting just 56.8 percent of his freebies...

Currently at an ADP of 46.3, that draft position surely looks bonkers considering Robinson's situation. Yes, the upside should be high in theory given his exploits on just two-thirds of what could be a 34 mpg season coming in 2021, but are we sure he can keep up his mental efficiency? No, sir.

 

Steven Adams - New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans traded for Adams this offseason and then proceeded to extend his contract for a couple of years, making it clear that they will probably hold onto the Kiwi for that period. That doesn't sound totally wrong, making the Zion-Adams pair the couple to go to in NOLA's interior. It's not a bad pairing.

Stevie wasn't a league-winning player biggie last season, but he was far from the worst player, finishing as the 9th-best center in the league in total fantasy points. On a per-game basis, he almost reached 30 fantasy points per game (29.4), but he was rather mediocre from a per-minute angle averaging just 1.10 PF/min and ranking 18th in that leaderboard, even below Tony Bradley, Jarrett Allen, and Willy Hernangomez.

The Pels are not going to hand Adams more opportunities and touches than those he had in OKC, so it's not lik3 his usage will rise and boost his numbers up. Adams is a perennial rebounder with small upside anywhere else. He finished averaging an 11-9-2 line close to a dub-dub, but he only posted 22 double-doubles on the year (63 games played). His 75 ADP in early drafts looks a little bit high right now, that's for sure.

 

Tristan Thompson - Boston Celtics

We're humans and as humans we're biased. We like new, fresh stuff, no matter how good or bad it could potentially be. It's new, so we just like it. Enter TT, new Boston Celtic. I like this signing, don't get me wrong, but Thompson will probably get fantasy GMs a little bit more hyped than they should be this draft season.

Playing for a mediocre Cavs team, Thompson got plenty of chances to rack up fantasy points but he ended the season as an average player at best. TT averaged 30.6 FPPG and a rather bland 1.01 FP/min, which, again, is an average mark as best. He did so playing more than 30 mpg (30.2) and shooting 9.9 fga per game. He closed 2020 with a 12-10 dub-dub line, but that was pretty much all he did barely edging 2.0 dimes per game.

Thompson's environment is clearly better now than it was just a month ago. That being said, we'll see how he does in Boston given the numbers other bigs put up last year while playing there. Gordon Hayward is gone, which means some shots will open, but that shouldn't mean TT will get a monster uptick in the times he will put his hands on the ball.

 

Marc Gasol - Los Angeles Lakers

I was on the verge of getting Gasol off this list after he signed with the Lakers (I built the column before he did so, and had him labeled as a Free Agent). Even after that, though, I still think Gasol could turn into a fantasy bust, and even more if we factor his ADP (currently 120.3) into the equation. Sure, he's a 12th-round draftee in 10-team leagues, but even there he might still be a little bit overvalued by fantasy GMs.

Playing for the Raptors last season, in 44 games (that's the first concern) he averaged 23.7 FPPG and below one fantasy point per minute, getting just 0.9 FP/min while playing 26.4 mpg. Gasol played little time, and he wasn't efficient on his short runs. He finished the year averaging a rather bad 7-6-3 line. That's not atrocious because he was able to add some dimes, blocks, and steals to his average stat lines, but he just doesn't cut it for me as a drafted player instead of a high-upside WW target.

The Lakers have built one of the best big-man trios in the league by putting together an LBJ-AD-MG group that clearly improves on the first two + JaVale/Dwight that we saw last season. Even then, though, Gasol would probably raise his stats a bit (nothing crazy) but it is not that he will start shooting 10+ shots from the field or whatever.

 

Jarrett Allen - Brooklyn Nets

As ridiculous as it sounds, bringing Kevin Durant to Brooklyn meant the Nets were also going to need to sign DeAndre Jordan to bring the amigos together and pair them in BKN. And even more stupid is the fact that Allen, one of the most promising biggies we've seen getting to the L of late, was always going to lose playing time to veteran DAJ. And that, in fact, was the case last season.

Allen played 70 games to Jordan's 56, but neither averaged more than 27 minutes of playing time. But maybe the Nets were right, and we were wrong, as Allen finished 2020 with 1.11 FP/min compared to DAJ's 1.17 average FP per minute. The latter was more efficient than the younging, and DAJ averaged an 8-10-2 line with 0.9 bpg compared to Jarrett's 11-9-1 with 1.3 bpg. Those lines couldn't be closer, truth be told, but Allen doesn't have any edge on DAJ in long-rage shooting, his rebounding fell behind the veteran's, and he couldn't even beat Jordan in ft%.

Allen is getting drafted as a top-100 player (ADP of 99), and he was playing into a much more favorable environment last season than he will do in 2021. Sure, KD will boost the team's winning chances every day, but that will mean fewer balls going Allen's way. On top of that, there have been rumors of a James Harden trade, and who knows if Allen will be playing for the Nets come Christmas Day. No matter what, this feels like a pretty risky pick and a potential bust for the price fantasy GMs are paying for Jarrett these days, even as a borderline 10th-rounder.

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