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Rookie Guards to Target in Fantasy Basketball

The annual NBA Draft is one of the most exciting times for  hoops enthusiasts. It's a great time to get fired up about our team's future and to try to peg the next big star in the league. For fantasy purposes, guys aren't necessarily must-owns based on talent, but a lot of times the situations those players are in lend themselves to more opportunities for production.

Let's take a look at a trio of rookie guards who are worth drafting based on the combination of fantasy-friendly talent and opportunity.

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Rookie Guards to Target in Fantasy Basketball

Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets

Jamal Murray was extremely impressive in his lone season at Kentucky. The Canadian was the seventh overall pick in the 2016 Draft, and he’ll have every opportunity to be a key contributor for the Denver Nuggets. The 6’4” guard can do a bit of everything and he has a chance to become a dynamic player at the NBA level. His skill set will play well in the league, and he should be a good one.

With Gary Harris expected to miss three to four weeks with a groin injury, Murray will have every opportunity to impress Mike Malone and gain more of a foothold in the Denver rotation. Already expected to be a key member of that rotation before the Harris injury, Murray will be able to get plenty of minutes in order to make an impact. Harris will be back early in the season, but Murray is good enough to get consistent backcourt minutes even with a healthy Harris. He'll also be able to steal minutes at the point from Emmanuel Mudiay.


Buddy Hield, New Orleans Pelicans

2016-17 is already shaping up to be a long season for the Pelicans. With Jrue Holiday tending to his ill wife and Tyreke Evans expected to miss the first month or two of the season, Buddy Hield will be able to make in impact sooner than originally hoped on his decimated team.

Hield was an underrated playmaker at Oklahoma, and he’s quite capable of creating; but his role at the professional level will likely be to simply to shoot and score the basketball. Hield will do plenty of that. It's not out of the realm of possibilities for Hield to be the Pelicans’ number two scorer behind Anthony Davis--regardless of if he comes off the bench or finds himself in the starting rotation. Hield is already off to a spectacular start in the preseason, and the sharpshooter will likely carry it over to the regular season.


Wade Baldwin, Memphis Grizzlies

Wade Baldwin will be a very intriguing player in his rookie season. He came into the draft with little fanfare, and was selected by the Grizzlies with the 17th pick in the first round. Baldwin is a good athlete, and his 6’3” frame comes with a ridiculous 6’11” wing span. Baldwin converted on over 40% of his threes at Vanderbilt, so he’s not just an athlete on the floor.

Baldwin will serve as Mike Conley’s primary backup, but he also has the ability to play the two (which in fact might be his better position). Memphis does not have a lot of depth at the guard spots behind starters Conley and Tony Allen (39-year-old Vince Carter is still expected to play a major role), so Baldwin will have plenty of chances to become a big part of the Grizzlies’ offense. The rookie has already been impressing in the preseason and he could become the top producing guard from this year’s class.


By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.