Fantasy Basketball award winners 2022-2023 NBA season
The fantasy basketball season is officially over. However, despite the daily grind of boxscores and waiver wire additions and trade negotiations it was worth it. And if it wasn’t your time, that’s ok — there’s always next season.
The NBA’s regular season ends this Sunday. It is a good time to award fantasy awards to recognize top performers of the past months.
Let me tell you about some of the most notable achievements in 2022-2023.
Fantasy MVP: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
I agree with the argument. Nikola JokićSGA is better, though, given where he was drafted as well as how he ended up. His preseason ADP of 44.9 was his highest, and he placed THIRD in per game value and THIRD overall. I expand on my reasoning for vaulting SGA into the fantasy elite on my latest Tip-off with Titus, It’s not a discussion when you consider the year-end results and draft capital.
The Thunder are loaded with talent, and at only 24 years old, we still haven’t seen SGA’s ceiling — but he’s a top-5 pick next year, believe that.
Honorable mentions Nikola Jokić, Joel Embiid And Jayson Tatum
Most Improved Player: Lauri Markkanen
This is a very obvious choice, as he posted career-best results in five categories: points (25.6/g), field goal percentage (49.9%), three pointers made (3/g), free throw percentage (87.5%), assists (1.9/g). At 8.6 per contest, he also averaged the most rebound in five seasons. He, too, was featured in my latest Tip-off with Titus This will be a strong selection in the first three fantasy rounds next season. He was 19th in per-game and 16th overall value for this year, despite having an ADP of just 90.
Honorable mentions Tyrese Haliburton, Mikal Bridges Nic Claxton
Fantasy Rookie(s), of the Year: Walker Kessler and Jalen Williams
I was a candidate between two for most of the season. I hoped one would break down in the end, but that wasn’t the case. Both candidates were excellent fantasy managers and Jalen Williams was the Co-Rookie of the Year in 2022-2023.
Yeah, I know, I took the easy way out — but it’s not without precedent; Recall Elton Brand and Steve Francis in 2000 or Grant Hill and Jason Kidd in 1995.
I shared my thoughts on why Williams’ ascension was one of the biggest surprises of the Year, His ADP and his growth as a top-20 fantasy player over the past year is amazing. I won’t bore with the details, but it is clear that he was one among the most efficient rookie guards of recent years. J-Dub was on Yahoo’s best teams, with 34.8 percent of the total.
Kessler, who was on 26% (fourth) of the best teams in Yahoo Public Leagues, was just behind Williams.
Kessler, who was only the starting Jazz centre in January, was a popular draft and-stash because of his elite shot blocking. He was still a legitimate double-double threat. His average score was 12 points with 11 assists starting January 10. Since then, he has been the 21st-ranked player among 9-cat leagues.
It’s quite ironic that Jazz was shipped out Rudy Gobert He essentially drafted the rights for a younger, more offensively-sounding version of Gobert.
Speaking of which, Kessler will be my draft choice over Gobert next year.
Honorable mention: None
Jaren Jackson Jr., Defensive Player-of-the Year
Jackson Jr. was the undisputed stock (+blocks + steals) king. Jackson Jr. averaged 3.0 blocks per contest and 1.1 steals per contest, and is the favorite for his first DPOY honours.
Stathead reports that it has been 15 years since NBA fans saw a player score at least three steals per game (Marcus Camby). JJJ is the second-youngest player in NBA history (he’s only 23).
JJJ missed the first 14 games of the season recovering from a meniscus injury but was one of the best-valued draft picks this season — finishing 13th in per-game value with a preseason ADP of 102.4. He has played in 60 games and should be considered a second-round selection going into next season.
Honorable mentions Myles Turner, Nic Claxton, Walker Kessler And Brook Lopez
Kawhi Leonard, Comeback Player Of The Year
The year began frustratingly for fantasy managers, who created the self-imposed “Fun Guy”, but Slowly but surely, The Claw got back on track.
Leonard is a top five player in totals and per-game value since January 1. He averages 28.6 points with 6.4 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 1.8 steals, 2.5 3PM, and 0.7 blocks. His shooting splits are 53/47/90. Leonard even participated in his first back to back set since April 2021. This should give fantasy managers more confidence when drafting Leonard for next season. In 49 games played, he finished 12th in per game value.
Although he’ll be downgraded for his load-management program, his performance on the court is flawless for 9-cat leagues. While availability is important in fantasy sports, his combination efficiency and high production on both ends gives fantasy managers first-round upside.
Honorable mentions Jamal Murray And Klay Thompson