Fantasy Basketball: 7 NBA sleepers to consider

Spencer Hawes-C-76ers- With the stunning addition of ex-Laker Andrew Bynum in the off-season, Hawes will move over to Power Foward full-time. His nice mid-range shooting makes him a perfect fit in this front court. Playing just around 25 minutes a game last season, the 7 footer garnered 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks a game; numbers which are sure to improve into the 12.5/8.5/1.75 range as the starting PF.

Nicholas Batum-F/G-Trail Blazers- This talented 23 year old has improved every year since coming into the league after playing in France in the ’07-’08 season. Expected to take on a larger role this year, Batum, who can fill the majority of a stat sheet in almost every category, is destined to have a breakout ’12-’13 season. We project him to finish with around 17 points, 5 boards, 2 threes, 1 steal and 1 block per game. He should be picked up in the 2nd -3rd round.

Ersan Ilyasova- F-Bucks- Now entering his fourth year with the Bucks, the 6′ 9″ forward takes over the starting role and should see his numbers, which skyrocketed after the All-Star break last season, ascend nicely from last year. Somewhat of a poor man’s David Lee with 15/9-15/10 a night. Plus he will put up an occasional three and his very good FG and  FT percentages make him a solid mid-round pick.

Jeff Teague-G-Hawks- Even with the addition of Devin Harris, the loss of Joe Johnson to Brooklyn will turn Teague into a more traditional PG and his numbers should surge. He is another candidate for a breakout year; something like 17 points, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1 three per game would not be that out of line for the 24 year old in his fourth year with Atlanta. Danny Ferry, Hawks GM is really high on this kid and  with Smith and Horford as the only other true scorers on the team, we look to Teague for boosts in points & assists. He’ll make for a solid 3rd round pick.

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