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Rusty Shackleford

Kevin Durant 2009/10

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KD obviously took a big step forward this past season (which is saying alot considering how good he already was as a rookie).

But his rebounding, assists, blocks and steals all improved, and at the same time he bumped his already impressive scoring ability up from 20 to 25 a game! Basically every facet of his game got better and more consistent. His only knock in his rookie season, was that the only thing he really did well was score, but this year all that changed. He was filling up the whole stat sheet with solid production. What used to be 20 & 3 night, turned into 25-30 & 8, on a regular basis.

He is clearly on the fast-track to super stardom, so my question is what do you project for this kid next year? And what round do you see him getting drafted in? Has he become a first round pick for years to come, or is that still years away?

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He's clearly a first round pick. I have said before I am concerned about his scoring dropping slightly as westbrook and Green Continue to emerge. The big question with him will be will he continue to shoot the three ball at that high percentage. That clearly was largely responsible for the big jump in fg% and scoring.

I see- 24.5ppg, 7 rpg, 4.0 apg, 46% fgs, 38.5% 3%, 87% ft%, 1.2 steals, 0.8 blocks, 3.2tos per game.

The scoring numbers could uptick a bit, but i wouldn't underwrite it any higher than 25ppg. They are guaranteed a top 4 pick and I'm very concerned of the impact of another high profile rookie, along with the continued growth of Green and Westbrook. I really do think that Green and Westbrook will both flirt with 20 ppg next year. Durant's going to facilitate a lot of the offense and the assist numbers will increase. He could still avergage upwards of 27-28 ppg, but I just am not confident enough to underwrite it that way.....

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He shot 42.1% from 3-point range this year, so no reasons at all to think he will stop shooting the 3 ball. November was the only month this year that he averaged < 1 full 3PM, he averaged 0.9 3PM that month. I think next year is when he makes a run at the scoring title. Anyone that shies away from him because of Green, Westy, and/or the 1st round pick they bring in will be making a mistake.

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We can agree to disagree on this one. You could totally be right that he makes a run at the scoring title, but I think hes going to one of these players that realizes leading the team in other ways besides scoring is vital and ultimately the road to the championship. I see a floor component of his game developing as another aspect to his game, especially if he is double teamed as much as I think he will be next year. Again I totally acknowledge that he could tack another 2-3 points on his scoring...

He shot 42.1% from 3-point range this year, so no reasons at all to think he will stop shooting the 3 ball. November was the only month this year that he averaged < 1 full 3PM, he averaged 0.9 3PM that month. I think next year is when he makes a run at the scoring title. Anyone that shies away from him because of Green, Westy, and/or the 1st round pick they bring in will be making a mistake.

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We can agree to disagree on this one. You could totally be right that he makes a run at the scoring title, but I think hes going to one of these players that realizes leading the team in other ways besides scoring is vital and ultimately the road to the championship. I see a floor component of his game developing as another aspect to his game, especially if he is double teamed as much as I think he will be next year. Again I totally acknowledge that he could tack another 2-3 points on his scoring...

He's one of the best pure scorers in our league, if not by scoring, how do you think he is going to lead a team? It's not like he is going to break a defense down like DWade or CP3 and average a bunch of dimes a game, or draw a double team on the block like Dwight and free open a perimeter shooter. His game is scoring, and if he wants to carry a team that's what he's going to have to do, and lots of it. They are going to have a lot of talent on that team, and won't be able to double team him as much as people would like to anyway. Green and Westrbrook can't be left alone, and same will likely go with their 1st round pick. Even Sefolosha is risky to leave alone if he rounds out the starting 5. He will be battling with a lot of help defenders, but it's not like he's going to be suffocated. Even so, he is good enough to beat his defender and a help defender with his arsenal of shots that just never end. The guy is arguably the best pure scorer in the league IMO, so you have to let the offense run through him and have the other 4 guys set him up.

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I agree with a lot of what you said, but best pure scorer in the nba? Wade, Bron, Kobe are all better scorers. Maybe in a few seasons, but not just yet for Durant. I just cant see support for that assertion. And yes he's going to start breaking down defenses like Dwade and Lebron (although not in that frequency) and creating other opportunities for his teammates. The reality is that Green and Westbook partially eeck out their existence because of the fact that Durant is there and commands the attention. I see Durant developing as more of vince carter (albeit much improved and ultimtely better) player who will handle the ball and create tons of opportunities for others. If Durant goes for the scoring title and has that sort of one track mentality that team will not get over the hump and he'll just be billed as a dude who scores a lot. IMO I dont think he's the type of guy who cares about records and accolades that much. He's smart enough to know what thype of player he has to be to win and take his team higher.........

He's one of the best pure scorers in our league, if not by scoring, how do you think he is going to lead a team? It's not like he is going to break a defense down like DWade or CP3 and average a bunch of dimes a game, or draw a double team on the block like Dwight and free open a perimeter shooter. His game is scoring, and if he wants to carry a team that's what he's going to have to do, and lots of it. They are going to have a lot of talent on that team, and won't be able to double team him as much as people would like to anyway. Green and Westrbrook can't be left alone, and same will likely go with their 1st round pick. Even Sefolosha is risky to leave alone if he rounds out the starting 5. He will be battling with a lot of help defenders, but it's not like he's going to be suffocated. Even so, he is good enough to beat his defender and a help defender with his arsenal of shots that just never end. The guy is arguably the best pure scorer in the league IMO, so you have to let the offense run through him and have the other 4 guys set him up.

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I agree with a lot of what you said, but best pure scorer in the nba? Wade, Bron, Kobe are all better scorers. Maybe in a few seasons, but not just yet for Durant. I just cant see support for that assertion. And yes he's going to start breaking down defenses like Dwade and Lebron (although not in that frequency) and creating other opportunities for his teammates. The reality is that Green and Westbook partially eeck out their existence because of the fact that Durant is there and commands the attention. I see Durant developing as more of vince carter (albeit much improved and ultimtely better) player who will handle the ball and create tons of opportunities for others. If Durant goes for the scoring title and has that sort of one track mentality that team will not get over the hump and he'll just be billed as a dude who scores a lot. IMO I dont think he's the type of guy who cares about records and accolades that much. He's smart enough to know what thype of player he has to be to win and take his team higher.........

I guess this just really comes down to us viewing KD differently from each other. I see KD becoming a player like we've never seen before, and I can't really compare him to VC or anyone else because we've never seen someone with such a ridiculous wingspan and amazing shot all combined together. He just has so many different variations to his game that you won't be able to shut him down in one night unless you have 2 guys glued to him literally all night and play 4 on 3. When I say pure scorer, I'm more so referring to all around game from the basket out and not talking about driving and breaking down a defense. Bron and Wade are much much better slasher and can get to the line whenever they want, but I don't see them knocking down a 20 foot fade away with the ease that KD does. Kobe would have been in this convo a year or two a go, but not anymore with how much help he now has on that team and it's just not needed from him anymore.

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The reasoning is simple... KD finished the season average ranked at #9. He's not old enough to drink yet.

I personally would pick him in the top 5.

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i would pick kd 8 to 15 no problem.

1. lebron

2. cp3

3. dwade

4. kobe

5. dirk

6. yao?

7. granger?

*edit*

looking at the board - would probably take KD 6....

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Nice. I love what Im hearing outta you guys.

I traded my 1st RD pick (5th Overall) to a kid in my league for the rights to Durant in the 3rd RD in our keeper league! And since I was already keeping Joe Johnson in the 3rd to begin with, KD becomes my 4th Round Keeper FOR EVER! I love it!

Our league has one keeper rule, and that is you cannot keep players drafted in the 1st Round. So it was basically, me renting Dirk for one year or keeping KD for ever. No brainer IMO.

I sorta saw Durant as a 1st Rounder anyway, I just wanted to get your guys opinions to make sure I wasnt setting my sights too high on young Kev's future.

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Rusty:

Damn nice trade. You will be a force having a 1st rounder in the 4th round every season.

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He is def a first rounder no question about it. I am just skeptical that he post 30 ppg like some seem think he can. The depth and variety of options on the team just doesn't have me convinced.

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He is def a first rounder no question about it. I am just skeptical that he post 30 ppg like some seem think he can. The depth and variety of options on the team just doesn't have me convinced.

Just for a hypothetical situation, what if they drafted someone like Thabeet? He obviosuly will bring little to no offensive game. You'd have to agree he could then, right? Man, I really hope they can land him, that would be a very nice team if they could...

1 - Westbrook

2 - Thabo

3 - KD

4 - Green

5 - Thabeet

Then they could have solid vets like Watson and Collison coming off the bench that are already on their roster. Bring in a veteran role player and that's not a bad team at all. I'm actually a Thabeet hater, but in a weak draft like this, if OKC could some how get a little lucky and pull him out of the draft, they'd be in GREAT shape. The top 2 picks will no doubt be Rubio and Griffin really in either order, Minnesota or the Clipps could pass on Thabeet possibly. Not saying they will for sure, but if OKC could somehow get the 3rd pick they'd be money for him, and have an outside shot of getting him at 4.

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Just for a hypothetical situation, what if they drafted someone like Thabeet? He obviosuly will bring little to no offensive game. You'd have to agree he could then, right? Man, I really hope they can land him, that would be a very nice team if they could...

1 - Westbrook

2 - Thabo

3 - KD

4 - Green

5 - Thabeet

Then they could have solid vets like Watson and Collison coming off the bench that are already on their roster. Bring in a veteran role player and that's not a bad team at all. I'm actually a Thabeet hater, but in a weak draft like this, if OKC could some how get a little lucky and pull him out of the draft, they'd be in GREAT shape. The top 2 picks will no doubt be Rubio and Griffin really in either order, Minnesota or the Clipps could pass on Thabeet possibly. Not saying they will for sure, but if OKC could somehow get the 3rd pick they'd be money for him, and have an outside shot of getting him at 4.

What about Shaun Livingston starting at the 1, with Westbrook at the 2, and Thabo coming off the bench as a 6th man (or at least somewhere in the mix)? Livingston put up decent numbers at the very end of the season, and would give them more of a "real" PG to distribute to Durant, Green and RW....they don't have that in the lineup above.

BTW, didn't they sign Livingston to a multi-year contract? That would tell me that they think he can not only still play, but could be someone they expect to get use out of down the road.

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What about Shaun Livingston starting at the 1, with Westbrook at the 2, and Thabo coming off the bench as a 6th man (or at least somewhere in the mix)? Livingston put up decent numbers at the very end of the season, and would give them more of a "real" PG to distribute to Durant, Green and RW....they don't have that in the lineup above.

BTW, didn't they sign Livingston to a multi-year contract? That would tell me that they think he can not only still play, but could be someone they expect to get use out of down the road.

Livingston was only signed to a 1 year 400K deal for last year. Still a UFA as far as I'm aware of, but could be a nice bring back candidate for them at the right price. I didn't realize till just now, that the kid is only 23 still. Now I'm not saying he is or will be a stud, but he showed that he still has his basketball skills last year in his brief 12 game return to the court. By that, I'm mostly speaking of his shot. Obviously the rest of his game is going to need some time for him to loosen up out there and probably overcome some fear. I think that will happen though, but that's just me. He should be even bigger and stronger since the knee incident for next year, so health isn't much of a concern anymore. That would then make Thabo even more valuable off the bench as a 6th man, no doubt about it. Thing is, depending who they get in the draft, they might need to keep him in the starting 5 for his defense. If they grabbed Thabeet that would make it even easier to ship him to the bench, but with Thabeet and Thabo, you're on the right track to building a filthy defense along with some other great play makers out there. I do agree 100% that he would be much more of a "real" PG for OKC, and that'd even make me happier as a KD owner. Sometimes when Westbrook is hot, or thinks he is at least, he just becomes a blackhole.

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Livingston was only signed to a 1 year 400K deal for last year. Still a UFA as far as I'm aware of, but could be a nice bring back candidate for them at the right price. I didn't realize till just now, that the kid is only 23 still. Now I'm not saying he is or will be a stud, but he showed that he still has his basketball skills last year in his brief 12 game return to the court. By that, I'm mostly speaking of his shot. Obviously the rest of his game is going to need some time for him to loosen up out there and probably overcome some fear. I think that will happen though, but that's just me. He should be even bigger and stronger since the knee incident for next year, so health isn't much of a concern anymore. That would then make Thabo even more valuable off the bench as a 6th man, no doubt about it. Thing is, depending who they get in the draft, they might need to keep him in the starting 5 for his defense. If they grabbed Thabeet that would make it even easier to ship him to the bench, but with Thabeet and Thabo, you're on the right track to building a filthy defense along with some other great play makers out there. I do agree 100% that he would be much more of a "real" PG for OKC, and that'd even make me happier as a KD owner. Sometimes when Westbrook is hot, or thinks he is at least, he just becomes a blackhole.

Okay.....I see in his profile where it says that, but there's also still that blurb from late March that says he signed a multi-year deal. If the blog that's linked still had the entries, I could find out what that actually meant.

We shall see.....

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What about Shaun Livingston starting at the 1, with Westbrook at the 2, and Thabo coming off the bench as a 6th man (or at least somewhere in the mix)? Livingston put up decent numbers at the very end of the season, and would give them more of a "real" PG to distribute to Durant, Green and RW....they don't have that in the lineup above.

That would only work for the first 15 minutes of the season while Livingston is still healthy.

As for Durant, he's a no-brainer 1st rounder/top 10. Even if they get Griffin.

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That would only work for the first 15 minutes of the season while Livingston is still healthy.

As for Durant, he's a no-brainer 1st rounder/top 10. Even if they get Griffin.

Durant is a no-brainer 1st rounder/top 10 now? A few months ago, you were arguing with me that he was just on a hot streak. When did you realize you were wrong? I believe you posted about 5 times trying to convince me Durant wouldn't be an elite fantasy player for 2009-2010.

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Durant is a top 5 selection...no question.

As I posted months ago...he's in a class with Kobe and Wade for 2009-2010...I actually give him the edge over Kobe.

I think it's

1. James

2. Paul

3. Wade

4. Durant

5. Kobe

1 and 2 can switch easily and 3-4-5 can switch easily as well.

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Here is my list of top 10 for next season:

1. CP3

2. LBJ

3. Wade

4. Durant

5. Granger

6. Dirk

7. Kobe

8. Yao

9. Amare

10. KG

I also like to check the fantasy playoff schedule for teams and modify my picks based on that. A good schedule is one where the team plays the maximum # of games during the 2nd and 3rd weeks before the final championship week. Don't count on any stars to play all the games during the Championship week, it's going to be hit-and-miss. Championship week is all about picking up the scrub who suddenly found playing time. For head-to-head leagues, a good schedule is worth more than anything. 2 games from Conley is better than 1 game from Kobe.

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Durant is a no-brainer 1st rounder/top 10 now? A few months ago, you were arguing with me that he was just on a hot streak. When did you realize you were wrong? I believe you posted about 5 times trying to convince me Durant wouldn't be an elite fantasy player for 2009-2010.

I remember saying it was quite possible for Durant to average 30 in 2009-10.

I remember arguing with you for forever that Durant, Green, and Westbrook would not average 30/20/20.

I also remember arguing with you on whether Dirk had an SG-esque game.

Neither of those arguments have any bearing on where Durant individually ranks for fantasy in 2009-10.

In fact, if you feel like re-reading the whole thread again:

http://forums.rotoworld.com/index.php?showtopic=118644

You'll notice that I say Durant has more fantasy upside than Dirk, who himself has been a top 10 lock for 8 years running. Here's my exact words regarding the "hot streak":

Kevin Martin isn't one dimensional, unless your league doesn't count FT% or 3pm. He's fairly weak in all other dimensions besides those three, though.

And it's hard to rely on a recent stretch of games when trying to predict numbers over an entire season. Lots of guys get on hot streaks - look at BBM's 9-cat player rankings over the last 2 weeks:

1. Chris Paul

2. Charlie Villanueva: 25 pts, 9 reb, 3 ast, 2 3pm

3. Andrew Bynum: 23 pts, 12 reb, 3 blk

4. Kevin Durant: 31 pts, 10 reb, 4 ast

Over the last month, Villanueva is #6. Troy Murphy is #8. Redd is #15. Deng is #20. Foye is #24.

Now, when you enlarge the sample size to the entire season, those other guys fall out of the elite picture. As well they should - no one should be drafting Deng and Foye in the 2nd round, regardless of how good of a hot streak they're on now. When you take the whole season into account, Durant remains elite (#13), but not top 5.

So yeah, I've moved up a whopping 3 whole spots from early February. If that constitutes some major flip-flop in your world, so be it.

By the way, in that same thread, YOU claimed Durant should be at worst the #2 overall pick.

The only guy I could put above him is Dwayne Wade but it'd be too close to finitely call.

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If they draft a defensive player like Thabeet, I'd take him as high as mid-first round.

If they draft Blake Griffin, he's a late 1st rounder, early second rounder in my rankings.

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I agree with a lot of what you said, but best pure scorer in the nba? Wade, Bron, Kobe are all better scorers. Maybe in a few seasons, but not just yet for Durant. I just cant see support for that assertion. And yes he's going to start breaking down defenses like Dwade and Lebron (although not in that frequency) and creating other opportunities for his teammates. The reality is that Green and Westbook partially eeck out their existence because of the fact that Durant is there and commands the attention. I see Durant developing as more of vince carter (albeit much improved and ultimtely better) player who will handle the ball and create tons of opportunities for others. If Durant goes for the scoring title and has that sort of one track mentality that team will not get over the hump and he'll just be billed as a dude who scores a lot. IMO I dont think he's the type of guy who cares about records and accolades that much. He's smart enough to know what thype of player he has to be to win and take his team higher.........

I haven't read every thread, but I have to disagree with what I've seen you write about him. Durant absolutely is the best pure scorer in the NBA. He's a better scorer than Lebron by far. Lebron is extremely talented and is the most physically gifted player in the NBA, but he can't shoot like Durant. I'm rusty on the stats but Durant shot 3's at about 42%, 48% FGs, 88% FTs. Overall, way better than Lebron. When Durant is on, he's basically unstoppable. He has a 7'5 wingspan and a quick shot. He's working on putting on 15-20 lbs of muscle this offseason and that would greatly benefit him.

I saw you say that you think he'll average around 24 pts.. Please, give the guy more respect than that. Westbrook won't average 20 ppg. Probably 18 tops, and it's Green's scoring that will take a dip, not Durant's. Green is not an offensive force.. He's a less injury-prone version of Marvin Williams.

There's no doubt in my mind that Durant will be among the scoring leaders every year for the rest of his career.

I can see him averaging 28 pts next season. Before his unfortunate ankle injury he was rolling. Wasn't it like 10 of 11 games that he scored 30+ pts?? The guy is a freak.

It also depends on who they draft. If they get Thabeet or a defensive minded player, it won't really effect Durant much. But this is looking like a pretty weak draft, so I'm not too concerned about any of the rookies affecting Durant's value.

Durant will be a top 5 pick next year. He was ranked #1 over a 2 month stretch. I personally would take Durant at #3 ahead of Wade, but I'm sure Wade will be the popular #3 pick next season.

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I guess this just really comes down to us viewing KD differently from each other. I see KD becoming a player like we've never seen before, and I can't really compare him to VC or anyone else because we've never seen someone with such a ridiculous wingspan and amazing shot all combined together. He just has so many different variations to his game that you won't be able to shut him down in one night unless you have 2 guys glued to him literally all night and play 4 on 3. When I say pure scorer, I'm more so referring to all around game from the basket out and not talking about driving and breaking down a defense. Bron and Wade are much much better slasher and can get to the line whenever they want, but I don't see them knocking down a 20 foot fade away with the ease that KD does. Kobe would have been in this convo a year or two a go, but not anymore with how much help he now has on that team and it's just not needed from him anymore.

I completely agree with you. Durant is an amazing scorer.. He always has been, and he always will be. To think that his scoring has peaked in his 2nd season in the league is absolutely ridiculous. He's still getting stronger, still getting better. Westbrook had a great season last year, considering he never played PG before.. He gained a lot of experience and he'll get a lot better at creating shots for Durant next year. They have a good young core of players, but will never be a serious contender until they can get a great big man.

Durant is one man. He can't single-handedly get them a championship. He just has to do what he does best, which is scoring. And the team will have to get him the right pieces to compliment him. But it's all irrelevant, because Durant will be bouncing once he's a FA.

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