For extra fantasy basketball protection, take a look at theScore’s 2017 Fantasy Draft Package, with participant rankings and new content material launched day by day.

In keeper leagues, fantasy managers should stability their competitiveness in each the current and future. That always means figuring out the celebs of the longer term a yr or two prematurely.

With that in thoughts, listed here are 5 first or second-yr gamers with the potential to blossom into fantasy studs sooner or later, however who additionally will not harm your workforce within the brief-time period:

PG/SG Malik Monk, Hornets

As an 18-yr-previous at Kentucky, Monk led the Wildcats with 19.eight factors per recreation, with a further 2.three assists and 39.7 % three-level capturing. The most important query dealing with the reigning SEC Participant of the Yr was whether or not he’d produce sufficient off the Hornets’ bench with Kemba Walker hoarding the lion’s share of enjoying time at level guard. That will not be a problem to start out the season anymore.

Nicolas Batum – Charlotte’s regular secondary ball-handler – will miss eight-to-12 weeks after tearing his UCL, and backup level guard Michael Carter-Williams has been sluggish to return from his personal ailment. For a group which was projected to have critical depth considerations, Monk might need to play half-hour an evening by default.

Not solely does Monk have the offensive firepower to blossom right into a 15-level-per-recreation scorer as quickly as subsequent season, the Hornets’ damage state of affairs means he’ll have an opportunity to start out producing vital fantasy worth this season. You would be justified taking the dynamic scorer with a decide within the one hundred-one hundred twenty five vary.

C Ivica Zubac, Lakers

The Lakers’ main middle rotation consists of two males with a historical past of foot accidents in Brook Lopez and Andrew Bogut. Each will see their contracts expire on the finish of the season. That is nice information for 7-foot-1, 20-yr-previous Ivica Zubac.

Zubac solely made 38 appearances as a rookie, however there was lots to love in that restricted pattern measurement. In video games by which he performed over 20 minutes, he averaged thirteen.2 factors and 6.9 rebounds; in two appearances the place he performed over half-hour, he averaged a 21-9-2 line.

With tumult atop the middle rotation, Zubac ought to see his position improve in his second yr. If he impresses coach Luke Walton, it isn’t unfathomable to see Zubac pencilled in because the Lakers’ beginning middle in 2018, if not sooner.

SG/SF Josh Jackson, Suns

Jackson’s flat-footed, clunky capturing mechanics aren’t typical, however have been efficient in his lone collegiate season. Solely time will inform how shortly his lengthy-vary capturing will translate towards NBA-caliber defenses, however he is unlikely to be an impression scorer out of the gate.

For now, Jackson floats round for a rebuilding Suns workforce, with Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker dealing with the majority of the scoring duties and large males like Tyson Chandler, Marquese Chriss, and Dragan Bender monopolizing rebounds and inside scoring alternatives.

Missing a transparent position in yr one is not nice for Jackson’s brief-time period fantasy outlook, however with size and freakish athleticism, there’s potential for him to be an instantaneous contributor within the defensive classes – steals and blocks. Search for his scoring profile to evolve in future seasons.

C Thon Maker, Bucks

Maker is primed to hitch the Bucks’ beginning lineup on a full-time foundation this season. Greg Monroe and John Henson typically discover themselves in coach Jason Kidd’s canine home, so Maker does not precisely have a ton of competitors for the job, however the 7-foot-1 stretch-5’s tantalizing mixture of size and capturing provides him the very best upside of just about anybody on the roster not named Giannis.

To lock down beginning duties – and north of half-hour per night time – Maker should bulk up and show that his skinny body is ready to maintain its personal on the boards and as a assist defender. In 9.9 minutes per recreation final season, Maker averaged simply two rebounds, a per-36 fee of seven.three. That is not going to chop it.

If he can put all of it collectively, a line of 12-6-2 with strong three-pointer and block totals is a protected estimate for Maker. Whether or not he can bloom right into a prime-one hundred fantasy participant depends on how briskly his physique can modify.

PF Skal Labissiere, Kings

Labissiere solely performed 612 minutes final season, however continues to be a excessive-upside guess in keeper leagues. The Kings’ present roster options loads of guards and a number of other conventional facilities, however few stretch bigs, that are virtually a pre-requisite for at the moment’s NBA.

You possibly can’t draw an excessive amount of from Labissiere capturing three-for-eight on three-pointers as a rookie, however he ought to get a chance to broaden his lengthy-vary scoring profile this season. By way of the Kings’ first two preseason video games, Labissiere related on 2-of-four three-level makes an attempt. If he continues to reap the benefits of his alternatives, his photographs will definitely development upward.

It is easy to ascertain 5-man models that includes Labissiere paired with Willie Cauley-Stein, Zach Randolph, or Kosta Koufos, all inside-oriented huge males. Within the close to future, Labissiere and Cauley-Stein could have an opportunity to grab the reins because the Kings’ lengthy-time period answer within the frontcourt. Labissiere is value a late-spherical flier in keeper codecs.

(Pictures courtesy: Motion Pictures)