23/24 Nine-Category Top 150

6) Tyrese Haliburton (PG/SG) – Haliburton will return to the role that allowed him to post top-eight per-game numbers during his breakout 2022-2023 campaign. The Pacers didn’t make any notable additions outside of Bruce Brown who shouldn’t have a material impact on Haliburton’s value. The predictable role makes Haliburton one of the safer first-round picks from a value standpoint. He should once again be a 20/10 player (20.7 PPG, 10.4 APG) who comes with an elite steal rate (1.6 SPG). What stops him from being ranked even higher is category scarcity. When drafting, we have to keep in mind that the categories are not evenly distributed throughout the draft. Some categories can be found in the later rounds, while others are heavily concentrated in the early rounds. The categories that need to be addressed early are points, assists, and FT%. Haliburton’s dimes are as good as it gets, but his points and FT% impact are low for a first-round pick. He does shoot an excellent percentage from the line (87.1 FT%), but his relatively low number of free throw attempts (3.6 FTA) will limit his impact on the category. If you grab Haliburton in the first, you need to make both points and FT% impact a priority when deciding on your other early-round picks. Punting points is the best way to get around Haliburton’s most significant weakness. In that build, the Pacer is a good bet to finish as the most valuable perimeter player in the league. The only player that is a lock to finish ahead of the point guard when points are ignored is Nikola Jokic.

Best Builds: Punt Points, Punt FT%, Punt FG%, Punt Blocks

29) Dejounte Murray (PG/SG) – From a fantasy standpoint, Murray’s first year in Atlanta was a success. In his first season in a Hawk uniform, the All-Star produced third-round numbers in nine-category leagues and trended up as the year went along. He couldn’t repeat his 2021-2022 first-round performance, but that was to be expected given that he was moving from a tanking team to a playoff team. Despite losing touches and plenty of creation opportunities playing beside the ball-dominant Trae Young, Murray still managed to average a healthy 20.5 PPG and 6.1 APG. The combo guard’s rebounds and steals dropped a fair amount in Atlanta. After averaging 8.3 RPG and 2.0 SPG in his final year with the Spurs, Murray managed only 5.3 RPG and 1.5 SPG with the Hawks. His steals have a better chance of bouncing back than his boards. The drop in boards was due to the system change. Murray wasn’t a worse rebounder last year. He just wasn’t gifted as many uncontested boards as he was in San Antonio. Despite averaging three fewer rebounds per game, Murray averaged only 0.3 fewer contested rebounds a night in 2022-2023. The drop in steals is more likely to be due to variance. No category has more year-to-year volatility than steals. Significant jumps and dips that reverse themselves the following season are very common. Murray himself is proof of that. The last time the guard averaged 1.5 SPG for a season, he followed up that performance with a 2.0 SPG season the year after. The Hawk’s best build is the punt threes build. He has improved as a shooter, but last year’s output was still below average for his position (1.8 3PG).

Best Builds: Punt Threes, Punt Blocks, Punt FG%, Punt FT%

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2023-2024 Nine-Category Top 150

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