NBA Draft Kit: Bounceback Candidates to Target for 2022-23

NBA Draft Kit: Bounceback Candidates to Target for 2022-23

This article is part of our NBA Draft Kit series.

Whether these players underperformed with their team last season, or are due for progression in a new environment to start the season, let's look at five players who could be due for quality seasons in 2022-23.

Check out our newly updated fantasy basketball rankings for the 2022-23 NBA season.

Spencer Dinwiddie, Mavericks

A flip switched for Dinwiddie once Dallas acquired him at the deadline. The 29-year-old is a career 32.2 percent shooter from beyond the arc, but the Mavericks' methodical, spacing-oriented offense (Dallas ranked last in pace and 6th in 3PA) unlocked excellence from Dinwiddie.

He connected on 40.4 percent of his threes in the regular season, followed by 41.7 percent in the playoffs. He ranked in the 60th percentile by knocking down 33.3 percent of his guarded catch-and-shoot attempts. He ranked in the 91st percentile by knocking down 42.6 percent of his jumpers off the dribble. Dinwiddie's shooting is legit. While he may not reside above 40.0 percent on season-long volume, a career-best shooting season could be in store.

For his career, Dinwiddie is a below-average scorer inside, but he's certainly capable of getting to the rack, especially playing alongside Luka Doncic. Looking back at Dallas acquiring Dinwiddie, few fans correlated it to his eventual status as Jalen Brunson's replacement, but it was always on the table. Now it's come to fruition. Dinwiddie continuing to play at a high level looks pretty likely.

Check out 2022-23 NBA Breakout Candidates: 7 Players to Target in Fantasy

Whether these players underperformed with their team last season, or are due for progression in a new environment to start the season, let's look at five players who could be due for quality seasons in 2022-23.

Check out our newly updated fantasy basketball rankings for the 2022-23 NBA season.

Spencer Dinwiddie, Mavericks

A flip switched for Dinwiddie once Dallas acquired him at the deadline. The 29-year-old is a career 32.2 percent shooter from beyond the arc, but the Mavericks' methodical, spacing-oriented offense (Dallas ranked last in pace and 6th in 3PA) unlocked excellence from Dinwiddie.

He connected on 40.4 percent of his threes in the regular season, followed by 41.7 percent in the playoffs. He ranked in the 60th percentile by knocking down 33.3 percent of his guarded catch-and-shoot attempts. He ranked in the 91st percentile by knocking down 42.6 percent of his jumpers off the dribble. Dinwiddie's shooting is legit. While he may not reside above 40.0 percent on season-long volume, a career-best shooting season could be in store.

For his career, Dinwiddie is a below-average scorer inside, but he's certainly capable of getting to the rack, especially playing alongside Luka Doncic. Looking back at Dallas acquiring Dinwiddie, few fans correlated it to his eventual status as Jalen Brunson's replacement, but it was always on the table. Now it's come to fruition. Dinwiddie continuing to play at a high level looks pretty likely.

Check out 2022-23 NBA Breakout Candidates: 7 Players to Target in Fantasy

James Harden, 76ers

While Harden's long-lingering hamstring injury was often downplayed and associated with trade rumors, the fact is that Harden was not healthy for sizable stretches of last season. Visibly, he did not have proper lift in his jumper and lacked explosiveness. The 33-year-old is bound to lose speed as he ages, but the slander on Harden has been superfluous. As arguably one of the greatest scorers in NBA history, expect Harden to return to the league's top echelon of playmakers. Harden's familiarity with PJ Tucker is a positive. De'Anthony Melton joining the backcourt is another weapon to divert attention from Harden.

In Philadelphia last season, Harden logged career-worst field-goal percentage and three-point shooting, 40.2 and 32.6 percent, respectively. He had never shot below 34.7 percent from beyond the arc in any full season prior. His career 44.2 percent field-goal percentage is one of the most consistent marks in sports:

SeasonFG%3P%FT%PTS
2010-1143.634.984.312.2
2011-1249.139.084.616.8
2012-1343.836.885.125.9
2013-1445.636.686.625.4
2014-1544.037.586.827.4
2015-1643.935.986.029
2016-1744.034.784.729.1
2017-1844.936.785.830.4
2018-1944.236.887.936.1
2019-2044.435.586.534.3
2020-2146.636.286.124.6
2021-2241.033.087.722.0
Career44.236.186.024.9

Continuity will be significant. Harden's last complete season with one franchise was 2019-20, and he led the league in scoring. A bounce-back is coming.

Jerami Grant, Trail Blazers

Grant supplied 19.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals-plus-blocks across 47 contests in an injury-shortened season with Detroit last year. Jettisoned to Portland in an offseason trade, the Trail Blazers' environment will be much more conducive for Grant to contribute to winning basketball. He slots as a pivotal starter at the power forward position and stands to make a substantial two-way impact. 

In 2018-19 with Oklahoma City and 2019-20 with Denver, Grant shot 48.9 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc in complementary roles. Additionally, his time in Detroit showcased his volume-scoring abilities. He'll now join Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic in a talented starting lineup. The upcoming season could be Grant's best -- a hybrid of bulk scoring and efficiency since defenses can't focus on him. 

Portland possesses a deep roster, but Grant holds opponents to a 44.0 FG percent over the past five seasons -- top-15 among all qualified defenders. Grant has connected on 37.1 percent of his threes across the past four seasons, brings versatility in the box score and should have healthy playing time. He's in an excellent destination for a bounce-back season.

Fantasy Basketball Rookies Preview: Banchero, Smith, Murray lead the way

Julius Randle, Knicks

Last season, Randle accounted for -0.7 Wins Above Replacement — bottom 20 in the league among qualifiers and tied with Russell Westbrook in a similarly disastrous campaign. It's a far cry from Randle's 2020-21 season when he was crowned Most Improved Player, generated 7.7 WAR — top-20 in the league –– and led the Knicks to the playoffs.

Effort and attitude are known wild-cards in Randle's performance. There were times last season when the 27-year-old was clearly disengaged or acting detrimental to the Knicks. Additionally, his excellent shooting two seasons ago is an aberration. Randle is a career 33.2 percent three-point shooter. Settling in at a 33-35 percent clip seems likely this season.

  Year3P%3PA 
2019-2027.7 3.6 
2020-2141.15.5 
2021-2230.85.4 
                                                                                      Defensive Real Plus-Minus

-0.17  (53rd among all eligible power forwards)

                                                                        4.16 (1st among all eligible power forwards)

1.62 (21st among all eligible power forwards)

DRPM = A player's impact on team defensive performance when he's on the court -- measured in points allowed per 100 defensive possessions.

Effort and attitude are known wild cards in Randle's performance. There were times last season when the 27-year-old was disengaged or acting detrimental to the Knicks. Additionally, his excellent shooting two seasons ago is an aberration. Randle is a career 33.2 percent three-point shooter. Settling in at a 33-35 percent clip seems likely this season.

Ultimately, Randle is extremely high-usage, holding at least 27% of his team's usage in the last four seasons. League-wide, that ranked in the 96th percentile and above each year. His floor is high. Adding Jalen Brunson should improve the entirety of New York's offense. The Knicks' push for contention should restore Randle's value closer to his MIP caliber.

NBA Injury Analysis: Realistic Expectations for Zion, Kawhi, Other Stars

Gordon Hayward, Hornets

Hayward was amid another quality season, averaging 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 31.9 minutes per game through 49 contests before being shut down by an ankle/foot injury.

Across six prior seasons as a full-time starter, Hayward has averaged 19.0 points per game. The absence and impending suspension of Miles Bridges will open a ton of usage in Charlotte's offense, and Hayward will be a main filler of the void.

Bridges led Charlotte with 35.3 minutes per game and ranked in the 89th percentile among all forwards in usage rate. Behind Hayward, Kelly Oubre and P.J. Washington are candidates to get a bump in playing time, but Hayward will certainly produce the most dividends if he can remain healthy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henry Weinberg
Henry is a sports writer and analyst, specializing in NBA analysis, CBB coverage and draft prep. He's a freelance scout, passionate baseball fan, elite fantasy football player and former Butler Bulldog.
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