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Fantasy basketball ADP battle: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander vs. D’Angelo Russell

We take a look at two young combo guards and recommend which one you should select first in your fantasy basketball draft.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives against Houston Rockets forward Robert Covington (33) during the first half in game four of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2020-21 NBA regular season surprisingly only two weeks away, it is a great time to discuss some fantasy basketball. Unlike fantasy football, where your first two picks, could make or break your team. In fantasy basketball, you do not need to fret as you can find value up and down the draft board.

One position where you can find numerous value no matter the round is guard. In today’s NBA, there’s a litany of scoring and combo guards, who can fill up the box score without a problem. The two combo guards we are going to breakdown today is Shai Gilegous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder and D’Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Fantasy basketball ADP battle: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander vs. D’Angelo Russell

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and D’Angelo Russell are in two good situations for their respective skillsets, where they will have the ball in their hands a lot this season. SGA’s ADP is 25, while Russell’s ADP is 39, per FantasyPros. Gilgeous-Alexander took a monumental step last season for the Thunder and was one of the main reasons why they were able to make the NBA playoffs.

The young combo guard averaged a career-high across the board with 19.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 34.7 minutes per game. He also shot 47.1 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from three-point range on 4.7 attempts per game. Did I also mention that he played in the same backcourt with Chris Paul? With Paul starting at point last season for OKC, that put SGA off the ball a lot of time.

Now with Paul in Phoenix, Gilgeous-Alexander should get a lot more minutes at point guard. Along those same lines, SGA will likely have to shoulder more of the scoring load too for the Thunder as they blew their team up in the offseason. They do not have Steven Adams, Chris Paul, Denis Schroder, and Danilo Gallinari. All four players played a major role on offense and scored 66.1 points per game combined.

As for D’Angelo Russell, he will get a chance to play a full-season with Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota. Russell spent the first half of last season with the Golden State, before being traded to the Timberwolves. In 33 games with the Warriors, the free-flowing combo guard averaged 23.6 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.7 assists in 32.1 minutes per game. He also shot 37.4 percent from three-point range on 9.7 attempts per game. Russell did all of this while not having the luxury of Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson on the court.

Then in his 12 games with Minnesota, the 24-year-old guard averaged 21.7 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.6 rebounds in 32.7 minutes per game. With all that being said, we should expect Russell’s numbers to be around the same or a bit higher now having a full season with Towns. KAT commands a lot of attention in the front court, but also has the ability to stretch the defense.

In addition to Towns, the T’Wolves also have first overall pick Anthony Edwards, Malik Beasley, Ricky Rubio, Jarrett Culver, and Josh Okogie. While it’s not an impressive supporting cast, it’s better than what SGA has in OKC. Therefore, Russell is the better selection in fantasy basketball this season.