Editor's note: FanDuel.com hosts one-day Fantasy Basketball contests for real cash prizes for each day's slate of games. It's easy to sign up and join. Enter now!
Through the first two weeks of the season, six NBA players are averaging at least four turnovers per game, a mark just 40 players in league history have approached for a full season. We're probably not in a golden era for turnovers, sadly, but I figure it is worth looking into these guys to see how much it might impact their Fantasy value moving forward.
Turnovers are a strange stat for Fantasy owners to consider, because counting them generally punishes players for trying to succeed. If you stacked your lineup with spot-up shooter and big men who never put the ball on the floor, you could guarantee you would win the turnover category every week, which seems almost anti-competitive to me. You want guys in Fantasy who are actively looking to create opportunities, and turnovers are a natural part of that equation.
For the most part, you can live with guys turning the ball over, because the list of names reads like a who's-who of star guards in the NBA for the most part. Still, it isn't a sure thing that they are all worth the trouble.
Can Live With It
Curry's ascension to the upper echelon of the point guard ranks has mostly come naturally, but he still does have one glaring hole in his game. It isn't enough to detract too much from his overall Fantasy value, but he's been killing you with turnovers this season, recording a league-high 4.8 per game, up from 3.8 a year ago.
You can more than live with Curry's turnover issues given his overall play, as he leads the league in both points and steals per game, while dishing out 7.2 assists per game. That latter number is down a bit from a year ago, when he was among the league-leaders at 7.2 per game, because the Warriors have become less of a one-man show offensively. Whereas last season they would rely on Curry to create for pretty much everyone, the Warriors are flinging around 320.3 passes per game so far, up from 245.8 a year ago.
Curry is still assisting on 38.4 percent of the team's made baskets while on the floor, a dip of just 1.5 percent from last season. I went back and looked at all of his turnovers from the this season so far, and it's clear the opportunities for assists are still there. Curry is a very creative playmaker, both for himself and others, but it can come back to bite him at times.
There are times Curry tries too hard to make the spectacular play, but he also has the skill to finish these kinds of plays. The first play is one most point guards wouldn't even try, and it is close enoughthat you can't be too upset that he goes for it, because it creates an assist opportunity that many players might not even see.
The following play is another example of Curry trying to force a play, and you see here how the team's unfamiliarity with the new offense proved costly:
The floor isn't properly spaced when Curry begins this pick and roll with Bogut, and Curry doesn't have anywhere to go with his dribble once he turns the corner. The wild, over-the-shoulder pass to Bogut is really the only one available, and Draymond Green is so close to the basket his defender Blake Griffin can stand in the restricted area and cover both players.
With Harrison Barnes and Green in the starting lineup over Andre Iguodala and David Lee, the Warriors have too much shooting on the floor for this kind of alignment to make much sense. As time moves on, we'll see them space the floor better, giving Curry even more options as he creates.
Curry is probably always going to be a relatively high turnover player, but there are issues in his game that are correctable. The Warriors are turning the ball over at an unsustainable rate as a team, which indicates their general discomfort with the offense as a whole. However, the small changes they've made in personnel deployment appear to have jump-started the offense, and they should be a force when they figure things out. Curry will be a key to that.
LeBron has turned the ball over three times or more in each game, but his numbers are skewed by one very, very poor performance in the season opener. He had four assists to eight turnovers and just generally looked out of sorts. He has 36 assists to 17 turnovers in five games since, and that 3.2 per game mark is much more in line with expectations.
You weren't worried, were you?
Jackson wants to be paid like a star, and he's getting his chance to show he is worth that with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant out. He is putting up huge overall numbers, averaging 20.0 points and 8.3 assists per game. However, he is also seeing the downside of stardom, with a 37.0 percent shooting mark from the field to go with his sky-high turnover rate. He had seven assists in a rusty return to the court after missing the first three games, but is averaging just 3.3 per game since. That will probably be more the norm for him moving forward, and Jackson should be a Fantasy star as long as Durant and Westbrook are sidelined.
The Rockets have put more of a creative burden on Harden than ever before, and he has responded with both career highs in turnovers and assists. He is turning the ball over on 16.9 percent of his possessions, which is actually mostly in line with the 14.9 percent mark he posted over the previous three seasons. His assist rate, on the other hand is up from a career-best 27.3 percent to 38.3 percent this season. This might just be the price of doing business with Harden this season, and it is one that is well worth paying, even with his uncharacteristically slow shooting start.
For the most part, Rondo is worth the trouble, simply because few players can fill up the box score like him. However, his flirtation with the 3-point line last season has come to an end, and he still isn't scoring or getting to the free-throw line this season, which means you're really only getting elite production in two categories from Rondo.
His passing and rebounding prowess certainly bumps up his value, but we'd like to see Rondo get back to scoring a dozen points and nabbing a few steals per game if he's going to hurt you this much the turnover column. It's especially concerning because we don't just have one big game to write off as a fluke here; Rondo has at least three turnovers in each of his five games, with three straight games of five as well.
Not worth the trouble
Wroten is, rather stunningly, second in the league in touches per game, according to Stats.NBA.com, which almost makes his turnover rate acceptable. He has been asked to take on a larger role than he might be capable of at this point, so a decline in his efficiency certainly doesn't come as much of a surprise.
He will be receiving some help in the form of Michael Carter-Williams' return to action, however that also probably coincides with a return to the bench for Wroten. He can put up huge Fantasy numbers when given the chance, but his production took a huge dip when Carter-Williams played last season. Wroten is a nice player to have, but the limitations in his skill set and projected role probably make him more of a reserve when Carter-Williams is healthy.