This article is part of our Rebound & Rant series.
So it's Valentine's Day, the perfect timing for a Love Edition. These are players I can't get enough of and will shamelessly over draft / bid on next year. Feel free to insert as many "man-crush" jokes as you think of in the comments below. And fore some odd reason, my hair obsession continues.
Victor Oladipo is the Bees Knees
With the All-Star Game and Dunk Contest coming up, now is the time to express my excessive admiration for Mr. Feathery, Victor Oladipo (I think The Viper would be a cooler nickname, but what do I know?). And I'll confess, it was podcast partner Shannon McKeown who turned me on to Oladipo this off-season. I was bad-mouthing his turn in OKC, when Shannon wisely pointed out that VO's numbers were pretty darn solid on three pretty bad Orlando Magic squads and that a big upswing in Indy was definitely possible. (Thank you, Shannon!). In four days, The Viper (it sounds good, right?) will perform in his first All-Star game, as well as his second dunk contest (which I'm picking him to win.). More importantly, he ranks 9th on Yahoo (Season (avg)) after ranking 94th last year. Enjoy these Olidapo highlights:
Jarrett Allen's Hair
Rookie Jarrett Allen has the best hair in the NBA and it isn't even close. I used to be a big fan of Jimmy Butler's 'do, but Allen's wiggage blows me away. Take a look for yourself and please vote in the comments.
— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) January 31, 2018
— AM The Winers' Club (@amthewinersclub) February 14, 2018
Let's not even get into the secret NBA wine club thing.
By the way, you have noticed that Allen is now starting for Brooklyn, right? The sky's the limit for the big rookie center. He's a young Marcin Gortat with a clear path to big minutes. He should be keeper league gold.
Will Barton Still Reigns
Who am I kidding, I can't drop my true crush of Will Barton for Victor Oladipo or Jarrett Allen. Barton's crazy upside game is just too much fun. And now he's started 22 of 56 games, averaging 34 minutes per game since December 1st. If you can fill out a DFS lineup without Barton, you are a stronger man than me. The ceiling is just so darn high. And 4.1 dimes per game from small forward? Gimme gimme. My only complaint is, well, I wish he'd bring back the headband. But now I'm being petty. Do you realize that Denver got a young Barton for an old Arron Afflalo (was he ever young?) and Alonzo Gee (now in the G-League at age 31)?
Here's Will Barton two years ago at the 2016 Dunk Contest:
Dario Saric's Play (Not His Hair)
Speaking of hairstyles, why is Dario Saric so follicley challenged? Honestly, can't he get a better cut with his NBA salary? He's not hanging out anymore on the back streets of Sibenik, Crotia, where fancy haircuts are probably a bit of a luxury. Our is this some sort of retro A Ha pop band thing?
— Christian Finnegan (@ChristFinnegan) February 13, 2018
If you can get over the bad look, his play has been fantastic, ranking 30th on Yahoo over the past 30 days (15 games). His stat line in that period is 17.1 points, 7.0 boards, 2.7 assists, 2.3 made threes per game while shooting 94% from the charity stripe. Boom! And he gets a boost every time they give Joel Embiid a rest. Deal for him if you can.
Well, that's it for my Love Edition. This fantasy train wreck has hit the END OF THE LINE! CHOO-CHOO!
(BTW, if you enjoy this little column, give our AWARD WINNING Friday NBA podcast a try, where I usually join Shannon McKeown and D.J. Trainor for some epic NBA conversations.)