Zaza Pachulia
Zaza Pachulia
34-Year-Old CenterC
Detroit Pistons
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Pachulia picked up his second straight NBA championship with the Warriors during the 2017-18 campaign, but he was merely a minor contributor despite starting 57 of the 69 games he played in. The 34-year-old big man saw the floor for just 14.1 minutes, as the Warriors often went with smaller, more athletic options at the center position. His averages of 5.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists were all down from a season prior, extending a three-year trend of shrinking production. With the Warriors set to move on from Pachulia, the big man now joins the Pistons on a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum. Look for Pachulia to slot in as the team's backup center to Andre Drummond, though both Blake Griffin and Jon Leuer also have the ability to play that position, so significant minutes are going to be hard to come by. Go ahead and avoid Pachulia in the bulk of Fantasy leagues, as he'll be nothing more than a veteran mentor unless the injury bug strikes the roster. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $2.39 million contract with the Pistons in July of 2018.
Agrees to one-year deal with Detroit
CDetroit Pistons
July 8, 2018
Pachulia agreed Monday to a one-year, $2.4 million contract with the Pistons, Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
Pachulia spent the last two seasons with the Warriors and is coming off a 2017-18 campaign where he averaged just 14.1 minutes, which was his lowest mark in nearly 10 years. He added 5.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists across 69 games in a reserve capacity. With the Warriors looking to get younger in the frontcourt, Pachulia wasn't re-signed and he now heads to Detroit. With the Pistons, Pachulia likely won't see a significant increase in his role, as he's set to backup Andre Drummond at center. As a result, Pachulia likely won't be a viable candidate for the bulk of fantasy leagues.
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Zaza Pachulia NBA Stats
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Zaza Pachulia 2017–18 NBA Game Log
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Average Fantasy Points
Average Fantasy Points are determined when Zaza Pachulia was active vs. non-active during the season. Click here to view average fantasy points for a different time period.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Pachulia took a pay cut and accepted a reduced role to join the Warriors on a one-year deal last summer, effectively replacing starting center Andrew Bogut, who was traded to Pachulia’s former Mavericks squad. Though not as adept as Bogut as a facilitator or shot blocker, Pachulia excelled at pounding the glass. He averaged 5.9 rebounds per game -- including 2.0 per game on the offensive end -- in just 18.1 minutes per game. While his scoring naturally took a hit as a result of frequently sharing the floor with four All-Stars, Pachulia managed to pick his spots effectively on the offensive end, shooting 53.4 percent from the field, nearly seven points above his career rate. After Pachulia’s decision to sacrifice personal production for the team's greater good netted him his first championship ring, he elected to re-sign with Golden State in the offseason while receiving only a slight raise, locking him back into a starting role for 2017-18. However, with the Warriors also retaining JaVale McGee -- who provided a more athletic, rim-protecting change of pace at center -- and Draymond Green still around to man the position when coach Steve Kerr rolls out smaller lineups, Pachulia could once again be held to under 20 minutes per game, which would significantly limit his Fantasy appeal.
The 31-year-old center completed his 12th NBA season last season, appearing in 73 games for the Bucks. Pachulia averaged 8.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 0.3 blocks in 24 minutes per game. He shot 45 percent from the field and 79 percent from the free-throw line. The Mavericks traded for Pachulia after their deal with DeAndre Jordan fell apart and incumbent starter Tyson Chandler signed with Phoenix. While Pachulia isn't a high-flying, rim-protecting center like Jordan or Chandler, he is a solid defender capable of hitting mid-range jumpers, connecting on 49 percent of his jumpers from 10-16 feet. Pachulia is also an able passer, which should help him fit into Dallas' motion offense, though his rebounding totals are lower than what you would expect from a 6-11 center. Pachulia currently projects as the team's starting center, though veterans Samuel Dalembert and JaVale McGee each offer different skill sets and could be utilized based on the matchup.
In Year 1 of his second go-around with the Bucks, Pachulia struggled through injuries to average 25 minutes in 53 games. The prolonged absence of Larry Sanders enabled him to make 43 starts, and he posted averages of 7.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and a career-high 2.6 assists on the season. While Pachulia is an above-average passer and good rebounder given his relative lack of athleticism, he's an inefficient offensive player. A career 46-percent shooter, Pachulia shot a downright atrocious 43 percent from the field in 2013-14. That's less than one percentage point better than the kneeless Andrew Bynum. While he's still (somehow) only 30 years old, Pachulia hasn't shown signs of developing a more efficient offensive game. He's never topped 50 percent shooting in a season and doesn't really work outside the paint. Over 75 percent of his career field goal attempts have come from within 10 feet, which makes his low field goal percentage even more puzzling. What Pachulia does provide is stable rebounding, decent assist numbers and a high free throw percentage. While he's only a 74 percent career free-throw shooter, Pachulia converted at a career-high (by far) 85 percent clip last season. He'll return as the projected backup center behind Larry Sanders and could see his playing time regress back toward his career average (21 mpg) if the Bucks' frontcourt is able to stay healthy.
Bringing in Pachulia on a three-year, $15.6 million deal was one of the more bizarre offseason moves around the league this summer. With a strong young core of Sanders, Henson, Udoh and Ilyasova already in place, Pachulia’s role will be a bit of a mystery. Still just 29 years old, he has plenty of tread left on the tires, but he’ll likely spend much of the season in an underutilized bench role assuming Sanders stays healthy.
Pachulia has been a very reliable backup center for the Hawks, but was pushed into a starting role for much of last season with Horford injured. He didn't provide much offense by averaging only 7.8 points, but he did post 7.9 rebounds per game and shot 49.9 percent from the field. He'll return to his reserve role this season and will have limited fantasy value as a result.
Pachulia provides the Hawks with a veteran presence in the middle and could play his way into an expanded role this season. If Marvin Williams struggles at small forward or gets injured again, it’s likely that Josh Smith would shift to small forward, Al Horford would shift to power forward and Pachulia would see increased minutes at the five. He doesn’t provide a lot of fantasy value in his current role, but he might make his way onto the fantasy radar if the preceding scenario were to play out.
Even when given minutes, Pachulia doesn't really do the things you need a big man to do. His rebound rates are acceptable, but not great; his shot-blocking is pretty meager for someone of his size; nor is his field goal percentage (career 46.0%) really acceptable for a big man. Also, he's probably not in line for much playing time. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, any of it.
Horford's emergence has relegated Pachulia to backup duty, and he averaged just 6.2 points and 5.7 rebounds last season. He did start 26 games, but most of those came when Horford was injured, so that number will decrease this season assuming Horford stays healthy. Even as a starter, he didn't offer much fantasy productivity.
Last season was a forgettable one for Pachulia, who battled multiple injuries throughout the season. Pachulia played just 15.2 minutes per game and with the emergence of Horford, Pachulia's days of near 30 minutes a night appear to be over in Atlanta. Pachulia is a decent scorer and rebounder but doesn't have any one skill set that makes him more than a key reserve for the Hawks.
Pachulia proved himself worthy of fantasy attention last season, posting respectable averages of 12.2 points, 7.0 boards, and 1.1 steals per game on the season. He has a solid offensive repertoire, and his lack of athleticism on defense is partially hidden by the explosive shot-blocking capabilities of Josh Smith and, to a lesser extent, Shelden Williams. Pachulia could lose playing time this season with the addition of lottery pick Al Horford, the second consecutive top-five pick the Hawks have used on a big man. Nevertheless, his back-to-back years of solid production make him worth paying attention to in the late rounds of your draft.
Pachulia answered a lot of questions last season about whether he could keep up his per-minute production once becoming a full-time starter. Although the Hawks added veteran Lorenzen Wright, that only means Pachulia has a capable veteran backup. And he'll need it because he was tied for fourth in the league in fouls per game (3.7). Despite the foul trouble, Pachulia managed to play 31.4 minutes a game while averaging respectable scoring (11.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.9 rpg) numbers, in addition to being one of two true centers to average more than a steal per game (1.1, Shaquille O'Neal was the other). Be wary of his field goal percentage (45.1% in 2005-06, 44.2% career), which is a category we've come to expect better of from a center, and the development of the younger players around him may mean less scoring chances. He's a decent option once the top centers are off the board.
Slated as the starting center for the Hawks, Pachulia is known around the league as a hustle player who will get you some rebounds and points in a limited amount of time. Now that he is a full-time starter, we'll see how well he lasts for an entire game, and whether he can continue putting up numbers at the same per minute ratio.
The Bucks seem to be pretty high on Pachulia and he could be a sleeper pick if he can get significant playing time. The Bucks would like to use him at power forward and maybe some at center. It's unlikely that he will start, but he should see some minutes off of the bench.
More Fantasy News
Expected to come off bench for Game 1
CGolden State Warriors
April 14, 2018
Pachulia is expected to come off the bench for Game 1 against the Spurs on Saturday, Chris Haynes of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Just four points in 13 minutes
CGolden State Warriors
April 11, 2018
Pachulia mustered four points (1-3 FG, 2-2 FT), six rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes of action during the Warriors' blowout 119-79 loss at Utah on Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
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Plays 15 minutes in Sunday's start
CGolden State Warriors
April 9, 2018
Pachulia supplied four points (2-2 FG), four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block across 15 minutes in Sunday's 117-100 win over the Suns.
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Back in starting five Sunday
CGolden State Warriors
April 8, 2018
Pachulia will start at center in Sunday's game against the Suns, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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Will come off bench Saturday
CGolden State Warriors
April 7, 2018
Pachulia will come off the bench for Saturday's game against the Pelicans, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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