As transformational IT has increasingly become a business imperative, implementation partners have been looking to strengthen their value proposition for their customers. To differentiate themselves from transactional service providers, the more proactive partners are evolving their offerings and approaches, thereby becoming more strategic than they had been in the past.
While IT leaders can maximize the opportunity arising out of this shift by leveraging the partners’ strategies and advanced capabilities, it’s important for them to maintain focus on the risks. Here’s a look at how implementation providers are evolving and how CIOs should approach partnering with them for mutual success.
There is a perceptible change in the way implementation partners are now approaching their clients as compared to earlier, and it is all about becoming a strategic partner for transformational change.
“A partner now enters an account with a broader area of engagement in mind. The discussions may be around a specific project with a CIO, such as implementing a typical solution like Oracle or SAP ERP, but the partner’s core agenda is to bring about an extensive and comprehensive transformation of the client’s IT infrastructure,” says Harnath Babu, CIO at KPMG.
“As the project progresses, the partner discusses the CIO’s pain points and what could alleviate them. This could invariably lead to the partner’s scope getting expanded into, but not limited to, managing emerging technologies, enhancing cost and operational efficiencies, bringing about automation, application development, or improving the system of records,” he says. “Implementation partners are clearly moving from the earlier point approach to a transformation approach.”
Sharing an example of this as it unfolded at KPMG, Babu says, “We engaged with a system integrator to help us with L1/L2 support. In a short time, we scaled it to L3. We found that we could also leverage the partner for managing our infrastructure. Next, we asked the partner to help us with POD development as it was a big challenge to find skilled resources,” says Babu. “So, what started as an L1/L2 service engagement, eventually led to infrastructure management and resource augmentation.”
The POD, or product oriented delivery, is a software development model that entails building small, self-sufficient cross-functional teams that take care of specific requirements or tasks for a project.
Takeaways for CIOs from this trend: Leveraging one partner instead of many frees up CIOs and their teams from more boilerplate deployments, allowing them to focus on what is core to the business. “An implementation partner looks at the total value generated from an account. Therefore, if a CIO gives value to the partner, the latter will reciprocate. This will deliver CIOs the confidence of having a strong partner behind them. There can then be a project director to manage the project on a day-to-day basis and the CIO can intervene only when there is budget or strategy involved,” says Babu.
With the aim of adding value to their customers, implementation partners are increasingly realizing the importance of building technological expertise.
“To keep pace with the market and stay relevant, implementation partners are building on human capital and expertise. For instance, most partners lacked competency in cloud as there wasn’t much requirement related to it in the past. However, as cloud is gaining a strong traction, they have also upped the ante,” says Subramanya C, global CTO at business process management company Sagility (formerly HGS Healthcare).
So, when Subramanya decided to move the company’s SAP, SharePoint portal, intranet, and other applications to the cloud, he roped in a partner who had a Center of Excellence on cloud and 12 to 15 subject matter experts (SME) on the technology.
“Partners with such capabilities were not seen in the past,” he says. “More than 100 servers had to be migrated in a few weeks. Immense planning, resources, and mitigation of risk were involved in the project. However, the partner’s strong technical expertise, which formed the basis of the center of excellence, made sure that the project got completed smoothly and as per the scheduled plan,” says Subramanya.
Takeaways for CIOs from this trend: Although implementation partners can provide deeper expertise than they could in the past, IT leaders should not be complacent when enlisting it. “For complex projects, like ours, strong governance is required from the enterprise technology leader’s end,” Subramanya says. “IT leaders can outsource a task or an activity to a partner and their SME, but they can’t outsource their responsibilities. Therefore, we ensured a strong governance framework was in place while implementing this project. We also had our own SME working in close collaboration with the partner’s experts.”
The evolution of technology, driven by modernization of applications and services, is catalyzing collaboration among system integrators.
As Archie Jackson, head of special initiatives, IT, and security at digital transformation company Incedo says, “I have seen system integrators coming together to offer solutions, a trend that wasn’t visible in the past. Today, products don’t work in silos. One product has multiple linkages with other products, and it orchestrates and expands into other areas. For instance, a security solution today is not limited only to the network. It is connected to end point and applications, too. Therefore, one project could spill over to another. A partner, however, may not have the expertise or the bandwidth to execute everything, which leads to collaboration with other partners.”
Incedo was in talks with a partner some time back for implementing managed links for connectivity. The end-to-end managed service would have offered remote connectivity to access corporate network from anywhere in the world.
“During the conversations, the partner suggested he could bring another implementation partner to enhance the cybersecurity of the links. It came across as a logical fit because the links had to be secure, but I had not seen a partner collaborating with another one like this in the past,” says Jackson. Takeaways for CIOs from this trend: One implementation partner bringing another partner may help a CIO, but it could also increase the cost of the project. “This is a good option only if a CIO wants to build capability. The primary partner will build his margin into the project for which he is getting the second partner, thereby increasing the cost for the CIO. If CIOs have the capacity to architect a solution more efficiently, they should do so in-house,” says Jackson.
The Veterans Health Administration's rollout of its Oracle-Cerner EHR system will not continue until patient safety concerns are addressed, according to Sept. 26 reporting in FedScoop.
VA Secretary Denis McDonough confirmed the news Sept. 26, responding to questions at an event hosted by the Defense Writers Group. Mr. McDonough confirmed that the VA is working through an implementation checklist with each hospital setting up the new EHR system.
The rollout was paused in June after a federal watchdog alleged that a flaw in Cerner's system caused harm to 148 veterans at Spokane, Wash.-based Mann-Grandstaff Medical Center.
"I think we've been clear that we have to be confident that these risks to patient safety are addressed before we go live. So we're not just focused on the passage of time between now and next year; we're focused on improving the system," Mr. McDonough said.
Becker's has reached out to Cerner and will update this report if more information becomes available.
We are in a very interesting time when it comes to the debate of difficulty in video games. The likes of Dark Souls, Hotline Miami and Cuphead have been flying the flag for super hard titles that are gloriously satisfying to overcome after the hours of blind rage that they can make you feel.
At the same time, there is the important discussion about accessibility and, on top of that, does a game have to be hard? Couldn't FromSoftware just put a few more difficulty modes into Bloodborne so that more players stood a chance to appreciate it? Or does that water down the appeal?
It's a debate for another time certainly but some video games know where they stand when it comes to the skill expected out of a player.
It's not enough for some video games to expect a certain level of expertise. Sometimes, a title has to rub salt into the wound by telling you just how big of a failure you are. You thought making the same mistake over and over again was bad, how about if the game pointed that out to you?
In this list, we'll be exploring video games that have injured you and then insulted you for not being up to their high standards.
Whilst the second game in the series gets the most praise, Streets of Rage 3 released in the waning years of Sega’s 16bit console and provided a solid follow-up experience.
There’s two things that really stick the knife in with Streets of Rage 3’s “easy” mode. Like several titles of the era, Streets of Rage 3 ends early and removes its final few stages for its more inexperienced players.
At the end of stage 5 (of 7), the game comes to an unexpected end where most of the story strands aren’t resolved and the game badmouths you to boot. The defeated robotic boss of the previous stage slyly remarks “you play this game like a beginner” before ceasing function.
Firstly, this is clearly adding insult to injury for proud gamers who resigned themselves to playing on easy because they were struggling with the difficulty the game boots up with. However, in Japan (where it’s known as Bare Knuckle 3), this difficulty is Streets of Rage 3’s normal mode. So, you might well think bad of yourself for picking the easier route through the Mega Drive beat-em-up but you’re actually playing what is the standard difficulty overseas and you still get mocked for it.
Come on, be a big strong Western video gamer and play on a harder setting next time… apparently?
Offering helps organizations with accelerated, risk averse transformations by providing access to Oracle products, implement and support for a predictable monthly fee
NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Deloitte today announced the launch of its Oracle MyCloud ERP offering that can help fast growth and private clients accelerate business transformation enabled by Oracle's modern integrated SaaS Cloud platform. Backed by Deloitte's proprietary industry accelerators and methodologies, the offering helps organizations to get up and running quickly on an Oracle Cloud platform while eliminating the barriers of talent constraints and high upfront costs, which are often associated with ERP implementations. The bundled subscription offering allows organizations to access Oracle Cloud products as well as Deloitte implementation and support services for a consistent monthly fee. This enables companies that are focused on growth to manage their cash flows and to continue to allocate their limited time and resources toward expansive activities.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to use Deloitte intellectual property and knowledge to serve growth and private clients as they scale and drive their businesses forward. This offering demonstrates our commitment to this market and our desire to assist the leaders of tomorrow," said John Steele, U.S. Oracle offering leader and principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
For those interested in exploring Cloud ERP™ further, the starting place is a TruNorth Assessment. A quick, collaborative and effective approach that takes approximately three weeks. Deloitte helps prospects to envision the desired future state, identify transformation opportunities, and develop strategies and roadmaps for the journey.
Experience Deloitte's MyCloud firsthand
Deloitte is pleased to be the Global Sponsor of Oracle CloudWorld in Las Vegas, Oct. 17-20, 2022. This new global conference will bring people together to share ideas, develop in-demand skills and learn about cloud infrastructure and applications. Connect with Deloitte professionals at the CloudWorld Hub and attend a theatre presentation on MyCloud ERP enabled by Oracle Cloud.
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 7,000 private companies. Our people come together for the greater good and work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today's marketplace — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthier society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Building on more than 175 years of service, our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte's approximately 415,000 people worldwide connect for impact at www.deloitte.com.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by ensure ("DTTL"), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as "Deloitte Global") does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to one or more of the US member firms of DTTL, their related entities that operate using the "Deloitte" name in the United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more about our global network of member firms.
View original content to obtain multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/deloitte-launches-oracle-mycloud-erp-offering-for-fast-growth-and-private-companies-301644472.html
SOURCE Deloitte Consulting LLP
Only in America you can pay to make bribery charges go away
Oracle has paid $23 million to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to settle corruption charges that subsidiaries in Turkey, United Arab Emirates and India used "slush funds" to bribe foreign officials to win business.
The SEC said Oracle violated provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) during a three-year period between 2016 and 2019.
The cash that was apparently set aside was to paying foreign officials to attend technology conferences, which breaks Oracle's own internal policies and procedures.
SEC said that in some instances, it found Oracle staff at the Turkish subsidiary had spent the funds on taking officials' families with them on International conferences or side trips to California.
SEC investigator Charles Cain said: ""The creation of off-books slush funds inherently gives rise to the risk those funds will be used improperly, which is exactly what happened here at Oracle's Turkey, UAE, and India subsidiaries. This matter highlights the critical need for effective internal accounting controls throughout the entirety of a company's operations."
However, because Oracle wrote a cheque for its antics it does not have to admit or deny the findings of the SEC's investigation, it just has to promise not to do the thing it does not admit to, ever again.
The cuts affected workers at Oracle offices in Redwood City, Calif., home to the tech giant’s former headquarters. The jobs that were affected included data scientists, application developers, marketing specialists and software developers.
Oracle has laid off more than 200 of its workers in California months after reports surfaced that the tech giant was considering “thousands” of job cuts on the heels of its $28 billion Cerner acquisition.
The Austin, Texas company cut 201 jobs in total on Oct. 3 from its Redwood City, Calif. office, according to its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filed in California. The job cuts took effect Oct. 3 and was received by the California Employment Development Department Sept. 30, according to the WARN.
In a letter to the state obtained by CRN, Oracle said the layoffs would be permanent and said that its Redwood Shores campus would not be closing as a result of the job cuts. Oracle formerly housed its headquarters in Redwood City, but moved it to Austin at the end of 2020.
Among the jobs cut in this round, according to the Aug. 4 letter to the state from Anje Dodson, senior vice president of human resources at Oracle: data scientists, application developers, marketing specialists and software developers.
CRN has reached out to Oracle for comment.
As of this past May, Oracle employed approximately 143,000 full-time employees, of which about 48,000 are based in the U.S. and the rest internationally, according to a regulatory filing.
Oracle closed its acquisition of healthcare digital information system provider Cerner in June. The company began to notify employees of layoffs in early August, according to a report in The Information at the time. That matches with the date on the WARN notice, which states that this crop of employees received notification about the layoffs on August 4.
The company is the No. 1 employer in Redwood City, Calif. with over 6,500 workers there, according to the city.
Leon Gordon is a leader in data analytics, a current Microsoft MVP based in the U.K. and a partner at Pomerol Partners.
Data analytics is an emerging trend and has been around for a while. It’s an important tool in business intelligence, decision making and reporting. Organizations use data analytics to find insights to make better decisions and gain a competitive advantage. In this article, I’ll provide an overview of the implementation journey of data analytics in business and finance; I’ll also provide you with a compelling case study of how one organization leveraged its data using big data technologies to Improve its performance metrics across various departments like sales, customer service, marketing, etc.
Finding The Needle In The Haystack
One of the most important aspects of data analytics implementation is identifying valuable insights from data. With so much information to sift through, it’s essential to have a partner that can help you find the needle in a haystack.
As we’ve outlined, implementing data analytics is no easy task. Data analysts must be highly skilled and trained in order to succeed at their job effectively. While this might seem like an obvious requirement for someone working in such an important field, there are many other challenges that may arise during implementation.
Finding qualified candidates with the skills required for this type of work can be difficult because there aren’t enough qualified people available yet (this will likely change as more businesses adopt data analytics). This means that companies need to plan ahead when hiring new employees because they may not be able to find anyone who has experience with these types of projects yet—which means longer wait times before results start coming back!
Data Is Gold
Data is the raw material of data analytics and can come from many different sources. Data can be collected from websites, social media, mobile apps, sensors or even other databases. Data can take many forms—structured or unstructured—and it can be analyzed to understand trends and patterns. For example, the weather app on your phone knows that you’re running late for work because it predicts that it will rain later today; your online bank has calculated how much money you spend each month on groceries based on previous transactions, and a retailer’s web server records every time someone visits their website (even if they don’t make a purchase).
Creating Value From Data
Data is a source of competitive advantage. The ability to turn data into insight and action gives you the upper hand in your industry and makes you more attractive as a business partner for suppliers, customers and partners.
Data can be used to make better decisions. The right insights allow you to make smarter business decisions that drive growth or Improve efficiency by helping you understand customer behavior, employee engagement and productivity, provider relationships and risk management.
Data can be used to Improve customer experience (CX). Understanding who your customers are before they become customers allows you to provide relevant services at all stages of their journey with your brand—from pre-purchase through life cycle management post-purchase—so that they remain loyal customers over time rather than churning out onto the competition’s doorstep when they need something else from your industry supply chain in another part of town (or country) while continuing shopping online elsewhere!
Data Tells A Story
It’s the most valuable asset of your company. It’s the key to the future, it’s fuel for digital transformation, it’s the new oil and more.
Data is what makes businesses run, and as such, it has become one of the most valuable commodities on earth. We all know that data is a powerful asset: companies will pay anything for access to information about their customers or product usage patterns; governments are investing billions into building up their data infrastructure; people are making careers out of simply analyzing numbers (and getting paid well for it). But there’s so much more we can do with this stuff!
The Implementation Journey In Business And Finance
The data analytics implementation journey begins with the right data. A process that helps you take your company’s data, extract information from it and analyze it is called a “data science” project. Once this is done, the next step is to make a decision based on that analysis. After all, if we can’t interpret the results correctly and put them into practice effectively, what’s the point?
Data analytics doesn’t just help companies make more informed decisions; it also helps them safeguard their investments by providing better risk management strategies for both internal and external stakeholders. It gives businesses an edge over competitors by providing them with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning or user experience design (UXD).
Businesses are looking for partners and consultants who can support them at strategic, implementation and execution stages. Data analytics is a key component of any business strategy. Businesses need to find ways to make sense of the data they have and use it in a way that improves the business.
The implementation journey is the most complex and challenging stage, where businesses require a lot of support for managing their data and making it valuable. Only through strategic planning, implementation and execution can companies extract insights from data to gain a competitive advantage. The business leaders who are willing to invest in analytics solutions today will be able to take advantage of new technologies in the future when they become more affordable or accessible.
Where should these leaders start?
1. Get A Partner: Data analytics is an ongoing process that requires expertise. At the very least, it will require someone with experience finding the right solution for your needs.
2. Consult With Experts: Data analysts know their stuff! They’ll be able to help you understand how it all works and limit any surprises later down the line.
3. Be Patient: Data analytics takes time! It might seem like there isn’t much happening at first, but don’t worry—this is normal.
In the end, data analytics is a simply way of looking at your business from a new perspective. It can help you make better decisions.
Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?
In accurate years, neuroscientists have tried many types of neural networks to model the firing of neurons in the human brain. In a accurate project, the two researchers Whittington and Behrens found that the hippocampus, a structure of the brain critical to memory, works as a particular kind of artificial neural network called transformer.
The fact that we know these models of the brain are equivalent to the transformer means that our models perform much better and are easier to train.
This was said by Whittington who also said that transformers can greatly Improve the neural network's ability to mimic the behavior of the brain and its computations. David Ha from Google Brain said that they are not trying to recreate the brain, but are trying to create a mechanism that can do what the brain does.
Transformers work with the self-attention mechanism in which every input is always connected to every output. An input can be a word, a pixel, or a number in a sequence. The difference with the other neural networks is that in other networks only certain inputs are connected with other inputs. Transformers first appeared five years ago with the BERT and GPT-3, a new revolutionary way for AI to process languages.
Whittington and Behrens tweak the approach of Hopfield network, modifying the transformers in a way to encode the memories as coordinates in higher-dimensional spaces rather than linear sequences as Hopfield and Dmitry Krotov did at MIT-IB Watson AI lab. The two researchers showed also that the model is mathematically equivalent to the model of the grid cell firing patterns that neuroscientists see in fMRI scans. Beharens said transformers as another step to understanding better the brain and having an accurate model, rather than the end of the quest.
I have got to be a skeptic neuroscientist here, I don’t think transformers will end up being how we think about language in the brain, for example, even though they have the best current model of sentences.
Schrimpf, a computational neuroscientist at MIT, who analyzed 43 different neural net models to understand how well they predicted behavior of human neural activity as reported by fMRI and electrocorticography, noted that even the best-performing transformers worked well with words or small sentences and not for larger-scale languages tasks. This is why he claims:
My sense is that this architecture, this transformer, puts you in the right space to understand the structure of the brain, and can be improved with training. This is a good direction, but the field is super complex.
A sign is posted in front of Oracle headquarters on December 09, 2021 in Redwood Shores, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
The SEC said Oracle violated provisions of the act between 2016 and 2019 when its subsidiaries in India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates created slush funds used to bribe foreign officials. Oracle's subsidiaries also used the funds to pay foreign officials to attend technology conferences, according to the SEC.
The company did not admit to or deny the SEC's findings, and it will pay more than $23 million to settle the charges.
"The conduct outlined by the SEC is contrary to our core values and clear policies, and if we identify such behavior, we will take appropriate action," said Oracle corporate communications vice president Michael Egbert.
The company also settled charges in 2012 after Oracle India created millions of dollars of side funds, the SEC said.
Charles Cain, the SEC's FCPA unit chief, said in the release that the charges highlight a need for "effective internal accounting controls" at Oracle.
"The creation of off-book slush funds inherently gives rise to the risk those funds will be used improperly, which is exactly what happened here at Oracle's Turkey, UAE, and India subsidiaries," he said.
Click here for the original version of this mock draft
Editor’s note: Not all players will have accompanying analysis after their pick.
Without further ado, the first pick in the 2022-2023 fantasy basketball draft goes to …
No surprise here. Jokic is a fantasy basketball cheat code after posting a historic 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 1.3 threes and 2.4 stocks (steals plus blocks) per game with 58/34/81 shooting splits last season. He had the highest single-season Box Plus/Minus (BPM) in NBA history and is the unanimous first-overall pick here.
Coming off his best statistical season and playing a career-high 68 games, Embiid will be the focal point of a fantasy-friendly Sixers offense. As one of the most dominant big men in the league, he finished fourth in the NBA in double-doubles with 2.7 stocks on the defensive end. He should have no issues replicating a top-three performance on a per-game and totals basis if he can play at least 60 games this year.
Durant finished second on a per-game basis in 2021-22, and he’ll continue to see a 30 percent usage rate this season. I expect the Nets to finish top-10 in Pace and Offensive Rating, and KD will lead the way. He checks every box for fantasy basketball.
Giannis is the only player in NBA history to average at least 25 points, 10.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.0 block in multiple seasons, and he’s done it four years in a row. He finished 10th on a per-game basis last season, but an uptick in three-pointers made while shooting over 72% from the free-throw line will help justify drafting him here.
Luka Magic is in effect. Yeah, he’s known to turn the ball over at a high rate and miss a ton of free throws, but I’m buying his numbers after the Kristaps Porzingis trade. 31.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 8.1 assists with 3.9 threes and 1.0 steal. He’s ripe for an MVP-like season.
I moved Tatum up in my latest mock draft because I think he’ll be more valuable outside of scoring and threes than Stephen Curry. He’ll command a higher usage rate, shoots a higher percentage from the field, and can check every box, similar to Kevin Durant.
[Get in on the fun this fantasy hoops season: Create or join a league now!]
Original take: Still only 24 years old, Tatum put up career-highs in points, rebounds and assists last year with a 32% usage rate. DAWG.
The 2022 Finals MVP and four-time champion annually anchors the points, threes and free throw percentage categories in fantasy basketball. I project Curry’s minutes and usage will remain in the 30s as the centerpiece of one of the best teams in basketball.
Haliburton moves up because Harden looks passive on offense. While he’s still a first-round pick, I’m moving Harden lower (as you’ll see below) as he’s becoming more of a facilitator at this stage in his career.
Original take: If you don’t know, now you know. I’ve seen Haliburton selected in the top five in industry expert drafts, but I’m comfortable grabbing him in the top 10. I’m teetering between Haliburton and LaMelo Ball in this spot, but the former is a good bet to average the most assists per game this year and score over 20 points per night with solid peripherals. In 18 games without Malcolm Brogdon last season, Haliburton tallied 18.6 points, 10.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 threes and 1.8 steals with 50/46/89 shooting splits. Breakout!
Lillard was 13th on my draft board, but he gets a substantial boost after Harden falls, LaMelo Ball‘s ankle injury and Karl-Anthony Towns’ recovery from an illness. Lillard is healthy and has a better team, so fantasy managers should feel comfortable selecting Lillard as a top-10 pick.
Towns gets a slight boost here from pick 11 as he’s back on the court and played well in his only preseason appearance. Now, Rudy Gobert was in street clothes, but Towns looks back to form despite the reported weight loss due to his illness — nineteen points with six rebounds and six assists in his preseason debut.
Original take: The Timberwolves’ frontcourt suddenly got crowded after they traded for Utah Jazz All-Star center and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert this offseason. Gobert’s presence should slide KAT to a true-stretch four, which has risks and benefits. He finished eighth on a per-game basis last year, but I’d expect his rebound numbers to drop slightly with a boost in made threes. KAT is accustomed to playing with an offensively limited frontcourt (Taj Gibson, Jarred Vanderbilt), so I’m not overly concerned about Gobert being in town. He should still be able to collect at least two stocks and be the best-shooting big man in the league. Forty-one percent from beyond the arc last year and 40% for this career, just sayin’.
My previous take had Harden “squarely in the top-10” conversation, but from what I’ve seen in the preseason, Harden is closer to last year’s version than the Harden of old. Still, he’s a first-round player for his cross-categorical contributions.
Original take: Harden’s decision to make less and return to Philly on a two-year deal shows he’s ready to ball. The hamstring injury that’s plagued him for two seasons is behind him, and he’s reportedly in great shape heading into this season. He was the only player in the NBA to post over 20+ points and 10+ assists per game in ’21-’22 and finished 15th on a per-game basis despite changing teams midseason and playing on a bum leg. A bounce-back should put him squarely in the top 10 in fantasy basketball.
A sprained ankle will cost the dynamic point guard the first couple of weeks of the regular season. He’s moving down a few spots merely because of the injury. He should still be in line for another standout, All-Star-level season.
Original take: LaMelo Ball enters his third NBA season looking to build off career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, threes made, and FT%. He’s also among the league leaders in steals. The loss of Miles Bridges might decrease his passing numbers after accounting for 23% of Ball’s assists in ’21-’22, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to see a 30% usage while filling up the box score alongside Terry Rozier.
The Suns seem like they’re going through it, but I don’t think it’ll have much bearing on Devin Booker’s production this season. He’s in his prime and an improved playmaker who’s also a walking bucket.
He’ll play more than 29 games this year, and the Nets new “big 3” looked great in Wednesday’s matchup versus the Bucks. Uncle Drew will get his, scoring-wise, but there’s still upside in him as a distributor and rebounder at the position. His high efficiency and sneaky steals make him an early second-round pick in my book.
My suspicions are trending in the right direction, as Trae Young’s assists were not what we’ve come to expect in accurate years. Granted, it’s the preseason, but I think Dejounte Murray will continue to eat into his assists despite being one of the best scorers in the league.
[Try Yahoo Fantasy Plus for free to get premium basketball tools]
Original take: Trae Young has a new backcourt mate in All-Star guard Dejounte Murray, but he should still be one of the best fantasy guards this upcoming season. He’s a volume scorer who ranked fourth in usage rate last year at 34.4. I expect Hawks head coach Nate McMillan to stagger Young and Murray’s minutes at the point but also deliver Young the chance to work more off-ball to create better looks on the perimeter. He should still boast substantial fantasy numbers without much offense around him and Murray.
While this may seem high for a player coming off of injury, Kawhi is one of the best two-way players in fantasy while sporting elite shooting percentages. Paul George admitted that Kawhi is the alpha for the Clippers, and despite being load managed at times, he’s one of the best on a per-game basis in fantasy basketball.
He might be better than Trae Young in fantasy this season. I’m here for another monster season, live from the A.
Will he play center or not? Not sure that it matters much for fantasy considering he just needs to STAY HEALTHY. Davis was a top-12 player on a per-game basis last season before getting injured so going back to the well. He’s too talented to go beyond the first 18 picks.
The run on perennial All-Stars continues. George is the second option of arguably the best roster in the Western Conference. He might take games off here and there, but PG, similar to Kawhi Leonard, is an exceptional two-way player. If he can cut down on his turnovers and Improve his shooting from the field, he could return to first-round value this year.
The King is back and ready to make yet another run for a title. It helps that his teammates are healthy, and while his scoring will likely take a dip, he’s one of a handful of players capable of a triple-double every night.
You’ll likely have to pay up for Ant-man, but he is undoubtedly in breakout territory. He’s well-positioned to make the jump into an All-Star this year. He’s a great source of points, steals, threes and his athleticism makes him a solid rebounder and blocker at his position.
Drafting a player from the Sacramento Kings this early may feel odd, but Sabonis is one of fantasy basketball’s most versatile big men. He won’t do a ton defensively, but he’ll be a reliable source of points, rebounds, assists and FG% as a second-round pick.
Minimal competition in the backcourt, plus he’ll likely be top five in minutes played. He’s a perfect selection when punting field-goal percentage (pair with Luka Doncic, perhaps?) but also will be among the league leaders in threes, steals and FT percentage.
His assists are down since Kyle Lowry arrived, but he’s attempting more threes in the preseason than he has in his career. He is a nice grab here for his defensive stats and double-double potential.
Mitchell finished in the top 30 in per-game value last season and top 50 the year prior. The Cavs are deep, but he’ll be the primary scorer on one of the most fantasy-friendly teams in the league. I’m expecting his points to dip, but he’ll still be one of the better guards of fantasy.
One of my breakouts, so grabbing him as an early third-round pick is the way to go.
Siakam is a stat stuffer who will finish in the top five in minutes played. He’s an ideal fit for any fantasy managers interested in punting blocks, rebounds, and FG%.
He’s got the sauce, plus he’s an exceptional passer and facilitator who can score at will. He and Donovan Mitchell can thrive together and should make for one heck of a dynamic duo in fantasy. I’m still expecting him to be one of the top distributors but provide points, threes, steals and an elite FT percentage in category leagues.
Zion tweaked his ankle in his last preseason game, but Pelicans HC Willie Green and Zion both said that “he’s doing fine.” I’m confident he is still worthy of being selected in the first three rounds.