Monday, December 20, 2004

Weekend Review

Air Jersey?

It should come as no surprise that we're devoting the weekend review to a look at Friday night's big trade between the Raptors and the Nets. First, let's give a few bumps up and down in value for a couple players:

Vince Carter - No bump. While he's playing with the greatest PG of our generation, said PG is only playing about 25 mpg and could be on his way out of town. Plus, Richard Jefferson should still be the first option in Jersey. Once he comes back from injury, 16/3/3 looks about right, if maybe a little low, but that's what he was doing in Toronto.

Eric Williams - Bump down. he's not going to get 35 mpg anymore, and might be lucky to get 25, which should take him off of all fantasy rosters.

Richard Jefferson - Bump up. Another offensive weapon for RJ means less double teams, and a higher FG%. Plus, Charles Barkley has a lot of faith in him.

Rafer Alston - Bump up. Unless he retires, of course. Skip To My Lou has seen his numbers go up a bit across the board since Carter went down with injury. None of the guys the Raptors acquired will have the ball in their hands much, so that means Rafer will have the ball in his hands even more.

Alonzo Mourning - Huge bump down. He's never going to play for the Raptors. Word is he's headed to Miami after negotiating a buyout. He won't play for more than 15 mpg there, and there's no way he's going to have any value over the course of the season at this point.

Donyell Marshall, Jalen Rose, Morris Peterson - To soon to tell. Who's getting minutes? Who's still on the trading block? Who knows. While you can fairly easily project the Nets' minute-distribution, the Raptors are a jigsaw puzzle at this point.

There has been a big, massive hole left in the Net's frontline after this deal. You've got to figure they're going to sign some big guys soon enough. But until they do, someone is going to have to step up. They've got 3 guys - Jason Collins, Nenad Kristic and Brian Scalabrine to fill 2 spots (C and PF). Who's going to step up? Let's see:

Jason Collins - Looking at this guy's line, it's shocking that he actually has a contract to play on an NBA team. How a man can be 7 feet tall but average only 8.7 rebounds per 48 minutes is beyond me. His 1.36 blocks per 48 mins rank 30th amongst NBA centers, and his 9.2 points per 48 mins rank 33rd. So, to recap: If he got 48 mpg, he'd rack up 9 points, 9 boards and 1 block. He's only going to get about 35 minutes at best. If 7 points, 7 boards and a block are good enough to put him on your team, then by all means, go for it.

Nenad Krstic - Krstic's numbers are much better than Collins'. Per 48 minutes, he's been good for 18.2/10.4 and 3.3 blocks. Granted, he's only played in 18 games this season and averaged 11.3 minutes. In the 3 games where he's gotten over 20 minutes, though, he's averaged 12.6/5.6 with 1.3 blocks. If he manages to get 35 mpg, he'll be worth your while. He's got the most promise of any New Jersey big man right now.

Brian Scalabrine - Scalabrine, other than having the reddest hair in the league since Dennis Rodman, really has little promise as a fantasy player. He does hit a 3 every other game or so, but is pretty uninvolved in the offense, scoring only 5.1 ppg in 22 minutes so far this year. Even if he gets good minutes, like he did Friday against Memphis, he probably won't have much value.

On a minor non-fantasy, editorial note, if the Nets are able to turn around and ship out Kidd for a decent PG and a big (like Nene and Andre Miller, as has been rumored), they come out way ahead in this deal. The fact that they were able to get anyone to take 'Zo off their hands is huge for them. A starting 5 of Miller, Carter, Jefferson, Nene, and Krstic would win a pretty good amount of games in the East.

The Raptors, on the other hand, now are basically building their team around a mentally unstable PG in Alston, and an admittedly strong prospect in Chris Bosh. They panicked with this deal, and probably could have gotten a lot more for Air Canada than a grumpy old center, some role players and draft picks. So there.

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