Thursday, February 24, 2005

I Slept In, Anything Interesting Happen in the NBA Today?

General managers of the NBA, I applaud you. That was quite an action-packed trade deadline. Let’s not waste time. Here’s one person’s thoughts on the fantasy ramifications of today’s moves.

Baron Davis to the Warriors for Speedy Claxton and Dale Davis
This is what Baron owners (hello, me!) were hoping for. He gets out of a rebuilding situation in New Orleans that he didn’t want to be a part of, and that his coach apparently didn’t want him to be a part of. Now he gets a fresh starts, returns to his home state, and gets to play with good friend Jason Richardson. Of course, this doesn’t answer his health questions. He remains a huge injury risk for the rest of this year and really his career. But assuming he can stay healthy, a move to Golden State does wonders for his value. He should slight right into the starting PG slot and should be able to put up numbers in line with his career numbers. It still remains to be seen if the Warriors will continue to employ their small ball lineup, so keep an eye on Derek Fisher. Even with Troy Murphy back (although not starting), Fisher saw a team-high 44 minutes, and responded with another fine game. It would seem he’s playing too well to take him out of the lineup right now.

Meanwhile, the situation in New Orleans is a bit dicey. Speedy Claxton is a very useful player, but the thinking in dealing Davis was that the Hornets would be able to hand over the reigns to Dan Dickau to see if he could actually be a legit starting PG in the league. You’d have to think that Dickau will remain a starter, but the Hornets aren’t going to just let Claxton rot on the bench. (That will be Dale Davis’s job.) He should still see some time, but it’s unlikely he’ll be as effective as he was the last few weeks with the Warriors. I might hold on to him for the time being just to see how things shake out, but it doesn’t look like the best situation for him. It does mean that J.R. Smith should continue see consistent PT.

Antoine Walker to the Celtics for Gary Payton, Tom Gugliotta and Michael Stewart
Oh, Danny Ainge, you never fail to amuse us. A few hours after giving away Jiri Welsch, the player who he considered a major part of the deal to send Antoine to Dallas, he brings back Toine at the expense of his only NBA-proven point guard. And this is from a first place team! Whatever. Antoine will still be well worth using, although it will be interesting to see how he adjusts back to Boston. Expect him to do a lot of the ball-handling duties, and expect him to start firing up lots of 3s again. He averaged at least 7 attempts per game during his last three seasons in Boston, and while that was under the trigger-happy coaching style of Jim O’Brien, I’m still expecting a slight uptick from his current 5.1 attempts per game.

Gary Payton to Atlanta could get ugly. Only yesterday GP was discussing an extension with the Celts. Now he’s off to the wasteland of Atlanta. Assuming he reports, his numbers shouldn’t be affected too much. He would obviously start ahead of Tyronn Lue. It does put a damper on the Hawks recent small ball approach. Walker was the starting center in their last game, but now he’s gone. You’d have to think that either Obinna Ekezie, Jason Collier or Predrag Drobnjak would be inserted into the starting lineup now, to give them some size. But they won’t make up for Walker’s production, and even Payton at full speed won’t do that. This means Al Harrington is now the #1 offensive threat. He’s had two impressive games since his return from injury, and should be a fine option from here on out. It should also mean increased opportunities for Josh Smith and Josh Childress. Definitely keep an eye on the Hawks. Remember how the irrelevant Bob Sura and Chris Crawford became temporary studs at the end of last year after they cleaned house. Someone will have to produce.

Keith Van Horn to the Mavericks for Alan Henderson, Calvin Booth and cash
Not much to this one. KVH shouldn’t have any value on the Mavericks, as deep as they are. It’s starting to look like Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley are the only safe plays on that team. Josh Howard and Jason Terry should be, but they need to see more than 30 mpg, and with Jerry Stackhouse, Devin Harris, Darrell Armstrong, Marquis Daniels and now Van Horn around, that’s questionable.

Henderson and Booth are worthless to the Bucks, but even if they snag a few big man minutes, it could further muddle the always compelling Dan Gadzuric/Zaza Pachulia battle. Along with the Mike James deal, though, the Bucks have shipped out two members of their rotation without really receiving anyone of note in return. This should mean good things for Desmond Mason and Michael Redd, who didn’t go anywhere and is primed for a huge final third. Speaking of Mike James, not that I’d ever do such a thing…

Mike James and Zendon Hamilton to the Bucks for Reece Gaines
Well this clears up the Milwaukee PG situation. As every fantasy site on the Web has said, Mo Williams is a hot pickup right now. Certainly a better bet than Rick Brunson, if you need a comparison. He won’t get many 3s, but he should be an assists machine from here on out, and since he should see around 35mpg, the rest of his numbers will go up as well.

In Houston, it’s possible that James could slide into the starting lineup in place of the banged-up Bob Sura. He might be worth a pickup, but I’m not sold. Rod Strickland is around, and Jeff Van Gundy obviously likes him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him stick in the starting lineup. This doesn’t mean he’ll play much more than 20 mpg, but that would certainly be enough to keep James from having value. Basically, I expect James to have a similar role as he did in Milwaukee, and to provide some nice offense off the bench along with Jon Barry.

Nazr Mohammed and Jamison Brewer to the Spurs for Malik Rose
I told you the Nazr Mohammed era was over. I would certainly say it’s safe to dump him right now. It’s hard to see him having any sort of role on a team that already has Tim Duncan and Rasho Nesterovic. He could be valuable to the Spurs off the bench, but not valuable to your team.

The same goes for Malik Rose. He always produces when given the chance, but it looks like Mike Sweetney will – or at least should – get that chance now. With Mohammed gone, Kurt Thomas – who survives yet another trading deadline – should become the starting center, and as has been said, he should be a fine option for the rest of the season. But back to Sweetney, don’t get too excited, since…

Maurice Taylor to the Knicks for Moochie Norris and Vin Baker
Today was a classic case of Danny Ainge and Isiah Thomas trying to out do each other. Even with Mohammed out of the picture, the Knicks still have a very crowded frontcourt with Kurt Thomas, Sweetney, Taylor, Rose, Jerome Williams, Tim Thomas and Trevor Ariza fighting for time at three spots. Kurt is really the only one who can play center, so that’s why I think he’s safe. It would be nice if the Knicks gave Sweetney a chance to establish himself, and even though there’s a good chance he will join the starting lineup, he might not see that much PT. Of those six non-Kurt Thomas players, he’d be the one I’d keep an eye on, although Tim Thomas has shown some flashes since being put back in the starting lineup. But then again Tim Thomas sucks. If I’m the Knicks I go with Ariza, Sweetney and K. Thomas, let them all play 35 minutes and see what happens.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great analysis of pgs.

7:51 PM  

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