Tuesday, June 21, 2005


As we work our way through the NBA Finals, the one player that has spurred (get it?) the most debate between DM and myself is that crazy Argentinean, Emmanuel Ginobili. DM claims that Ginobili has established himself as one of the top players in the game over the course of the playoffs, and he certainly looked to be right on when Ginobili broke out with 26.5 points, 6 boards, 4.5 assists, 2 steals and 3 three’s in the first 2 games of the finals. However, over the next 3 games in Detroit, he put up just 11.3/4.7/4, with 1 steal and .7 3’s.

So which Ginobili can we expect to see next year? Will it be the slashing, active, energy machine, or the passive, let-Duncan-control-the-game support player? Odds are, it will be somewhere in between. Unlike the Finals, where one game can swing stats drastically, an 82-game season means that you get a good feel for a player's true probably output for next year.

So, with that in mind, let's look at what Manu did this past year, and see where that would put him in next year's fantasy draft.

While Ginobili has certainly emerged as an international superstar this year, really, his number did not improve all that much from last year to this year. He puts up good but not great all around numbers, clearing 4 boards, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1 three pointer each of the last two years. His scoring, however, did improve, from 12.8 ppg to 16.0, and he improved his FG% along with it. However, while those numbers are good, they’re not exactly superstar. In fact, they’re far from it. Let’s do one of our Player A/B/C comparisons, with Ginobili being Player A.

Player A: 16.0/4.4/3.9, 1.3 3’s, 1.6 steals, 0.4 blocks.
Player B: 17.2/3.5/2.8, 2.3 3’s, 1.1 steals, 0.5 blocks.
Player C: 22.2/6.0/3.4, 0.8 3’s, 1.1 steals, 0.1 blocks.

Player B is Cuttino Mobley, who despite being traded mid-season, performed about as expected, and was a 6th round pick according to ESPN in last year’s drafts. Player C is Corey Maggette, who was generally a 5th round pick last year. You can certainly make a case for any of the above players being more valuable than others, but the point I’m trying to make is that none of them really stand out from the others.

That said, I can almost guarantee that Manu will be chosen before the other two because of the name status that he’s picked up this past month. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him go in the late second/early third rounds in the fall, and I think that’s a mistake for whoever takes him there. Ginobili’s true value for next year, even if he bumps up his scoring to 18 or 20 or so, is not much better than Maggette, Mobley, or a Jason Richardson type. I wouldn’t take him until the 4th round at the earliest. You know that if you want Ginobili, you’re going to have to pay a "name premium" to get him, and that premium is going to be enough to keep me away from him.


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9:31 AM  

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