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In a move that probably won't shock anyone, the Golden State Warriors finally cut the cord and dealt Stephen Jackson to the Charlotte Bobcats. Of course, other players were involved. The Warriors dealt Jackson and third-year point guard Acie Law and received Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic in return.
|Stephen Jackson was one of four players to average 20 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds last season. That likely won't happen in Charlotte.|
For the Bobcats, this deal is all about Jackson. The Bobcats desperately need scoring, and Jackson should slide very comfortably into the starting shooting guard role (moving to small forward when Gerald Wallace plays power forward). The important thing to remember, however, is that even though Jackson likely will have a lot of freedom on offense, he's going from the fastest-paced team in the league to the slowest, and that should take a bite out of his numbers.
Rather than expecting the 20 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds Captain Jack put up last season in almost 40 minutes per game, his numbers probably will be closer to the 17 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds he's averaging so far this season. In other words, he's still a very valuable fantasy player, but not quite as valuable as he was last season.
Law could see some minutes at point guard, considering how terrible Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustin have been in the early part of the season, but he definitely won't get the minutes he'd need to show up on your fantasy radar.
One player who does benefit for the Cats is Wallace, who no longer has to initiate so much of the offense himself. With Jackson getting him more open looks, Wallace should quickly improve on the woeful 35 percent shooting that has plagued him and his fantasy owners so far this season.
On the Warriors side, John Hollinger points out that Bell's contract will expire after this season. With Golden State having a glut of promising shooting guards (even with Kelenna Azubuike out for a while with a knee injury) and the fact that Bell probably would prefer to ply his trade for a contender, it stands to reason that a buyout is coming sometime soon. If not, Bell probably will be a really good source of 3-pointers when he plays (he was making almost two per game on the slowest-paced team in the league and is going to the fastest) but won't be worth owning for much else.
Radmanovic, on the other hand, has a player option for next season for nearly $7 million dollars that he definitely would be unable to recoup on the free-agent market during the summer, so he'll be in Golden State for at least this season and next unless the Warriors can get someone to bite on his terrible contract.
On a team that plays as fast as the Warriors, adding a 6-foot-10 player who can shoot the lights out is definitely an intriguing proposition. That said, he's not a good player overall, and he plays a lot smaller than his size. With Azubuike out for a couple of months, Radmanovic might see a bump from the 16.6 minutes per game he was playing in Charlotte, but even on an offensive machine like the Warriors, Vlad Rad won't do enough statistically to be worth your time.
As for the remaining Warriors, Jackson's 33.3 minutes per game likely will be distributed among Corey Maggette, Anthony Morrow and Anthony Randolph. So far this season, those three have been fringe fantasy players at best, but if they're playing 25 or more minutes per game, they're all worth owning in most leagues. That should be the case now. Morrow especially looks like a good pickup, as he is the rare player who can score and make 3-pointers while actually helping your field goal percentage.
Also look for Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry to add an assist or two to their averages. They are really the only players the Warriors have left who can facilitate offense for their teammates. That was a big part of Jackson's game, and Curry and Ellis will have to do more of that now that he's gone.