- John Cregan, Fantasy Basketball
- 0 Shares
But we here in fantasyland still had enough action thrown at us -- with much of breaking very, very late -- to warrant some sifting through of the aftermath. If there wasn't a lot of quality, we had enough quantity to provide a series of small- to medium-sized statistical aftershocks.
Nicolas Batum, SG/SF, Portland Trail Blazers: If we're talking which players just saw their values get the most instantaneous boost, I'd put my chips on Batum. He has been teasing us all season with hot-and-cold production, mostly due to his role in the Blazers' misshapen rotation.
With Portland jettisoning head coach Nate McMillan and small forward Gerald Wallace, and launching a semi-rebuild, look for Batum to start in a much younger lineup. I think he could crack 17 points a night, and is already a 1-plus per night in steals, blocks, and 3-pointers. And he has shooting guard eligibility.
Ramon Sessions, PG, Los Angeles Lakers: This ended up being the one much-talked-about deal that actually went down. Sessions' numbers will surely go up; take a look at his per-40 stats this season (17.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 8.4 apg).
Rebounding has always been Sessions' hidden strength, but his most glaring deficiency -- 3-point shooting -- isn't going to be cured by a change of scenery. I think 16 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists is a reasonable expectation.
Stephen Jackson, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs: I get all misty-eyed even typing this: Jackson continues his trip down Teams-I-Talked-My-Way-Out-Of-Town-With Lane, landing ultimately on his second NBA squad. With Jackson, the key is his mental well-being, which is why I love this deal for him and his owners. Why? Because he'll be content on a winning veteran club in dire need of some 20-ppg scoring punch, and he'll be playing for a coach who can handle his ups and downs.
Jackson is an underrated fantasy player because of his bad rep and streakiness, but I get the feeling he's about to be on the upswing.
Nick Young, SG, Los Angeles Clippers: Young is the kind of player that makes hardened NBA fans hate fantasy; a guy who's valued much higher statistically than in pure basketball terms. But even if he doesn't play defense, Young fills a gaping need for the Clippers and provides them with some dynamic scoring ability off the wing (something fellow ex-Wizard Caron Butler hasn't been able to dial in).
Young should ring up 16-18 points per game, 1.5 3-pointers and absolutely nothing else. In fairness, it's possible his defensive desire and steals could go up now that he's on a playoff team. And don't forget he's in a contract push.
Whoever Plays PF/C, Portland Trail Blazers: Someone's going to carve out some frontcourt minutes in the post-Wallace/Marcus Camby era. It probably won't be Hasheem Thabeet but I've got inkling that Mehmet Okur could be primed for a mini-renaissance in the Rose Garden.
Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, New Jersey Nets: I'm assuming Wallace slides into the Nets' small forward spot, the spot I've been saying for some time could bear some fantasy fruit if bestowed upon the right player. Wallace will be called upon to score and should be in line for heavy minutes. Plus he gets to play with an excellent table-setter in Deron Williams. He should step in immediately and provide 16 points and 8 rebounds to go along with 1.5 steals.
Not-So-Big-Winners, But Still Winners
Nene Hilario, PF/C, Washington Wizards: I get even more misty-eyed typing this: My beloved Wizards finally turn down the Wizsanity (or, as I like to call it, their "Muggsyness"), and deal for a solid veteran capable of helping John Wall maintain some of his remaining will to play actual professional-style basketball.
I don't think Nene Hilario will numerically explode in D.C. (look for him to maybe improve his scoring by 1-2 points per game), but he'll immediately step in as the franchise's first bona-fide back-to-the-basket scoring threat since Moses Malone. That's right. You can look it up. (Juwan Howard, Webber, Dave Feitl, Georghe Muresan and Kevin Duckworth don't count.)
Kenneth Faried, PF, Denver Nuggets: My ardor for Faried is well-established, and probably nearing creepy proportions at this point. I can't tell you for sure if Hilario's departure will be a boon to Faried's role, but I've seen enough JaVale McGee to know there's a chance Faried could carve away some of his minutes once George Karl watches McGee play "defense." Think about it this way: Which Nugget has the biggest chance of replacing Nene as a low-post offensive threat?
Richard Jefferson, SF, Golden State Warriors: One assumes Mark Jackson is aching to plug this solid and dependable veteran into his starting SF slot. Jefferson has had some hot months over the past two seasons as a 3-point specialist, and could come in blazing with 2-3 3-pointers per game. This will probably degenerate into a mild timeshare, but as of this writing, I'd anticipate Jefferson getting every opportunity to hold down the gig. If he comes in hot from behind the line and establishes himself, he could end up with around 12 points and 2.5 3-pointers a game.
Neither a winner, nor a loser
JaVale McGee, C, Denver Nuggets: McGee might be the hardest player to peg within his new environs. How is he going to mesh on a veteran team with serious playoff aspirations? He's also going to be a restricted free agent. It's going to be fascinating to see how he responds.
McGee could mildly blow up and top out around 15 points and 10 rebounds to go along with his already-healthy 2.5 blocks. The safer bet is that his value holds around 12 points and nine boards per game.
Marcus Camby, C, Houston Rockets: Camby's role has been steadily diminishing since his little flash of vintage box scores back in January. He'll back up Samuel Dalembert and continue to offer owners 1.5-2 blocks a game.
Samuel Dalembert, C, Houston Rockets: There are only so many shots to block over the course of 48 minutes, and a whole bunch of them are going to be redirected by new center Marcus Camby.
Kris Humphries, PF, New Jersey Nets: Wallace will take away some touches and put-back opportunities. He's not as much of a threat to Humphries' numbers as Brook Lopez was, but expect his stats to take a small hit.
Randy Foye, SG, Los Angeles Clippers: Once again, Foye loses out on his chance at a starting gig. He could end up snatching it back if the mercurial Nick Young suddenly goes south, but odds are that won't be happening.
Paul George/Darren Collison, Indiana Pacers: Barbosa's arrival will reduce the available minutes in the Pacers' backcourt.
Whoever else plays SF, Golden State Warriors: I see Dorell Wright finally losing his starting gig to the newly acquired Richard Jefferson. But it will be a timeshare, with Brandon Rush picking up the scraps.
Special Extra Buyout Afterthought
5hMarc Stein and Tim MacMahon
50mMarc Stein and Calvin Watkins