Fantasy Daily: Updated Big Board
Ah the Big Board. Although far more useful pre-draft than now, it makes an interesting instrument for analysis. Traditionally I just count how many of my own players make the list and use it as an ego boost. For those of you who don’t have this same crippling need for recognition, the big board is a great trade tool. Many of you may be looking at your team right now and wondering which players to target. Nobody wants to get hosed in negotiations (or as we call it; get Isiah Thomas’ed), and this big board provides a solid foundation. The top 65 players are ranked, just like in the collegiate bracket. The players in bold are people I consider make-or-break. They are volatile players with both an exceptionally high ceiling and a dangerously low floor. These type of players (I’m looking your way Superman) may soon be traded to greener pastures. They may have high injury risks. They may even just be inconsistent players. No matter what, know that they aren’t sure things. But they can make or break your season.
1. Chris Paul-21 and 11 on better than 50% shooting. His 30, 19 and 9 near triple-double against Denver was one for the ages.
2. LeBron James-Best real-life player is a close second to Paul in fantasy. Steals and blocks down from last year, but boy oh boy does he dish out quite the emphatic block.
3. Kobe Bryant-Don't broken fingers usually negatively affect people? Not if you are Kobe Bryant and record your sixth 40-point game of the season with the lingering injury.
4. Dirk Nowitzki-Seeing Carl Landry's teeth imbedded in Diggler's arm was a sight to behold. Then again so are the 1+ block and steal that Nowitzki has added to an already impressive stat line. (26, 8, 2.5)
5. Kevin Durant-Numbers very closely mirror that of Nowitzki (27, 7, 3), while averaging double the turnovers and almost double the threes made. If he learns to move his feet on defense and utilize his length, he could soon make an argument for the number one pick.
6. Dwyane Wade-Frankly, Wade looks beat up and his shooting percentage has suffered as a result. Assists and steals are both down, but not many owners will complain about 27, 5 and 6.
7. Carmelo Anthony-Is he the NBA’s most exciting player to watch? His ability to set-up the defender and get off his shot at will is unparalleled across the league.
8. Pau Gasol-Calling him a sidekick is almost a slap in the face. This isn't Batman and Robin; it's Batman and Aquaman. Even with 11 field goal attempts per game Gasol has provided big fantasy impact. Blocks are back at his career average and rebounding ranks him 3rd in the circuit.
9. Steve Nash-I always thought players peak around 27 years old. Don't tell the 35-year-old Nash. His numbers are nearly identical to his two MVP seasons (18, 3 and 11.5 on 50+ FG%, 40+ 3PT%, 90+ FT%) even if he doesn't get the votes this time around.
10. Chris Bosh-He looks like the Predator but he's playing like a machine. A double-double machine that is. Bosh has a double-double in 22 of 30 games this year, even with four consecutive games lacking ten boards.
11. Deron Williams-Recently heard more the of Williams vs. Paul debate, this time from Kenny Smith and Sir Charles. I love you Chuck but stick to what you do best...throwing people out of windows. That said, 20, 4 and 10 is nothing to scoff at.
12. Tim Duncan-Another 20 and 10 season from the Big Fundamental? Sounds right. Kids at home take note; the 15-foot bank shot is your friend.
13. Brook Lopez-Is he that good or is New Jersey that bad? For fantasy owners it doesn't matter as Centers dropping 20 and 10 while shooting 86% were thought to have gone the way of the dodo following Yao's season ending injury.
14. Andre Iguodala-May be better served as a complimentary player on a title contender, but is thriving as the main man in Philly. Has turned Iverson into "the other A.I.”, a stark change from only three years ago.
15. Amare Stoudemire-Is averaging 20 and 11 this month on 50% shooting. May never be a great shot-blocking center again, but with the rebounds back to a high level, Stoudemire owners can release a collective sigh.
16. Brandon Roy-Even with his teammates dropping like flies Roy continues to hit on all cylinders. Just like last year he is averaging 22, 5 and 5; however, his field goal percentage is down and his turnovers are up. Following this many injuries, expect Roy to get more run at the 3 while seeing his scoring increase slightly.
17. Chauncey Billups-A shooting percentage hovering around 40% is disconcerting, but then again Billups shot only 42% last year. Billups gains his value from the line where his 90% free throw percentage comes on 7 attempts per game. Those 17 points 6 assists and 2 threes don’t hurt either.
18. Danny Granger-Out at least another three weeks, Granger was extremely tough to rank. His torrid three-point shooting was dominating the category and if healthy would probably rank around seven. His pre-injury 24, 6 and 3 make Granger an excellent trade target, especially if owned by a panicking manager.
19. Joe Johnson-The most underrated player in this off-seasons heralded free agent crop. Still only 28, Johnson is putting up similar numbers to last season, but with improved efficiency (2% raise in FG shooting, 2% raise in FT shooting and .3 fewer turnovers).
20. Josh Smith-FREAK! This fine athletic specimen's stat line doesn't do any justice to how far Smith's game has come. The effort is there and his defensive timing has been perfected. The accompanying 1.7 steals and 2.3 blocks are the proof in the pudding. (I feel like not many people understand that saying, so let me preach for a second. Are we so lazy as a society that we can’t finish our proverbs? The full saying, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating,” seems to actually make sense. Why has nobody questioned this saying? Might rank second on my personal literary list of pet peeves; right behind people who use the term irregardless)
21. Gerald Wallace-What 6'7 player contends for the rebounding title? It's unheard of, but with 12.1 per game Wallace cleans glass like Windex.
22. Marcus Camby-Although he may not be wearing a Clippers jersey by seasons end (which is no longer the blessing it used to be), there is no reason to see Camby's numbers diminishing regardless of where he ends up. With fewer than seven shot attempts per game, Camby makes the most of his touches. The former Defensive MVP is averaging 8.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 2.2 blocks and an impressive 3.3 assists per game. With only 1.1 turnover a game and good percentages (51% and 73%, respectively) Camby is a stallion in Rotisserie leagues and a thoroughbred in any head-to-head league.
23. Carlos Boozer-Could be leaving Mormom-ville earlier than expected, but those questioning last seasons injury need not worry. Boozer's 20 and 10 come with 3.5 assists and have seen zero fluctuation from month to month. Don't be a loser, trade for Boozer.
24. David Lee-Anybody who doesn't like this guy (in the world of James Cameron) is Avatarted. On a team full of under-achievers, Lee plays balls-to-the-wall and maximizes his talents. Despite not having a refined post game and being undersized to play center, Lee is averaging 18 and 10. He plays limited defense but who cares? It's fantasy.
25. Rajon Rondo-Might be the most valuable Celtic player. (Lack of) Shot selection can be infuriating, but playmaking abilities are undeniable. Ranks fourth in the NBA with 9.7 assists and leads the league with 2.7 steals.
26. Al Jefferson-17.3, 9.1, 1.9, 1.0 block and .9 steals are good but has clearly overcome injury. Averaging 19 and 11 in December.
27. Monta Ellis-Must have a sweet tooth, because he is feasting on turnovers. League leading 4.3 TO's hold back Monta's incredible stat line (25, 4, 5 on 46% shooting and an impressive 2.4 steals) Supposedly untouchable, but tough to believe a 7-21 team would consider anybody off limits. Trade value takes huge hit with change of scenery.
28. Troy Murphy-Hated the man since his days at Notre Dame, but skills are undeniable. The go-to guy while Granger is out, Murphy is averaging 17 and 10 with 2.2 threes on 53$ shooting in December. (In college this guy wasn’t even the best Troy in the Big East. Look it up.)
29. Kevin Garnett-While not the KG of old, still a very valuable asset. Logging the fewest minutes since his rookie season Garnett is averaging 15.6 and 7.6; not overwhelming numbers but helped greatly by his 56% shooting from the field. 83% from the line and a steal and block apiece help make KG more of a value in a roto league than head to head. Scoring is up to 17.4 ppg in December, but has not been getting more shot attempts. Other worries include the realization that KG will get shut down if he gets nicked up as this Celtics team is far more worried about having a healthy team for the playoffs than having home court advantage.
30. Jason Kidd-Tough player to measure. Only 8.2 points per game on 39% shooting, but ranks 5th in the league with 9.1 assists while rebounding well (5.6 per game) and averaging almost as many steals (1.8) as turnovers (2.4).
31. Baron Davis-Numbers very reminiscent of the old Baron. 16 and 7.5 on poor shooting. Only difference is a cut back on turnovers and a decline in threes made. That and the sexy beard.
32. Al Horford-Even before Greg Oden got injured; the other big man from the 2007 draft was overshadowing him. Nearly averaging 14 and 10, Horford is shooting 58% on field goals and 76% from the line. Has a terrific Eddy Curry line for a big man.
The following players didn't make the cut, so listed in order are their points, rebounds, assists and either blocks for big men or steals for the little fellas. Players gaining value for unlisted categories will be specifically noted. An asterisk is listed if any player is currently injured.
33. *Paul Pierce-18.2, 4.6, 3.7 and 1.2
34. Jason Richardson-15.6, 5.0, 1.9 and 2.0 three's
35. Nene Hilario-13.5, 8.6, 2.4, 1.1 blocks and 1.5 steals
36. Luol Deng-18.5, 8.0, 2.1, 1.2 steals and 1.0 block
37. Rudy Gay-20.6, 6.0, 1.9, 1.7 steals and .9 blocks
38. Rashard Lewis-15.6, 5.4, 1.8, .9 steals and 2.7 threes
39. Mo Williams-16.9, 3.2, 4.8, 1.4 steals and 2.3 threes
40. Antawn Jamison-20.4, 8.3, 1.1, 1.3 steals and 1.5 threes
41. Zach Randolph-19.6, 11.0, 2.0, 50% FG and 83% FT
42. Ray Allen-16.0, 3.2, 2.9, 1.7 threes, 93% FT
43. Marc Gasol-14.8, 9.9, 2.3, 1.5 blocks, 1.0 steals and 61% FG
44. LaMarcus Aldridge-16.5, 7.7, 1.8, 49% FG (.4 blocks)
45. Dwight Howard-17.8, 13.1, 1.5, 2.5 blocks (60% FT on 10.7 attempts and 3.3 TO's) Value in roto far worse than value in head to head.
46. Gilbert Arenas-22.2, 4.1, 6.9, 1.2 steals and 1.9 threes (3.7 TO's and 41% FG) Similar to Howard, better to own in h2h league.
47. Vince Carter-18.6, 5.1, 3.2, 1.7 threes (39.8% FG)
48. *Kevin Martin-30.6, 5.4, 2.6 (In only 5 games, fractured left wrist)
49. Caron Butler-17.0, 6.8, 1.9, and 1.6 steals
50. Devin Harris-16.8, 2.8, 5.3, and 1.7 steals (38% FG)
51. Andrew Bynum-15.9, 8.1, 1.3, 1.7 blocks, 57% FG (13 and 5.5 in December w/ Gasol)
52. *Jose Calderon-11.7, 2.2, 6.2, 51% FG, 1.6 TO
53. Tyreke Evans-20.4, 5.1, 5.0, 1.5 steals, 46.5% FG (3 TO)
54. Brandon Jennings-19.7, 3.9, 6.0, 1.1 steals, 2 threes (40% FG)
55. Kevin Love-14.4, 13.2, 2.3, and 1.1 steals
56. Chris Kaman-19.8, 9.0, 1.8, 1.4 blocks, 50% FG
57. Andrew Bogut-15.8, 10, 2.2, 2 blocks, 51% FG (57% FT)
58. Elton Brand-13.3, 7.2, 1.1, 1.4 blocks, 1.1 steals, 82% FT
59. Eric Gordon-17.5, 2.8, 2.9, 1.6 steals, 2 threes
60. Jason Thompson-15.5, 9.2, 2.1, 1 block, 51% FG
61. Rodney Stuckey-19.3, 4.2, 4.2, and 1.4 steals (41% FG and 2.8 TO)
62. Trevor Ariza-16.6, 5.6, 3.5, 1.9 steals, 2 threes (38% FG and 65% FT)
63. Derrick Rose-17.6, 3.2, 5.6 (20 and 6 in 6 in December)
64 a. Joakim Noah-10.3, 12.2, 2.4, 1.8 blocks, .7 steals
b. Andrea Bargnani-16.3, 6.1, 1.1, 1.2 blocks, 1.4 threes, 83% FT
With trade time around the corner I wanted to give people out there a nickels worth of free advice. First let me state, I have no real insight into the inner-workings of any franchise. I read, analyze and project. I can tell you things that teams MIGHT want, and how they should act accordingly. Playing ESPN's trade machiner I have concocted a few trades that could help various franchises accomplish their goals, especially those looking to gain cap flexibility.
1. Celtics send Tony Allen, J.R. Giddens, Brian Scalabrine, Glen Davis and either Shelden Williams or their trade exemption from Patrick O'Bryant to Golden State for Corey Maggette and Anthony Randolph.
The goal here for Golden State is obvious. They shed Corey Maggette's ridiculous contract ($40 million over the next four years) for a bevy of expiring contracts. To get this done they attach the raw but extremely talented Anthony Randolph. The Celtics have shown themselves willing to pay the luxury tax and know their window to win is right now. They talked to Sacramento about Nocioni, so clearly the idea of adding a good role-player with a long-term deal doesn't scare them. With Maggette as the defensive stopper the C's had hoped Tony Allen to be, the C's become the prohibitive favorite to win it all. Under KG's tutelage, Randolph could focus and unleash the beast within...just look at the development of Kendrick Perkins. If Golden State wants more than cap relief, the C's could be inclined to add this year's first round pick or a choice of either Lester Hudson or Bill Walker. I know this trade would be fantastic as a C's fan, so if anybody knows Danny Ainge, send him a link.
2. Cleveland sends Shaquille O'Neal to Toronto for Jose Calderon, Reggie Evans, Marcus Banks and Amir Johnson.
This trade provides both teams with something they greatly covet. Toronto receives some cap flexibility in the form of Shaq's 21 million dollar expiring contract, while Cleveland adds a true point guard as well as some defensive toughness in Reggie Evans and Marcus Banks. Amir Johnson's expiring contract is more a salary cap throw in than anything else. Cleveland has proven that this "Shaq-speriment" was perhaps ill conceived. The team plays much better with Shaq on the bench and LeBron defending the opposing power-forward. A line-up of Calderon, Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, LeBron and Ilgauskas is much more threatening, even if it lacks traditional size. Worrying about matching up with Howard? Evans tough (re: cheap and irritating) defense along with the cumulative fouls of Cleveland’s other bigs should be enough to contain Howard in a 7 game series. Calderon is signed for another four years, but giving LeBron a true point guard who averaged 13 and 9 including 40% from downtown would seriously reduce the pressure on LBJ. The goal is to win now and keep the king happy. This trade accomplishes that.
3. Carlos Boozer to Dallas for Josh Howard and Rodrigue Beaubois.
Both Boozer and Howard have expiring contracts and capable back-ups behind them. Boozer is as good as gone in the off-season, as he seems intent on finding brighter skies. Boozer would provide Dallas with the inside threat they so seriously lack as well as give them the leg up on retaining him through free agency. Plus a line-up of Kidd, Terry, Marion, Boozer and Dirk should scare off most western conference teams. Utah has to have come to the realization that Boozer isn't returning next year. They have a great back up in Millsap who they rewarded last off-season with a 4-year contract. Rodrigue Beabois is a promising young player that can either back-up Williams at the point or play alongside him as a shooting guard. Utah could decide to unload Boozer for a package that includes more young players. With the Knicks first-rounder next season though, they can able themselves to compete both now and in the future.
4. The Washington Wizards trade Caron Butler to the Bucks for Kurt Thomas, Joe Alexander, Hakim Warrick and a protected first round pick.
Washington is full of me-first players that make for terribly unenjoyable basketball. They need to break up their own version of the big three and by all rumors, Butler is the most likely to go. All three players going to Washington are in the last year of their contracts and will help Washington shed payroll. The Bucks are off to a surprising start, but are still not talented enough to win a playoff series. Acquiring Butler gives them a starting line-up of Jennings, Michael Redd, Butler, Ilyasova and Bogut. That gets me a little excited, I don't know about fans in Milwaukee. Their nipples could probably cut glass. Butler is a lock down defender and good team player. He provides a 3rd or 4th scoring option depending on how quickly Redd returns to form. I wouldn't be surprised to see Washington deal Jamison either as his contract runs pays him $40 million over the next three seasons.
Milwaukee also has many valuable expiring contracts so another possible move could be dealing Kurt Thomas, Hakim Warrick and Joe Alexander to the Knicks. If they took on Jared Jeffries contract, they could also land Wilson Chandler giving them a solid young core.
Questions? Complaints? The big board is the subject of much debate, and vulnerable to massive fluxuation. Readers out there who are heated can e-mail their concerns to David Solar at David@hoopsdaily.com. No death threats please. After all, it's only a game...based on another game.