It's a crazy time for those of us that are multiple-sport fantasy junkies. Most fantasy owners are used to the fantasy baseball playoffs overlapping fantasy football draft season. Now thanks to the lockout, the fantasy basketball drafts are during the fantasy football playoffs. It's tough, but at least we're used to it.
Well, the CP3 deal finally went through on Wednesday night. This piece is going to cover some of the winners and losers of the deal. I also went to the Phoenix Suns intrasquad scrimmage Wednesday night and I'll probably be the only person providing fantasy analysis from that.
Let's get to it:
The Clippers acquired Chris Paul and two second-round picks in exchange for Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman (and his expiring contract) and the Timberwolves unprotected first-round pick (meaning if the Timberwolves get the top pick in the lottery, it would go to the Hornets. This pick was protected the past couple years, but the Wolves were in the lottery the entire time. KKKAAAAAAHHHNNN!). It's a good haul for the Clips, so let's check out which guys have adjusted their fantasy value:
Chris Paul- CP3 going to the Clippers doesn't really make him gain value from his days in New Orleans. However, not going to the Lakers is a nice way to assure he'll have first-round value in fantasy drafts. CP3 should be a busy man running their O and should be in the running for leading the league in steals and assists. If alley oops were a fantasy stat, CP3 could probably double the second-place finisher with Jordan and Griffin. You've probably heard about the partial meniscectomy from 2010. I've been tracking this injury for a while and I'm really not ready to push him out of the top six on my draft board. It might sound scary to fantasy owners that part of his meniscus is gone based on the choice Dr. James Andrews. I'm not too worried about the surgery. It would be a violation of Paul's patient rights for Andrews to plan on repairing the meniscus, but once discovering it couldn't be repaired, to just take it out without getting clearance. Paul would have to sign off on it before it's removed and one would think he would be well informed of the consequences of the surgery. As for similar circumstances, there have been a couple studies that showed players that dealt with meniscal tears do not see any major negatives to their game (feel free to read this study or this study). If you don't want to read the studies, it basically states that there is really no correlation of isolated tears of the meniscus and subsequent knee damage. However, he'll see a lot arthritis when he gets older. As stated above, CP3 is still a great first-round pick, although I'd prefer Westbrook and Rose in eight-cat leagues.
Randy Foye- Foye figures to get a nice chunk of the minutes at shooting guard for the Clippers. The Nova Wildcat has a fantastic fantasy game and owners from last year might remember him going off while Eric Gordon was on the mend. He has great range and will throw up some steals and dimes. He's a nice pick late in your draft.
Chauncey Billups- Ruh roh. Mr. Big Shot must not be a happy camper right now. He went from being the facilitator of a potent offense with Gordon, Blake and Jordan to just a backup. Billups has played at the two his time in Denver as well as Detroit. Although he's a lot older now and probably can't create his own shot as well as he used to. His value just plummeted big time and I wouldn't touch him before pick 80.
Mo Williams- Mo is in a tough position as well. There is buzz around the Clippers that they could amnesty his $8.5 million this year and his player option for the same amount next year. He has some upside since he fires away from distance and could be a nice pick with your last selection. The Clippers really need to unload some of these guards because they still have...
Eric Bledsoe- Bledsoe suffered a lateral meniscus tear and will miss about a month. He's useless right now in fantasy even after his fast start in his rookie campaign. Ignore.
Blake Griffin- Griffin's value doesn't change too much. He's worth a pick at the end of the second round in my book. If you want him, you'll probably have to pounce before the 15th pick.
DeAndre Jordan- D.J. just hit the jackpot for his fantasy value with Chris Kaman now out of the picture. Jordan ranked sixth in the league last year in blocks per 48 minutes and is almost a lock to be top 10 in that category. He has monster upside for blocks, field goal percentage and possibly double-digit boards as well. Owners absolutely need to beware of his 45.2 percent from the charity stripe though.
Caron Butler- Butler might not hit the ground running after missing the end of last year with a torn patellar tendon. He should pick up a lot of minutes now that Aminu is out of town. He has a great roto game for being aggressive in passing lanes, a great free-throw shooter and will add one from downtown every now and then too. He's a nice pick late in your draft.
Jarrett Jack- J-Squared gets to take over at the starting point guard. This is nothing new for him as he has handled the duties on multiple teams. In those previous campaigns, he has gone on runs of having nice value and is worth owning in just about every league. He's a career 85 percent shooter from the line, should have no problem getting a steal per game and shoots a very respectable 44.6 percent from the floor over his career. You're not going to fall in love with him, but he doesn't hurt you and he's the biggest fantasy winner besides Jordan from this deal.
Eric Gordon- E.J. gets a little bigger upside with this move. He is absolutely going to lead the team in scoring this year and should build on his 22.3 PPG. He hit 1.9 3PM in his last two season on his collective 45 percent from the field. It's not crazy to think that he could be the top shooting guard in fantasy this year. OK. Maybe a little crazy. He's safe to grab around the 20th pick.
Chris Kaman- Unfrozen Caveman Center has struggled mightily to stay on the court and continues to see his value slide in mock drafts. Kaman missed 50 or more games in two of his last three seasons and owners should just let someone else deal with the headache.
Emeka Okafor- Okafor is a loser from this deal. He has been terrible at creating his own shot and has really reaped the benefits of having Paul get him the rock in an advantageous position.
Phoenix Suns Intrasquad Scrimmage Notes
Let's just attack this for each player:
Steve Nash- Nashty looked just fine out there and was making Telfair look pretty foolish on defense. He showed no signs of the lockout having an negative influence on his cardiovascular and should have another big year. He'll probably slide in your draft considering he is 37. Nash played in 75 games last year and can probably be had in the later part of the third round in standards.
Marcin Gortat- Gortat was a bit hack happy with a couple hard fouls on his teammates tonight. He doesn't foul that much in games, so consider this as him being hungry. Speaking of hunger, Gortat manhandled Robin Lopez on the blocks and grabbed several tough rebounds despite not having great position. There's a lot to like about the Polish Hammer and don't be bashful in taking him around picks 45-to-50.
Jared Dudley- If there was a player outside of Nash that impressed me the most it was Dudley. He showed the full repertoire on defense with guard guys on the perimeter and defending bigs in the post. On the offensive end he was moving without the ball better than anyone out there. He used screens well, went backdoor a couple times and had excellent spacing to get him open threes. He also showed some more aggression than he did last year, too. That may be a result of the scrimmage though. Dudley is a guy you're going want to draft this year for his enormous upside as the most valuable wing player in an up-tempo O.
Channing Frye- Frye looked better than I thought he was going to last night. He did some nice defensive work on Lopez and big-bodied Garret Siler. It was bombs away for Frye in this one and he spent most of his shots from behind the arc. He was short on almost all of them and he still needs to get his shot in order. He's still a lock to be the leader in threes among center-eligible players.
Grant Hill- Hill looked pretty slow tonight. He was sporting a brace on his knee and wasn't his usual go-hard-or-go-home self. He's a pretty unsexy pick in your draft and owners might want to grab a guy with higher upside.
Ronnie Price- Price got the start for the black squad in this scrimmage opposite Nash. He played well and frustrated Sebastian Telfair all night (more on that later). Price did miss a breakaway dunk and was rejected by the rim. He got some time at the two as well as running the point. The pick and roll was working for him and Gortat nicely and he found the open man on the perimeter after penetrating into the lane. His athleticism actually makes someone to watch to get minutes as Nash's backup and possibly some time at shooting guard. Heads up, deep leagues.
Shannon Brown- Here's a picture I took of Shannon Brown. He looked really, really out of shape tonight. The Spartan got a wide-open outlet pass and slowed down for the two-handed tomahawk jam.. and he missed it. Brown was not attacking the basket at all and was settling for fadeaway jumpers all night. I like Brown as a sleeper before tonight, not no mo'.
Robin Lopez- Ro-Lo looked like the Ro-Lo that fell on his face last year. He had no touch on his mid-range jumper, got boxed-out on both sides of the floor by Gortat and didn't alter many shots for the guards getting in the lane. He's only Gortat's backup and isn't worth drafting.
Markieff Morris- Morris banged knees with Ronnie Price and did not play. He should be fine though. He'll need an injury to have a fantasy impact.
Sebastian Telfair- The Least Valuable Player goes to Mr. Telfair tonight. He was haphazardly throwing the ball away, losing his dribble, taking bad shots and not doing anything on defense. He looked so bad that he dropped an F bomb. Pretty sure that Ronnie Price is going to be the handcuff for Steve Nash.
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