Everybody loves Christmas presents.
Stay with me.
As soon as you get that brand new toy that lights up, with sparkles, with the remote control Wi-Fi connection, you're in love...
You forget all about that stupid truck you've been playing with the other 364 days of the year.
Well, I'm here to tell you not to forget about that damn truck.
Shiny & new is good to look at, but remember that old reliable is really the spirit of Christmas.
Okay, that got weird. I do that sometimes.
My last article ripped apart those bandaged up oldies that will do more harm than good to your team.
Today, I prove I'm not ageist.
Here are a handful of vets I recommend, for various reasons.
While everyone is reaching for 2015 NBA draft picks, win your league with guys who get the numbers every single year...
1. Pau Gasol, CHI, PF/C
The older Gasol showed he still has lots of gas in the tank this summer - taking MVP honours during EuroBasket. He had one of the best statistical seasons of his entire career last year, and I expect that to continue. While Jimmy Butler is becoming a superstar - and Derrick Rose is becoming a former superstar - Gasol continues to do what he does, year in year out. He's hardly a secret, but don't hesitate to draft this stud where he belongs: early.
2. Kyle Korver, ATL, SG/SF
Like a fine wine, Korver gets better with age. Raise your hand if you knew that Kyle set career bests last season for BOTH 3PM and blocks. Anybody?
Underrated, Korver may be the most deadly part of Atlanta's lethal offense. You simply can't leave him ANY space. That shot (one of the best of ALL TIME) is his Golden Goose.
He plays well in any Fantasy Basketball strategy, and you can get him pretty late. Fully signing off on K2...
3. Marcin Gortat, WAS, C
Hard to believe he used to be a BACKUP. (Who would you rather roster this season: Dwight Howard or Gortat?)
Marcin's 56.6% from the field last season was the highest it's been as an NBA starter. Throw in a nightly double double threat, and there is good value in the thin C position here.
Another conservative pick, you can grab him in the later rounds.
Don't reach for him, but snag him if you need a steadying force in your big man roster slot. He's as steady as they come...
4. Tony Parker, SAS, PG
Every year, managers wait for Tony Parker to fall off a cliff, and every year he sinks that tear drop floater right into their dark souls... (That was poetic, right?)
While TP did drop off last year (mostly because of injuries), I expect a bounce-back season.
Don't reach, but know that there is late round value here. Popovich's fountain of youth elixir is well-known in the NBA. Don't be spooked: take Tony Parker late. You'll be glad you did.
5. Jamal Crawford, LAC, PG/SG
Crawford may have seemed like he dropped off last season - likely because, for once, he DIDN'T win 6th man of the year. (You could give it to him every season if you wanted to be honest about it.)
But Jamal's numbers were almost perfectly in line with his career averages.
If you want a reliable vet, Jamal Crawford is it.
You know what he does. He does it year in, year out. You know what he's gonna score, you know how he's gonna score. He does what he does. Set it and forget it.
6. Anderson Varejao, CLE, PF/C
Of all my listed vets, AV is the biggest risk.
Not because of production really - as he's pretty steady. But his HEALTH is always the big question mark...
But Varejao and LeBron James have had a bromance since the very beginning. They know each other like clockwork, and if Anderson stays on the floor, he'll be a defensive stat beast.
There is risk here, but for a late round flier, you could do way worse...
7. Joe Johnson, BKN, SG/SF
I'm listing JJ last on this list, which is fitting - as he's on his last legs.
He does a little bit of everything - at a reliable percentage - but his usage is (rightfully) declining.
He can be had cheap - which is a nice bonus - but don't expect the same Joe Johnson you've come to expect.
He's dying, but not dead. He can still help your team.
Get him late.
So there are 7 old dudes that I wouldn't hesitate to draft (depending on ADP).
Obviously dynasty leaguers should adjust accordingly, but 1-year leaguers take note.
That durable truck is way better than the latest gadget.
Unless you're talking about Inspector Gadget.
Cuz he's a classic.