Some quick ruminations from this past holiday weekend:
- Hedo Turkoglu signed with the Toronto Raptors on Friday after changing his mind about joining the Portland Trail Blazers. Besides giving the Raptors an even more European vibe, Turkoglu gives the team a dynamic scorer with a knack for clutch performances. Playing alongside a stellar point guard in Jose Calderon and Chris Bosh, a center who is more offensively skilled than Dwight Howard, Turkoglu will have plenty of opportunities to show off his offensive prowess. However, Bosh does not demand as much attention in the post as Howard, and the Raptors do not have a sharpshooter like Rashard Lewis to spread the floor even more, so expect Turkoglu’s scoring and assist numbers to dip a bit this season. Overall, his value will remain pretty steady, but expect him to suffer a mild case of post-big contract syndrome.
- Rasheed Wallace is joining Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in Boston this year. This is a great move for the Celtics who have a capable low-post defender and a versatile scorer who can spread the floor for his teammates. While it’s unclear whether Wallace will start or not, he’ll see plenty of time at both the power forward and center positions and shouldn’t see his minutes dip too much from 32:12 last season. His value will take a hit since his offensive game will take a backseat, though he should see more open looks thanks to the presence of the Big Three and Rajon Rondo, an adept slasher who should get into the paint and find Wallace for plenty of open three-point looks. Expect his scoring to decline a bit and his shooting percentages to increase.
- Jason Kidd has verbally committed to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks. He’s still a valuable asset to any team he’s on, but his fantasy impact has diminished considerably during the past two season. Expect his scoring to dip even further, possibly somewhere in the 8-8.5 points per game range. His rebounding and assists (6.2 and 8.7 per game, respectively) should remain steady. Kidd’s value remains the same. If you do end up drafting him, remember that his name carries a lot more value than his stats, which makes him great trade bait before the season actually begins.
- Mike Bibby is sticking with the Atlanta Hawks for another three years. His three-point shooting prowess (2.1 three-pointers made per game on 39.0 percent three-point shooting) was invaluable for the young Hawks last season, but with the addition of Jamal Crawford to the roster, Bibby’s production will likely decline. Crawford will bite into Bibby’s shots and minutes, so look to knock Bibby down a few spots on draft day.