Fool’s gold: Yao, McGrady, Rubio (and Flynn)

  • Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has been spouting with cautious optimism for his two stars, Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. Morey recently told ESPN The Magazine that Yao “is progressing well.”   He added that the doctors “know that the bone will heal and he’ll get back on it. And they have not actually ruled out [his return] this season. I think that’s less likely than likely, but they haven’t ruled it out.” He also spoke well of McGrady’s progress, according to Jonathan Feigen at the Houston Chronicle.  ”He’s way, way ahead of schedule… He’s already playing. I don’t think anyone could have predicted he would be playing now. He still has a long way to go. There is a lot of rust to shake off… I don’t expect to see him ready for Day 1 of training camp.” It might be tempting to read into these statements and eye Yao or T-Mac as late-round picks to surprise and impress your opponents with your boldness, but don’t give in to that temptation. Yao should not be drafted at all, while McGrady might be a decent waiver wire pick later on in the season, unless you’re in a deep league or are willing to stash him on your bench until he might return. When he returns to the court, he’s a hot potato you’ll want to trade away after a string of three or four consecutive solid games. It’s understandable that Morey wants to keep the team’s fans (and himself) hopeful, and most likely wants to help ticket sales as much as possible, but for fantasy purposes his recent comments should be ignored.
  • The Ricky Rubio drama is finally over: he’s heading to FC Barcelona (as previously reported) and won’t be available to the NBA until 2011. A fifth overall pick for the Minnesota Timberwolves has come to naught, which is a tragedy for the team’s thirsty fans, as well as for any NBA fan who was excited to see how the much-hyped youngster would fare with the big boys.This, of course, means that Rubio has absolutely no fantasy relevance this season. It also means that Jonny Flynn‘s stock just rose a bit. Erik at Points in the Paint takes a thorough look at Flynn’s value this season (and explains the “Mike Conley Jr. Effect”). His assessment of Flynn as “a 3rd-string PG for your fantasy team” is conservative, but correct. Flynn is an appealing player this year and will probably be scooped up too early in many drafts on the heel of this news. He’s an undersized rookie at 6-feet tall, and most rookies struggle with inconsistency and the infamous “wall” toward the latter half of the season. Keep your eye on Flynn, but don’t rely on him as your primary fantasy point guard.

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