Around this time last year this blog was kicking it with mock drafts and updates about the realm of fantasy basketball. This summer is different, for obvious reasons.
With the lockout in full swing and the fount of NBA news slowed to a muddy trickle by inane updates about which players are “considering” playing overseas, I’ve had more time to keep abreast of non-NBA news. One story that recently caught my eye was about Abercrombie & Fitch paying Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino not to wear its merchandise.
Before I proceed, I’ll admit that I’ve never been drunk enough mustered up enough courage to sit down and watch a single minute of a single episode of “Jersey Shore.” This means my low regard for Mr. Sorrentino is fueled by snippets I’ve seen on TV or read on the Internet, and by his awful delivery.
That said, this news story compelled me to ask myself a question: Which players would I (figuratively) pay to not be on my fantasy basketball team?
Thus, a blog post was born.
Assuming an act of God forced me to miss my next fantasy basketball draft, here are 10 players I’d “pay” to leave my team if the dreaded auto-draft pooped them onto my roster. Following each player’s blurb is a series of “Situations” reflecting how badly I’d want these players off my team.
- Jason Kidd: He’ll turn 39 in March 2012 (which only matters if 2011-12 actually happens, blah blah blah) and is coming off a season where he shot a career-low 36.1 percent from the field. He can still put up mildly appealing all-around numbers, but with a healthier Roddy Beaubois set to be Kidd’s backup next season, there are very few reasons to get excited about having Kidd land on my team.
- Andrew Bynum: This one’s just a matter of trust, or the lack of it. I tip my hat to Bynum’s production in the latter portion of last regular season, but I just can’t ignore the ticking I hear in my head whenever I see the dude’s name on the draft board — and it’s not from the draft-clock countdown. Bynum’s knee makes him too risky for my tastes, and his very public offense of parking his car in two handicapped-parking spots (at the same time) either tells me his knee now makes him legally handicapped or he’s just a douche bag. Either way, I don’t want him on my fantasy team.
- Andrew Bogut: Just because I’ve never watched “Jersey Shore” doesn’t mean I can’t dislike “The Situation.” The same goes for Bogut’s elbow: Just because I haven’t watched the footage of Bogut’s horrific arm injury a couple seasons ago doesn’t mean I can’t dislike what it does for the Aussie’s fantasy value. I will never feel good about having Bogut on my fantasy basketball squad. (Tangent 1: Why haven’t I watched the video of Bogut’s injury? I just didn’t see any value in it. I saw Shaun Livingston‘s knee injury and concluded that I could’ve gone on just as well with my life if I had just read a summary of it. Tangent 2: How grateful are you that your parents didn’t name you “Andrew” and that you don’t have a last name that begins with “B”? Unless you do, in which case I’d suggest you carefully make your way into a bubble.)
- Brandon Jennings: Jennings is a point guard who shot 39.0 percent from the field and dished out 4.8 assists per game last season. Add Beno Udrih (about whom coach Scott Skiles has spoken highly of) and Stephen Jackson (who took on point guard-like duties for the Bobcats) and I just have a very hard time seeing too much room for improvement underneath Jennings’ ceiling next season.
- Carlos Boozer: His days as an automatic 20/10 are far behind him. Boozer is now a guy who’ll chip in healthy numbers in the rebounds and FG% columns, but won’t get the blocks you want from a big man and will probably miss about a quarter of next season’s games (he’s averaged 63.2 games played per season in his nine seasons in the NBA). Assuming Joakim Noah‘s body is healthy and ready to go, and knowing that the Bulls are looking for more scoring punch from the SG position, I’d be happy to shell out a penny or two to rid my roster of Boozer.
- Tyreke Evans: It’s not that I don’t think Evans is capable of putting up elite fantasy numbers, it’s just that I don’t see how he’ll get to that level next season. Evans is a guy who likes having the ball in his hands, which is fine and dandy in a vacuum. My concern is that on a retooled team that will have minimal time to jell, Evans will have some difficulty adjusting to his role with his new teammates. Is he the team’s point guard or shooting guard? If Marcus Thornton is inked to a deal, will there be enough shots to go around? And what about John Salmons and the frontcourt tandem of DeMarcus Cousins and J.J. Hickson – what net effect will that have on Evans’ production?
- Ricky Rubio: I don’t expect much at all from Rubio in the next NBA season. He’s not just playing on a new team — he’s playing in another league, in another continent, in Minnesota. And it’s not like Rubio’s bringing over a rock-solid jumper and brawny NBA-ready frame. I expect him to be nothing more of a constant tease in his first NBA season, which goes against my basic fantasy basketball adage: Don’t draft players whose play reflects attributes you wouldn’t want in a girl. (So, no, I wouldn’t date Anthony Randolph either.)
- Baron Davis: Baron Walter Louis Davis walks out of an extra-long offseason to join a terrible NBA team that has its point guard of the future — who is not named Baron. It all sounds like the setup for a horror movie, one produced by Davis himself. If you want to have any part of a season in which an overweight, unmotivated Davis tries to adjust to the role of veteran nurturer on a bottom-feeding team, then you’re a sick, sick person.
- Michael Beasley: The man who’s had no trouble making headlines this summer (for all the wrong reasons) will have to fight with Derrick Williams for his minutes next season, a situation I want absolutely no part of. That right there is bad enough, but add the fact that Beasley’s numbers, even in last season’s “breakthrough” campaign, aren’t all that special (kind of like a less productive version of pre-NYK Carmelo Anthony) and I’d do everything fiscally possible to mush him off my fantasy roster.
- Greg Oden: No.