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Roundup of NBA News: Love Lost Weight, Carter to Be Cut, Bynum Improves

by on Dec.05, 2011, under Free agents, Injuries, Quick hits

The quickly approaching Dec. 25 start to the somewhat unexpected 2011-12 NBA season means fantasy owners are like students cramming for a big exam. Here are a few tidbits to help you ace your drafts:

  • Kevin Love

    Love will have to lift less weight off the ground when grabbing 'bounds this season. (Flickr/Keith Allison)

    Kevin Love is reportedly “25 pounds lighter than when he left following last season.” This bodes well for his ability to maintain, if not exceed, his stellar fantasy value from last season. I can’t see any reason why Love would fall out of the top five spots in any fantasy basketball draft this season.

 

  • Vince Carter is expected to be waived by the Phoenix Suns, which opens up the door (as expected) for Jared Dudley to step in and start. In 15 starts last season, Dudley averaged 51.8% FG, 77% FT, 1.7 3PTM, 16.3 Pts, 5.9 Reb, 2.2 Ast, 2.1 Stl, 0.5 Blk, 1.2 TO. In the 65 games he played (15 of which he started, 50 of which he came off the bench) from Dec. 2, 2010, through the end of last season, Dudley put up top 80 value. Call him a sleeper if you want, but Dudley should’ve already been on your radars. He’ll be a bargain if he falls into the last quarter of your draft. Carter, meanwhile, could land on a team in need of a SG, but don’t be fooled — his days of being a reliably productive fantasy asset are over.

 

  • Andrew Bynum appears to have improved his game and strengthened his body during the extended offseason: “He lost 10 pounds to take a load off his knees while losing more body fat than Kevin Durant even carries. He strengthened his core and the muscles all around his knees, so critical for him to improve his base and make powerful moves when so weak in those knees. He ditched all the insecurities over sub-par conditioning and poor lateral movement that led him to rush things and get out of sync with his team. He focused on developing quicker moves (drop steps, spin moves, one-dribble jump hooks, even the Dream Shake) and locked in on free throws, too.” Don’t drink the whole cup of Kool-Aid, but this is much better than where he was at the start of last season. (Also, remember that Bynum is suspended for the first five games of the season, thanks to his cheap shot on J.J. Barea in the Lakers’ disgraceful exit from the playoffs last season.)

 

  • Chris Bosh is “bulkier” and more open to playing center for the Miami Heat this season. He sounds ready to bang the boards more and said “there shouldn’t be a season where I don’t average 10 rebounds.” This sounds great, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Regardless, Bosh remains a helpful fantasy player.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Ty Lawson

    Lawson's fantasy value is safe this season. (Flickr/GAMEFACE-PHOTOS)

    Denver Nuggets coach George Karl said Ty Lawson is “ready to be a 30-35 minute player.” In 31 starts last season, Lawson averaged 50.9% FG, 85.1% FT, 1.2 3PTM, 14.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.1 turnovers in 32:06 per game. Fears about Andre Miller‘s impact on Lawson’s potential stud status should be set aside. Karl said he’ll deploy both point guards on the court together at times, so Miller should retain some value.

 

  • Ed Davis gained about 18 pounds of muscle and could find himself playing center for the Raptors this season. James Johnson improved his jumper and is focused on defense. Both players could be huge bargains near the end of your drafts.

 

 

  • For updates on free agents, check out what ESPN and NBA.com have to offer.
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