Fantasy Analysis: 2011 NBA Free Agents (updated Dec. 14)

by on Dec.14, 2011, under Free agents

Tyson Chandler

Chandler gives the Knicks what they've lacked for a long time: a legitimate center. His fantasy value remains tied to his ability to stay healthy. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

It’s been a crazy week for the NBA. David Stern’s c-blocking aside, fantasy owners have had a lot to pay attention to — maybe too much. I know for me, my real-life work (you know, the stuff that pays the bills and gets in the way of this penurious passion) has gotten in the way of keeping up with all the chaos, but I finally got a chance to sit down and process the madness a bit.

Though trade rumors are all fine and dandy, we have a long list of free-agent signings to examine. Below is a quick rundown of the signings so far, broken down by team:

Atlanta Hawks:

  • Tracy McGrady (PG/SG): one year, veteran’s minimum
    • If (and probably when) Jamal Crawford leaves town, T-Mac could have inconsistent value here and there. Don’t expect him to get the 25-30 minutes he notched for a few months last season with the Pistons.
  • Vladimir Radmanovic (SF/PF): details undisclosed
    • You know the deal with Radmanovic: If he somehow gets minutes, he’ll hit some threes and get nearly a steal a game, but that’s a big “if.” He’s worthless for the time being.

Boston Celtics:

  • Jeff Green (SF/PF): one year, $9 million
    • He’ll have one year to remind everyone of his ability to play solid basketball, which should motivate him plenty. This, along with the grueling schedule for the veteran Celtics this season, should lead to slightly improved production from last season — but that isn’t saying much. (Update: Green’s mysterious health issue knocks his appeal down until further notice.
  • Marquis Daniels (SG/SF): one year, details undisclosed
    • Unless injuries ravage that roster, Daniels won’t have value.
  • Chris Wilcox (PF/C): one year, veteran’s minimum
    • Don’t expect anything worthy of your attention.

Charlotte Bobcats:

  • Derrick Brown(SF/PF): one year, details undisclosed
    • Not much to see here, folks.

Chicago Bulls:

  • Brian Scalabrine (PF/C): details undisclosed
    • Love the guy, but don’t draft him — unless you want to have fun with a last pick.

Cleveland Cavaliers:

  • Anthony Parker (SG/SF): one year, $2.25 million
    • He’ll be a low-end option if you need threes and steals at the very end of your roster.

Dallas Mavericks:

  • Brandan Wright (PF): details undisclosed
    • Don’t expect much of anything this season from Wright.
  • Brian Cardinal (SF/PF): details undisclosed
    • The Janitor returns. That is all.
  • Delonte West (PG/SG): one year, details undisclosed
    • No more odd jobs for West. He’ll have marginal value every now and then, but nothing reliably appetizing.

Denver Nuggets:

  • Nene (C): five years, $67 million
    • Maybe the most-coveted free agent in the market is returning to his old team. With a team deprived of some of its scorers, Nene should improve on his numbers from last season.

Detroit Pistons:

  • Jonas Jerebko (SF/PF): four years, $16 million
    • He’s a sleeper. Nab him if you can in the last round or two of your draft.
  • Tayshaun Prince (SF/PF): four years, $27 million
    • The aforementioned Jerebko and the emerging Austin Daye will relegate Prince to a background role. He offers fine all-around value, but his ceiling is low this season.
  • Damien Wilkins (SG/SF): details undisclosed
    • No fantasy value here.

Golden State Warriors:

  • Kwame Brown (C): one year, $7 million
    • He’ll only have very limited value if Andris Biedrins gets hurt and Ekpe Udoh fails to get in the good graces of coach Mark Jackson. Very. Limited.

Indiana Pacers:

  • David West (PF): two years, $20 million
    • He’s coming off knee surgery, but West has the type of game that won’t be affected too much by it, assuming he’s fully recovered. If he can stay on the court, West will remain a solid all-around asset to take in rounds 5-7 of most drafts. His arrival in Indiana puts a dent in the fantasy value of Tyler Hansbrough.
  • Jeff Foster (C): details undisclosed
    • Move along.

Los Angeles Clippers:

  • Caron Butler (SG/SF): three years, $24 million
    • Butler will probably start at SF for the Clippers, which dents the fantasy values of Al-Farouq Aminu and Ryan Gomes. Still, he won’t be looked upon to do too much on offense for his new team, and his health is a big question mark. Consider him in the last round or two of standard-sized drafts — anything beyond that is too optimistic for my tastes.
  • DeAndre Jordan (PF/C): four years, $43 million
    • There’s a chance Chris Kaman will be dealt away soon. That would open up the door for Jordan to be a reliable fantasy asset in head-to-head leagues. His free-throw shooting will still be a nightmare though.

Los Angeles Lakers:

  • Josh McRoberts (PF/C): two years, $6.1 million
    • He’ll get playing time in that thinner post-Lamar Odom frontcourt, so he’ll have some value for fantasy purposes this season. McRoberts won’t have significant value unless either of the Lakers’ big men is dealt away for a non-big. Still, he shoots solid percentages and fills up the stat sheet, albeit in humble portions. He could be a nice guy to round out the end of your bench.
  • Jason Kapono (SG/SF): one year, veteran’s minimum
    • Nothing to see here.

Memphis Grizzlies:

  • Marc Gasol (C): four years, $58 million
    • His rebounding (7.0 per game) was underwhelming last season, but Gasol offers solid all-around value that’s rare from centers. Look for him to maintain the value he had last season.

Miami Heat:

  • Shane Battier (SF): details undisclosed
    • He’ll probably hit some threes and offer his meager portions of points, rebounds, steals and blocks, but Battier’s fantasy value takes a hit with his decision to head to South Beach.
  • Mario Chalmers (PG): three years, $12 million
    • The PG spot will be a bit emptier this season for the Heat, if things stand as they are. Regardless, Chalmers remains pretty unappealing. He’s a decent source of threes and steals at the end of your roster, but don’t expect much else. If rookie Norris Cole develops quickly, things get even worse for Chalmers’ already-tepid fantasy appeal.
  • James Jones (SG/SF): three years, details undisclosed
    • He’s fine if you need some threes any given week, but Jones remains a waiver-wire yo-yo.
  • Eddy Curry (C): one year, veteran’s minimum
    • Stay away.

Milwaukee Bucks:

  • Mike Dunleavy (SG/SF): two years, $7.5 million
    • He’ll be playing backup to Stephen Jackson and Carlos Delfino, which will limit his minutes and production, but could benefit his durability. He might be good for a pickup off of waivers if Jackson or Delfino get hurt, but that’s about it.
  • Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (SF/PF): four years, $19 million
    • We’ll see if he can grab and hold onto a starting job at PF for the Bucks, but even if he does, he won’t be good for much more than some rebounds and about 1.3 steals a game.

Minnesota Timberwolves:

  • J.J. Barea (PG): four years, $19 million
    • Have fun trying to figure out how many minutes he’ll get. This is bad news for Ricky Rubio‘s already lukewarm fantasy appeal.

New Jersey Nets:

  • Shelden Williams (PF/C): one year, details undisclosed
    • No fantasy value here.

New York Knicks:

  • Tyson Chandler (C): four years, $56 million
    • With Ronny Turiaf gone as a result of the deal that brought Chandler to the Big Apple, Chandler will get all the minutes his body can handle for the Knicks. His usual mix of solid shooting percentages, rebounds and blocks should be expected. His health remains the ceiling to his value.
  • Mike Bibby (PG): one year, $1.4 million
    • He’ll have his work cut out for him if he wants to win over Knicks fans, and fantasy owners for that matter. Hypothetically, Bibby should be able to hit some threes as Toney Douglas‘ backup, but even that doesn’t justify drafting him. Leave him for the waiver wire.
  • Jared Jeffries (PF/C): one year, $1.4 million
    • Nope.

Oklahoma City Thunder:

  • Daequan Cook (SG/SF): two years, $7.5 million
    • Unless you’re really hankering for threes, disregard Cook.

Orlando Magic:

  • Glen Davis (PF/C): four years, $26 million
    • Big Baby had a solid year as a Celtic last season, but it’ll be a different story in Orlando, where he’ll have a tough time competing with Ryan Anderson at the PF spot.
  • Jason Richardson (SG/SF): four years, $25 million
    • With Dwight Howard wanting out of Orlando, J-Rich’s fantasy value will likely dip. There’s no center who will open up the three-point line like No. 12 did. Side note: this kind of kills the sleeper buzz surrounding J.J. Redick.

Philadelphia 76ers:

  • Thaddeus Young (SF/PF): five years, $43 million
    • He averaged just 0.1 threes a game last season, not nearly enough to prop up his otherwise appealing stats. Young’s a reliable source of some points, rebounds and steals.
  • Spencer Hawes (C): one year, $4.6 million
    • Expect the same old drab stat lines from Hawes this season.
  • Tony Battie (PF/C): one year, details undisclosed
    • Nope.

Phoenix Suns:

  • Grant Hill (SF): one year, $6.5 million
    • He’ll probably start at SF for the Suns and though Vince Carter is gone from the Suns, Jared Dudley will pick up most of the slack left behind. Hill should remain a solid all-around fantasy asset, though a harsh slate of games in any given week could limit his minutes.
  • Sebastian Telfair (PG): one year, $1.5 million
    • He could emerge with some value if Steve Nash needs rest or time to heal from injuries. Though Zabian Dowell was waived, Telfair will have to fight for minutes with the next guy.
  • Ronnie Price (PG/SG): details undisclosed
    • He’ll split backup duties with Telfair.
  • Shannon Brown (SG/SF): one year, $3.5 million
    • He’ll probably back up Dudley and could offer value here and there. Don’t consider drafting him until near the end of your drafts. When given enough playing time, Brown has proven himself to be a fantasy asset, so consider him something of a deep sleeper.

Portland Trail Blazers:

  • Greg Oden (C): one year, $8.9 million
    • He might have to have surgery again. For the sake of all things good, don’t draft Oden.
  • Kurt Thomas (PF/C): two years, details undisclosed
    • He could get some run for that fragile center spot in Portland but won’t offer any noteworthy fantasy value.

Sacramento Kings:

  • Chuck Hayes (PF/C): four years, $21.3 million
    • Hayes was a beast for the Rockets last season. Coach Paul Westphal has already said Hayes would likely be his starting PF, but with so many big men ready to eat into his court time, Hayes is unlikely to do too much for fantasy owners. His arrival also puts a dent in the values of J.J. Hickson and Jason Thompson. Give Hayes a look near the end of your drafts, but his ceiling is low.
  • Marcus Thornton (SG): four years, $31 million
    • The dude put up studly numbers in his 27 games for the Kings last season, but with a healthy Tyreke Evans and rookie Jimmer Fredette to compete with, Thornton’s set for a decline in value. His solid shooting percentages, steals and ability to pour in threes keep him relevant enough to warrant a pick near the middle of standard-sized drafts.

San Antonio Spurs:

  • T.J. Ford (PG): one year, veteran’s minimum
    • He’ll be backing up Tony Parker, which means he’ll be worth a look only if Parker gets injured.

Toronto Raptors:

  • Jamaal Magloire (C): details undisclosed
    • He’s the team’s first Canadian player in its 16-year history. That’s about as exciting as this gets.
  • Aaron Gray (C): one year, details undisclosed
    • Leave him for the waiver wire.
  • Gary Forbes (SG/SF): three years, details undisclosed
    • Nothing going on here.
  • Rasual Butler (SG/SF): one year, details undisclosed
    • Ditto.
  • Anthony Carter (PG): details undisclosed
    • Not sure how many other ways there are to say it.

Utah Jazz:

  • Earl Watson (PG): details undisclosed
    • He’s fine Devin Harris insurance, but his weak shooting percentages limit his appeal.

Washington Wizards:

  • Hamady N’diaye (C): details undisclosed
    • Cool name, no fantasy appeal.
  • Roger Mason (SG): one year, details undisclosed
    • Looking like no fantasy value. How u

To keep track of the rest of the NBA free-agency activity, check out these resources:

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