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Monday July 28, 2008 8:35 am

Andris Biedrins Makes Me Nervous

Andris BiedrinsThis may just be the skeptic in me, but I think I’ll be staying away from Andris Biedrins this year.  He could be my “contract year” guy of yesteryear, that simply won’t put up numbers worth the money he’ll be getting paid. 

After signing Monta Ellis to a new lucrative deal, the Warriors used up another $60 million on the Latvian big man with the crazy-spiked hair.  With Elton Brand going East, and Baron Davis going to L.A., the Warriors may have felt that they’re just going to roll on with a core group of guys; and $120 million of that will go towards the aforementioned pair.

Yes, Biedrins may be the only big man in Golden State.  Yes, he managed to improve his year-over-year scoring and rebounding last season.  And yes, he’s only 20-years old.  But per 36 minutes, I give you two lines:

A: 13.8 points, 12.9 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.0 steals
B: 10.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.0 blocks, 1.4 steals

Line A, is obviously Biedrins’ 2007-08 numbers.  Line B is Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao, but from 2006-07 - when he was going to become a restricted free agent.  After a bit of a tussle with the front office, Varejao signed a deal with the Bobcats, only to be matched by Cleveland.  He then went on to average 8.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Now, obviously, if Biedrins plays more minutes, his impact will be bigger than Varejao’s due to his role (or lack of) on the offensive end.  However, I wouldn’t count out a bit of a regression.  Both Biedrins and Baron Davis were looking for money this season.  Davis miraculously played a full season.  Biedrins managed to improve on his prior season, and got paid. 

Now as a fantasy owner, with Biedrins currently coming off of the board early in the sixth round, is it worth it?  He’s coming off right after guys like Tyson Chandler, yet before a few higher upside guys like Greg Oden and LaMarcus Aldridge.  If it was up to me, I’m going upside at that point…

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