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Wednesday October 25, 2006 3:53 pm

Wire to Wire - Preseason Edition

Hakim WarrickWire to Wire aims to be your waiver wire resource for all of your fantasy basketball needs.  It will dive into playing time trends, injury replacements, and even an occasional category specialist – all of which can be found on a typical waiver wire within your fantasy league at any given time.



For many leagues, this weekend is the one where your fantasy basketball rosters come to fruition.  Preseason activity is over, you’ve scoured the box scores, and you’re ready to roll.  You get your cheat sheets together, put on your “Witness” t-shirt, and start drafting.  OK, maybe that second part is just something that I do, but you get the drift.  It’s go time.  It’s make or break time.  It’s tell your buddies that Pau Gasol is a solid second round pick time! 

I’ve taken part in several mock drafts and real drafts thus far, and let me tell you – no matter what shape or size league you’re in, there is some value to be had in that waiver wire.  Quick note: Everyone and their brothers are talking about Boston’s Rajon Rondo…so I’m choosing not too.  If you think he’ll get playing time, then go for it.  Just remember that there are about 6 legitimate point guards/shooting guards in Bean Town.  Oh, and Paul Pierce will get his time.  You’ve been forewarned.  Wait, I just talked about him…I knew that wouldn’t work.

Let’s dig in.

Just Getting In…

Nenê, PF/C, Denver Nuggets
Preseason Stats: 4 G; 17.0 MPG; 9.5 PPG; 6.5 RPG; 1.8 APG; 0 3PM; 60.0 FG%; 56.0 FT%; 0.8 SPG; 0.0 BPG; 1.75 TO

Straight cash, homey.  These are the words of wide receiver Randy Moss, but also what the Denver Nuggets handed Mr. One-Name last season prior to him going down for the year with a knee injury.  While I’m typically not a fan of guys coming off of injuries (a la Amare Stoudemire), this one can be had on the cheap, and can be a more than serviceable center for fantasy teams.  While no blocks to date are a bit concerning, wait for the minutes to increase – like Field of Dreams – they will come. 

Damon Stoudamire, PG, Memphis Grizzlies
Preseason Stats: 6 G; 18.3 MPG; 6.2 PPG; 1.0 RPG; 3.8 APG; .7 3PM; 40.0 FG%; 85.7 FT%; .3 SPG; 0 BPG; 1.67 TO

Hmm.  Noticing a trend here with the knee injuries?  Either way, it’s causing players to be undervalued big time.  Unlike his NBA counterpart with a similar name, Damon looks to be fully healed from his injury.  Prior to going down last year, Stoudamire was a nice source of all small categories, and should return to form this year.  Don’t let the preseason stats deter you – Damon will be a solid second or third guard, for the price of a fourth.

Kevin Martin, SG, Sacramento Kings
Preseason Stats: 6 G; 24.3 MPG; 14.5 PPG; 3.3 RPG; 1.8 APG; 1 3PM; 54.9 FG%; 75.8 FT%; .8 SPG; 0 BPG; 1.83 TO

Have you guys seen the Doug and Jackie Christie show?  Me neither.  But the new full-time shooting guard in Sacramento is Kevin Martin, and this guy is definitely a shooter.  Martin’s good for a couple threes to go along with solid scoring and percentages.  With Mike Bibby on the shelf for the first two weeks, look for Martin to increase his shot attempts to about 12 or 13 a game.  30+ minutes on a run and gun offense deserves a roster spot in any fantasy league.

Josh Childress, SG/SF, Atlanta Hawks
Preseason Stats: 7 G; 24.6 MPG; 7.4 PPG; 1.7 RPG; 2.3 APG; .1 3PM; 42.6 FG%; 68.8 FT%; .7 SPG; .3 BPG; 1.43 TO

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Even with Al Harrington gone, there are still several wing players in the ATL.  Thus, Josh Childress gets overlooked.  This guy won’t fill up the box scores with 30-point games, but what he will do is give you a little bit of everything, for a very cheap price.  I still expect him to come off of the bench, but I’m expecting no less than a 11-5-2 with a steal a game, and solid percentages.  With fellow third year man Josh Smith getting all the hype, read between the lines and snag Childress off the wire.



Getting Deeper…

Hakim Warrick, SF/PF, Memphis Grizzlies
Preseason Stats: 6 G; 29.3 MPG; 12.3 PPG; 5.7 RPG; 1.5 APG; 0 3PM; 50.9 FG%; 64.3 FT%; .5 SPG; .5 BPG; 2.17 TO

With Pau Gasol out for the next few months, someone has to step up their game.  If you drafted Stromile Swift in the past, you know that he doesn’t exactly take advantage of opportunity.  Hakim Warrick does.  Warrick’s seeing the bulk of the minutes this preseason, and will be frequenting very solid fantasy evenings if he gets anywhere near 33 minutes a night.  He’s versatile enough to play both positions, so look for his production to come in bunches for the first few months of the season.

Eddie Griffin, PF/C, Minnesota Timberwolves
Preseason Stats: 6 G; 17.7 MPG; 5.2 PPG; 8.0 RPG; .2 APG; 0 3PM; 37.9 FG%; 56.3 FT%; .5 SPG; 1.8 BPG; .7 TO

If you look past his off-court antics, which I won’t get into, and look into his per minute statistics, you have to wonder what keeps Griffin’s minutes so sporadic.  However, when he does get the minutes, he rewards you with boards and blocks by the truckload.  Don’t let the percentages scare you.  Griffin doesn’t have the ball in his hands on the offensive side of the floor very often – which also helps your turnovers.  But you have to love the five block game against Detroit, followed by the 17 rebound night against the Bulls.  Definitely a category specialist, but how can you leave this kind of production on your wire?

Desmond Mason, SG/SF, New Orleans Hornets
Preseason Stats: 7 G; 25.6 MPG; 11.9 PPG; 2.9 RPG; .9 APG; 0 3PM; 46.3 FG%; 65.6 FT%; .1 SPG; .1 BPG; 1.29 TO

Mason was supposed to break out last season after his move to New Orleans.  As most owners know, that didn’t happen.  However, with one season in the books as a Hornet, and Mason has come back to life in fantasy circles.  I’ve seen him drafted in the late rounds of deep leagues, which means he can still be found on several waiver wires.  The high-flyer won’t give you much beyond points and field goal percentage with a few boards thrown in, but it’s difficult to leave 20 point potential on the waiver wire.  Look for Mason and Paul to hook up frequently this season.

Shaun Livingston, PG, Los Angeles Clippers
Preseason Stats: 5 G; 30.2 MPG; 13.6 PPG; 3.8 RPG; 3.8 APG; 0 3PM; 54.3 FG%; 80.0 FT%; 1.2 SPG; 0.4 BPG; 2.8 TO

Folks, this kid wasn’t compared to Magic Johnson because of his talk show abilities – thankfully.  Any fantasy draft that took place a couple weeks ago (entirely too early, if you ask me) saw this kid go unnoticed.  Slowly, he’s crept up the rankings, and his preseason stats are only expediting this movement.  Sam Cassell has been injured, which has allowed more focus on Livingston, but these stats are only with 30 minutes.  If he can get the full-time gig, look out. 



Hold Your Breath…

John Salmons, PG/SG/SF, Sacramento Kings
Preseason Stats: 6 G; 23.8 MPG; 8.3 PPG; 3.8 RPG; 2.3 APG; .16 3PM; 41.7 FG%; 86.4 FT%; 1 SPG; .8 BPG; 2.5 TO

Another beneficiary of the Mike Bibby injury.  Aside from being eligible as a wing player in most leagues, Salmons will be garnering the majority of point guard duties in Sacramento.  When Allen Iverson missed games last season, Salmons stepped up on more than one occasion, netting double-digit assists at times.  He’s also a solid glass cleaner for a guard, and will likely take advantage of all extra minutes – even if the bulk will come for two weeks.

Andrew Bynum, C, Los Angeles Lakers
Preseason Stats: 7 G; 20.6 MPG; 8.3 PPG; 4.6 RPG; 1.6 APG; 0 3PM; 69.7 FG%; 85.7 FT%; .1 SPG; .7 BPG; 2.86 TO

Any starting center in the NBA is worth owning, and Bynum is your Los Angeles Laker starting center!  Kwame Brown and Chris Mihm are on the shelf, and the reigns have been given to Bynum.  The second-year high school graduate has put up solid percentages thus far in the preseason, including a solid game of 16 points, 9 boards, and a block off of eight of nine from the floor.  If you’re in need of some big-category help, Bynum just may be your answer.

Jason Maxiell, SF/PF, Detroit Pistons
Preseason Stats: 7 G; 24 MPG; 16.1 PPG; 6.1 RPG; .4 APG; 0 3PM; 58.6 FG%; 58.4 FT%; 1 SPG; 1.1 BPG; 1.43 TO

Wow.  Holy preseason, Jason. While he’s firmly in place behind Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess at the power forward spot, he’s a Nazr Mohammed slip away from logging serious minutes this season.  Throw in the fact that his numbers above are only with 24 minutes a game, and you have some serious potential from the sophomore.  I think that the 24 minutes could possibly be the floor for Maxiell given his production in the preseason.  Plan accordingly. 

Tyrus Thomas, SF/PF, Chicago Bulls
Preseason Stats: 6 G; 21.5 MPG; 10.3 PPG; 5 RPG; 1 APG; 0 3PM; 50 FG%; 72 FT%; 1.8 SPG; 1.5 BPG; 2.33 TO

Thomas may have been a good candidate for listing within the “standard” leagues, but I still think he’s a deep sleeper that is only getting drafted due to his name…until now.  While everyone new of his blocking and rebounding potential, his near 2 steals per game in only 21 minutes is something that I would’ve never anticipated.  It could be an anomaly on the high side, due to the level of competition, but he’s shown solid court awareness thus far.  He’s in a log jam in Chicago, but if Skiles can get him time, he should be on fantasy rosters of all kinds.

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Comments:

Glad your doing this.  I always seem to end up scouring the waiver wire before too long. I always have a hole or two to address.

I don’t wear a “Witness” t-shirt.  Mine says “Dennis is a God”.  OK, I could be lying about that one…..

Another Bulls fan in the house!

I have the Bulls at 6 - 8 following the circus trip, which HAS NOT endeared to me to my fellow Bulls fans.

It’s a brutal trip, with a lot of new faces to incorporate.  They’ll start slow but they’ll be fine.

Keep an eye Khryapa…..

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