Fantasy Basketball 2012: Aging Superstars Who Are Still Worth a High Draft Pick

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Fantasy Basketball 2012: Aging Superstars Who Are Still Worth a High Draft Pick
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Paul Pierce remains a legitimate NBA superstar despite his age.

Unlike the NFL, the NBA cherishes its aging superstars. 

Even at the tail end of their careers, guys like Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash and Tim Duncan still have a place on the court and in fantasy lineups. 

While this era's crop of stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul will battle for the title of top overall pick in fantasy leagues nationwide, there are still some vets worthy of a high draft pick when the clock starts ticking. 

 

Paul Pierce, SF, Boston Celtics

When drafting a small forward, one aging star who should still be taken early has to be the Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce. 

The Truth has endured both the good times and the bad in Boston, but has always remained an invaluable leader and fantasy asset. 

Despite his age (35), declining athleticism and the loss of Ray Allen, Pierce should still be among the top players at his position for at least another year. 

After a rough start to the 2011-2012 season, Pierce turned it on late, finishing the regular season with averages of 19.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. 

With Allen gone, Pierce should top 20 points per game for the first time since '08-'09 as Boston relies on him to put the ball in the basket more than in recent years. 

 

Kevin Garnett, C, Boston Celtics

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
KG's work ethic is legendary.
Everyone knows the dynasty is nearing its end in Boston, but not if Kevin Garnett has anything to say about it. 

The Big Ticket made a big comeback last season, averaging 15.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. 

After spending his entire career as an athletic power forward, Garnett made the switch to center last season and flourished on both ends of the floor. 

According to CBS.com's fantasy rankings, KG checks in as the No. 8 power forward, and even if he continues to play center, he should still be someone worthy of a high pick.

 

Steve Nash, PG, Los Angeles Lakers 

Harry How/Getty Images
Steve Nash will have a boatload of weapons to dish the ball to in L.A.
If any player benefited  the most from a relocation this offseason, it had to be Steve Nash. 

After running one of the league's most explosive offenses in Phoenix for years, the sharp-shooting, sweet-passing point guard fell victim to a talent drop all around him.

However, now that he's on the Lakers, the 38-year-old two-time MVP should have a career renaissance.

Playing alongside elite finishers like Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard should bolster Nash's assist numbers, and the wily veteran knows how to knock down jumpers better than anyone else at his position. 

Expect big things from Nash this year. 

 

Gerald Wallace, SF, Brooklyn Nets 

Chris Chambers/Getty Images
Gerald Wallace is finally surrounded by some significant talent in Brooklyn.
You might be surprised to see Wallace make this list, but few realize that the former first-round pick has been around for 11 years already. 

Despite his all-around talent, Wallace hasn't been able to stick in one place, bouncing around from Charlotte to Portland and now to the Nets. 

At his peak, Wallace averaged around 18 points per game and displayed a knack for getting steals on defense, but his stats have declined in recent years. 

However, now that he's part of a lineup featuring Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, Wallace could experience a rebirth playing for a contender. 

He may be a few years younger than the other guys on this list, but considering his lengthy NBA experience, he just makes the cutoff as an aging veteran worth targeting early on fantasy draft day. 



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