This is meant to be a periodic column from 3 Got Game's NBA Analytiks synthesizing recent, important headlines in one place. The hope is that these tidbits help in your quest for that ever elusive fantasy NBA championship! Let's get to it.
Baron Davis is Falling—Keep Eric Bledsoe in Mind
Jenny Craig may be visiting the Clippers camp real soon. Baron Davis reportedly showed up to training camp out of shape this week, prompting immediate concerns from new head coach Vinny Del Negro. Last season the Clippers went 29-53 despite having a pretty talented team on paper. Even with the return of rookie Blake Griffin, an unmotivated Baron raises the likelihood of another Clipper season of dismal mediocrity. In that case, it's possible that Coach Del Negro will turn to rookie Eric Bledsoe whenever the Clippers are eliminated from playoff contention. Keep Eric Bledsoe or possibly even Randy Foye in mind if the Clippers begin to fall in the standings.
Keep Ty Lawson in Mind
Earlier this season, I wrote that a Carmelo Anthony trade might be the domino that leads to Billups' departure from Denver. There would be absolutely no reason to pay Chauncey Billups $13 million in a losing cause when there's a younger, less expensive backup in Ty Lawson waiting in the wings. Now, John Hollinger writes that Portland might be an ideal destination for Billups, giving this contingency a little more credence. If Denver trades Billups and does not get a starting point guard in return, it will boost Lawson's value exponentially. Keep this possibility in mind as the season moves on.
Michael Beasley is Rising and Wesley Johnson is Falling
News of Michael Beasley starting at small forward at camp this week raises his value, but has a negative impact on Wesley Johnson's. If Beasley seizes the starting job, this would leave Martell Webster and Wesley Johnson to fight for the remaining reserve minutes at the No. 2 and No. 3 slots, assuming Corey Brewer retains his starting job. Keep an eye on this position battle to see who emerges on top, but as of now, this is bad news for fans of the Shawn Marion/Josh Smith hybrid, Wesley Johnson.
Keep an Eye on Magnum Rolle
For all intents and purposes, Magnum Rolle should not even be on the Pacers roster. The team already has all 15 roster spots filled and technically speaking, has no room for the long power forward from Louisiana Tech. The fact that the Pacers signed him anyway is a sign of either:
A. Their belief in him
B. Their utter lack of depth at the No. 4 spot, or
C. A combination of both
With 16 players under contract, the Pacers will now have to trade or drop one of their players before the start of the season.
As noted before, the Pacers have a gaping hole at power forward. Danny Granger is not a viable, long-run solution. With Tyler Hansbrough coming off injuries and Josh McRoberts being Josh McRoberts, Magnum Rolle has a decent chance to carve out a role as the season progresses. He played well in summer league and Larry Bird has said that Rolle has the best 15-17' jumper of anyone on the team. Keep Magnum Rolle on your watch list as preseason and the regular season progress. Rolle could be one of those late bloomers who emerges just in time to make major contributions next March.
Other News and Notes
Kevin Love reportedly had an MRI on his knee because of swelling, but the results came back negative. Hopefully, there is nothing serious going on there...In the 76ers camp, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes have been playing with the starter's unit while rookie Evan Turner and Marreesse Speights roll with the second unit...Reports suggest that Steve Nash may spend more time at the No. 2, allowing Goran Dragic to get more playing time. I can't see how that lineup could possibly work, but keep an eye on this development...finally, here is a glowing report on the fantasy prospects of Jrue Holiday from Mr. Adam Madison.
Alright—back to work for me! Have a great evening!
Ken is a writer for 3 Got Game's NBA Analytiks www.nba-analytiks.com