NBA Swingman Shortage: Who Will Replace Brandon Roy and Caron Butler?

Justin HasanContributor IIIJanuary 4, 2011

Caron Butler will miss at least two months with a tear in the patella tendon
Caron Butler will miss at least two months with a tear in the patella tendonRonald Martinez/Getty Images

It appears that both Brandon Roy and Caron Butler will be out for the remainder of the fantasy basketball season.

Brandon Roy is out indefinitely with his well-documented knee issues. There are reports that Roy could undergo experimental surgery that would involve a meniscus transplantation. For the first time this season, Roy admitted that his season may be over, so even the most loyal and patient Roy fantasy basketball owners must now drop him.

Check out who on the Blazers will benefit from Roy's absence. Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum and Rudy Fernandez all get an upgrade.

Caron Butler appears to have at least a partial tear in the patella tendon in his right knee.  As of Monday night, the Mavericks have not made it official, but expect Butler to miss at least two months. Although he could be back in time for the fantasy playoffs in March, holding on to a player injured for two months who is ranked outside the top 100 is too much of a burden for owners.

Last Sunday, Shawn Marion started in place of Butler and scored a season-high 22 points in the Mavericks' win. Keep in mind that Dallas was also without Dirk Nowitzki, so don't expect this kind of scoring from Marion on a daily basis. However, Marion should get a bump in minutes and provide a slightly-improved stat line. He is still available in a third of Yahoo fantasy leagues.

The biggest beneficiary from Butler's absence could be another former Washington Wizard, DeShawn Stevenson. Although he was already in the Mavericks' starting lineup, his minutes were that of a reserve player, rarely exceeding 20 minutes per game. 

On Sunday, Stevenson scored 21 points, including five three-pointers. He also added four assists, three rebounds and a block. More importantly, he played a season-high 32 minutes. Stevenson is available in almost every league, but I would wait for a few more productive games before picking him up.

Outside of the NBA teams directly affected by the injuries, Mickael Pietrus is a swingman on the rise. After being traded to Phoenix, he has become the Suns' starting power forward. Although undersized, Pietrus will be benefiting from the consistent assists from Steve Nash. Pietrus was cold in his first two games as a starter, going 3-for-15 from downtown. But once he gets more comfortable, he will become a consistent source of three-pointers.

Last week, Francisco Garcia was finally inserted into the Kings' starting lineup and has produced very impressive lines.  He can shoot threes, rebound, block and steal, and now that he is finally getting the minutes, he has become fantasy relevant.

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