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2005 Offseason Transactions: Fantasy Analysis
August 2, 2005

On August 2, the NBA was once again officially open for business and a number of transaction affecting the fantasy value of players can be expected in the next week.  Here is a look at a couple of those deals. 

Stromile Swift will sign as a free agent with the Houston Rockets.  In five seasons with the Grizzlies he has averaged only 21 mpg.  In this limited role his has shown strengths in rebounds and in particular blocks where his career average is 1.5 per game despite the limited playing time.  Swift joins a team that has a definite need for a PF.  Last season the Rockets started Juwan Howard for 47 games, Clarence Weatherspoon for 18 games, and Maurice Taylor for 16 games.  Although Swift played limited minutes in the Grizzlies team by committee system, the player drafted SECOND overall in the 2000 draft will finally have the opportunity to show his potential.  Seeing as scoring is not his fantasy strength, playing for Jeff Van Gundy should not have too many negative impacts.  In Memphis, Swift had been a backup for Pau Gasol.  Without a legitimate backup, the Grizzlies may finally decide to give their best player, Gasol, the playing time typical for a team’s best player and allow a nice jump in the fantasy value of Gasol. 

Bonzi Wells of the Grizzlies was traded to the Kings for Bobby Jackson and Greg Ostertag.  Jerry West emphasized the character of Bobby Jackson, a lack of which has been an issue with Wells.  What has not been an issue with Wells has been his abilities to score and rebound well for a guard.  In the 2000 season Wells averaged 17 ppg and 6 rpg.  He is also no slouch in the steal category.  In recent years he has found regular playing time tough to come by.  With the Kings losing Bobby Jackson in this trade, Chris Webber last season, and Cuttino Mobley this offseason, Wells is in the right situation to get playing time and have fantasy value once again.  The issue and risk with him is whether his behavior will contribute to him not getting on the court once again with the Kings.  Note that the Kings also traded for Jason Hart who, although a point guard, might benefit some if Wells does not work out 

Jerome James signed as a free agent with the New York Knicks.  The Knicks largely found him attractive as a result of his performance in last years playoffs. In his five regular seasons, his play has earned him an average of only 15 mpg.  The Knicks are already the team that precipitated the new Allan Houston Rule based on the bad contract they gave to him.  In a few years look for the Jerome James Rule.  However, the reason I mention this transaction is the negative fantasy impacts it may have on Knicks rookie Channing Frye.  James will take minutes from him.  In a previous article I had ranked Fryes fantasy potential fairly high.  But with this deal AND the addition of Larry Brown as head coach of the Knicks, Frye’s prospects are not looking as good for next year.

The Washington Wizards signed Antonio Daniels in a move that Ernie Grunfeld said ‘added depth’ to the Wizards.  When you add depth, that means your not getting a lot of playing time.  Meanwhile, the transaction resulted in taking away depth from the Sonics.  Ding! The winner then is PG Luke Ridnour who should see an increase in the 31 mpg he averaged last season.  Ridnour could end up as a player who can be obtained in later rounds that can make an impact in the coveted assist category for your team.

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