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InsideHoops NBA [Fantasy Basketball]

Fantasy Hoops: The AnswerGrinch




/ Dec. 22, 2004

The Answerman is the only fantasy basketball and romance advice columnist on the web. He is here at to answer all your questions (or at least the interesting ones).

All the holiday cheer is putting the Answerman in a rotten mood. I mean, the first day you see lights up outside the houses and hear the Boss’ “Santa Clause is Coming to Town” on the radio is really nice. After a full month of it, I’ve had enough. The Answerman is much happier when people are a little more on edge.

So stop your grinning, take off your reindeer sweater and prepare for the snarkiest Answerman column yet.

The Vince Carter trade: Why do so many writers think that this is good for Carter’s value? Carter has always been as fine fantasy player, mostly because he has always been the primary option. His downfall has always been injuries. Carter’s best season was when he was teamed with Antonio Davis and Charles Oakley. Those two veterans would protect Carter by inflicting punishment on anyone who dared touch him. Carter went through the season, and most defenses, unscathed.

After Oakley left, Carter took a tough shot to the knee from Horace Grant, who was working with McGrady at the time. Carter has never been the same. He lost some lift due to the injuries and is often tentative going to the basket due to a lack of big man protection.

How does the trade to NJ change any of that? Is there a big man in NJ? Will Kidd getting him the ball reduce his chance of injury? Is RJ going to protect him under the basket? Will sharing the ball in NJ’s egalitarian system get him more shot attempts? More assists?

The answer is no. Do not trade for Vince. If you have Vince, see if you can move him for (long-shot) Gilbert Arenas or (safe bet) Speedy Claxton.

As for the impact of the Carter trade on Toronto, we’ve seen a lot of Toronto without Carter over the years. Rose will score more, but will still shoot poorly and not provide much in the “other” categories. Morris Peterson will tease, but not deliver. I have a feeling Sam Mitchell will like Eric Williams and he may get to produce. Keep an eye out.

Baron Davis is practicing: Please excuse me if I don’t get too excited about this one. Baron is great. Percentages aside, he’s a top 10 fantasy player in the league. However, he is injured. Even when he is healthy, he is injured.

He’s sort of like a recovering alcoholic, one drink and he’s back. Baron’s next fall could sideline him for three more weeks or three more games, or three more quarters, it hardly matters, the guy is hurt.

If you have him – trade him now while people are excited. If you don’t have him, leave him alone. You want certainty, especially from your superstars, and Davis will never provide that.

The Great Larry Hughes: How great is Larry Hughes? In this, his 6th NBA season, he has doubled his career steals average to lead the league, picked up his assists to 5 per game (career is just over 3) and his rebounding to 6 per game (career just over 3), and meanwhile he’s edging on 20 points per game, up nearly 5ppg from his career average.

Hughes is clearly the most improved player – wow.

Sorry readers, I’m not buying it. Why do players improve? There are usually two reasons: 1) A developed maturity in game and physical abilities. This happens in a players 3rd or 4th year, not 6th; or 2) Change in team or role in system. Hughes was a Wizard, playing the two-guard next to Arenas in Eddie Jordan’s system last year and this year.

There is no reason for the sudden improvement. That only means one thing – he’s probably coming back down. This will probably end up being his best career year, but the downfall is likely coming soon. Trade him now, while he’s hot. You could get a (long-shot) Marbury or (sure thing) Chris Bosh.

8.7 Rebounds and 1.67 blocks: 2002 was a good year for rookie big men. Two rookies fought for rookie of the year honors – Amare Stoudemire and Yao Ming. Since most players hit their stride in their third season, which these two men are in, can someone please explain to me how these two Centers, future all-stars, and future all-league big men are averaging an identical 8.7 rebounds and 1.67 blocks per game. Stoud is averaging a big 1.5 apg compared to Yao’s 1.0. These number are LaFrentz-esque.

There really is no advice here, just wanted to complain about those two “stars”.

Darius’ Resurgence, Again: So I understand Darius Miles is re-earning the starting sport in Portland. Why am I not excited? Don’t we see Miles’ breakout every year, followed by a bout of bad shooting, questionable decisions, and then, ultimately by limited minutes. Isn’t that every year? Is this something new? If he’s a free agent, go ahead and take the risk – but please do not trade a quality player for him.

The Teachings of Bryant: If we have learned anything from Bryant this year, it is this simple lesson, never marry the hottest girl.

Consider the following, the hotter the girl, the worse she is in bed (“I’m much too hot, I don’t have to…”); the hotter the girl the higher the maintenance; the hotter the girl the bigger the ego; and – key to the Kobe latest situation - the hotter the girl, the more likely she is to get hit on by friends and strangers.

Take my advice, get a sweet girl, a loving girl, a nurturing girl, and a girl hot enough to turn you, but not others, on. If you only get turned on by really hot girls, then you’ve got other problems, which I cannot address here.

A Positive: A nice, happy thought: James Posey is starting again and starting to show signs. He was big in the 2nd half last year and may be worth a gamble, now.

And Another Positive: Jason Terry got his starting job back in Dallas. That’s good news. He will start to produce soon.

One last positive thought: Grant Hill is still healthy. See? It is a season of miracles.

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