Basketball Stirs While Baseball Slumbers

Jarrett Jack may be Jose Calderon's new backup but could remain in Indiana. No telling which thought forced him to make this face.

Jarrett Jack may be Jose Calderon's new backup but could remain in Indiana. No telling which thought forced him to make this face.

Two of my least favorite weeks of the year are the NBA All-Star break and Major League All-Star break, respectively. I’m no college sports fan so there is NOTHING else going on for me during those days and I usually don’t get too excited about the All-Star festivities.

With MLBon hiatus on Monday, the NBA at least kept things a little interesting witha flurry of moves with fantasy ramifications.

Jarrett Jack signed a four-year offer sheet with the Toronto Raptors, which would potentially make him Jose Calderon’s backup.

Jack is one of those players I feel still is undervalued even though he played 33 minutes per game for the Pacers last season.  For his career, he is averaging 13.2 points, 5.0 assists, 1.1 steals and nearly one 3-pointer per 36 minutes with a .446 FG& and a .853 FT%.

It’s hard to gauge how many minutes Jack would get with the Raptors. His defensive ability and size would allow him to play alongside Calderon, so 30-plus minutes per game is not out of the question.

When playing with Calderon, Jack can become a scorer and defender. When Calderon rests, Jack can be the team’s primary ballhandler. There is potential here for the best of both worlds.

Jack finished last season as a ninth-round value. Considering the lingering questions about how he’ll be used, he seems safer as an 10th or 11th rounder right now.

Of course, Indiana still has seven days to match the offer.

LebronJames gained a new sidekick in Cleveland with the addition of Anthony Parker. After two nearly identical seasons with the Raptors, Parker took a step back last year as Toronto was in disarray for much of the season.

Parker’s FG% fell to .426 – his lowest as an NBA full-timer – and he averaged just 10.7 points per game. He did manage to post career highs in assists (3.4) and steals (1.3) but it hardly negates the negatives.

Parker’s situation is even more curious than Jack’s. As Toronto’s third scoring option, Parker never averaged more than 12.5 points. Now he’ll be backing up DelonteWest and sharing the ball with James, Shaquille O’Neal and Mo Williams.

Parker may become a threat for 3-pointers, steals and FT% and perhaps he becomes a more efficient player with a lesser role. Still, he’s a late-round pick at best until his situation becomes clarified.

In a more surprising move, the Orlando Magic decided to match the Dallas Mavericks’ offer for Marcin Gortat, thereby retaining his services.

This sucks.

Although I was not convinced of his ability to produce as a regular player, I was looking forward to drafting Gortat. How could you not want to own a guy nicknamed “The Polish Hammer”?

But alas, Gortat will remain backing up Dwight Howard. They might as well put “White Insurance Policy” on the back of his jersey. He will spend another season as a fantasy afterthought.

The good news is you still have Erick Dampier to grab when you’re desperate for blocks and boards.

And finally, Channing Frye signed with the Phoenix Suns. Once an uber-efficient rookie with the New York Knicks, Frye has followed withthree mostly forgettable seasons (one withNew York, two with Portland).

Frye is averaging 14.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and nearly one steals and one block per game per 36 minutes in his career. He has an erratic FG% history (.477, .433, .488, .423) but is a career 80 percent free-throw shooter.

Certainly Frye possesses talent and could possibly get the chance he needs to become relevant to fantasy owners again. As a jump-shooting big man, Frye could excel playing alongside the physical freak that is Amare Stoudemire and the deft passing of Steve Nash.

There are many questions left to be answered with regard to the Suns’ rotation this season, but I’d consider Frye a solid pick in the last couple rounds for his upside on a fantasy-benevolent team.

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