Technical issues have preventing from posting as much as I would like lately (anyone have a new computer I could, um, have for free?). And while it’s been mostly quiet as Carlos Boozer remains in Utah and Lamar Odom in CandyLand, there have been some moves over the last few days that altered the fantasy landscape.
Most notable was the Charlotte Bobcats dealing franchise center (I SWEAR I typed that with a straight face) Emeka Okafor to the New Orleans Hornets for Tyson Chandler.
All things considered, this has to be a positive move for Okafor’s value and a negative one for Chandler, who was worthless much of last season anyway.
For all his shortcomings, Okafor is averaging a double-double in five NBA seasons while shooting better than 50 percent from the floor and blocking a shade under two shots per game. And is there any big man who wouldn’t benefit from playing with Chris Paul?
Okafor is not as gifted athletically as Chandler and may not run the break like he did, but he’ll still be on the receiving end on plenty of Paul’s passes and is a more multi-faceted scorer.
Chandler can’t score more than five feet from the rim. It was exciting to watch him throw down passes from Paul, but that was his lone weapon. Can he have the same connection with Raymond Felton and D.J. Augustin? It’s unlikely.
Chandler has averaged double digits in scoring just once in his career and – outside of a solid 2007-08 season – in pretty much a one-trick pony. He’ll grab rebounds and block some shots, but probably not enough, and shoot a high percentage en route to marginal point totals.
The real question that will be answered with this trade: was Chandler only valuable because Paul’s greatness turned him into a weapon? If so, Okafor could be a tremendous weapon as well and Chandler could fade into fantasy obscurity.
I still think Chandler will have some value as a late round pick for boards and blocks, but he’ll be a risky endeavor.
The Portland Trail Blazers finally landed their big free agent (we knew one was coming) by signing Andre Miller to a three-year deal over the weekend.
Miller was revelation in Philadelphia, mainly because the team’s makeup forced him to become more of a scorer than he otherwise would be and his value increased drastically. Now, he’s back to being a pass-first guy, which isn’t a bad thing but certainly makes him less well-rounded.
It’ll be curious to see what Miller will do on the floor while Brandon Roy has the ball. It’s almost as if the Blazers will have two point guards and Miller can’t just stand around and shoot jumpers because he won’t make many.
Of course, Roy has gotten banged up often in his brief career and Miller can be viewed as injury insurance.
In a move that probably flew well under the radar for most fantasy owners, the Hornets acquired a backup for Okafor in center Ike Diogu.
Diogu is an interesting case. A few seasons back he was considered untouchable by the Warriors and a future star. Now he’ll be on his fifth team in as many season without getting a solid shot on any of them.
All that and he’s averaged 17.7 points, 8.9 rebounds and one block per 36 minutes in his career. He’s never played more than 14.9 minutes per game and that was in his rookie season.
So what gives? Unexplored talent or career journeyman?
We’ll find out soon enough, but I feel if Diogu gets the opportunity to play, he’ll produce.