As a cautious fantasy owner, it’s important never to over-react to early season trends. Making roster moves based on short-term success can provide disastrous later on in the season and you need to keep a clear view of the full, 82-game picture.
With that said, Brandon Jennings is the GREATEST ROOKIE IN THE HISTORY OF THE NBA!
OK, all hyperbole aside, the argument can be made that Jennings is off to the best career start in NBA history. After dropping 25 points and four assists at Chicago on Tuesday, Jennings is currently ranked 23rd in nine-category leagues by Basketball Monster.
Jennings is averaging 22 points, 2.3 3-pointers, 5.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals in his first three NBA games. His .481 FG% is a little misleading since he has only shot better than 44 percent once and his 70 percent FT% is disappointing for a point guard.
However, pieces keep falling into place for Jennings to continue his success. Michael Redd is already dealing with soreness in his balky left knee and will miss at least two weeks. My guess is he will be lucky to play 40 games this season.
Luke Ridnour has been reduced to just 14 minutes per game as he makes way for the rise of Jennings, who is poised to become the leader of the Bucks. Make no mistake, Milwaukee sucks, but Jennings will get almost unlimited opportunities to be their stud.
Entering the season, it was impossibly difficult to make projections for Jennings. How can you possibly predict how a player will play in the NBA when his only post-high school experience was playing sparingly in Europe?
Based on the early evidence, it would appear Jennings can score, shoot from long range and has a nose for the ball. However, his 54 shot attempts in three games also indicated he’s something of a chucker. That tendency will only get worse without Redd and his FG% percentage will likely settle somewhere around 43 percent. There will be some very shaky 4-for-20 nights in his immediate future.
But the prospects of Redd’s absence and the lack of competition at the guard position in Milwaukee make Jennings a great pickup for the remainder of the season. He won’t remain a Top 25 player but could see him finishing the season in the Top 75.
It would help if he got better from the line, though.
Another Bucks player to keep an eye on is Hakim Warrick, who I have blogged about so many times it’s surprising he hasn’t asked me be to be his agent.
Through 310 career games, Warrick is averaging 16.9 points, 7.2 points and 0.8 steals per 36 minutes with a .497 FG%. Based on those numbers, you will think some NBA team would have just signed him and given him 30 minutes per game by now.
Well perhaps that time is now as Warrick – finally free from the dungeon that was the Grizzlies’ bench – has played 30-plus minutes in each of Milwaukee’s last two games. And he not-so-surprisingly has averaged 16 points and 7.5 rebounds – almost exactly in line with his averages noted above.
At this point, far be it for me to proclaim Warrick to be a worthy fantasy pickup. He’s not quite there yet and it’s going to take a lot more evidence to make me change my mind. But he’s worth keeping an eye on, even if it takes a few years to finally pay off.