Fire and Ice: Gerald Wallace and Andrew Bynum

 Each week, we’ll examine two players that have gone in opposite directions in the past week or two and their prospects for the immediate future.

Gerald Wallace often plays at a frenetic pace that leads to scenes like this. But you know what this leads to? (See end of post)

Fire: Gerald Wallace

Whoever has Gerald Wallace in your fantasy league is probably close to first place. He was drafted an averaged of 30th overall in Yahoo! leagues, is providing third-round value this season (according to Basketball Monster) and has been the 14th-best player in eight-category leagues over the past two weeks.

Wallace’s numbers are outstanding as he’s averaging 21.9 points, 13.1 rebounds 2.9 assists, 2.0 steals and 0.9 blocks while shooting .536 from the floor. Is anyone else on the Bobcats even trying to get rebounds?

Even more remarkably, Wallace has played in all of Charlotte’s 24 games this season. That’s no small feat for a player who has never played more than 72 games in his nine-year career.

Can you see where this is going?

Wallace is a perennial injury threat, especially due to his rambunctious style of play. On top of that, he’s grabbing 10.6 rebounds per 36 minutes this season – far above his career mark of 7.2.

It’s possible that this season will remain an anomaly for Wallace, who will stay healthy and continue to rebound like Marcus Camby. But it’s far more likely that he’ll get banged up, miss some games and become less efficient on the boards.

The upside is too great to consider Wallace strictly as a “sell-high” candidate. But if you can deal for a player of equal value that is a safer long-term bet (Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Chris Bosh, etc.), it is marginalizing your risk to make a swap.

Ice: Andrew Bynum

Bynum was profiled in an Buying Low and Selling High earlier this season while he was putting up big numbers in Pau Gasol’s absence. He was the “Selling High” part and if you didn’t listen, well, you should have.

Gasol has been on a tear recently and Bynum has averaged just 12.9 points, a measily 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in his last seven games. His minutes have sunk below 30 per game and he’s 110th in Basketball Monster’s ratings over the past two weeks.

The preseason projections for Bynum were as follows: 

Bynum 64 0.582 0.704 0.0 14.3 8.4 1.7 0.4 1.9

Bynum’s current performance is even below those modest expectations. Still, Bynum came in 121st in the preseason rankings, mainly because of the expectancy of him missing nearly 20 games.

The good news is Bynum will gradually rebound more effectively, which is the only thing really hampering his value at the moment. If a panicky owner is willing to deal Bynum and you need a center, it’s worth the risk.

Just pray he stays healthy.



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