HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
2012-13 Fantasy Cheat Sheet: Top 50 Forwards
By Tommy Beer
After recently rolling out an updated Top-150 Overall rankings, we’ve begun breaking down the performers at each individual position. The guards were ranked from #1 through #50 last Friday. Today it’s time to grade the forwards.
As always, it is important to mention that these rankings are based on a nine-category rotisserie league format – the nine categories being: points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks, three-pointers made, turnovers, FG percentage , and FT percentage.
Also please note that any player with guard eligibility in Yahoo! Fantasy Leagues will be listed, which means that many players will be ranked at multiple positions, i.e. forward as well as center…
Is the End In Sight For Kobe Bryant?
By Steve Kyler
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has two more seasons and some $58.3 million remaining on his contract with the team. Kobe has five NBA championships and desires two more to eclipse his long time idol Michael Jordan, who has six rings. With two years left on his current deal, it’s assumed if Bryant can get at least one more championship he might consider retiring after his deal is up. If he gets that elusive second ring, it’s all but assured he’ll hang them up.
“One can never be too sure,” Bryant said to Ken Berger of CBS Sports.
There has been talk recently of Kobe sticking around after his current deal, something Bryant says he’s not sure about.
“Three more years seems like a really long time to continue to stay at a high, high level of training and preparation and health,” Bryant said. “That’s a lot of years. For a guard? That’s a lot of years.
Veteran Free Agents Stay Patient
By Alex Kennedy
Tracy McGrady will spend next season in China after signing a one-year deal with the Qingdao Double Star Eagles. The 33-year-old weighed his options in recent weeks and, while he received interest from several NBA teams, he decided he wasn’t going to sign a non-guaranteed deal. After 15 years in the NBA, the seven-time All-Star didn’t want to enter training camp on a make-good contract and have to fight for a roster spot.
There are plenty of veteran free agents who currently find themselves in the exact same position as McGrady. They have received interest from NBA teams, but they haven’t been able to secure a guaranteed deal or a contract worth more than the veteran’s minimum. Rather than signing a non-guaranteed contract or settling for the minimum, these notable veterans are waiting for a roster spot to open up due to an injury or transaction, and then they’ll sign on the dotted line.
Josh Howard, Leandro Barbosa, Kenyon Martin, Mickael Pietrus, Michael Redd, Maurice Evans, Gilbert Arenas, and Derek Fisher are among the free agents who have yet to sign with a team despite the fact that the regular season is three weeks away.
Which Camp Invitees Make An NBA Roster?
By Alex Raskin
You’re on an NBA team’s training camp roster, but they didn’t draft you and haven’t given you a fully guaranteed deal?
That means you’re a training camp invitee, and while that doesn’t sound promising, there’s still a chance of making a team and a difference in the 2012-13 season.
Not all of the following players have opportunities on their current teams, but that’s okay. These players can still get their chance in the league with a good performance in the preseason. Here are a few names to keep an eye on:
Dionte Christmas, guard, Boston Celtics: The former Temple star is big (6’5) and while he isn’t an amazing athlete, he’s not a slouch defensively. Keyon Dooling’s retirement helps his cause, but cracking the Celtics’ rotation seems almost impossible unless there’s a series of injuries. However, Christmas is the type of player who can go all-out in practice and make things very uncomfortable for an established player.
Wilson Chandler Off Trading Block?
By Lang Greene
Not long after the ink dried on Wilson Chandler’s new five-year $37 million deal with the Denver Nuggets did the chirping begin regarding the small forward’s long term future with the organization. This past offseason was filled with numerous reports of Chandler potentially being on the move via trade, with the speculation implying Denver was experiencing a sort of buyer’s remorse, similar to what led to center Nene being dealt last season after signing a lucrative deal.
While the Nuggets weren’t aggressively shopping the veteran forward, Chandler was a coveted wing option to teams around the league such as the Golden State Warriors who were looking to acquire depth at the position.
Further fueling the speculation of a potential Chandler departure was the Nuggets’ involvement in the Dwight Howard trade, which netted the team All-Star forward Andre Iguodala.
The NBA Superstar Debate
By Travis Heath
It is not uncommon to hear criticisms about the NBA centered on the inability to win without a “superstar.” In the city of Denver, where your friendly neighborhood analyst happens to reside, most of the last year has been spent trying to devise a way to win without one.
Naturally, supporters of the Nuggets are more apt to construct scenarios by which such a model would be successful, while critics, or folks just generally cynical about the NBA, are prone to dismiss it as a virtual impossibility.
Truth is, it’s hard to have a real debate on the topic because no one can agree on what the term superstar means. Said differently, there is no unified and operationalized definition of a superstar. Therefore, there is no way to definitively identify one.