In my preview for the Atlanta Hawks, I argued (or really just shouted) that the Hawks should let go (Via amnesty) of Joe Johnson.
I know a lot of people think the same thing about Carlos Boozer and may even call me a hypocrite for being on the fence about it while being so forceful with respect to Johnson. But Boozer is making $4.5 million less than Johnson this year and his raises are smaller and his contract is shorter.
Plus, over the 59 games he played last year, he did average 17.5 points (a fact of which I am painfully aware after getting it wrong at trivia last week) and 9.6 rebounds on 51% shooting. Sure he doesn’t do anything besides score and rebound, but no on ever expected him too. And since this intro is about the amnesty clause and not fantasy basketball, then you have to come up with a solution for the Bulls if they do get rid of Boozer. Can they get either a low-post 17 point scorer or the equivalent at the Shooting Guard position? They do have the very capable Taj Gibson who could fill in for Boozer at PF, but then who’s going to give Taj a breather?
The Bulls arent that deep.
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And if they’re smart, they’ll make a run at someone like Marcus Thornton or Reggie Williams (and hopefully rebuff Tracy McGrady as they did last year). Jason Richardson would probably be the next best choice there and I’d still rather have Boozer. As for free agent PFs… Is the fact that David West walked away from $7.5 million to become a free agent really something we want to think about getting rid of Boozer to try to work on?
Okay, enough real world talk… On the to fantasy Bulls…
Point Guard: Derrick Rose, C.J. Watson
Shooting Guard: Keith Bogans, Ronnie Brewer
Small Forward: Luol Deng, Kyle Korver
Power Forward: Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson
Center: Joakim Noah, Omer Asik
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This lucky bastard has 3 more years of Derrick Rose in the GMTR keeper league. And while he’s an obvious keeper, and first round talent, the skeptic/convservative in my has a hard time believing that he’ll be able to match last year’s performance. I’m nothing if not a homer, and I love Rose, and actually, I have a hard time seeing how anyone else will be better than his average draft position of 5th… Rose’s numbers all had huge jumps last year as result of Erik’s much touted 3rd Year Bump… but Chris Paul had a similar 3rd Year Bump and his 4th year numbers were actually even better. Whether you think Rose will make another, even incremental, improvement or not, he will be gone by the end of the first round and most likely within the top 5 picks.
Which leaves Keith Bogans, unless the Bulls can pick up a free agent shooting guard. Moving on.
Luol Deng was once again a Top 50 fantasy player, and to put it simply, that’s where he’ll end up again this year: right in the 45-55 range.
As I said above, Carlos Boozer will give you good points, a bunch of rebounds, good FG% and not much else. His lack of 3s, assists, steals, and blocks, along with his fairly high turnovers (for someone who contributes in the most common of categories) is the reason he barely cracked the Top 100 on the GMTR Fantasy Basketball Player Rater last year. He’s the guy who’s trying to trade you a bunch of Iron Swords for a Daedric Warhammer. (And clearly I’ve never actually played Skyrim, but it looks like fun)
So, while Boozer gives you Points and Rebounds, Joakim Noah will sacrifice his points for a few more rebounds and a steal and a block and a half. Also, he plays Center, and if you need two of them, then you could do a lot worse than Noah. At 74% on 4 attempts per game, his awkward free throw form won’t kill you like Dwight Howard’s 12 attempts at 60%. And actually, according to the Player Rater (which does not lie!) Noah is the next best Center after Howard (sure there’s a 18 guys in between them, but we’re talking Centers here!) Noah is definitely injury prone, which hurts his rating, but as we always have to say, there’s only 66 games this season and Noah played 64 or more games in his first 3 seasons. Plus he’s had some extra time to rest and smoke weed during the off season, so he’s probably as healthy as he’ll ever be.
As much as I love Omer Asik‘s F**k You, I’m Dunking It style of play, the only way he’ll have value is if Noah gets injured. If that happens, keep him in mind, though, because he might throw up a few double-doubles, and he averaged 0.7 blocks in only 12 minutes last year. (That’s 1.4 blocks if he gets 24 minutes)
Fantasy Draft Recommendations (Updated 12/7)
Derrick Rose – 1st round
Joakim Noah – 4th round
Luol Deng – 5th round
Carlos Boozer – 7th-8th round
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