As player movement around the NBA continues, you have to be on the lookout regarding which players in new systems will get more playing time. By knowing which players will be getting more or less prominent roles, it will help you develop better awareness and a good fantasy basketball sleeper list.
Marcus Camby returns to the New York Knicks
Last season, a new player that people targeted early was Ricky Rubio. Rubio had not played a single NBA game, but fantasy players saw the kind of skills he had while playing in Europe. While some would question whether it was worth drafting Rubio as early as the fourth round, others knew exactly what they were getting. You must do your research.
Here are some players in new systems that you might want to keep an eye out for as you gear towards the middle of your draft.
Darren Collison, Dallas Mavericks
In an effort to keep from falling further out of the Western Conference, the Mavs decided to start from the bottom up by weeding out veterans such as Jason Kidd and bringing in a younger, quicker floor general in Collison. This is Collison's chance to show that he can hang with the better point guards in the NBA and has a lot of weapons on his team. Collison scored over 10 points a game while shooting 44 percent from the field. He averaged just about five assists on the Pacers.
With the different options he has in Dallas, I expect his assists to improve. I also believe he will be playing closer to 40 minutes a game considering he will be starting. This is the kind of sleeper you want on your team. You cannot wait too long, but if he is still there by the sixth or seventh round, he is a very good second point guard option for you to draft on your fantasy basketball team. He will even steal the ball about once per game. Remember, he is a starter!
Luis Scola, Phoenix Suns
Even though Scola has shown how much of an effective fantasy asset he could be in years past, this season he will be in a dog fight for a starting spot on the Suns. The Suns will have to choose between Scola and Channing Frye.
Scola scored 15.5 points per game while shooting over 49 percent from the field. I am a bit worried about his playing time suffering because the Suns are very forward heavy and even Markieff Morris is going to take some of the playing time at power forward.
Scola saw his rebounding average decrease by two full rebounds last season from the previous two (eight to six), but that does not discourage me because he can play both forward and center effectively and I do think he will be very much in the Suns plan of attack. I would not be surprised if Phoenix decided to start him and, especially with Steve Nash gone, the Suns will need to build a new game plan. Regardless if Scola is starting or not, he can be a great ninth round pick. If the Suns use him as the Rockets did, he will be able to qualify at both power forward and center, which helps his versatility in fantasy basketball leagues.
Marcus Camby, New York Knicks
In honor of lasting 10 years after the Knicks traded Camby, the Knicks have re-acquired him with less expectations than they had for him in 2002. If Camby can stay healthy for the duration of the season, he will get a similar amount of playing time as he did the last season: 20-25 minutes per game.
Camby can play both power forward and center, showing he can back up both Amare' Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler. Camby averaged almost 1.5 blocks per game while grabbing nine rebounds per game last season. He even stole the ball nearly once per game.
You do not draft Camby for scoring (3.8 points per game last season) or to help your free throw percentage (44 percent from the stripe last season), but when you are in the 10th or 11th round and are looking for a good bench/utility rebounding center (possibly forward-center), Camby is your guy. Beware of injuries though. Camby has shown in the past that when he gets hurt it is normally a long-term injury. If Chandler or Stoudemire get hurt, Camby will receive the starting nod.
Our fantasy basketball coverage is just getting started. Keep checking in, as we lead up to our first ever fantasy basketball draft guide at KFFL!
About Justin "Fensty" Fensterman
Fensterman covers fantasy basketball for KFFL and joined the team in 2012. He is a Sports Radio Producer on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports Radio channel, the first channel dedicated solely to fantasy sports. An avid fantasy basketball player, Fensty's biggest accomplishment in the fantasy sports world was in 2004 when he had an undefeated season in a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy NBA league and was ranked in the top 30 among all players in the world.
A native from Oyster Bay, NY, Fensty left New York to study Broadcast Journalism at American University in Washington D.C. in 2005. Fensty has previously worked for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, MTV and News 12: Long Island.
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