As veteran players pro-long their careers by getting an opportunity, or even more of an opportunity to show that they still have it, you can never sell a veteran short unless their track record proves otherwise. In an effort to save money, contending teams will even sign certain veterans to start. These are the players you need to keep an eye out for that could help or hurt your fantasy basketball team next season. Remember, sometimes it is better to leave those former-bigger named players for the waiver wire because more likely than not, they will be there.
Grant Hill just keeps on keepin' on....
Here are a few veteran forwards that you should keep an eye out for late in your draft who will be playing for different teams next season.
Grant Hill, Los Angeles Clippers
The NBA's "Iron Man" moves up the west coast and joins a Clippers team that keeps on improving their roster. In each of his 17 seasons, he has scored at least ten points per game. Hill, used to being a starter for his entire career, might be heading to the bench as he will be fighting for time against Caron Butler and Lamar Odom. Regardless of his role on the team, I still see him as part of the Clippers plan.
They would be mistaken to take the ball out of Hill's hands because he shot over 44 percent from the field last season. You also have to take into account that the small forward position is one of the more scarce positions in fantasy basketball. What makes the most sense is for the Clippers to start Butler at shooting guard and Hill at small forward. Look for Hill late in your draft, as he would be a good backup small forward option.
Antawn Jamison, Los Angeles Lakers
For as good of a season as Jamison had scoring over 17 points and grabbing over six rebounds per game, he enters a Lakers system that might not allow him to shoot 16 shots per game as he did while on Cleveland last season. The Lakers have to decide how they want to use Jamison. Looking at the current roster, Jamison seems to be in a position battle for the Lakers starting small forward spot against Metta World Peace. I can see the Lakers playing him 25 to 30 minutes per game.
If players are moved, he might be needed in the starting power forward role. There is just too much uncertainty at this point. If he is still around towards the end of the draft, he could be a good combo forward option. If he loses a ton of minutes and is not allowed to shoot unless open, he is virtually powerless for your team unless he grabs a ton of rebounds and blocks a few shots.
Rashard Lewis, Miami Heat
With the Heat adding Ray Allen to back up Dwayne Wade, it clogs up the small forward rotation of the Heat. Before looking at Lewis as a player, seeing Mike Miller, James Jones, Shane Battier and possibly Allen to fill that spot during a game, Lewis will be fighting for even a minimal amount of playing time.
Even though the Heat probably signed him as a bench scoring option, Lewis, who has a career scoring average of over 16 points per game, has seen his productivity decline over the last three seasons. He scored a little under eight points per game last season. During the last three seasons Lewis has battled injuries; two of his last three seasons he did not even play in 30 games per season. My advice is to absolutely stay away from Lewis at all costs. As of now, he is as useless as his teammate, Juwan Howard, is for your fantasy basketball team.
As player movement continues I will dig up some of these old fossils who can still provide a fantasy impact next season. The advantage of knowing your NBA history will give you a comfortable plan to end your draft. Knowing that these players are around and will be around late will help better your fantasy basketball draft in the early rounds.
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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