It’s not always easy to keep perspective. Like when the 410 lb. orca whale purchasing $30-worth of Burger King for himself double-checks with the cashier that the soda he was served is Diet. But we here at Razzball know how difficult maintaining perspective can be, especially when you’re drunk and trying to sketch moving objects. So from now until the start of the season, we’re bringing you the 2010 Fantasy Team Previews, which will focus on each NBA team in hopes of painting a clearer fantasy picture. Who’s starting over whom? Who might surprise you and who might make you want to hurl yourself off a bridge in a few months. Enjoy! Next up – The Memphis Grizzlies.
Lost – Ronnie Brewer, Jamaal Tinsley
Probable position depth –
PG – Mike Conley, Acie Law, Greivis Vasquez
SG – O.J. Mayo, Xavier Henry, Tony Allen
SF – Rudy Gay, Sam Young, Damien Wilkins
PF – Zach Randolph, DeMarre Carroll, Darrell Arthur
C – Marc Gasol, Hasheem Thabeet, Hamed Haddadi
Probable D-Leaguers –
F – Josh Davis
3 Concerns Heading Into the Season –
1. Will someone go ahead and tell Mike Conley that he was a No.4 overall pick four years ago.
That’s not a question, it’s a request. Seriously. He averaged a very pedestrian 12/5 last year with a steal and three to boot, which is good enough to qualify him as ownable, but not good enough to qualify this high 2007 draft pick as successful. And really, this is Conley’s most important year. The Grizz were good last season, close to playoff contenders in a tough Western Conference. Gay and Randolph both played at their maximum capacity last year, and the team really didn’t make any significant improvements since then. If Memphis wants to get into the postseason, it’s likely going to happen on the strength of a weaker Western Conference, Gasol continuing his development and the No.4 pick in the 2007 draft finally starting to play like it. Sadly for the Grizz, I’d bet on Snookie getting into Princeton before I bet on a Conley breakout.
2. Who shows up in 2010: Dr. Rudy or Mr. Gay?
Jekyll and Hyde always confused me because “Jekyll” sounds so much more dangerous than “Hyde.” The doctor is good, the mister is monstrous. If Stevenson wasn’t going to make the names indicative of the characters, why not just call it Dr. DragonHerpes and Mr. Bunny CottonTail? ...
… I have no idea what I was talking about. Oh yes! Rudy Gay. Similar to Hedo Turkoglu, I just don’t think Gay is as good as his ADP and new contract make him out to be. The Grizz gave 40 mpgs to a man playing just slightly above average (16 PER) and with relatively weak stats to show for his huge minutes (19.5/6/2). But Adam, if he’s playing 40 minutes per game, who cares that his per minute averages blow? Oh, hi there. I didn’t see you. Glad you could join and ask a good question. Sam Young showed that he’s a talented backup, Xavier Henry reminds me of Ben Gordon and I’d be surprised if Gay doesn’t average his lowest minutes totals of his last three seasons.
3. Outside of the Grizzlies’ starting five, is there anyone worth owning?
Not now, but maybe by the All-Star Break. Acie Law led his team in assists during the preseason, which only vaguely suggests two things: 1) if Conley blows hard enough, he’ll lose minutes to Law and 2) if four assists per game is good enough to lead your team you’re preseason-ing incorrectly. Sam Young showed flashes of ability during his rookie campaign last year too. It’s hard to tell where he’ll be with Xavier Henry in the mix now, but if he finds himself getting minutes, he could suddenly supply your team with a nightly 15/5 line. Then there’s Hasheem Thabeet. If he develops enough to maintain roster spots in this league, you’re looking at this generation’s Theo Ratliff. Have you ever used Ratliff on any of your fantasy teams? Well, you’ll probably use Thabeet at some point too.
Fantasy Disappointment in ’10 – Rudy Gay. But you could have already guessed that, huh?
Biggest Fantasy Contributor in ’10 – Marc Gasol. Z-Bo is the obvious pick here, but we know what his ceiling is. If you need a reminder look at last year’s stats. That was his ceiling. Didja take a picture while you were there? No? Well, you’ll always have the memories. You’ve forgotten? Well, um, gazing into the past if for suckers. Gasol went from 12/7.5 in his first NBA season to 14.5/9.5 last year. He’ll only be 26 and this will only be his third year. Also, if Randolph or Gay hog the ball less, there’s plenty of room for that underwhelming 17 USG% to rise significantly.
Deep Sleeper – Xavier Henry. I haven’t seen much from him this preseason, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a Gay/Mayo injury away from breaking out. Mmmm … gay mayo.