In a shocking turn of events, Larry Bird and the Pacers made a deal that not only helped the team but also involved ridding themselves of a white guy to do it. A white guy! Like convincing a hipster his music is unlistenable – it never happens. Ever. They needed someone un-T.J. Ford-like and got Darren Collison, he of the 16/3/7 per 36 rookie season. He also shot 48 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the line. Essentially, Indiana (and anyone who owned him in keeper leagues last year) got themselves a talent comparable to Chauncey Billups. Collison had been drafted somewhere between 90-110 in the drafts I’ve seen. If he falls below the top 50 in your league, get a new league.
Troy Murphy – A Harris, Morrow, Outlaw, Murphy, Lopez starting five should be feared everywhere in the East except for Florida. The best part about the trade that sends Moiphy to Joizey is that there’s a whole new fan base that gets to play, “Does Troy Murphy Look More Like Peter Stormare or David Schwimmer?”
Roy Hibbert – The fall of Troy leaves no doubt who the big man of note is on the Pacers now. Solomon Jones? Stop it. Add that to his impending threechange and Hibbert’s in for a doozey of a season.
Danny Granger – No, seriously, how much do the Pacers not want to give Solomon Jones minutes? They might move Granger to PF for a a spell.
James Posey – At this point, Posey’s last few seasons are like Joe Pesci playing Blackjack in “Casino.” With Boston in’08? 7/4/1.4 3ptm. Hit me! With NOLA in ’09? 9/5/1.5 3ptm after a huge payday. Hit me! What are you laughin’ at? With NOLA last season? 5/4/1 3ptm. Shut yer mouth and hit me again. Now he’s on the Pacers backing up Danny Granger. Busted! It’s best to walk away from the Posey now before he starts flinging cards and hitting Don Rickles in the head with a telephone.
Shane Battier – He’ll be starting now. He’ll also be, perhaps, the most unownable starter in the league. But … he’ll also have the biggest file folder full of notes on how to play fundamental basketball without any of it showing up in the box score. So that’s nice.
Derrick Favors – Here’s what I said about Favors seven weeks ago: “The bad news is that Favors is teeny and will probably get pushed around. The good news is that he’ll likely be given all the minutes he can handle this season to figure out how not to get pushed around so much in 2011-12. The sequel to the first bad news is that him figuring things out will result in some messy fantasy lines this season. Messy enough that you might want to lose Favors in the flood of other more promising rookies come draft day.” And that was before Troy Murphy took his spot in the starting lineup.
Trevor Ariza – He won’t have to carry the Hornets as he tried to do in Houston last season. Then again, Aaron Brooks and Carl Landry carried the Rockets for the bulk of the season, so perhaps Ariza-as-the-man is set for 2011. Note: Ariza-as-the-man should not be confused with “Ariza & The Man” starring Freddie Prinze Jr. coming out next year.
Courtney Lee – I didn’t expect Lee to do much more than 12/3/2 per game this season and that was as a possible starter on the Nets. Between Battier and Kyle Lowry in Houston, Lee is undraftable in anything but the deepest of Guys-With-Female-Names Leagues.