Kobe Bryant is coming off knee surgery that hasn’t healed, a finger injury that will never heal and a second championship on the heel of the season before. Two bad newses and a good – unless you hate the Lakers. Then reverse it. But for Bryant owners, really, it’s all bad news. That championship happened on the shoulders of Bryant. Those shoulders are going to want to get back on the court at all costs, and the cost will likely hurt his fantasy owners. You can’t leave Bryant until the second round. You just can’t, but there’s a very real possibility that he won’t return even top 20 value this season and there’s no shortage of reasons why. He’ll be limited to about 20 minutes to start the season – something that never happened even during his clunky January last year. And even once his knee is healed (if?), he’s still got that wonky finger that caused his turnovers per game to jump from 3.0 before February to 3.6 after. It’s not good that the Lakers are handling the start of Kobe’s season as if it’s the first round of a playoff series L.A. believes it can win with its eyes closed, but what’s worse, the alternative is to throw him out there for 36 minutes a game and watch that knee swell swell Bean. If you have any of the top 7 picks, skip Bryant. If you have anything after … do your best to trade picks.
Here’s what else went down in the league this week:
… Psyche your mind! Before we get to the rest, there’s one more spot available in the Juwanna Mann RCL. The draft has already been scheduled for Sunday October 24 at 7 pm EST. First one to sign into the league’s page gets the spot. Okay? Okay, back to the league.
Austin Daye – Despite being as tall as a cornstalk and weighing about the same, Daye looks to be the Pistons’ Opening Day starter. He averaged 15/5.5 and 1.6 steals+blocks per game in the preseason and has eyebrows – none of which Charlie Villanueva can claim to have accomplished. He’s a tough player, but it remains to be seen whether he can average 15/6 when things get real. I’d set his limit at 12/6. Call it Austin’s gritty limits.
Kenyon Martin – Unlike Andersen, K-Mart is having his neck tattoos removed, but he won’t be back until the New Year. By then he would have missed 31 games or 38 percent of the season. And what’s 62 percent of Kenyon Martin? Josh McRoberts. Exactly.
Jrue Holiday – Doug Collins said he envisions playing Holiday 35 minutes a night. That’s funny, ’cause right after he said that I envisioned a top 10 PG.
Channing Frye – Frye’s preseason 20 percent 3-point shooting and bench position behind Robin Lopez suggests he won’t approach anywhere near the 172 treys he sank last year. That’s just a suggestion. A lot of people don’t pay attention to those. I’ve been suggesting for weeks that he not be drafted inside the top 80 and people didn’t pay attention then either. If babies are supposed to bring such joy to people, why is Frye’s new kid making fantasy owners so damn miserable?
Josh Childress – Childress’ finger on his shooting hand will have to be immobilized for six weeks, but he hopes to still play with it in a splint. Truth be told, I’m a little sad about this, if for no other reason than he owns really the last true ‘fro in the NBA (Andre Miller‘s makes him look homeless). The afro is my favorite of all athlete looks. Well, that and the variation on the ‘fro – the balding ‘fro also known as the “go ‘fro.” Speaking of which, someone convince Jermaine O’Neal to grow that hair out.
Danny Granger – Should be healthy for Indy’s season-opener on Wednesday. This of course is a relative statement, like saying my grandfather should be healthy enough to unbutton his own pants in the men’s room.
Anthony Morrow – Named the starting SG for the Nets, but he’s a paper tiger. Terrence Williams will likely average more minutes and offer more tools. He’s your real tiger. Your fierce paper tiger-eating tiger. Please disregard the obvious fact that a tiger eating paper isn’t all that fierce.
Mike Miller – Hurt his thumb in his second-to-last preseason game and reports suggest he’ll be out 4-8 weeks ’til January. Down your draft order he goes. Hey, M’n’M, you ever think it’s time you stop livin’ up here and start livin’ down here?