Have you ever sat back and thought, “What if I got a shot at the NBA when I was in my prime? Everyone knows I average a double double in my men’s league, I tell them all the time. I’m 6’7″ and can jump higher than even Steve the Electrician’s kid. What if I got minutes against the best in the world?” I know one Razzball writer who’s had that exact thought. Usually after one too many crown and cokes. Someone thanks him for helping them win their weekly match-up 7-2 and we go out and celebrate at the bar. Well played sir. Well Played. This night gave us much more than just a terrible hangover. It gave questionable decision making and a highly impaired thinking process. At some yet still hazy point that night we began playing the fantasy ‘What If’ game, culminating in the question what if Nick Calathes started and got 36 minutes? Wouldn’t he average 10 assists per game? With that eureka moment I knew it was time to hail a cab and call it a night. Obviously I was far too tired to think straight. When I awoke the next day, thinking clearly once more, I decided to play the ‘What If’ game again. This time with you as my live studio audience and hopefully with a more level head. Would everyone please now fill out your name tag and be seated. Because you may just be the next contestant on, ‘What… If… He Starrrrrtsss…’ And it’s a Go for the Theme Song.
Terrence Ross SG/SF-Tor – Ladies and Gentlemen here is my number one second half stash. Ross was drafted 8th overall in 2012 after two years at UDub. With huge improvements from freshman year in college to sophomore year including 16.4 points and 3′s/Steals/Blocks of 2.1/1.3/0.9 respectively Ross shows us his fantasy appeal. In a very young sophomore NBA season Ross is only receiving 17 minutes per game. Equivalent to last year, but already showing an improved FG% and the willingness to shoot the 3 whenever the opportunity arises. With minutes comes comfort and I think Ross is the type of superior athlete that with minutes we can comfortably pencil him into our future fantasy lineups. For Terrence to get starters minutes he won’t need much help. The new regime could bring an end to several of the old regimes perceived mistakes. If DeMar DeRozan or Rudy Gay were to get traded or injured Ross will be the benefactor. Whether that happens isn’t today’s what if. Today it’s, all together now, ‘What… If… He Starrrrrtsss…’ If Terrence Ross gets 36 minutes, which I think happens in the second half of this year, he can perform to the tune of .430/.750/2.5/16.0/5.0/2.0/1.5/0.5/2.0. Congratulations, you’ve just won a… it’s a brand new Wesley Matthews. This 4 door luxury sedan comes fully equipped with rear view mirrors for perfectly functional hindsight. Disclaimer: Your prize also contains more boards, blocks and missed FTs than the original model. And queue theme song.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope SG-Det – With almost enough characters in his name to rival the great Martynas Andriuskevicius, KCPs full name shall hence forth never be spelled out again. After starting for two years at Georgia KCP, has already developed an NBA ready offensive game. His sophomore season stats of 18.5 points, 2.6 3′s, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.0 steals were good enough for SEC player of the year and the jump to the NBA. KCP was given a large chunk of minutes to start this year and subsequently failed, or did he? A quick glance at the per-36s in 4 games shows 15 shots, 1.3 3s, and 17.7 points. Since we are only talking about 55 minutes all it really shows us is an aggressiveness to shoot and the ability to hit as a rookie. Although we already knew that from his preseason. What will it take for KCP to get a 30 minutes role, be it as a starter or 6th man? It could take something as small as practicing well and winning minutes. We are talking about Rodney Stuckey and Chauncey Billups as his competition after all. Still a trade or injury remains the most likely culprit. Let’s now spin the wheel and see what we can get from KCP, no whammies no whammies. STOP! In 30 minutes, .440/.820/1.8/16.0/4.0/2.0/1.2/0.2/1.5. You sir have won the Marcus Thornton get away package. I’m sorry to say this package also includes however many days and nights it takes before the Pistons let KCP loose. Would you like to spin again?
Giannis Antetokounmpo SG/SF-Mil – Come on down your the next contestant on, “I’ll never spell your name out again!” That’s a terrible name for a game show. How about, “Ante up for Antetok”. Better? This one is going to be tough. The only stats I can find on him are with extremely small sample sizes. Instead of playing Summer League ball, Antetok played for Greece in the under-20 Euro Championships. In 10 games he averaged 31 minutes and gives the largest sample size of his playing time I can find. The numbers don’t jump off the page with point, board averages of only 8/8. However half his shots were 3s and he managed to post 1.2/1.0/1.4 in 3′s/Steals/Blocks respectively. The big question now of course is can he get playing time? How, when, and at who’s expense? He’s currently 3rd on the depth chart behind Caron Butler and Khris Middleton who is also getting minutes at PF. An injury or trade of either and Antetok gets 20 minutes. Once Milwaukee starts playing for more balls in the lottery Antetok should get 30 minutes. Do the dominoes fall? That question is for the GM to answer, all I want to know is, “What… If… He Starrrrrtsss…” With a 30 minute role Antetok could give us .420/.740/1.5/12.0/7.0/2.5/1.0/1.0/2.0. You can hold onto this young Nicolas Batum red snapper or you can go for what’s in the box that Hirosan is bringing down the aisle right now, What’s it gonna be?