Utah center Mehmet Okur‘s Achilles is still ackillin’ him and the speculation is that he won’t be right in time for the start of the season, which by my count means that he aggravated his Achilles a year ago, because there wasn’t any point in which he was “right” in 2009. For the third straight season he missed at least nine games. But there’s a pattern here, one that I’m not sure you’re going to want to hear. One that, frankly, I’m not sure I want to type. In 2007-08, he had a statistically worse season than last year (fewer points, rebounds, blocks and FG% per36 in ’07 than in ’09) but followed that up in ’08 with the third best statistical season of his career. And because of that season, you drafted him somewhere in the 65-80 range while other guys were snagging Corey Maggette or Aaron Brooks last year. I’m not suggesting he’ll snap back again. He’s already on target to miss the start of the season and come off the bench whenever he does make it back. But you’ll read a lot of people telling you to ignore Okur like the bum on the train freestyling to himself. I’m suggesting you keep an open mind in the tail end of your draft. He’s just as season removed from 17/8/2 in 33.5 minutes and he’s shown he can snap back from an off year.

Here’s some more stuff to open your mind to:

Erick Dampier – By the time you read this, Icky Dampier may have already been sent packing. Waive goodbye. Although the most recent reports say the Bobcats will wait until mid-September to send him off in a package deal, so it’s most likely that by the time you read this, he may just have hurt feelings.  And you’d have hurt feelings too if any version of Michael Jordan other than the 2001 version opted for Kwame Brown over you. Jordan more than anyone else on Earth should want to avoid Brown. Fool me once, shame on me for getting fooled by a crappy basketball player. Fool me twice, don’t put either of these guys on your fantasy team.

Baron Davis – Boom-Dizzle is fat according to anonymous ESPN sources that don’t want Baron Davis to know they called him fat. The rumor is that he’s 45 lbs heavier than he normally is, which is about 20 lbs heavier than he should be. That’s 65 lbs overweight, y’all. That’s like Cee-Lo hefty. Yeah, I see you driving around town with the girl I love, Baron.

Yao Ming – His hairline fracture has fully healed and he’s been doin’ drills. Wait … his hairline? What was all that foot talk then?

Jose Calderon – Joe Kettle went down with a torn hamstring and will miss a month or more. This might go a long way toward deciding how much playing time Jarrett Jack gets this season.

Tyler Hansbrough – Still battling vertigo and is far from being Indiana’s opening day PF as the team intended. Psycho T seems keen to accumulate as many Hitchcock references as possible. You have to figure the Pacers are feeling they drafted The Wrong Man last season – so there’s one more.

  1. Chris says:

    Nice F*ck You reference in there.
    Anyways, what are your AK47 predictions?

  2. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Chris: Ha! Man, I’ve had that damn song stuck in my head for a week.

    As far as Kirilenko… he’ll probably play more minutes than last year (27-ish in ’09, I believe), so IF <-- (big if) he can stay healthy (he hasn't missed fewer than 10 games since '04) there should be a small improvement there. That said, remember six years ago when he was an absolute killer in fantasy? I'd be shocked if we ever catch a whiff of that for more than a game here, game there. [Frowny Face]

  3. d2bnz says:

    Adam …….a day or so ago you came up with FwB and after losing Oden last season I started scratching around for C replacement and i came to the realisation of how shallow the position is …thus I researched Forwards with C eligability and picked up the likes of Anthony Randolph , Jason Thompson , Luis Scola to cover the spot for me ended up trading for Kevin Love……..long story short I think your FwB would make a great article.

  4. Matt

    Matt says:

    Great question, Chris. AK has struggled with health issues his entire career and has not played over 80 games since his sophomore year. He has averaged 62 games the last six seasons, but it’s not like he would be a great fantasy player if he was healthy.

    Kirilenko lost his scoring touch well over five years ago, averaged a career low in RPG last season, and is likely on the way out of Utah. His $17 million contract comes to an end after this season and Gordon Hayward will likely see minutes over him by the end of the season.

    AK is a better NBA player than fantasy player because he is one of the few players in the league that has a prayer guarding Kobe, but he seems to be in street clothes when the team really needs him.

    Utah signed Raja Bell to have a more consistent player defend Kobe and the roster seems to write the writing on the wall for AK. He will likely see his most MPG playing out of position and helping the frontcourt while Mehmet Okur rehabs his Achilles. Okur is likely out at least the first month of the season.

    When Okur gets back the Jazz will move Kirilenko back to SF, where wonder boy Gordon Hayward will likely be playing the next 10 years. What once was a promising Jazz career ended in $50 million too much and I think the Clippers will sign him to an even dumber contract next summer.


  5. Adam

    Adam says:

    @d2bnz: Not a bad idea. Most leagues allow for multiple position eligibility though, so I’m not sure how helpful it would be. Were you in a league that only listed a player’s primary position?

    @Matt: I’m not as convinced as you that Hayward will make much of an impact this season. If anything, they’ll evaluate him this year to help decide what to do with Kirilenko next season. That said, as solid as a healthy Jazz team might be this year, I wouldn’t place a bet with the casino’s money on a front court with Jefferson, Okur, Kirilenko and Millsap to stay healthy. Hayward may default his way into big minutes.

  6. d2bnz says:

    The 2 keeper leagues I play for $$ use CBS as the platform compared to Yahoo or ESPN and between them there is a surprising difference in eligability
    Mareesse Speights , never made C eligability on CBS and yet both ESPN and Yahoo had him there from the get go.

  7. Adam

    Adam says:

    @d2bnz: Woof. Clearly the folks over at CBS are also in charge of the 5-position voting for All-Star Games.

    At this point, even Yao is a hybrid player. Sheesh.

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