Culture of Hoops

Runnin’ The Weave: Finding the needle in that haystack

Elton Brand is only  one player to consider when roaming your fantasy basketball free agent waiver wire

Prior to the start of the NBA season our own here at Baller Mind Frame, along with other esteemed fantasy ballers from around the circuit joined together to start up a mock draft. Turns out this draft, due to popular demand, became a league that is being played out in a competitive setting.

“The League” consists of twelve owners and uses the standard nine categories. We also made it a daily lineup league as opposed to weekly with the intent to have owners pay a little more attention.

So while I am competing in this league, I have the dubious task to compete with fellow league mates plus the appropriate duty to report all facts and findings. It might work against me to actually write this column but that is the choice I have made just to have that wonderful and exciting opportunity to share with all of you. Afterall, there are just so many roster spots available so someone should be leftover and fall onto my plate.

One thing to keep in mind as I stated earlier is this is a daily league as opposed to weekly. Players have been added and dropped at an alarming rate due to the fact if they were playing that given night. These are some free agents available that I think could surface with long-term value, though I cannot really pinpoint the meaning or length of what long-term would stand for.

Elton Brand, Dallas Mavericks
This big man has not really found the groove owners were hoping for with the early-season injury to Dirk Nowitzki. With another injury, this time to frontcourt starter Shawn Marion, I am hoping to see Brand step up and double-double his pleasure night in and night out. Plus a couple of blocks would be nice, sir. It is certainly possible.

Emeka Okafor, Washington Wizards
So far in our early season to date, Emeka has played like he used to play. The always solid and rugged center has stepped up as the boarder and blocker he once was. We think this early season success will continue, so an add here seems imminent and rewarding.

E’twaun Moore, Orlando Magic
This player’s value lies directly with the health of early season starter at point guard, Jameer Nelson. With Jameer missing the past handful of games, Moore has been spectacular. In fact, he has been better than what Jameer would have done and I say that confidently. The problem here is that the Magic will surely turn back to Nelson once deemed healthy again and that’s a buzz kill for Moore’s long-term outlook.

Jason Kidd, New York Knicks
Kidd is doing what Kidd has always done – a little bit of everything which adds up to a lot. Sure the numbers are not what they once were, but remember back when his price tag was a first round pick. His price tag now is a simple click to add on the free agent page. Certainly worth the minimal effort and cost.

Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers
This kid can play. In limited minutes he has shown that and I do not see his value declining at all. In fact, I only see the sun rising. When he is in the game he makes plays, pushes tempo, and dictates on the defensive side as well. While I never wish injury upon anyone, I would not be doing my job to mention that if an injury were to occur to starting stud Chris Paul, I would guarantee Bledsoe would be a top ten player going forward.

Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers
Just last game the coaching staff rewarded Lance a starting spot at shooting guard. While he did not exactly light it up, he certainly held his own. I personally saw him play back when he played high school ball at Lincoln HS and there is no doubt he has some serious all-around athletic ability. He very well could hold down this starting spot all-year long.

Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors
There were rumblings Amir would be inserted as the Raptors’ starting center, but that never came to fruition. An extremely talented and athletic player, he is the type of player that will blow up one game then disappear the next. Kind of frustrating to own, but his talent alone would be worth the add if given a starting spot.

Jeff Green, Boston Celtics
We’re all aware Green missed all of last season due to a heart ailment. At that time no one could have said with any certainty that we would ever see him on the court again. Well he indeed has returned and his work ethic along with his heart could never be questioned again. In this early part of the season, quite predictably, it has been a slow process getting his versatile game back. Yet the signs are pointing in the right direction for him to return positive value. I even have a hunch he joins the starting five for the Boston Celtics before too long.

Quote of the Week: “I know the Virginia players are smart because you need a 1500 SAT to get in. I have to drop bread crumbs to get our players to and from class.” Funny and great quote from Coach George Raveling.

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