Working the Wire
By Charlie Zegers
RotoWire Hoops Editor
To recap Antonio's excellent adventure: Dice was part of the trade that sent Chauncey Billups to Denver for Allen Iverson. McDyess didn't want to play for the Nuggets and was able to negotiate a buyout with Denver management, which made him a free agent.
He would have re-signed with the Pistons weeks ago, but NBA rules mandate a 30-day waiting period before a traded, then released player can re-sign with his original club. Frankly, I continue to be astounded that re-signing is allowed at all. Trading a guy only to have him force a buyout and re-sign with the original team? It just seems so… shady.
Shady or not, Dice will step right back into the Pistons' rotation that really could use a spark. He probably isn't even eligible to be claimed yet in many leagues - so watch for a status change and move quickly - it's unlikely that another player of McDyess' caliber will suddenly appear on the wire this season. This is the fantasy hoops equivalent of playing in an AL only league and having a big-time National League player getting traded to an American League team.
Jose Barea (DAL) - His supposedly temporary promotion to the starting lineup has gone much better than anyone could have expected - Dallas' backup point guard has averaged over 18 points per game in his three games as a starter. His emergence is one reason that the Mavs are reportedly shopping Jerry Stackhouse (see below).
Rodney Stuckey (DET) - Part of the explanation for the Iverson/Billups trade: Stuckey was Detroit's point guard of the future. The future is now. After Sunday's loss to the Knicks, the Pistons announced a lineup shake-up that will move Stuckey to the starting point guard spot, with Iverson playing the two and Rip Hamilton on the wing.
Kyle Lowry (MEM) - Lowry has been promoted to the starting five in Memphis' latest lineup shakeup. He might not get a whole lot more minutes as a result - but he'll get more run alongside O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay, which should do wonders for his assist total.
Jerry Stackhouse (DAL) - The Mavs are reportedly shopping Stack, and the Knicks are reportedly interested. An afterthought in Dallas, Stack could put up some very nice numbers in Mike D'Antoni's system… and the Knicks need back court depth badly.
Quincy Douby (SAC), Sergio Rodriguez (POR) - See the note on Stackhouse. As soon as the Knicks get the closure on Stephon Marbury's buyout and/or Cuttino Mobley's status, they'll make some sort of move for a guard. Douby and Rodriguez are reportedly available, and have been linked to New York in recent rumors.
Matt Bonner (SAN) - Bonner has actually been the most effective part of the Spurs' three-headed center tandem of late… due in part to Fabricio Oberto missing time due to an irregular heartbeat and Kurt Thomas leaving the team for the birth of a child. Bonner has scored 14 or more points in three of the Spurs' last four games, and is a good producer of three-point shots, especially from the center position. With Thomas and Oberto back, he may fade back to obscurity. But he may win a regular role.
George Hill (SAN) - The most anonymous player selected in the first round of the 2008 draft looks like yet another steal for San Antonio. Hill, a rookie out of IUPUI (that's Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, for those of you that aren't hip to Summit League hoops) has shown flashes of 20-point scorer potential. He probably won't hit that number too often now that Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are back, but bench scorers on the Spurs have been very valuable in fantasy seasons past…
Craig Smith (MIN) - In his first game after taking over for Randy Wittman, old GM/new coach Kevin McHale started Smith at the four spot. We'll take that as a sign that Smith could have a bigger role in the weeks ahead.
Aaron Gray (CHI) - Gray has started the Bulls' last two games. Whether this is coach Vinny Del Negro's new alignment or an attempt to light a fire under Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas remains to be seen. Gray hasn't done much to merit fantasy consideration so far... but a starter is a starter, and a center is a center. Keep an eye on this situation.