Under the Radar
By Kevin Payne
RotoWire Staff Writer
On Tuesday morning, the Phoenix Suns purchased center Courtney Sims for a 10-day contract. Sims averaged 22.4 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks a game for the Iowa Energy in the NBA's Developmental League (D-League). The Developmental League is important for fantasy owners to keep an eye on as players are given a chance to develop and potentially contribute to an NBA team.
Unlike a baseball farm team, up to three teams can be affiliated with one of the Developmantal League's 16 teams. For example, the Pistons, Pacers and Bucks are affiliated with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Players can only be sent down to a D-League team three times in one season, but can be recalled at any time. On Jan, 10, Sacramento forward Donte Greene became the 19th player sent to the D-League by an NBA team.
So, again, why should you keep tabs on the D-League? This year, a record 60 former D-League players were on opening rosters in the NBA. Former D-League players include Jordan Farmar, Matt Carroll, Rafer Alston, Jamario Moon, Matt Barnes and Juan Jose Barea. So while it may not be until next season, keep an eye on the D-League happenings, you never know when one of their players might end up on your fantasy roster. Now, onto our weekly look at minutes, categories and player eligibility.
Here is the list of players who have seen an increase in playing time over the last few games.
Anthony Parker, G, TOR - Parker has been an absolute fantasy monster in his last four games. During that time, he's averaged 17.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.7 assist and 1.25 steals per game. These numbers are a direct correlation to the 40-minutes per game he's averaged during that stretch. Monday night he messed around and missed a triple-double by only a rebound and an assist. Expect him to continue to see this kind of minutes while Jose Calderon and Jermaine O'Neal deal with injuries.
Danilo Gallinari, G, NY - The 20-year-old Italian has finally overcome a bulging disc in his back to start to contribute for the Knicks. While he's only played 15 and 16 minutes his first two games back from his injury, look for his playing time to increase as he gets used to playing with his team. Playing for Milano in Italy's top basketball league, the 6-foot-10 Gallinari averaged 17.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and two steals over 33 games last year. He's known as a great three-point shooter and should fill the stat sheet if he receives more minutes playing for coach Mike D'Antoni.
Courtney Lee, G, ORL - The 22nd-overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft is starting to pay dividends for the Magic. He's averaged more than 30 minutes a game over his last six and has scored in the double digits in five of those six games. Lee's a strong rebounder for a guard and has 13 rebounds and six steals in his last two games. An ankle injury to Keith Bogans has allowed Lee to see more court time over this stretch. Even when Bogans is 100 percent, Lee has played himself into a fair share of minutes at shooting guard for Orlando.
This is a list of players who can help your fantasy squad in specific categories.
Francisco Garcia, F, SAC - Garcia has picked up his scoring for the lowly Kings over his last four games. Over that time he's averaged 15.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.75 three-pointers made and 1.5 blocks. The former Louisville Cardinal appears to be recovered from a calf injury that plagued him earlier this season, so expect him to continue to put up points for Sacramento.
Sergio Rodriguez, G, POR - Rodriguez has gotten the starting nod for the Trail Blazers the last three games, filling in for the injured Steve Blake. Rodriguez has tallied 19 points, 16 assist and 11 rebounds over those three games. Blake is expected to be out at least until February, so the man known as "Spanish Chocolate" will be a decent source of assists until then.
Mike James, G, WAS - James has broken out of a shooting slump the last week for the Wizards. Of course, playing the Knicks twice and the Warriors once in a week can help get a scorer's confidence back. In the last three games, James has hit 10 of 15 three-pointers while averaging 3.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists for Washington. Grab him if you need three-pointers, just realize he's going to cool down eventually.
DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC - With Chris Kaman, Zach Randolph and Marcus Camby all nursing injuries, Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy turned to the rookie out of Texas A&M on Monday night. The 7-footer responded with eight points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots in 34 minutes. He's always been able to swat shots as evidenced by a high school game where he set a school record with 20 rejections. Randolph is expected back within a week, but Monday's performance may have earned him more playing time regardless of his return for the Clippers.
The following player received new eligibility regarding positions over the last week.
Caron Butler is now eligible to play shooting guard.
Article first appeared on 1/21/09