January 3, 1999
some former Dream Team players met in Atlantic City
for a charity game which was largely ignored. I
couldn't even find a box score when it was over.
Although it wasn't much like a real game as the
millionaires tip-toed along in an effort to avoid
injuring themselves, the following fantasy notes
could be made:
- Shawn Kemp
showed up to the charity game noticeably out of
shape. His fantasy value should be accordingly
devalued. Having just signed his huge contract,
what incentive does he have to work out hard during
the vacation - err - lockout.
- Although it
was just a pickup game, Tim Hardaway showed he is
still sharp by leading his team to victory in the
- Patrick Ewing
was also a step slow, confirming suspicions that
his role as Union President has taken away from his
game. He also winced when his injured wrist was hit
showing it could be a factor still.
Mourning showed no ill affects from his knee
surgery. The lockout preserved his fantasy value
for the shortened season.
- Tom Gugliotta
showed that his has recovered from his ankle injury
from last season. This game was important for him
as a free agent to show teams he can play at his
Barkley stated that Jordan will not return and I
believe him. If you are in a fantasy draft before
the lockout do not take Jordan since it could be a
wasted pick. Jordan has not announced his
retirement in order to give the players some
leverage in bargaining talks. He said he will only
play for Phil Jackson and I believe he won't go
back on this statement.
- Penny Hardaway
was well enough to play. Well, I guess it was an
all-star game, something that Penny will suit up
for. He should still be avoided in a regular season
fantasy draft until he shows more
- Mitch Richmond
appeared to be somewhat out of shape judging from
the sweat he worked up in pre-game warm ups.
- The fact that
Charles Barkley did not play is in indication he
may not be in shape and did not want to huff and
puff in front of everyone. Charles has never been
known to work out hard in the off season and he may
be even more out shape than Kemp.
Wilkins is looking to return to the NBA and was
shopping his skills at the charity game. If he does
earn a contract, he will be a role player with
minimal fantasy value.
- Ron Mercer of
the Celtics scheduled workouts for the Celtics
which ended up being canceled since no one showed
up. If the Celtics aren't working out (in fear of
arriving at a post-lockout Pitino camp out of
shape) then who is?
- Dirk Nowitzki
will sign and play for the Mavericks as opposed to
staying in Germany. He was recently house hunting
in Dallas. Nowitzki has probably been playing in
more competitive games than most NBA players
through his participation in European league play
the past couple months. Whether he can contribute
on the NBA level remains to be seen, but he may be
in better shape than most when the season
- Other players
in Europe during the lockout are Arvydas Sabonis,
Vlade Divac, Marco Milic, and Dino Radja (remember
him?). While playing overseas may provide more
competition than shooting around in a gym it also
presents the opportunity for an injury.
- Oliver Miller
has been working out with the Mavericks. Although
always over weight, when playing he has always been
a decent per minute fantasy performer.
- Michael Finley
showed that he can hit uncontested jumpers as he
hit 16 in a row in a charity game that did feature
Tim Hardaway but not any defense.
- Marcus Camby
and Nick Van Exel (who have the same agent) sued to
be able to play in Europe. This is a move to keep
their options open and it is unlikely they will
actually play there. Never the less, if your league
drafts before the lockout is over do not take
- Grant Hill may
have ruffled some of the brother's feathers by not
being more vocal for the players during the
lockout. This may translate into some tough D being
played on him when the season begins, perhaps
further lowering his field goal percentage which
was only at 45 percent last season.
- Those who are
currently free agents may be in the worst shape
when the lockout is over since many are avoiding
intense workout for fear of injury. An example is
free agent Rik Smits, who is one of the few Pacers
not participating in the Pacers regular lockout
- Free agent
Darrick Martin is reportedly receiving a lot of
interest from teams. This could translate into a
starting role for him when the season
Olowokandi has threatened to go to Europe but this
is will not happen unless the NBA season is
canceled which is unlikely. Still avoid him in any
drafts held before the lockout is over.
- Brent Barry
appears unlikely to re-sign with the Heat. This
would be a boost for his fantasy value.
- George Karl
will be reunited with Center Ervin Johnson in
Milwaukee. This may not be good for Johnson's
fantasy value since he rode the bench for Karl in
- Oded Kattash
is an star Israeli point guard who may sign with
the Knicks. His signing may reduce the fantasy
potential of Charlie Ward (if he remains in New
York) and Chris Childs. Kattash may even be worth
taking with your last pick in a fantasy draft.
Charlie Ward is a free agent who could end up with
a starting role as some teams have expressed an
interest in him. Last year Ward averaged 6 assists
per game playing only 28 minutes per game.