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Kevin Garnett Fantasy Analysis

The Kevin Garnett Trade: Fantasy Analysis
August 1, 2007

Kevin Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, and Theo Ratliff (and two future draft picks). This has created quite a buzz about the upcoming “Big Three” combination of Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen.  In recent seasons all three have warranted a first round selection.  Many managers might assume Garnett will maintain that first round status but I think there might be some risk in that regard since all three will likely not score quite as much as in recent seasons.  It would be wise to plan accordingly. 

The Big Three may be needed to play heavy minutes as a result of the Celtics lack of depth subsequent to the trade, but they were already logging fairly heavy minutes.  Note, if one of the three gets hurt, a possibility considering the recent history of Pierce and Allen, the other two’s fantasy value would likely spike up to their ‘pre-trade’ values. 

Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins are projected to complete the Celtics starting five and with the lack of depth on the Celtics should be a lock to get consistent minutes.  This should make Rondo a nice late round selection who can contribute steals and assists.  Any points he provides would be a bonus. I expect though that the Celtics will sign a Brevin Knight-type of veteran point guard that would reduce the current minute projections for Rondo. Perkins also moves up the fantasy depth chart as a result and in deeper leagues will be a great late round selection who has the potential to provide rebounds and blocks.

Looking further into the Boston situation, someone will need to be on the court when the starters need a rest.  With the Celtics projected lack of depth, these players could get heavier minutes than typical reserves.  This makes Tony Allen an interesting sleeper candidate.  In his 5 games before a season ending ACL injury last January he averaged 20.8 pts, 4.0 steals, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.  Allen may miss the start of the season as he continues his recovery so he may be a player to pick up as a free agent or use a last draft pick on.  When playing, he has the potential to be the Celtics 4th leading scorer and make an impact in steals.  Another player who may deserve some in-season attention in deep leagues is Leon Powe.  He has shown some rebounding potential and is good at getting to the free throw line.

In Minnesota, where the roster is now void of any established stars, Randy Foye, Rickey Davis, and Al Jefferson should all provide solid fantasy value.  Foye in particular should see the biggest fantasy value increase from last season and be a good sleeper candidate as some managers might feel Sebastian Telfair will threaten his playing time.  Foye has shown the potential to fill out the stat sheet and he should get heavy minutes.  Al Jefferson as well should build on his success from last season and understand coming into the season he will receive all the minutes he can handle. Davis has the potential to become a 20 point scorer.

The other two starting spots may need to be won in training camp as the Timberwolves will have multiple choices at each position.  There is also a real chance that those two spots are manned by big committees. I like the potential of Ryan Gomes and Craig Smith at the small forward position.  Smith has shown nice rebounding potential and Gomes suddenly showed at the end of last season he has the skills to hit the three point shot which would improve his chances of winning time at SF next to Jefferson.  But with rookie Corey Brewer and Trenton Hassell it could be that the SF position ends up falling into the aforementioned committee situation.

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