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The Iverson Signing - Fantasy Sleeper Buzz Kill in Memphis
September 9, 2009

The Memphis Grizzlies signed Allen Iverson on September 9 after he spent much of the summer trying to find a team that wanted him and was willing to pay.  He ended up with a losing team that was last in scoring last season.

It was just the other week I was reviewing projections by team and noticed that only one team had five players projected to be in the top 100.  It was Memphis with Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay, OJ Mayo, and Mike Conley.  I had also projected that young guards OJ Mayo and Mike Conley would be good sleeper picks.

The signing of Iverson will force me (reluctantly) to take the sleeper labels off of Mayo and Conley.  With Randolph, Iverson, and Gay wanting to get shots, it makes it tough to see how there will be enough opportunities left for Mayo and Conley to get the shots they need to have the upside required for a sleeper player.  Perhaps Mayo's raw talent can survive the impact but most likely not Conley.  I can't help but think the addition of Iverson and Randolph creates a train wreck waiting to happen in Memphis.

While Iverson feels like he will have a lot to prove next season, being conscious of the doubts about his current skill level - I can't help but agree with those who feel he has lost the step needed to be the offensive force he has been in the past. At 34, and with a history of not working out, he will likely become an ordinary player whose biggest fantasy impact will be to destroy a team's FG%.

While it is possible that Conley, Mayo, and Iverson all get 30 minutes - the buzz I previously had for Conley and Mayo was killed with the Iverson signing.


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