Fantasy NBA with Tom Carpenter
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday morning, ESPN.com fantasy basketball expert Tom Carpenter will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest hoops news from the hardcourt. Carpenter writes the weekly "Grand Theft Roto" column.
Send your questions now and join Carpenter Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
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Tom Carpenter (10:59 AM)
There's been a lot of talk regarding Mr. Irrelevant, following his hot play before the break. He's certainly worth adding in most leagues to see how long he can stay hot. But while this Isaiah Thomas is named (though not spelled) after Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, I won't be comparing their skills directly until I see the younger one pull something off on the court like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEeBLc5c0Nc Let's get this session started!
Good Morning Tom Love the work. Getting this question in early because id love your expert analysis. Just swung a trade sending Jose Calderon for Javale Magee. Very well off in assists and 3s, and could use the blocks, rebounds and points. I am thinking Calderon is a nice sell high as he will not keep up his current pace, especially the scoring. thoughts?
Tom Carpenter (11:00 AM)
I think that's a terrific trade for you. You addressed your needs, dealt from your strengths and traded a guy who is unlikely to maintain his pace in the second half for a guy who should.
Is it time to drop STAT for JR Smith/Gallinari or Brooks?
Tom Carpenter (11:03 AM)
It's crazy to think this question could even be asked without garnering a laugh, but it's been that kind of season so far. I would do what I can to add Gallinari, but I wouldn't drop Amar'e for him. His upside clearly appears to be capped, but even his capped upside is too high to put him on waivers. You should shop him around first; someone should want him in a trade.
Who do you think will have a more explosive 2nd half to the season, nicolas batum or paul george?
Tom Carpenter (11:05 AM)
Both are excellent second-half sleepers. In fact, I discuss George in my Grand Theft Roto column today. I see Batum as the safer play in the second half, but I think George has more opportunity to truly explode for the final 4-6 weeks. I wouldn't let either sit on waivers right now.
Jason (Morgantown, WV)
Where/will Wilson Chandler play? If he stays in Denver, I can't imagine his #s would be all that great w/ Gallinari, Afflalo, Brewer, Harrington, Faried, etc.
Tom Carpenter (11:07 AM)
From a fantasy perspective, you're right -- if he ends up in Denver, it's going to be hard to max out his production, even if he's the best of those options. We better hope that he ends up in Toronto, but for now we'll just have to wait to see which place gives him the best option.
Hi! Should I start B. Lopez or T. Chandler at Center this week? Lopez has 3 games and Chandler 2. I'm itching to get Lopez into my lineup. Thanks!
Tom Carpenter (11:10 AM)
I often roll with the player who has three games over a player with four if the player is good enough. But with just two games for Chandler this week, I'd roll the dice on Lopez and hope he works in a good 30 minutes per.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will play in the NBA Finals this season?
Tom Carpenter (11:11 AM)
I had the Heat and Thunder prior to the season and nothing's changed my opinion at this point.
Do you think Derrick Rose is a sell high? He only has 10 total games during the crucial playoff weeks and ive been offered Wade & Pierce for D.Rose
Tom Carpenter (11:13 AM)
I'm still concerned about his turf toe, so I wouldn't have a problem dealing Rose to be safe. Wade and Pierce is a fair enough deal, though they present their own health issues. The games played in your playoffs is a huge factor ... because it diminishes the effectiveness of Rose during your most important stretch.
Dave Walsh (CT)
If Rasheed Wallace comes back and goes to the Lakers, would you call them a lock for western conference finalists?
Tom Carpenter (11:15 AM)
I would see them as a lock for getting more technicals down the stretch! Seriously, though, I can't see him having any impact of note in fantasy terms or in the outcome of the Lakers' season. He's old and not a very good basketball player anymore.
TK (Ann Arbor)
Carmello Anthony is the Allen Iverson of Small Fowards.
Tom Carpenter (11:20 AM)
I've heard this said before. There's some truth to that in that AI never understood the subtle nature of the team game and Melo has not shown that ability in full to date. There are some differences, though ... like Iverson was a terrific defender, something Melo has done little of. I also think that Melo can be the primary scorer on a title team because he's a SF -- fit the right pieces around him and he can win. AI was the primary scorer, passer, defender and everything else for his teams and that never worked because he was a PG. I do think Melo is underrated at sharing the rock, passing and playing off the ball -- even though his greatest strength is pounding the rock one-on-one ... just like AI.
12 team cat 9 who's the better add: Jo.Crawford,Hamilton JR Smith or Danny Green?
Tom Carpenter (11:21 AM)
I'd take Smitty from this group, because he can crank 3s and score in bunches.
Would you deal away George and ZBo to get Marc Gasol, in a 12 team league with 2 Cs?
Tom Carpenter (11:23 AM)
I'd rather have the upside of Paul George and Z-Bo for the stretch run. If you feel you need the safer play and less risk/upside, then go get Gasol.
Jay M. (Orlando)
I am looking a trade to acquire Monta Ellis. I can send Greg Monroe for him or Al Jefferson? I already have Kevin Love, Josh Smith, N. Pekovic, Al Harrington, Monroe and Jefferson on my team. What do you think about Ellis's value down the stretch?
Tom Carpenter (11:26 AM)
I'd probably move Jefferson due to his injury history. Certainly looks like a good deal for you, either way, since you have so many bigs. I expect plenty of the usual monster stats from Ellis -- and so far the places rumored to be interested in acquiring him wouldn't deter him from huge stats if he were traded.
Will Jeremy Lin be on an NBA roster in 3 years?
Tom Carpenter (11:28 AM)
Yes. We can ponder how good he will or won't be, but there's little gray area ... if you've watched him play, it's clear that he has the skills to compete at the NBA level. Scouts whiffed. He's an NBA player and in the perfect situation to succeed: the right coach, the right offensive system and the right teammates to benefit from his skills.
How are Greivis Vasquez's production going to be in the second half?
Tom Carpenter (11:29 AM)
I expect Jarrett Jack to return to his starting PG role soon, if not immediately after the break. Still, Greivis should still get a full 30 minutes or so backing up both guard spots, so he should still be able to contribute to fantasy teams.
should i be worried about the lack of news on gallo and zbo's update today? i dont want to hope for something that may end up to be nothing
Tom Carpenter (11:32 AM)
Based on the info that has come out so far, my gut feeling is that we won't see either this week, but both should be back in action within the next couple of weeks. That's right about where we've expect them to be for several weeks. No notable setbacks, they just need their required recovery time. Neither should be on waivers at this point.
Brandon Jennings (Atlanta)
Recently Brandon Jennings and Nick Young has been in a slump. Do you see them as valuable players in second half of the season? Or should I try to replace them. Caron butler is another one that has been in a slump? Any suggestions
Tom Carpenter (11:33 AM)
Jennings and Young should have another good month of big stats in them, so they make for good trade targets right now. I don't see much upside in Caron; too many good players on his team and his just bound to get hurt.
Would you cut Biedrins in a keeper league or is there a chance he can become a good player again?
Tom Carpenter (11:36 AM)
That the Warriors are constantly trying to add a legit big man (does Brook Lopez even count as a legit big?), the writing is on the wall: even the Warriors don't expect him to return to form as a double-double nightly. In the right spot, he could push up on that again, but there's no reason to waste a keeper roster spot on him at this point.
Ryan K. (REEDLEY, CA)
How much will Michael Beasley's value go up if he goes to the Lakers?
Tom Carpenter (11:39 AM)
Beasley is a one-cat wonder: he scores and does nothing else. So the simple answer would be that he'd probably see a boost in scoring with the Lakers and, in turn, a boost in his fantasy value. However, he'll still be a one-cat wonder, so his overall fantasy value will remain next to useless.
Hey Tom, I own both Rudy Gay and Zbo. Should I expect Gay's numbers to decrease once my Zbo returns? Should I deal Gay while he's hot? Its tough when you consider MEM plays 5 games during the semis and champ week. Thanks!
Tom Carpenter (11:41 AM)
I'd hang on to both of them. They're good enough to crank out solid stats the rest of the way. The bigger question will be how Gasol and Z-Bo work together going forward, though I think Z-Bo will be the better scorer and Gasol the better rebounder down the stretch.
Chase Hartman (Wyomissing PA)
Yes, KD has gone off recently claiming the All-Star MVP and many believe the front runner for league MVP, put people need to realize wwhat lebron does, his stats prove everything! Hes top 5 PG's in the NBA and he can play the 4 position! Who do you think will emerge in the second half of the year and who is your MVP now and prediction for the end?
Tom Carpenter (11:46 AM)
We fantasy junkies know the stats and obviously both are freaks. I have LeBron as the frontrunner, Durant as my likely winner and Kobe as the darkhorse. Stats and wins are the most important factors in MVP talk, but "leading" your team can be a critical tiebreaker when the top candidates have great stats and a lot of wins. There remain questions about LeBron's ability to lead his teammates to higher levels (see: passing up the shot Sunday), which is why I think Kobe could be the darkhorse if he can lead his Lakers up the Western Conference ladder.
Boom Boom Pau (NYC)
I traded Rajon Rondo and Brook Lopez for russel westbrook. good or bad?
Tom Carpenter (11:48 AM)
Looks like an excellent move for you. You got by far the best player in the deal and gave up a point guard who isn't stealing balls and doesn't score a ton and a big man who can't rebound.
can sixers win a title?
Tom Carpenter (11:48 AM)
Yes, if they enter a Gus Macker tourney.
What kind of effect do you predict Lopez's return will have on Humphries. Kris has had a great season so far but I just dropped him for Zach Randolph in a H2H and I am wondering if I'll regret it. Thanks.
Tom Carpenter (11:51 AM)
I think that's the right move. Way more upside in Z-Bo than Humprhies going forward, and I do expect to see Humphries' stats diminish some with Lopez back in the mix. Even a little hit on a guy like that, who is just a double-dub can render him worthy of the waiver wire.
would Calderon be better off staying in Toronto or getting traded? in a perspective of fantasy value.
Tom Carpenter (11:53 AM)
Obviously, depends on where he lands, but I would be shocked if he has any value with another team. He better stay in Toronto and hope Bayless doesn't get hot. IMO, he's a product of his environment in fantasy terms -- change that environment and he won't have much fantasy value.
Is J. Bayless worth a stash in case Calderon gets traded. Bayless's upside is enticing if somehow gets the starting gig in Toronto
Tom Carpenter (11:56 AM)
In tandem with the previous question, I think the Raps want Bayless to explode in the second half, so they can move on from Calderon, whether they trade him or not. Bayless should be owned in most leagues now that he's healthy. I think he can make Calderon an afterthought if he gets confident.
Tom, what's up with Evan Turner? He is very productive (fantasy-wise) when he's on the floor, but his minutes have been steadily dropping? Do you see this trend changing?
Tom Carpenter (12:00 PM)
The Sixers have a good problem on their hands: too many talented players. While it's better than having too few talented players, it makes it difficult for any one player to excel statistically. Specifically, Turner and Iggy have a very similar skill set. But since Iggy has the experience, it's going to be next to impossible for Turner to usurp enough minutes to be a consistent fantasy option this season -- or next season, for that matter.
Tom Carpenter (12:02 PM)
Ladies and gents: that's another great session in the books. Be sure to read my GTR column that will be posted this afternoon and tune back in next Tuesday morning for another fantasy hoops chat! Remember to set your lineups for this evening's return to NBA hoopage.