September 21, 2005

"Who you starting this week?"

Now, before you answer this, you need to be made aware of the consequences. What? What do you mean? It's such an innocent question. Very true. In the real world that is. In the context of fantasy sports however, it is crucial. The way you answer this question will determine whether you're a Beater or The Beaten. Are you the drunk step father after watching your Dallas Cowboys lose to those "girls from Arizona?" Or are you the redheaded kid that takes a half full beer off the side of the head after some Cowboy QB not named Aikman throws an interception? See? It's important. It defines you as a person! So. Which is it?

"Hey you gonna start Duncan...err, I mean Daunte..."

And there it is. In the shadow of it's step dad, the NBA fantasy season has reared its red little head. Look! There's a tuft of strawberry poking up over the couch! The NFL season is barely two weeks old, but they've been preparing their draft boards for months. Ever since the Super Bowl ended, the little crackheads have been plotting. The NBA kids have also been plotting. They've just been doing it a little more quietly, keeping a watchful eye out for the flying can of Bud heavy headed in their direction.


"Hey, who you gonna start for fantasy? You gonna start Kobe, err? What about Shaq, you gonna start Shaq? Who you gonna draft first? LeBron errr? Maybe KG err?"

It has begun. As teams put the finishing touches on their rosters, the draft boards are opening. Fantasy NBA is here and it's not even October. Training camps haven't even begun and yet, the kids are out there compiling their draft lists. On various dedicated websites the debates rage on. KG or LeBron? Kobe or Shaq? Amare or Duncan? Everyone talks like they've got an inside edge, some tidbit of insight that will allow them to choose correctly when their time comes. Which rookies will contribute? No, I'm not talking about their teams, I'm talking about my fantasy team. Which of the injuries from last year is going to come back strong? "cuz lord knows they probably won't get drafted, except whoever I draft because I'm smarter than everyone and have a keen eye for gems."

That's pretty much what it's like. There's a lot of people trying to convince themselves that their team is good by over analyzing and arguing with their mates. I'm not gonna lie, I'm right there with them. Maybe not as flamboyant, but I'm there. Curled up quietly in my little corner gazing lovingly at my fantasy team, rolling it over and over in my little hands, just like Golum. Making sure to stay clear of the drunkard sitting in his arm chair yelling at a runningback not named Emmit Smith for fumbling on the goal line. There I am. There we are. My superstar, my little stat sheet filler, my hidden gem, my little gold nugget of fantasy victory. You are mine. My precious.

September 7, 2005

Eddie Curry

So there is a rumor out of Chicago that 7-footer Eddie Curry wants a sign-and-trade deal if the Bulls won't offer him guarenteed money. Okay, so where oh where could little Edsie go? Some rumors have him heading to New York, although I don't know what the Bulls would want from New York in return. Atlanta was interested until his recent heart problems scared them away from giving him the money he so desires. He was rumored to be sent to Memphis for Lorenzen Wright, but of course getting arrested for putting a gun in your ex-girlfriends face isn't a good way to endear yourself to other NBA teams after the Griz pretty much said "you're and idiot" already. Toronto was rumored to be dangling Jalen Rose's expiring contract and the Lakers were also rumored to be interested, but they're looking to keep the contracts short, so they can have ample cap room in 2007. Other than that, who would want Eddie Curry? Let's look at who has/needs big men:

Teams that are probably not all that interested in Eddie are as follows:
Cleveland's got Z, Miami has Shaq, San Antonio has Duncan and Nazr, Phoenix has Amare, Dallas has Dirk and Damp, Denver has Camby, Nene, and other more important needs, Detroit has the Wallace's, Milwaukee has Bogut, Orlando is pretty stacked in the middle, with Dwight Howard set to improve apon his rookie season, Indiana has Jermaine and 5 other F-Cs, Portland has got it's superstar in Zach Randolph, and has two decent centers(Pryzbilla, Ratliff), Philadelphia just resigned Dalembert and signed Stephen Hunter, Houston has Yao, Charlotte has their big men in Okafor and May, Utah and Golden State are full of F-Cs, and New Orleans is a mess.

So that leaves us with New Jersey, Boston, and Washington from the East, the Clippers, Sacramento, Seattle, and Minnesota from the West.

New Jersey just picked up Marc Jackson, resigned Clifford Robinson, and saw a little pre-breakout party by Nenad Krstic towards the end of last year. They really wanted to pull a sign-and-trade deal with Portland for Shareef Adbur-rahim, but wouldn't give up their second round pick from this year (Mille Illic) so they must be expecting something from him and presumably Chicago is either going to want a young big guy or a draft pick in return for Curry. Couple that with their reaction to Shareef's physical, the Nets would likely pass on Curry as well, especially since the Bulls aren't actively shopping him.

Boston probably has the most to offer Chicago for Eddy Curry, what with the rumors about Paul Pierce being available. The Celts are also trying to get younger and more athletic so a Pierce-for-Curry deal would certainly move them in that direction. Of course I don't know if Boston would really trade the face of their organization for a big-time question mark, but then again, Red always loved the extremely athletic big guys.

Washington would seem to have as much motivation to get a guy like Curry as anyone after losing Kwame Brown. Of course on the opposite side of that, Curry is a straight-out-of-highschool phenom who hasn't lived all the way up to his potential. Then there's the whole bad ticker thing, which may scare the Wiz away. Also, the probably wouldn't want to give up any draft picks, so the Bulls may balk at any deal they offer.

The Clippers are, well, they're the Clippers, and probably wouldn't want to spend money on Curry because, well, he's good. Eddie and Elton Brand would be a formidable 4-5 combo in the West, especially without Shaq in their backyard. Of course the last time the Clips traded with Chicago, they got their best player, so who knows, maybe they would be willing to take a chance on a 7-foot freak of nature and who, unlike a previous 7-footer they had, has shown he can actually play the sport of basketball.

Sacramento has a pretty good front court, with a healthy Brad Miller and a recently aquired Abdur-rahim, so their interest in Curry may not be very high. They've already taken an injury chance on Shareef this year, but then he's never had to miss games due to his knees as Curry has with his heart. If Chicago was actively shopping, the Kings might bid, but I doubt they'd be looking to trade for him, especially because the deal would probably have to include a draft pick.

Seattle, coming of their best season since 1998 and the loss of their starting center, may have some interest in Curry. The only roadblock for them would be Vladamir Radmonovic as he still needs to be re-signed. The question for Seattle would be: Is Eddie Curry more valuable than Vlad? They probably couldnt' afford both of them, and it's doubtful they'd give up any draft picks to get him, so Vlad would probably be their only pawn.

Minnesota. Of course, this being a Timberwolves blog site, they comes last. They need a big man, in a big way, and Eddie Curry is exactly the kind of player they need, minus his bad heart. The problem is that they don't really have much that the Bulls would want in return, not to mention wanting to pay Curry the money he wants. The Wolves don't have a draft pick next year and hopefully wouldn't give up one or more to get Curry. Wally could go, but Chicago doesn't want big, long contracts right now, and frankly without Fred Hoiberg, we need Szczerbiak's shooting. We could send them Michael Olowokandi if the could get the contracts to lineup, but it would be hard to say if Chicago would be willing to deal with Bowl of Candy for a year before dumping his salary for next year.

So, who's gonna get Curry if they do try to do a sign-and-trade? I'll tell you. No one. Nobody has what Chicago is gonna want and no team is willing to give up what it takes to get Curry with his uninsured heart. I'd love to have him here in Minnesota, but I just don't think anyone is ready to take a chance on Eddie when he's such a huge question mark.