14. Tim Duncan
Duncan will be one of the league's elder statesmen when we see NBA action again, while DeJuan Blair
is still knocking on the door in San Antonio. The lockout could hurt Duncan more than any other player, as his legs and knees are quickly approaching old age, if they're not already there. He's played in 75, 78 and 76 games over the last three years, and prospective owners should look for that number to come in around 74 this time, assuming we get in a full season. His scoring took a major hit last year, down from 17.9 to 13.5, and he averaged less than 10 boards for the first time in his 14-year career, but he also saw his blocks increase to 1.9 per game. While I doubt he fully bounces back, he should still have at least one solid season left in his career.
15. Kevin Garnett
Like Duncan, Garnett is one of the oldest players in the league, entering his 17th season. He made it through 69 and 71 games in the last two seasons, averaging less than 15 points and 9 boards in each of them. Jeff Green
is waiting in the wings, but free agent Glen Davis
is on his way out, which should work in Garnett's favor. Of course, the health of his knees will define his next season, but he's still a solid NBA player.
16. David West
If we weren't facing a possible lost season, West would probably be listed even lower than this. Not only is he an unrestricted free agent, meaning we don't know where he's going to play, but is coming off a major knee injury and surgery. The lockout should give him plenty of time to rehab and get ready to play, but the uncertainty of where he will end up, his knee, and his age (31), are pretty big red flags. Oh, and he's not a shot blocker, either, and playing with a point guard other than Chris Paul
could really hurt his game.
17. Luis Scola
Scola's a tough player to rank due to his lack of steals and blocks, or really anything outside of scoring, durability and 8 boards per game. He still has a chance to become a 20 & 10 guy, and the permanent loss of Yao Ming
will probably help him. But his game simply looks better on TV than the numbers suggest.
18. Carlos Boozer
It feels a bit strange having Boozer ranked this low, but he didn't really do much to impress in Chicago last season. After playing in just 37 games in 2008-09, he made it through only 59 of them last season. Yes, the 17.5 points and 9.6 boards are quite serviceable, but the injury risk and 0.3 blocks per game are just not fun in fantasyland. And as Joakim Noah
and Derrick Rose
get better, Boozer will continue to get older, and squeezed in Chicago.
19. Elton Brand
Brand bounced back last season, averaging 15 points, 8 boards, and more than a steal and a block in 81 games after playing in just 29 of them two seasons ago. He's entering his 12th season and while he was a pleasant surprise last year, he's still an injury risk, and isn't getting any younger.
20. David Lee
Lee was a fantasy beast in New York, but saw his numbers dip to 16 points and less than 10 boards a game in Golden State last year. He doesn't block shots and we still don't know how Mark Jackson
plans on using him for the guard-oriented Warriors. There is a decent chance he bounces back this season, but his lack of defense is a big concern.
21. Andray Blatche
Blatche has talent, but doesn't always think when he's on the court. He also has to battle JaVale McGee
for boards and blocks, which is a problem. It's also a little concerning that both McGee and Blatche were suspended last season for getting into a fight with one another at a club. While we were looking for a huge jump last season, he only averaged two more points and boards than the previous season, and blocked just 0.8 shots per game. He did steal the ball (1.5 per game) and finished the season averaging 17 points and 8 boards per, but also played in just 64 games thanks to shoulder and knee injuries. He's got plenty of upside, but whether he takes the next step, or falters like Tyrus Thomas
has, remains to be seen.
22. Lamar Odom
Odom's a solid player and the fact he averaged about 14 points, 9 boards and 3 assists was acceptable. But he's entering his 13th season, comes off the bench, and has to compete with Kobe Bryant
, Pau Gasol
and Andrew Bynum
for touches, which is not too exciting.
23. J.J. Hickson
Hickson gets new life with the Kings and is slotted in (for now) as the starting power forward in Sacramento. He averaged 14 points and 9 boards for the Cavs last year, but came in at less than a steal and block. He also doubled his turnovers (2.2) and shoots less than 70 percent for the line, which are not flattering statistics. But something tells me he's going to have a chip on his shoulder playing for the Kings, and he should be considered as a sleeper pick again.
24. Amir Johnson
is going to push Johnson for the starting gig in Toronto, which hurts his potential. In fact, Davis could even start over Johnson. But Amir averaged 10 points, 6 boards and 1.2 blocks per game, and also improved his free throw shooting from 64 to 79 percent, which is great. It all depends on whether or not he holds Davis off for the starting gig, but Johnson is still worth a late-round flier regardless.
25. Tyler Hansbrough
Hansbrough basically lost his 2009-10 season to injury, and played in 70 games last season, averaging 11 points and five boards in just 22 minutes per game. The best news for him is that Josh McRoberts
is an unrestricted free agent, meaning Hansbrough should be handed the starting job and see a nice increase in minutes for the Pacers. He's also a coach's dream, and the new staff in Indy is going to like him. Look for him to take a big step in year three and be a serviceable fantasy big man. The RestChanning Frye
– Can hit 3s, but has to deal with Hakim Warrick
& Markieff Morris
– As long as Diaw's there, will struggle to start. Sleeper. Kris Humphries
UFA – Was last year a fluke? Where will he play? DeJuan Blair
– Tons of talent, but Duncan still not done. Tristan Thompson
– Will he start at PF for Cavs? Worth a last-round pick. Derrick Favors
– If Jazz move Millsap, look out. Udonis Haslem
- Playing behind Bosh will not be fun. Brandon Bass
– Will battle Ryan Anderson
to start, might be a sleeper. Ryan Anderson
– If he beats out Bass, will be nice source of threes, etc. Drew Gooden
- Could start for Bucks, but too many cooks in kitchen. Charlie Villanueva
– Underperformed last year, will have to see how camp goes.Kenyon Martin
UFA – On last legs, literally.Al Harrington
– With K-Mart on way out, Harrington could jump up this list.Anthony Randolph
– If Nellie rolls into Minneapolis, forget about him. Josh McRoberts
UFA – Hard to imagine him being better anywhere than Indy.Glen Davis
UFA – All depends on where he lands. Ed Davis
– Super sleeper, will challenge Amir Johnson
for starting job. Carl Landry
UFA – Lacks boards/blocks, and we don't know where he'll play.Bismack Biyombo
– If you need blocks at the end of your draft, get him. Taj Gibson
– Will be a hot pickup when Boozer gets hurt. Reggie Evans
UFA – Rebounding is middle name, but new location could hurt.Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
RFA – Bucks crowded at PF. Trevor Booker
– Needs a Blatche injury to have value.Yi Jianlian
RFA – Ditto. Marcus Morris
– Worth keeping an eye on, but not drafting in Houston.Markieff Morris
– Could challenge Warrick, Frye for minutes in PHO.Hakim Warrick
– Good rebounder, but that's about it. Darrell Arthur
– Played well at times last year, but Z-Bo is the man in Memphis.Anthony Tolliver
– If Nellie coaches Wolves, Tolliver becomes a sleeper.Marreese Speights
– Brand would have to go down for him to have value. Troy Murphy
UFA – Has anyone fallen faster?