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What Are the Fantasy Implications of Brandon Bass and Glen Davis Switching Locations?
Just after writing about Brandon Bass earlier this week, I waxed on his prospects for the upcoming season in an Orlando Magic uniform. Returning to the Magic would have meant facing a time share at the power forward slot with gunner Ryan Anderson. Now, we'll have to re-evaluate matters as Brandon Bass heads to Boston to replace Glen "Don't Call me Big Baby" Davis, in a move that seems perplexing on paper, since both players offer so much of the same, and even have similar playing styles.
So why did it happen?
One reason and one reason only: Dwight Howard said he wanted Big Baby as a teammate. And so, here it is a day later, and Big Baby is donning the Magic pinstripes. He figures to immediately be a huge part of the rotation and will also be able to help fill the backup center minutes, should the Magic opt not to sign a center-only big man later. Davis' versatility and ability to bang makes him valuable, but probably more so in "real life" than in fantasy.
Still, in standard leagues, Davis could be worth taking a last round flyer on, since the Magic's frontcourt rotation is pretty thin. Unless Earl Clark turns into something, or Hedo Turkoglu decides to play some more at power forward, the Magic are left with Ryan Anderson, Glen Davis, and Dwight Howard down low.
Does it seem like I am leaving someone out? Oh no, that would just be Daniel Orton, who claimed he was uninjured last season when I interviewed him, despite the fact he was on the injured list with a bum knee that had been bothering him since his junior year of high school. Yes, it really is that thin for the Magic, but I can't imagine them not at least signing another big before the season begins. However, I am not discounting that as a possibility since Otis Smith went with using Bass as a backup last season. Perhaps nothing changes.
So how will Bass fit in with Boston? I think he'll see a lot of minutes, to be sure, but I'm not sure if he is going to give aged Kevin Garnett really long breathers, or if they will just frequently rest Garnett like Gregg Popovich does with Tim Duncan, especially late in the season when the playoff picture has already more or less solidified.
Keep an eye on that!—A rest period for Garnett could mean that Brandon Bass' value would go up increasingly in the head-to-head playoffs. For those of you who want to compete with the fantasy post-season in mind, Bass would make a lot of sense at that point, either owning him, or picking him up if no one else does.
That still may be the land for Bass, a fringe player who is a lock in deeper leagues and often bounces back and forth between the FA list and the rosters in standard leagues. The real reason for that is because outside of scoring and rebounding, Bass offers very little. However, as I wrote in the last piece about Bass, he has exhibited that he has added a three point shot to his arsenal. Even hitting 1.0 threes a game would seriously elevate his fantasy value, and his percentages have always been solid. You just need more than two cat contributions from fantasy players, though, so until we see Bass add some more tools, maybe some steals, he's just not that valuable in Fantasy.
Bass still may be on my short list of "last round flyer" material. There's a number of other players who I will mention in due time, because we know the difference late round drafting brilliance can make with regards to winning leagues.
I know I didn't mention any specific stat lines in this article, and the reason for that is simple: I don't think either Bass or Davis are going to experience much of a stat shift or minute increase/decrease in their new surroundings. Bass may add the three, but he would have done that in Orlando, anyway.
I still think Danny Ainge got the best of this deal, fantasy purposes completely set aside here—Bass is a better athlete and offers a lot more upside than Davis, who I think has already peaked as a player. Bass has the potential to some day be maybe as high as an 8th round player, but like I said, he has to make the necessary adjustments, too.
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