Rudy Gay appears to be out at least four weeks with a shoulder injury and this news leaves a huge hole at small forward on many fantasy squads.
Analysis: Rudy Gay is a great supplier of threes, steals and points and if you’re in need of a small forward to help absorb this injury, Carlos Delfino may fit the bill. Delfino is filling in for Corey Maggette who is suffering from a back injury and Delfino just may be stealing the job from him. Delfino has hit 8 threes with 7 steals and has averaged just under 20 points per game in his last three games. On the year Delfino averages 2 threes and 1.5 steals per game, so while this doesn’t come as a surprise it’s nice to see his minutes bump up and the points pour in. If your unable to absorb Rudy Gay’s injury and must pick up a small forward, Carlos Delfino is available in sixty percent of fantasy leagues and has shooting guard position eligibility as well.
Projection: Carlos Delfino should be hitting just under 2 threes a game with 1-2 steals and 15 PPG as long as he keeps Corey Maggette on the bench. The Rudy Gay injury hurts but Delfino gives you similar fantasy category strengths.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo! Sports, the New Orleans Hornets and star power forward David West have recently ended contract extension talks.
Analysis: West is in the final year of his contact with the Hornets, and has put up at least 18 points and 7.5 rebounds in three straight seasons. Despite his tremendous value, the Hornets appear to be content with letting West walk after his contract expires. Although a move before the NBA trade deadline is entirely possible, New Orleans management claims they will not trade West this season.
Projection: West can be a beast when things are going right. As long as he’s in New Orleans, close to 20 points and 8 rebounds can be expected per game.
According to various reports from Yahoo! Sports, the New Orleans Hornets and Chicago Bulls have both been quietly looking at possible trade deals to land Denver Nuggets shooting guard, J.R. Smith.
Analysis: Smith is a lights out shooter when he’s on, and a cold shooting chucker with a bad attitude when he’s not. Still, he brings range and great potential to his next possible team, aspects both the Bulls and Hornets are severely lacking at the moment. Chicago has been in trade rumors for a shooting guard since the season began, but both Chicago and New Orleans have yet to pull the trigger on a deal based on a combination of character concerns and the Carmelo Anthony trade rumor fiasco.
Projection: In his current state, Smith can get you a handful of three’s any night and can randomly drop a huge amount of points. However, a change of scenery could see his fantasy stock sky-rocket.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lakers big man Andrew Bynum is apparently unhappy with his lack of playing time and touches against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Analysis: First Ron Artest, and now Bynum? He actually has reason to be upset, as he only played 23 minutes in a 20-point loss to the Bobcats. However, considering Bynum is rarely fully healthy and hasn’t been a dominant force, he should probably just take it all in stride.
Projection: Bynum is still a safe play and can get you 10-15 points on any given night, but the playing time and attitude are discouraging.
Jodie Meeks has knocked down 22 threes his last nine games and is a must add in deeper leagues.
Analysis: Jodie Meeks is one of the more streaky players in the NBA but when he’s hitting his jumpers the fantasy world takes notice. He’s available in over ninety-five percent of leagues and he’s going fast. Meeks is shooting over fifty percent from the field in Febuary and is a career 86% free throw shooter. Add in 8 steals and five 14 plus point games in his last seven contests and you have a solid under the radar shooting guard playing on a mediocre team. Jodie Meeks is on fire and we don’t know how long it will last but we do know if you need threes he supplies them in bunches.
Projection: Even if Meeks cools down a bit he’s still going to knock down 2 threes a game and he won’t hurt you in field goal percentage or points either. Expect 25-30 minutes a game from here on out with about a steal per game.