|(Illustration courtesy of Timothy McAuliffe)|
In the end, I guess no team was willing to hand over their first-born child and a few draft picks for the grossly-overpaid Asik, who also happens to be dealing with a bruised thigh and hasn't played in two weeks. Who knows if this was more Morey asking for too much, or teams being too scared to touch him, but in the end it doesn't matter. Because after weeks of breathless analyzing and rumoring and dissecting, it looks like Morey is going to just stick with Asik for now. Whoopee.
This is, of course, enormously disappointing news to anyone who may have added Asik in fantasy basketball this week, as Asik is completely worthless on the Rockets bench even when he's healthy. Meanwhile, Jeff Green, Spencer Hawes and Terrence Jones' owners can breathe a sigh of relief, though after all this negotiating, it's still more likely than not that Asik will get moved before the trade deadline. (Hell, it's only been a few weeks since the Knicks last made a facepalm-inducing transaction; by now, they're probably itching to move a few first round draft picks for Asik.)
So, yeah. False alarm, guys. False alarm.
But even though all that trade talk turned out to be a bunch of hooey, there's still plenty to talk about, as yesterday was just brimming with interesting fantasy news.
- It's almost unfair how blessed Anthony Davis owners have been this year. Davis, who was supposed to be out for up to two months, came back way, way early from his broken hand injury and produced 24 points, 12 rebounds and 3 steals on Wednesday. He wound up missing only seven games from this injury, which is just ridiculous. Michael Carter-Williams has missed his last seven games, and he's only dealing with a skin infection.
- Tyson Chandler made his return to the Knicks lineup on Wednesday, recording 9 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks in 37 minutes. This caused Andrea Bargnani (12 points, 10 rebounds) to have to come off the bench, and while Bargs is probably still worth owning in standard leagues, he's nowhere near as valuable as he was only a few games ago.
- Brandon Knight came to play against the Knicks, scoring a career-high 36 points to go with 6 three's, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Knight is a very strange point guard, as he's a plus rebounder but only offers 3.6 assists per game. Still, he's enormously talented and should be owned in your league if he isn't already.
- Nene returned to the Wizards lineup, scoring 17 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Trevor Booker got a courtesy start and produced 7 points and 13 rebounds, though he's bound to switch roles with Nene in the coming days. Booker has some major potential and is worth a spot-start whenever Nene misses a game, which -- in case you're new to basketball -- happens ALL THE TIME.
- Jared Dudley was productive last night, scoring 20 points and adding 5 rebounds and 4 three's against New Orleans. Dudley showed major promise in Phoenix, but he was largely ineffective in his first month in Los Angeles. He's played better of late, and is averaging 16.7 per game over his last three games, but he's still way too inconsistent to be anything but a deep, deep league pick-up.
- DeAndre Jordan was a beast yesterday: 6-6 from the floor for 14 points, 20 rebounds and 5 blocks. He's the best Jordan the NBA has ever seen... since that other guy.
- Jon Leuer continues to impress. He posted 14 points on Wednesday, and not only is he averaging 15.6 points and 6 rebounds over his last five games, he's 9-14 from the three-point line in that span. Leuer is having a fantastic December, though with the Grizzlies being just 2-7 this month, it's clear the team is in dire need of Marc Gasol, who will probably erase most of Leuer's value when he returns. In the meantime, Leuer has more than solidified himself as reliable short-term option.
- Brandon Wright didn't get much of a run for the Mavs. In just 13 minutes, Wright produced no points and 3 blocks. He has a ton of potential and could eventually stand out as a must-own center. But with both DeJuan Blair and Samuel Dalembert getting more minutes than him, you can probably leave him on the waiver wire for now.
- Damian Lillard is amazing. He produced yet another 36-point game on Wednesday and has hit 15 three's in the span of two games, to speak nothing of the 72 points, 16 assists, 14 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks he contributed. He could very well finish the season as a top-10 fantasy player.
- Kevin Love nearly triple-doubled the Blazers: 29 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 three's and a steal. So, he's pretty good too.
- It's time to start treating DeMarcus Cousins as an elite fantasy center in the class of LaMarcus Aldrige, Al Horford and Al Jefferson. Cousins produced 28 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists against Atlanta, marking the fourth straight game in which he's collected at least 5 assists. Cousins has a few minor flaws: he's a foul machine and is erratic and is sometimes prone to a complete dog of a performance. But he's otherwise a phenomenal player who, thus far, has to be considered one of the biggest bargains of the fantasy draft out there.
- Kyle Korver had a whale of a game, and boy did he set sail! The NBA's resident celebrity-lookalike hit 8 three's and finished with 28 points the other night. Not bad, Ashton, not bad.
- Terrence Ross decided to make me look like a putz yesterday, as the guy I wrote could be a "poor man's Klay Thompson" went just 2-9 from the floor for 5 points and 4 rebounds. Ross has sucked more than the Oreck 9100 in his last two games, but I'm not ready to give up on him. I mean, I'm close to admitting I was wrong about him -- like how I was wrong about Jon Leuer. But hey, I almost conceded on Brandon Knight, and look how good he's doing now? Ross is merely a speculation add at this point and isn't to be trusted, but I think he can be a nice player if he can finally stop shooting like he's wearing a blindfold.
- You know who sucked more than Terrence Ross yesterday? Victor Oladipo, who like Ross is also on my fantasy team. And let me tell you something: when you have Terrence Ross going 2-9, the last thing you need is Oladipo going 1-13 from the floor for 3 points and 5 rebounds, which is a disgusting line. Oladipo is a terrific talent who's poised to be a fantasy star at some point, but he surely can do better than that.
- Jordan Farmar's return isn't as imminent as it seemed. The Lakers point guard will sit out at least an extra week, meaning Kobe Bryant will get a few more games under his belt to earn that lovely point guard eligibility. UPDATE: Kobe Bryant will be out for six weeks due to a fracture in his left leg. Well then... so much for that.