Jason Richardson: Jeff Lewis/Icon SMI
On Wednesday, the Phoenix Suns dealt Boris Diaw, Raja Bell and Sean Singletary to the Charlotte Bobcats for Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley. It's the sort of deal usually reserved for the trade deadline, but seeing as how both teams seem to be in the holiday spirit, let's see how the presents shake out.
On paper, the Suns made out like bandits, because J-Rich is more talented than Diaw, Bell and Singletary combined. Richardson gives the Suns their first genuine stud swingman since Joe Johnson left for Atlanta, which will inherently help them score more.
However, in the last year, Suns GM Steve Kerr has ditched their only defensive stoppers up top and on the wing (Bell and Shawn Marion), and it remains to be seen whether this roster can jell with coach Terry Porter's slowed down offense. Richardson's transition may not be any easier. In fantasy terms, J-Rich would have been a statistical monster in Mike D'Antono's run-and-gun offense, but his upside would, and is, limited with Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash playing such large roles. That said, it can't be much more limited than under Bobs coach Larry Brown's thumb. So look for a slight boost across the board for Richardson in Phoenix.
As for Charlotte, Brown gets some much-needed defensive help with Bell, and we could see Diaw work into the starting lineup, too. In fantasy terms, Bell is a one-trick pony with his treys, though he likely will see a small boost in his scoring. Diaw's worth a look to see how things flesh out, but I don't expect him to ever be much of a fantasy force again.
I'm more interested in how long it takes Brown to hand the point-guard keys over full-time to rookie D.J. Augustin, who is much more responsible with the rock than Raymond Felton. With a short roster Wednesday night, both started, but Augustin busted loose for 28 points, seven dimes, four steals and four treys, while Felton was a typical 2-for-11 from the field for six points and four assists. Go grab Augustin now, and you should reap dividends soon.
The Contra Costa Times reported earlier this week that an MRI on Stephen Jackson's ailing left hand revealed that he has only a sprain and no broken bones or damaged ligaments. That's both the good and bad news.
Jackson was hoping the test would let him know exactly what's ailing him and how to fix it. Instead, he's just going to have to deal with what the Times dubbed as "excruciating pain" in his swollen ring and middle fingers when they are hit.
He played just 14 minutes Saturday and skipped Monday's run, but he sandwiched those games with a 26-point, four-triple performance on Friday and last night's 21-point, eight-dime outing.
Jackson's as tough as they come, so expect him to keep pushing himself and churning out overall quality stats. The irony is that the 38.6 field-goal percentage he's posted in the four games he's struggled though this month is only two percentage points off last month's 40.6. Healthy or not, Jackson's not going to help you win in that category.
Joseph Addai missed all of Wednesday's practice due to his bothersome shoulder. Colts coach Tony Dungy said yesterday that Addai may miss this weekend's game due to the malady and that recently signed running back Najeh Davenport "could be playing right away." There's not much need to grab Davenport off waivers, because he'd back up Dominic Rhodes if Addai sits. What makes Rhodes particularly enticing in fantasy terms is that the Colts face the pathetic Lions in Week 15, which would make Rhodes a solid starter in any format. You'll need to stay tuned as game-time approaches, but don't hesitate to use Rhodes if Addai is inactive.
Derrick Ward: Elsa/Getty Images
Other running back waiver snags to consider for Week 15:
According to the L.A. Times, Chris Kaman said he thought his strained left arch might keep him out until Christmas, though he's hoping it'll heal up a little quicker. "Maybe a little bit before, maybe a little bit after Christmas," Kaman said. "It's just a slow-healing thing. Obviously, I've got to wait till it's healthy. I don't want to come back early and keep dealing with this all year. I'm not going to rush into it." Realistically, he won't be up to speed until early next month, but if you're looking to acquire blocks on the cheap, Kaman makes for a quality buy-low option.
There's nothing like a second chance in life, and the same thinking applies to fantasy football, as well. SI.com presents the ultimate fantasy game for owners whose dreams of a fantasy title went unfulfilled in the regular season, or the greedy owners who simply covet two championships in the same year: Facebook's Postseason Fantasy Football.
This test of fantasy survival is like no other game you've ever played, but it'll call on your keen abilities to predict the future -- one NFL week at a time. Are you game? Are you savvy enough to bring your fantasy expertise to a whole new level? This is a golden opportunity to win a slew of fantastic prizes, along with getting one last shot at redemption after taking Tom Brady in Round 1 of your fantasy-league draft.