Hedo Turkoglu: Bob Rosato/SI
On Monday, Hedo Turkoglu's agent, Lon Babby, told the Orlando Sentinel that his client will opt out of the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Hedo restored his value by playing a key role in pushing the Magic to the NBA Finals. I say that because he had a thoroughly disappointing '08-09 regular season following his breakout run the previous campaign. His scoring dropped from 19.5 to 16.8 ppg. But far more disturbing was seeing his FG% plummet from a career-high 45.6 to 41.3 percent and his three-point FG% drop from 40.0 to 35.6.
While that's a concern, he proved at the game's highest level that he has a rare combination of skills: At 6-foot-10, he can handle and dish the rock, drop threes and hit mid-range shots with fluidity.
These are traits a number of teams will be interested in adding, so the Magic may have some serious financial decisions to make if they want to keep him in the fold. Staying in Orlando probably would be ideal for his fantasy value, though, because he'd be assured of getting plenty of touches, dimes and threes.
I don't typically spend much time discussing trade rumors unless it's a move that I think is likely to happen. That's definitely the case with the ongoing rumblings that the Suns might deal Shaquille O'Neal to the Cavs, a swap that probably would send Ben Wallace and perhaps Sasha Pavlovic to the desert (though buyouts likely would ensue for them).
The deal would make sense on a number of levels. First, I think both teams have poor GMs who have made some really terrible personnel decisions, and a deal like this would help them repent to their fans.
The Suns' Steve Kerr never should have acquired Shaq in the first place. Not when he has a young superstar big-man in Amare Stoudemire. And the Cavs' Danny Ferry never should have acquired an over-the-hill Wallace at a top-dollar price. We all saw the results of this decision as Dwight Howard destroyed Cleveland's feeble frontcourt in the postseason and sent the Cavs home early.
While the moves should help the NBA teams involved, what would the fantasy aftereffects be? With Shaq out of Phoenix and Steve Nash's skills regressing, Stoudemire would have a legit shot at posting career-best numbers. If turned completely loose, the mobile big man has the skills to average 30 points, 10+ boards and 2+ blocks per game. A more realistic expectation might be 28 points, 9.5 boards and 1.6 blocks.
Shaq in Cleveland would pretty much cancel out what little value Zydrunas Ilgauskas might have, though I doubt it would affect LeBron's insane production. I'd expect them to do everything possible to keep Shaq healthy for the playoffs, which could limit the big-man's overall regular-season production. If he stayed healthy -- which is a big "if" -- I'd think he'd average something like 15.5 points, 8 boards and 1.4 blocks.
Browns coach Eric Mangini noted over the weekend that neither Derek Anderson nor Brady Quinn will have an advantage heading into training camp as they compete for the starting job in Week 1.
This isn't really surprising, since either could completely tank during training camp and the preseason. Better to keep your options open when you have a QB who had one great season and one mediocre season battling a first-round draft pick who barely played at all during his first two NFL seasons.
My guess is that Mangini wants Quinn to succeed and will give him the job over Anderson, so long as Quinn doesn't completely tank leading up to Week 1. Mangini has no allegiance to Anderson and undoubtedly is considering the long-term potential of the younger option.
One thing we can be certain of is that neither is going to throw 29 TDs like Anderson did two seasons ago. Mangini's offense will be far more conservative -- plus there's the matter of losing TE Kellen Winslow's offensive output.
I doubt that I'll end up drafting either in leagues that don't start two QBs. And since I was a detractor of Quinn's NFL potential when he came out of college, I'm going to have to see him perform well before I buy into Quinn being a quality fantasy option. QBs can be finicky -- after all, Anderson was a sixth-round pick -- so anything can happen. But I'd recommend using caution when drafting either of them this year.
Vince Young: AP
I recently was asked if there's any sense in holding on to Vince Young in a keeper league. The complicated answer, of course, concerns what it costs to keep him. If it's a 12th-round draft pick or a $2 contract, sure -- especially if it's a league that starts two QBs.
But the question really was: "Forgetting about those factors, is there any reason why I should continue to waste a roster spot on this guy?"
My gut says, "No." I won't speculate on how mentally unstable he may have been last year, because I don't know him. We don't have any real inside knowledge about him, so that would be unfair.
However, he's publicly admitted that he thought about quitting playing football due to the emotional turmoil of being booed by fans last year. That I do find concerning for a QB, a position that requires maximum mental strength to succeed. This is particularly true for a guy whose weakness is passing accuracy.
Of course, any fantasy football veteran knows you never rule anybody out, because you just never know. Young is in fact young (26), so it's entirely possible that he could come out of this ordeal with a newly discovered maturity and inner strength and succeed.
Odds are that he's going to start at QB this season because the man ahead of him, Kerry Collins, is not young (37 years old, in fact). So there's a great likelihood that his body will fail him and open the door for Young.
As I said earlier, I'll take any talented player at the right price, and the price on Young will need to be quite cheap for me to add him to my roster or keep him this year.