November 07, 2008

For some people, this image of Drew Gooden with his Capt. Jack Sparrow beard is reason enough to trade him.

The season has just begun, so there's no need to overhaul your roster just yet. However, I know that a lot of you are eager to make some trades, so here is my first edition of "Buy Low, Sell High."

This edition features four players who have gotten out of the gates quickly and four players who have gotten off to sluggish starts. Sell high, buy low, and reap the rewards ...

Antawn Jamison, Wizards

His team has played only three games thus far, but Jamison owners must be very disappointed with his poor start. He's made just 20-of-53 field goals, 15-of-21 free throws, and 2-of-14 treys, which has resulted in his lowest scoring average since '03-04 (when he came off the bench for Dallas). To make matters worse, his rebounding average has dropped from a career-high 10.2 last season to just 7.0, and his assists and steals are also well below his career averages. He's usually solid, and his stats will undoubtedly improve, so now is a good time to buy low on the veteran.

Andrew Bynum, Lakers

In the Lakers' first three games, Bynum averaged a measly 25 minutes, 8 points, and 6.7 rebounds per game. However, he also racked up 14 personal fouls in those games, which limited his minutes and production. The youngster strained his rotator cuff recently, but he shrugged it off to grab 17 boards and block four shots on Wednesday. If the Bynum owner in your league is worried about his slow start, he might be willing to trade him for cheap.

Rudy Gay, Grizzlies

Gay is averaging more minutes (37.6 vs. 37.0), more field goal attempts (18.4 vs. 16.7), and more points (20.2 vs. 20.1) so far this season, but the rest of his numbers are down. He's currently shooting just 42 percent from the field, 73 percent from the line, and 20 percent from beyond the arc, and he's making less than half as many threes per game as a result. His rebounds, assists, steals and blocks have also declined, while his turnovers have shot up from 2.3 to 3.2 per game. In my player profiles section of the draft guide, I said that I was "a little worried about him now being the man in Memphis," but if you can get him now at a discounted price, I highly recommend it.

Jason Richardson, Bobcats

After four games, Richardson is averaging just 17 points and 1 three per game, because he's shooting just 40.9 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. He's also grabbing just 1 steal and pulling down only 3.8 rebounds per game, which are well below his career averages of 1.3 steals and 5.4 boards per contest. I'm going to chalk it up to him adjusting to coach Larry Brown, and while he won't duplicate the three threes per game from last season, he's still Charlotte's go-to guy on offense. See if you can buy low right now, because better numbers will be coming shortly.

Spencer Hawes, Kings

I'll give it up to Hawes. The 20-year old has proven that he belongs in the NBA, and his future certainly looks bright. After five games, he's averaging 12.6 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.2 threes per game. His three-point shooting touch has been superb (he's made 6-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc), which makes him a very intriguing fantasy player. However, Brad Miller returns to action on Friday, and he's probably even hungrier to prove himself now that he's seen his replacement play so well in his absence. Hawes has definitely earned a spot in the rotation, and the two 7-footers could play together at times, but I don't think the youngster will be a reliable fantasy option again until Miller gets hurt or traded. While both scenarios are quite possible, I wouldn't want to sit around and wait for something to happen. Try including Hawes in a 2-for-1 deal to see if you can upgrade somewhere.

Roger Mason, Spurs

In my Spurs team preview in early August, I wrote that Mason "could have value if someone gets hurt." I also wrote not to sleep on Tony Parker, and if you picked up either player, you've been rewarded nicely. Manu Ginobili's surgery opened up more minutes for Mason, and (just like last season when he filled in for Gilbert Arenas) he's putting up big-time numbers. In four games, the sharpshooter is averaging 15.8 points, 2.8 assists, and 2.3 threes on a whopping 60.5 percent fronm the field and 64.3 percent from three. The reasons for selling high are obvious: Ginobili is going to return eventually, and Mason won't continue to shoot 64 percent from beyond the arc. So I suggest contacting A) the guy who owns Ginobili, and B) anyone who's desperate for threes, to see if they're interested in Mason. If so, see if you can package him with someone else to land a star player. If not, no worries, because he looks fantastic right now, and you'll get at least another month of solid production out of him.

Chris Kaman, Clippers

After five games, Kaman is averaging 11.8 points, 10.6 boards, and 2 blocks per game. Those are solid numbers, but Marcus Camby has played a total of just 43 minutes heading into Friday. Once Camby's heel heals up, he'll start to steal some of Kaman's boards and blocks. Kaman averaged 12.5 field goal attempts per game in '07-08, but he's attempted more than 12 shots just once thus far, and that was in an overtime game. If you could manage to trade, say, Kaman and Mason for Bynum, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Drew Gooden, Chicago

If you drafted Gooden, you've got to be very pleased thus far. He had one poor performance at Boston (9 points and 4 rebounds in 20 minutes), but if you throw that game out, he's averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds in 33.5 minutes per game. Those numbers are very similar to the ones he posted in 18 games for Chicago at the end of last season, but I don't believe he can sustain this high level of production for a full 82 games. In the Bulls' last game, Gooden got 37 minutes of playing time, while Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah and Aaron Graycombined to play just 28 minutes. This scenario won't happen very often, so enjoy it while you can. And while his new look is at least disturbingly creative, I still can't forgive him for this.

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