Fantasy owners who couldn’t wait to see Calderon
with a full-time starting gig got their wish this offseason when T.J. Ford was sent packing in the Jermaine O’Neal deal. Make no mistake about it: Calderon
was one of the league’s best point guards when filling in for the injured Ford last season. He averaged 13.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 3-pointers while shooting 53.1 percent from the floor and 91.1 percent from the line in 56 starts. Those are some serious numbers, kids, and Calderon
is primed to have a huge season as the unquestioned starter in Toronto.
The next generation of the power forward position, Bosh
brings unrivaled athleticism and quickness to the post game. We’d like to see a few more blocked shots (1.0) out of our big men, but we can’t complain given that Bosh
is one of the league’s best in shooting percentages at 49.4 percent from the floor and 84.4 percent from the line. His points (22.3) and rebounds (8.7) may suffer slightly with the addition of Jermaine O’Neal, but this is Bosh’s team, and he’ll get his numbers one way or another.
O’Neal, who suffered through injury and inconsistent play last season, posted his worst numbers since his days in Portland with just 13.6 points and 6.8 boards per game. The concern over his balky knee has been replaced by optimism that he’ll find new life playing next to Chris Bosh
in Toronto. Due to his poor 2007-08 numbers, O'Neal’s draft-day value will likely be low, but he could become a nice value pick in the middle rounds, because a healthy and motivated Jermaine still has 18 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks per game in him.
Parker won’t wow you with his upside, but don’t underestimate his fantasy relevance. It is rare to be able to find a player who can hit the 3-pointer while not sacrificing something in field goal percentage. Parker can do just that with 1.6 3-pointers on 47.6 percent shooting from the floor. Someone is going to have to pick up the slack in Carlos Delfino’s (23.5 minutes per game) absence; we think it will be a combination of Jamario Moon and Parker, who averaged 14.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 1.4 3-pointers after the All-Star break. With Delfino gone, Parker should build on that success with a few extra minutes per game.
Coming out of nowhere in his rookie season, Moon earned some fantasy respect for his ability to get after it on the defensive end. His freakish long arms and athleticism lend a hand in producing steals (1.0) and blocks (1.4) in bulk. He’s not much of an offensive player (8.5 PPG), but he can rebound (6.2 RPG) and he’ll even knock down a 3-pointer (0.5 per game) here and there. His numbers are all the more impressive considering the fact that he saw just 27.8 minutes per game. Carlos Delfino’s departure should open the door for a bump in minutes, and Moon could reap the rewards.
Talk about a disappointment. After a promising rookie season, many had high hopes for the former No. 1 pick, but Bargnani
took a big step backwards in his sophomore season, seeing his minutes and averages plunge due to inconsistent play. Il Mago still has the talent to produce in points (10.2), blocks (0.5) and 3-pointers (1.2), but the 22-year-old has some maturing to do before we can predict a breakout season. One thing is for sure, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to turn things around. The Raptors
bench is a thin one, and Bargnani
will see plenty of minutes as a sixth man.
Kapono could not repeat his success in Miami in 2006-07, going for just 7.2 points and 0.7 3-pointers in 18.9 minutes per game in his first season in Toronto. As a 3-point specialist, Kapono simply didn’t do enough to warrant any fantasy consideration last year. He’ll be used in a similar fashion this season, and it will take a few injuries for him to get back to his sharpshooting days in Miami.