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Fantasy Fix: What does Shaq have left in the tank?

Chris Gingrich

Besides the draft Thursday night, there was other action going on around the NBA.

The biggest news, at least in terms of trades, had to be Shaquille O’Neal going to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Sasha Pavlovic and Ben Wallace.

This was a move made by the Phoenix Suns to get rid of O’Neal’s expiring contract and not much else.

Honestly, I’m pretty skeptical about O’Neal in Cleveland. Will LeBron James still be able to get to the hoop with Shaq in the paint? I’m not entirely convinced O’Neal can keep up with the likes of Dwight Howard in the Eastern Conference, either.

If the Cavaliers hope to keep James in town after next season, they’re going to have to do more than bring in an aging big man.

The other big trade that made some waves was the Vince Carter to the Orlando Magic deal.

The Magic acquired Carter in exchange for Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee and Tony Batite. The Magic also acquired Ryan Anderson as part of the deal.

This is a move that makes sense to me seeing as how Orlando swingman Hedo Turkoglu opted out of his contract with the Magic.

The Magic lineup would still prove to be a formidable opponent without Turkoglu.

In terms of fantasy impact, this draft might leave something to be desired seeing as how there are only a few players who can have an immediate impact for their teams.

Overall No. 1 pick Blake Griffin, from the University of Oklahoma, is the most likely to have an immediate impact because of his great work ethic and the fact that he is going to get playing time in Los Angeles, even if it is as a Clipper.

From there, it’s hard to tell.

If I was to pick a few players, minus the obvious choice in Griffin, of who I think would have value in fantasy basketball this fall, I would start with James Harden, out of Arizona State.

He can drive the lane and finish, hit the outside shot and can pass. He should be ready to go from day one for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Another rookie I’d be willing to put in my lineup would have to be Jrue Holliday, who was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers.

He has the size, speed and overall athleticism to make him a great player in the NBA. He also has a sweet shot and can drive the lane pretty much at will.

I’m not buying into the hype that Tyler Hansbrough will fizzle once he gets to the NBA, either.

The guy has a great work ethic, a great attitude and he accomplished all there is to accomplish at the collegiate level.

People say he’s not athletic enough for the NBA and that he’s not a true small forward or a true power forward.

Didn’t they say the same things about Larry Bird when he was drafted?

Stay cool folks, and I’ll see you next week with some fantasy baseball news.


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