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Dear RotoRob: How’s My NBA Team Looking?

November 2, 2008 | By RotoRob | comment on this post

Dear RotoRob,

It’s that time of year again and I could use your sage advice. I just had my fantasy basketball draft. The format is 12 teams, H2H with FG percentage, FT percentage, 3-pointers made, Points, Rebounds, Assists, Steals, Blocks and Turnovers. We start: G, G, F, F, C and two utility spots (with four bench players). I drafted 10th overall and we have since decided to add another bench spot (five in total), so I would have the third pick off the waiver wire.

I need help evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of my team, and picking from the waiver wire.

1st Kevin Garnett
2nd Josh Smith
3rd Rudy Gay
4th Jason Kidd
5th Mike Miller
6th Tyson Chandler
7th Leandro Barbosa
8th Raymond Felton
9th Marcus Williams
10th Nene Hilario
11th Thaddeus Young

Players available on the wire include Monta Ellis (I shouldered the Gilbert Arenas load all last year and it crippled my team), Ronnie Brewer, Matt Barnes, Wilson Chandler, Tyrus Thomas, Jordan Farmar, Chris Duhon, Mickael Pietrus, Rodney Stuckey, Bobby Simmons, Andray Blatche, Paul Millsap, Sean May, (Ricky Davis?), etc.

Thanks for your help.



Well, I see a lack of assists outside of Kidd. Felton has lost the Bobcats confidence (and could be overtaken by D.J. Augustin) and Williams was supposed to take over for Baron Davis in Golden State, but hasn’t even played yet, and is clearly not fitting in with Don Nelson. Nene is off to a great start, but is going to be a bust if he can’t stay healthy for more than one straight game, so I would want the bench player to be a big man. From what you listed, I’d pick up Thomas, Blatche followed by May. Millsap is a season away from getting his minutes (he is waiting for Carlos Boozer to bolt or possibly be dealt).

Dear RotoRob,

Do any of you have one available or can you offer a written rule on when to veto a trade?

I’m the commissioner of a custom Yahoo! basketball league where most of us are in our second year together and we switched from a voting format to a situation where the commissioner decides on vetoing deals.

Last year, when I solicited input and votes we would get five or six strong opinions, but not enough votes in a 20-team format to overturn trades that many of us thought were unfair.

Now that I am the dictator, I’m trying to come up with an impartial rule (after the fact). My sense is that a trade should be vetoed for one of three reasons: (a) If it appears that the two teams are the same person or colluding together to make another team obviously better; (b) If one of the owners appeared to have been lacking important information such as a recent injury/actual NBA trade that should be considered; or (c) If an owner is extremely novice, and unfamiliar with the scoring system of the league.

This last one is the fuzziest – any help on cleaning it up?

This might be good column to write on – perhaps?




I can’t go into your league because I am not a member of it. But, a trade should only be vetoed when collusion is involved or the trade is so lopsided that it is in the best interest of the league to protect an owner from himself. I don’t like the idea of telling someone how to run their team unless it is absolutely necessary.

Now, with that being said, if team A trades, say, Larry Hughes to team B for T.J. Ford and Team B didn’t know Hughes was going to miss four-to-six weeks, that is Team B’s call. Ask him if he knew about the injury and if he still wants to do it. I am the Commish of a league and if I see something like that I will give all the insider info I have on injuries to both teams and ask if they still want to do it or not. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.

What I will also do if I think a trade is lopsided is I will ask for reasoning for the trade before I veto it. And, I say it just like that so they know my position and I want to know why trades are made before I decline them. If they make a strong case, fine. If they don’t, veto! Saying some stupid crap like “Ya, I traded Jose Calderon for Ford because now that Ford is running the offense in Indiana, he is going to bust out with Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy.” Uh, I am a writer for the Pacers and I am with the team all the time, and I say no he won’t! Jarrett Jack will steal minutes from him. Ford is a top 20-ish PG, but his injury history is too much of a concern to deal him for a viable top 10 PG. Veto!

Basically, you can’t make everyone run their team as you run yours. The veto button is only to be used for collusion or extremely lopsided trades. Just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t mean it isn’t a fair deal. You may take a hit at PG because you have depth there to pick up a C because you are weak there. Most people will look at those stupid Yahoo! rankings and say “No. 102 ranked for No. 68, that ain’t fair!” But, centres generally get lower overall rankings because their stats are rebounds, blocks, and FG% mostly. Use it sparingly, grasshopper! Hope that helps clear it up for you.

Here’s the deal Matt was talking about:

Chauncey Billups, Lamar Odom, Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen for Russell Westbrook, Robin Lopez, Andrea Bargnani and Manu Ginobili.

And James’ response to this proposed trade:

I just got the actual trade e-mail now. Based on what I see, I’d veto it. What he gets back is really just Manu and he is ranked around the lower end of the top 20 for SGs. Bargnani is coming off the bench behind Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Bosh. Lopez isn’t even in the rotation now, so you can’t count on anything from him. Westbrook isn’t a true PG and couldn’t win the job from Earl Watson! Maybe he overtakes him at some point in the season, but not to start.

On the other side, Odom is a legit top 15 SF and Billups is a top 6-8 fantasy PG. Okay, Haslem isn’t much, but right now he’s starting at C for the Heat with Michael Beasley at PF and he’s playing very well. Andersen shouldn’t have even been drafted! Nene is the starter and Steven Hunter (when healthy) is in the mix. Every star in the sky would have to align for Anderson to have fantasy value in your draft.

Basically, I’d say the guy who gets Odom and Billups get twice the deal as the other GM.

Haslem = Bargnani or Lopez
Manu = Odom
Westbrook = Anderson
Billups is supposed to be worth Bargnani or Lopez? Heck no!

I’d veto it.

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