Depending on your league size and settings, there are a host of players you should steer clear of and if you have to draft them because you’re in a deeper league, then do not draft this group too early. There are other players with a great deal of upside to them, so draft wisely if you want your team to stay competitive.
PART 1 of 2 (PG’s, SG’s, and SF’s)
1. Steve Nash-PG-Lakers- Almost seems sacrilegious to list Nash among players to avoid drafting too early but we don’t see the veteran ex-Suns superstar playing more than 60 games this season. His assists took a major drop last year and there is little reason to believe it will change now given that Kobe will not play this month and has no timetable for his return from a ruptured achilles. Draft a point guard with potential, not one with merely strong name-value.
2. Greivis Vasquez-PG-Kings- Sacramento’s backcourt reminds me of a Mike Shanahan’s running backs…’a committee of several’. In Sacramento, although a great pickup for the Kings, Greivis will undoubtedly end up as part of a committee with Isaiah Thomas (a much better defender) and rookie Ray McCallum all sharing the minutes at point guard. Both Thomas and Vasquez will make for latter round pickups.
3. Joe Johnson-SG-Nets- The Nets went out in the off-season and stock piled a host of talented role players making some of their usual starters forced to share the minutes available. Joe “ISO” Johnson will have Jason Terry and Alan Anderson clamoring for playing time and along with several other newly acquired offensive weapons, Johnson, whose game has already begun to decline, will probably end up being over-drafted.
4. Dwayne Wade-SG-Heat- Too risky to draft too early, and even though Wade will probably go in the first 2 rounds in most leagues, we’re recommending that you wait until at least the third round if possible. His knees have been a major concern over the past several seasons and it’s the main reason why he shied away from taking his trademark jumper in the Finals. He is too much of an injury risk to grab that early and is destined to disappoint.
5. Paul Pierce-SF-Nets- We are not suggesting to avoid drafting Pierce altogether, but be mindful that he’ll share minutes with Andrei Kirilenko. Pierce has already gone on record saying that he is ready to assume the position of a ‘role player’ indicating that his numbers will be nowhere near what they averaged when he was with the Celtics. The Nets are just too deep a team for many of their players to realize their full value from past seasons.
6. Danilo Gallinari-SF-Nuggets- After undergoing knee surgery in the off-season, the former Knick is not expected to return until late January or early February leaving Wilson Chandler as a prime candidate for Sleeper material. Chandler will be someone you should look to grab with Gallo’s season as questionable as it is. We wouldn’t even suggest stashing Gallinari as we don’t know how he will perform when he does return.