Opportunity has knocked for Thomas Robinson with a trade from the dysfunctional Kings to the playoff contending Rockets. Robinson goes from averaging 15.9 MPG with the Kings to a possible 25-30 MPG gig with the Rockets. There’s not much competition for PT in Houston at this point. Patrick Patterson was averaging 25.9 MPG and Marcus Morris saw 21.4 MPG this season in Houston. They are now in Sacramento and Phoenix. Royce White is out of shape in the D-League while Chandler Parsons, Francisco Garcia and Carlos Delfino could take away minutes if the Rockets decide to go with smaller lineups.
Robinson was averaging 4.8 PPG and 4.7 RPG so far this season. His per 36 minutes rates are 11.0 PPG with 10.6 RPG. The number 5 overall pick of the 2012 draft inexplicably couldn’t find a role in the Kings rotation. I thought Robinson would make a significant impact right away due to his NBA type body, skill set, and high level of college competition. The more experienced Jason Thompson takes up most of the minutes at power forward in Sacramento. However, Thompson can be inconsistent and I believe doesn’t have as high of a ceiling as Robinson. What the Kings are trying to do at this point is anyone’s guess. I was confused why Robinson couldn’t play more in Sacramento, but the move to ship him out after half a season is a head scratcher. Saving a bit of money shouldn’t supersede putting out a competitive team.
The Kansas product lacks a consistent mid-range jumper and polished post moves. Playing with James Harden should help to elevate his offensive game around the basket. His ability to defend bigs in the pick and roll will certainly help Kevin McHale’s squad. Rockets GM Daryl Morey has added another solid move to his resume. Fantasy owners looking to add a solid move to their resume should race to waivers and pick up Robinson.
I play in multiple fantasy baseball leagues and have never owned Josh Hamilton. There’s a strong chance I never will. The power numbers should make the case for owning Hamilton a slam dunk with over 25 hr and 90 RBI 4 out of the last 5 years. 2010 saw Hamilton win a batting title to the tune of a .359 avg. and an AL MVP Award. His offensive wins above replacement player for 2010 was 7.3. That total dropped down to 3.3 in 2011. In 2012 Hamilton hit 43 ding-dongs with 128 RBI and .285 avg. with a 4.4 offensive wins above replacement player. The first half of 2012 was ridiculous with 27 ding-dongs and 75 RBI.
I still won’t draft Josh Hamilton in any of my fantasy baseball drafts this year. Hamilton’s previous drug use is at the center of my logic. Fear of Hamilton relapsing isn’t part of my thought process. The fact of the matter is Hamilton has missed too many games for my liking. Here’s his career breakdown of games played each season along with the malady of injuries suffered.
2007 90 games 2 DL stints Gastroenteritis/sprained right wrist.
2008 156 games knee inflammation/hand contusion/tooth abscess/foot contusion
2009 89 games 2 DL stints strained rib muscle/sports hernia
2010 133 games knee/hamstring/fractured ribs
2011 121 games DL fractured right humerus/offseason sports hernia surgery
2012 148 games groin/back stiffness/ocular keratitis
In my opinion Hamilton will turn 32 in May, but is what I describe as an old 32. There’s a lot of unknown wear and tear on his body. How much of these injuries is a result of the previous drug usage we will never know. I wouldn’t bank on Hamilton making it thru the season without missing some time. Playing him some at DH would be a way to help with the wear and tear, but Hamilton is only a career .245 hitter in 212 AB (240 PA) as a DH. His career numbers at Angel Stadium are a .260 avg and 5 ding-dongs with 19 RBI in 150 AB (166 PA). The dramatic weight loss this winter is attributed to eating better and cutting down his caffeine intake. At the end of the 2012 campaign, the caffeine problem led to ocular keratitis which is a condition that dries the cornea from too much caffeine consumption.
Hamilton is certainly one of the most physically gifted players in the game today. With his inability to stay healthy possibly coming to the forefront with age, I recommend fantasy owners to stay away from Josh Hamilton. There are too many good hitters out there to spend an early pick or big auction money on a player with such a significant injury history. My guess is there’s a segment of Rangers management and the Rangers fan base that is glad Hamilton is on someone else’s roster. Once the injuries start you’ll be happy Hamilton is on someone else’s roster too.
Midway thru his 5th NBA season, Michael Beasley’s career has been a disappointment so far. Beasley hasn’t developed into a franchise building block for Suns while previously flaming out with the Wolves, and Heat. Year 1 in Phoenix hasn’t gone well as Beasley is averaging just 10.8 PPG while starting only 20 of 47 games played this year. Shooting 40.3% from the floor and 33% from downtown isn’t going to lead to more playing time. His offensive win share so far this season is at -1.5. The Player Efficiency Rating so far this campaign is at 11.6, while the league average is 15. The biggest knock on his game is that in each season of his NBA career Beasley has more turnovers than assists. Thru his first 5 seasons Kevin Durant also had more turnovers than assists each season. Beasley and Durant are childhood friends that coming out of college were viewed to be similar type players. Their NBA careers are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Beasley’s career Win Share is at 9.3 while Durant checks in at 62.8.
Beasley’s game hasn’t rounded out to help in other areas. He doesn’t defend, rebound, or get other players involved in the offense. Beasley’s scoring doesn’t come from within the confines of the team’s offense. Chucking up a bunch of shots will eventually buildup into points. His statistics are empty and don’t translate to winning basketball. The losses shouldn’t completely lie at Beasley’s feet, but he certainly hasn’t helped matters. A career offensive win share of 0.8 for a scorer speaks volumes.
The Suns are in last place in the Pacific Division at 17-34 and 19th in the NBA in scoring at just 95.4 points per game. The Suns are 22nd in the NBA giving up 100.2 points per game. Fewer fans are watching in Phoenix as well as they’re 25th out of 30 in attendance. Head coach Alvin Gentry was put out of his misery and Lindsey Hunter has taken over. In the 10 games since Hunter took over, Beasley has averaged 16.1 PPG shot 47.2 % from the floor and averaged 25.3 MPG.
The fact of the matter is this; Phoenix should be playing for more ping-pong balls this summer. It’s crystal clear there’s a lack of talent on this current Suns roster. The locker room may also be one of the messiest in the Association. This current construction of the Suns roster may not be together after the trade deadline and certainly not next season. Whatever problems exist in the locker room is irrelevant at this point as the team should be in sell/tank/develop mode.
Marcin Gortat has no interest in signing an extension. Luis Scola is a serviceable player that could round out a contender’s bench. Jared Dudley and Shannon Brown maybe could help out on a contender’s bench. Jermaine O’Neal has nothing left in the tank and just serves as a vocal presence. Goran Dragic is the closest thing they have to a building block. Markieff Morris is a talented project that has a long long way to go. The long term prospects of Kendall Marshall, P.J. Tucker, Luke Zeller, Wesley Johnson, and Diante Garrett remain to be seen. Beasley is under contract thru the 2014-15, however the last year isn’t fully guaranteed. Since Beasley will be with the club for the near future, why not give him an extended run. There are 2 good things that can happen if Beasley plays more minutes. The Suns will get to fully see if Beasley will ever develop into a building block. The Suns may lose more games increasing their ping-pong ball total in the hopper.
Fantasy owners should monitor this situation closely as more minutes leads to more potential for opportunity. Beasley did average 19.2 PPG for the Wolves in 2010-11 while playing a career high 32.3 MPG. That Wolves team did also finish 17-65. Keep in mind the NBA team’s records don’t matter for fantasy owners. Whether the production is empty by NBA standards also doesn’t matter. Points are points no matter how you slice it in the fantasy game.