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Unraveling perplexing NBA predicaments
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Doesn't it seem like some teams have too many players for their own good?

Share the wealth with the have-nots!

For one, it would make the fantasy landscape less muddled. Here we are, several weeks before the NBA season gets underway, and we still have plenty of glaring questions left unanswered.

Let's try to make sense of some of these uncertain situations.

Boston Celtics: Shooting guard - Boston signed Jason Terry and Courtney Lee, re-signed Jeff Green and expects Avery Bradley back in December. What was already an inconclusive situation got even more confusing when the Celtics signed Leandro Barbosa on Wednesday. Barbosa can back up point guard Rajon Rondo and plays some shooting guard.

Terry seems like the safest fantasy pick here, but it's unreasonable to expect him to reach last season's averages with so many mouths to feed. Barbosa will likely get most of his minutes relieving Rondo, while Green will sub in for Paul Pierce, which limits their fantasy value since Rondo and Pierce played 37 and 34 minutes per game last season, respectively.

Philadelphia 76ers: Sixth man - Thaddeus Young, Nick Young and Dorell Wright all want to shoot the ball, but there's only one plus limited minutes for all three off the bench. Thaddeus Young, who has been with Philadelphia for five seasons, should lead both Nick Young and Wright in minutes this season and is the most reliable fantasy play, but don't discount Wright's 3-point shooting ability. Nick Young can be left on the draft board or free agent wire.

Indiana Pacers: Point guard - George Hill performed admirably after becoming Indiana's starting PG at the end of last season, and the Pacers even shipped Darren Collison out of town. However, Indiana turned around and signed D.J. Augustin. We could see an even split in minutes between Hill and Augustin, giving both players marginal fantasy value at best.

Washington Wizards: Shooting guard - Bradley Beal may be the team's best healthy player already with John Wall out until late November. However, last year's starting SG Jordan Crawford never saw a shot he didn't like and the Wizards also have Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza vying for playing time on the perimeter. Value Beal's talent and upside as he should be the top player to emerge from this group, but his short-term value is limited by Washington's sheer volume of perimeter players with similar skill sets.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Shooting guard - Rookie Dion Waiters has the most upside, but he's been shooting bricks (15-for-44 from the field this preseason) while C.J. Miles and Daniel Gibson have been finding some success. If I was drafting right now, I'd take Waiters because I think he'll find his shot and have some big games. However, Miles will prove to be the more consistent, albeit less spectacular player.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Small forward - 2011 No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams seemed like an obvious breakout candidate before Minnesota brought in two players who didn't play an NBA minute last season in Andrei Kirilenko and Brandon Roy. The Timberwolves also traded a first-round draft pick for Chase Budinger and tried to sign restricted free agent small forward Nicolas Batum to a contract before the deal was matched by Portland. That may indicate the team isn't too confident in Williams.

Kevin Love's broken hand may open the door for Williams to get some minutes at power forward, but if you have to choose from the three, take both Kirilenko and Budinger before Williams. Kirilenko will help your fantasy team in more ways than Williams and Budinger can do more with less shots due to his outside shooting ability.

Sacramento Kings: Both guard spots - Here's another squad that could benefit from a rule change that allows teams to shoot two basketballs at a time. Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, Aaron Brooks, John Salmons and Francisco Garcia all want their shots and the team's best game plan is dumping the ball inside to DeMarcus Cousins.

Thornton is valuable for his scoring and 3-point shooting, but he's going a bit high (43.5 ADP) considering the team has so many shooting guards looking for playing time.

Sacramento coach Keith Smart wants to try Evans at small forward, but he reportedly objects to that strategy. Still, at an ADP of 68.1 in Yahoo! leagues, Evans is a steal -- despite his shortcomings, the former Memphis star is super athletic and provides fantasy teams with scoring, rebounding, assists and steals as well as a solid free-throw percentage. However, with Evans still looking to handle the basketball, stay lukewarm on Thomas duplicating his numbers from last season, especially with Brooks lurking.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.


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