Some 25 centers to keep over Shaq

Updated: February 7, 2008, 10:46 AM ET
By Eric Karabell
If you've been playing fantasy basketball for more than a few years, you know how good Shaquille O'Neal can be. The guy used to be a fantasy monster, a high first-round pick who scored, rebounded, blocked and made his field goals. And he won titles for his NBA teams and fantasy owners. Those days are over, however.

The trade that sent O'Neal from one retirement community in south Florida to another in Arizona might get fantasy owners excited about the prospects for the large, past-his-prime center, based on name value and the potential for what might be. O'Neal is owned in a mere 37.5 percent of ESPN leagues, so that means plenty of owners will see his name available for the taking on their free agent list.

The question is do you really want to take him? What numbers do you expect, and with what frequency? I'll agree with colleague Guy Lake in his trade spin that O'Neal's sore hip probably is going to miraculously heal now that he's gone from the worst team in the league to the best in the West. Amazing what that will do for motivation. What does it do for statistics? And health?