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April 16, 11:00 AM ET
Fantasy NBA with Tom Carpenter

Tom Carpenter
  (11:00 AM)

With only two days remaining in the fantasy hoops season, it's time to dig in for one final chat. Let's get right to it!

Stewart (NC)

Will the Pacers starters (i.e. George, West, etc) play tomorrow against Philly? And if not, who are some under the radar players to pick up--from any team. Thanks

Tom Carpenter
  (11:04 AM)

Stewart, since they have the No. 3 seed locked up, I'd be pretty shocked if their starters play much, if at all, in their last couple of games. Tyler Hansbrough, Green, Augustin should all be decent plug-ins for the Pacers. As for other options, I touched on a number of them in this morning's blog entry: http://espn.go.com/fantasy/blog/_/name/boxscore_basketball

Nash (West Islip)

Would you keep Tobias Harris (5th round) over Jrue Holiday (5th round) or Paul George (2nd round)?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:08 AM)

That's a tough call, there, Nash. I think it will depend a lot on how the Sixers and Magic tweak their rosters over the summer. I'd be more inclined to stick with Jrue as a fifth-rounder, because he is established now, plus the departure of Doug Collins should open up their offense next season, which should lead to a bump in Jrue's upside. You should be able to draft George in the second round, so I would pass on keeping him. If Harris ends up looking like the focal point of their offense next season, I'd consider him, but otherwise, I'd take the established point guard in Jrue.

Frank (NYC)

Should I trade Wilt for the Big "O" and Earl "the Pearl" Monroe for the stretch run?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:09 AM)

I would never recommend trading for Oliver Miller. :)

cp (reno)

I am falling in love with Harris(orl) in a keeper league I was set to keep(5) Rondo, Westbrook,KD, Wall and Dwill but no so sure...what ya think?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:12 AM)

Since you have so many PGs, I think you can make a real case for passing on Rondo (due to his ACL) and keeping Harris. As I noted above, Harris' true upside will depend a lot on how the Magic's roster looks come the fall, but if he remains in a big role, adding him to KD and your crew of PGs in Westy, Wall and D-Will, you'd have a very well-rounded backbone to your roster, CP.

Kevin (Chicago)

What do you think Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green could potentially put up next year if Ginobli retires?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:17 AM)

I don't think Manu's presence is affecting them that much at this stage, since he has such a reduced role. Surely, his absence would open up more opportunities for Leonard and Green, but it likely wouldn't lead to a true breakout. It's mostly just on Pop's shoulders at this point. He can give those guys more run and touches next season and Kawhi, in particular, would truly bust out. I do think that is going to be a likely scenario for Kawhi next season, regardless of Manu's situation. I get the feeling that Pop is ready to hand over more responsibility to him, Kevin.

Nafis (SF)

What do you think of Cousins next year? I took the guy in a points league in the first round and he disappointed me this year.

Tom Carpenter
  (11:20 AM)

I had lower expectations than most did for Cousins, Nafis. I did think he'd score a little more, but overall this is about what I thought he'd do. Next season will depend much on whether Keith Smart is still coaching. The ceiling for Cousins remains extraordinarily high, but he will need the right coach in place to bring it out of him -- and Smart doesn't seem to be that guy. He could end up being a great sleeper if his performance this season drops his ADP enough.

Keanu (Honolulu)

Hi Tom, I need someone to get some 3's and assists tonight, can I trust Devin Harris?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:23 AM)

I stopped trusting Harris years ago, so I can't say that he can be trusted, Keanu. On the other hand, he's about as likely as anyone tonight to chip in some dimes and 3s.

Derrick (Garden City)

Hello Tom, will the Bucks play their guys on Wednesday like Monday even though they have their seeding locked up?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:26 AM)

Derrick, I'd expect them to severely limit their starter's minutes Wednesday. Whether that means DNPs or simply an early trip to the bench, I'm not sure, but I would have limited expectations for any of the starters. Should be a good chance for John Henson and the reserves to shine.

Marz Blkman (Woodland Hills, CA)

Tom ... first and foremost, thanks for all your insight this season. I wish I had discovered your live chat sooner. I'm a 7 player keeper league and my potential keepers consists of: Lebron, Durant, Westbrook, Rubio, Anthony Davis, Ibaka and J-Noah. I wanted to get your outlook for Noah's production next season. Reason being, I believe he's hit his ceiling and with Rose returning next season I don't see him attaining those stats again. I'm seriously considering the gamble of replacing Noah with Valanciunas. Thoughts?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:31 AM)

Thanks, Marz! Um, that's a hell of a nice set of keepers you have. Noah likely has hit his ceiling on scoring, but he was only taking two more shots per game this season than he did a year ago, so Rose's return shouldn't affect that much. The rest of his stats are easily attainable, he'll be over his plantar fasciitis and is in his prime. In other words, I'd stick with Noah as the safe and steady center. I love JV's potential, but he has a lot to learn still. More importantly, you should have little trouble drafting Valanciunas at a reasonable spot, whereas Noah surely will be an early-rounder. Stick with Noah.

Mitch (DC)

I'm in the fourth year of a keeper league with friends from high school. I sold high (or at least pre-high injury risk) on Melo and Dwill earlier this season and it looks like I got enough back to hopefully win the league for the first time. It's a head to head league and I get three keepers with no penalties based on draft position. Definitely keeping harden but also need to choose two of Anthony Davis, Rubio, Teague, Nowitzki, Josh Smith, and Monta Ellis. Thanks for the help

Tom Carpenter
  (11:36 AM)

Hey, Mitch. Where Monta and Smoove end up this offseason as free agents will have a huge impact on your decision. Unless they end up in a great spot for stat production, I'd lean toward the young guns of Anthony Davis and Ricky Rubio, which would give you a nice backbone of scoring (Harden), dimes and steals (Rubio), and big-man stats (Davis).

Lakerz4life (LA)

Hi Tom do you think derrick rose is a good 2nd or 3rd rounder and how do you think pau will di next season? Thank you in advanced

Tom Carpenter
  (11:39 AM)

I think that Rose won't last into the third round next season. Considering how long it will have been since his surgery by the time next season starts, I may be the guy pulling the trigger on Rose late in the first round. His upside remains top 3 and that should outweigh questions about his health at that point.

Lawrence (French Lick, IN) [via mobile]

Any chance LeBron, aka The Guy Who Carries My Team, plays tomorrow?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:41 AM)

I would not expect him to play ... and if he does, play, I'd expect a limited number of minutes.

setting the Pace (the city of Indiana)

expectations for T. Hansbrough tomorrow? big boards ahead?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:42 AM)

Yeah, should be a double-double threat with great percentages ... and literally nothing else stat-wise.

Brett (Tallahassee)

After Brandon Jenning's recent disaster...I'm thinking about running Javale Mcgee out for him tomorrow. Trying to win the % battle.

Tom Carpenter
  (11:44 AM)

Brett, I'd make that move if you're in a tight FG% battle. Jennings is apt to take a ton of shots and likely miss most of them. McGee is steady in FG% and could see some extra run and touches tomorrow night.

Frank (NYC)

Who's Oliver Miller? Lol, I meant Oscar Robertson :). Now that was a player!

Tom Carpenter
  (11:47 AM)

C'mon ... the Really Big O! http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/553/oliver-miller ... Seriously, though, I literally salivate every time I consider what Oscar Robertson would have been as a fantasy stud!

Travis (San Antonio) [via mobile]

Tom, in a vacuum which is a better keeper D-Rose or John Wall?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:50 AM)

Ever since Wall came into the league, I figured he would be an eventual first-round pick in fantasy, Travis. He's shown signs this season that he may be on his way to that spot, but Rose is already there (obviously, assuming he's over his knee by the fall). I'll take Rose over Wall, even though I do think Wall will be in Rose's company sooner than later.

Dan (Vermont)

I'm keeping Kyrie and Harden as 2 of my 3 keepers. They fill 5 cats, so for balance I figured my last keeper should dominate the remaining 3 cats: fg pct, Rebs and blocks. Am I crazy keeping Sanders over Ibaka or M.Gasol? He rebounds better than either one and blocks more shots than Gasol, all with a nice fg pct. is my logic flawed? Should I keep the most talented, rather than shooting for balance?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:54 AM)

Dan, I think that's completely logical. However, as will be the case in many situations, a final call on that should wait until after offseason roster moves have been made. The caveat with keeping Sanders over those more established players is that Sanders needs to remain the unquestioned starting center for the Bucks next season. In that role, I see little reason why he wouldn't maintain his recent pace of success.

Courtland Cuevas (Madison, WI)

If Brandon Jennings decides to leave Milwaukee, should the Bucks trade Ellis also for a higher pick in the draft and future first round picks?

Tom Carpenter
  (11:59 AM)

Honestly, I will be surprised if Jennings leaves, because he would have to find a team willing to shell out enough cheddar that the Bucks wouldn't want to match it. That seems unlikely to me. As for trading Ellis, I'm not sure that's likely, either. He's a versatile scorer and stat stuffer, but I'm not sure that winning teams see him as a great fit ... and teams that need a stat stuffer aren't likely to give up first-round pick(s) to get him. I think it's more likely that Jennings sticks and Monta walks this offseason by using his ETO.

Kurtis, TX [via mobile]

In a 'Most Category' league (8 categories) what are some recommendation(s) for a tie breaker?

Tom Carpenter
  (12:01 PM)

Use nine categories next season! lol ... I am not a fan of 8-cat H2H leagues for that exact reason. I think going with most points scored is a typical tiebreaker, though.

Tom Carpenter
  (12:03 PM)

Well, that is a wrap on our chats for this season. It's truly been a pleasure rapping with you all, and I can't wait to get back at it in the fall. Best of luck to everon in the waning hours of the fantasy season! Tom