NBA

DIME FANTASY LAB: Keeper kibitzing

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foxsports admin

 
   
 
While there's nothing else you, the talented fantasy baller, can do now to help your team win this season, besides a desperation wire dive to snag a or a , you can get the jump on next season with some Sleeper Keepers. If your league lets you carry over three or four of five keepers for next season's squad, consider the Lab's reasoning for some of these potential holdovers.

Centers

, Chi — This whirlpool of a man is rapidly developing at the hardest position to fill in basketball, real or fantasy. He leads the League in field-goal percentage and will see increased touches this coming year. If you have doubts, remember how he helps you avoid the ever-dangerous position scarcity issue. , Ind — He's tough, he's nasty and he's also got a feathery soft touch from the stripe. There aren't as many good shooting big men as you might suspect and B-Mill can hang with nearly all of them. Another All-Star season lies in wait. , Den — With a -type body and an increased understanding of the American game, Nene will be nasty next year. Denver probably will land two decent free agents. If one is a point guard, Nene will be a happy man. , LAC — If you get lucky, Kandi will end up filling The Admiral's shoes as 's best buddy in San Antonio. Holding down the center spot alongside TD has done wonders for Robinson's career. This bunch may have a title before this season is over, but either way, someone needs to pick up Robison's slack and Kandi would flourish there.

Forwards

and , Uta — When The Mailman switches routes to a new zip code, and trust us he will, these two ripe ballers will blossom as the frontcourt of the future for Utah. AK-47 was a terror in limited minutes this season. Imagine boatloads of steals and swats coupled with double-double potential. Harpring will see many more plays run for him and should really build on his breakout year. They better hope that either Stockton or sticks around. , Ind — One year further removed from the devastating ACL injury and another notch on his maturity belt, Al is poised for big things in '03-'04. Whenever one of Indy's starters has been out with injury, Al swoops in and dominates the game. Now that Reggie is one year older and slower, it's Al's time to shine. , Pho — The growth potential from Year One to Year Two is ginormous. Twenty and 10 isn't out of the question. , Orl — Consider his success since becoming a member of the and more importantly, T-Mac's top teammate. Gooden had three years of tutelage down at the big man factory called Kansas so he's much more developed then the majority of recent NBA draftees. He's worth the gamble. , Chi — As soon as he gets this esophagus problem cleaned up, Tyson will no longer be scraping the surface of his potential, he'll be reveling in it. , N.J. — This cat's maturation is simply uncanny. He's had two years of pure brilliance in the League. Even without a J-Kidd to lead the break, Jefferson will be a bona fide stud next season. , N.Y. — The Lab isn't one to go recommending an injured player, but McDyess just doesn't feel like damaged goods. , , — all damaged goods. Dice not so much. You can probably steal him off the waiver wire now and see if he ends up balling for the USA this summer. He has the talent to warrant the risk as your last keeper. , Orl — Don't do it, man. No matter what you may idiotically think, it's not a good idea.

Guards

and Manu Ginobili, S.A. — These two have come on like gangbusters in the second half and are the real reason the seem like the favorite to win it all. The playoffs will give this backcourt duo plenty of time to work out the getting-to-know-you kinks. Both Manu and Le Petit Point are on the verge of something special at their respective positions. Don't miss the boat. , Mil — All signs point to packing his bags yet again, especially if GP sticks around. Redd has quietly hones his skills as an expert marksman and will thrive as the starting 2-guard. For comparison's sake, think Cat Mobley with more boards and more dimes. You should probably hold on to Cat, too. , Sea — Don't be afraid of him. Brother Barry has been a consistent threat for two straight years now. He feels comfortable sharing backcourt duties with Ray and is a positive contributor in nearly every category. Good luck the rest of this season. Remember it's never too early to ponder the next one. Peacetos.
Tagged: Bulls, Nuggets, Heat, Bucks, Magic, Spurs, Tyson Chandler, Alonzo Mourning, Denver, Kansas, Utah, Nene Hilario, Grant Hill

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