Points in the Paint

Fantasy Basketball Opinions, Strategy & Tips

The Jason Richardson Conundrum: Buy, Sell or Keep?

Posted by Erik on November 17, 2008

Jason Richardson was drafted in the late second to early third rounds of this year’s fantasy draft. He pretty much played the best season of his career to date last year. He started the year off slow as a lot of stars have been doing, but the question is “Is it a matter of time ’til he gets back into last year’s form, or is it a matter of his new coach’s coaching style?” That folks is the “3rd round draft question”.

Beyond his slow start, many of J-Rich’s fantasy owners got a bid worried when news broke out that he went under the knife to have an exploratory arthroscopy and that he would be out for about a week. Is it time for people to dump him? Or buy him low? Wait things out and weather the storm?

In order to aid everyone in making the best fantasy decision for themselves let’s get a better understanding of what went on in his arthroscopic procedure.

What is Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure orthopaedic surgeons use to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint.

The word arthroscopy comes from two Greek words, “arthro” (joint) and “skopein” (to look). The term literally means “to look within the joint.”

In an arthroscopic examination, an orthopaedic surgeon makes a small incision in the patient’s skin and then inserts pencil-sized instruments that contain a small lens and lighting system to magnify and illuminate the structures inside the joint. Light is transmitted through fiber optics to the end of the arthroscope that is inserted into the joint.

By attaching the arthroscope to a miniature television camera, the surgeon is able to see the interior of the joint through this very small incision rather than a large incision needed for surgery.

The television camera attached to the arthroscope displays the image of the joint on a television screen, allowing the surgeon to look, for example, throughout the knee. This lets the surgeon see the cartilage, ligaments, and under the kneecap. The surgeon can determine the amount or type of injury and then repair or correct the problem, if it is necessary.

How is Arthroscopy performed?

Arthroscopic surgery, although much easier in terms of recovery than “open” surgery, still requires the use of anesthetics and the special equipment in a hospital operating room or outpatient surgical suite. You will be given a general, spinal, or a local anesthetic, depending on the joint or suspected problem.

A small incision (about the size of a buttonhole) will be made to insert the arthroscope. Several other incisions may be made to see other parts of the joint or insert other instruments.

When indicated, corrective surgery is performed with specially designed instruments that are inserted into the joint through accessory incisions. Initially, arthroscopy was simply a diagnostic tool for planning standard open surgery. With development of better instrumentation and surgical techniques, many conditions can be treated arthroscopically.

For instance, most meniscal tears in the knee can be treated successfully with arthroscopic surgery.

After arthroscopic surgery, the small incisions will be covered with a dressing. You will be moved from the operating room to a recovery room. Many patients need little or no pain medications.

Before being discharged, you will be given instructions about care for your incisions, what activities you should avoid, and which exercises you should do to aid your recovery. During the follow-up visit, the surgeon will inspect your incisions; remove sutures, if present; and discuss your rehabilitation program.

The amount of surgery required and recovery time will depend on the complexity of your problem. Occasionally, during arthroscopy, the surgeon may discover that the injury or disease cannot be treated adequately with arthroscopy alone. The extensive “open” surgery may be performed while you are still anesthetized, or at a later date after you have discussed the findings with your surgeon.

What is recovery like after arthroscopy?

The small puncture wounds take several days to heal. The operative dressing can usually be removed the morning after surgery and adhesive strips can be applied to cover the small healing incisions.

Although the puncture wounds are small and pain in the joint that underwent arthroscopy is minimal, it takes several weeks for the joint to maximally recover. A specific activity and rehabilitation program may be suggested to speed your recover and protect future joint function.

It is not unusual for patients to go back to work or school or resume daily activities within a few days. Athletes and others who are in good physical condition may in some cases return to athletic activities within a few weeks. Remember, though, that people who have arthroscopy can have many different diagnoses and preexisting conditions, so each patient’s arthroscopic surgery is unique to that person. Recovery time will reflect that individuality.

SOURCE: www.orthoinfo.org

So the procedure he underwent was diagnostic in nature and not corrective. Let’s be clear about that. Now that the results of his procedure have come up negative, Jason’s owners can breathe a temporary sigh of relief as no damage to his knees were found. The thing is that he did complain about swelling in the first place. This is what prompted the arthroscopy. The bottom line good news is that he does not need to undergo further surgery to correct anything in particular. It seems that his swelling will be taken cared of non-surgically. – Which is a good thing. Let’s just hope that there isn’t anything that will bother his knees in the future.

So he will be back in a week (give or take a few days). Now with regards to his lackluster early performances and fantasy production. That is a project for coach Larry Brown to work on with him and the rest of his teammates in Charlotte. His points, treys, and percentages are off from last year’s. Can he bounce back to a level close to last year’s form? I think he can. He’s a warrior – Uh, I mean a Bobcat – He’s a tough trooper – You know what I mean…

Well I would advise that you hold onto him if you feel if he’s got some upside left in him. Heck trade for him if you believe so and don’t own him. If you do own him and want to offload him so you can sleep better at night, then try to get good value for what you’re losing. He is still the best player in the Bobcats and they WILL try their best to keep him as healthy as possible.

Buyers: I know you will be trying to get him cheap, but he does have some risks attached so be careful with the amount of value you are giving up.

I was a seller recently. I traded J-Rich and Juan Dixon for Derrick Rose and Nick Young in my 18-man H2H. I feel more confident in Derrick’s upside at the moment and so I decided to pul the trigger on that one.

I guess what’s gnawing at me in the back of my head is “What the hell caused the swelling in the first place to prompt an arthroscopy?”; “Can something in his knee still hamper his play?”; “Even if he does become healthy, there’s still no cure for Larry Brown…”

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8 Responses to “The Jason Richardson Conundrum: Buy, Sell or Keep?”

  1. [...] surgery on his knee. Erik at Points in the Paint put together a fairly complete post about what arthroscopy is and how it affects J-Rich, essentially concluding that it’s not a big deal. I’ll disagree: it’s fucking [...]

  2. Arabain said

    Hmm… I’m still not sure whether I should trade Roy and Spencer Hawes for J-Rich and Zydranus. I thought your trade was a losing one. Same thing happening to Iggy… And I traded Joe Johnson for him. Oh well.

  3. Erik said

    Look at Derrick’s line-to-date, it is not too far off from the current performance of J-Rich. In the end I still had to sell him a bit low, I was effectively offloading the injury and not getting something for his return-upside. Larry Brown is a factor beyond health and hope. I am not too sure J-Rich can return to last year’s value – coach is too stifling. If people want Jason on the assumption that he will duplicate last year’s production then I have a feeling they will be disappointed.

  4. [...] Points in the Paint has a post about the decision that Jason Richardson owners are faced with. That being: Buy, Sell, or Keep? (Yes, you could argue that the question applies to every player in the league – but not all of them were drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round) [...]

  5. Patrick said

    Based on J-Rich’s injury history, selling him for anything of value sounds like a good idea to me.

  6. Erik said

    I agree Patrick. In the end, I guess that’s what moved me to let him go for Derrick.

  7. Brendan K. said

    I’m keeping J-Rich with almost full confidence. He was probably the biggest gamble of any of my drafts as a 2nd round pick in the GMTR league, but it was a calculated risk. I don’t think he’ll miss more than a dozen games this season, which is my threshold on whether or not to lower somebody’s value ranking in my mind. Anyway, after a poor start there’s no way I’m selling him now. Even if he regresses across the board he’ll still be an acceptable fantasy player and much better than the scrubs I’m being offered for him. Anyway, way too early in the season to give up on a top 3 round pick.

  8. Chay said

    Based on personal experience.
    Even if you say there is nothing wrong with the knee when they checked.
    That same knee still went through the trauma of having 2 pencil sized apparatuses going in and out of the area.
    Jason Richardson will still require time to recover. And wont be the same for a while.
    Its case to case for each guy anyway. Good decision in letting him go for Derrick.

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