Sleeper Spotlight: Al Jefferson vs Ricky Davis
Posted by Erik on September 5, 2007
Al Jefferson – A lot of people have been very excited to see what the big man Al Jefferson can do in Minnesota. Last year he averaged 16 PTS, 11.0 REBS, and 1.5 BLKS, shooting at 51.4% FG, 68.1% FT; while playing in 69 games for Boston. More than decent numbers for a big man. The hype is that his numbers will only get better now that he’s joined the star-depleted Timberwolves. He’s on his 4th year and still has to prove that he can be a consistent go-to guy in the paint for a team. The question a lot of people should be asking themselves is if he’s indeed worth his anticipated Fantasy draft position? The problem here is that there’s so much anticipation regarding Al’s expected production, he’s bordering on NOT being a sleeper. At this point, he should be at least a 20-10 guy with 1.5+ BLKS to merit his draft position. I’m one the guys hoping he’ll fit in the new-look Wolves, and be a monster of a C. Given the possibility that Center eligible players like Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer may potentially loose their C status, he does appear to be sitting atop the fence between the 1st and 2nd string Center list.
Ricky Davis – Now this is the guy I really feel will be tasked to step-up for the Wolves, especially in terms of offense. This long forgotten Fantasy-viable pick averaged 17 PTS, 3.9 REBS, 4.8 ASTS, 1 STL, 1.5 3PTs, 2.6 TOs, while shooting at 46.5 FG% and 83.9 FT% in 81 games for the Timberwolves last season. Now that KG’s gone, the team will more likely look to Ricky to score on the break or slash to the basket for offense. His health permitting, Ricky will produce even better numbers this year. Without a decent PG distributing the ball, look for him to hit around 5-5.5 APG as he dishes to Al when the defense collapses on him when he slashes to the basket. The question still remains whether he can carry a team… Quick answer: NO.
VERDICT: I don’t think either Al Jefferson nor Ricky Davis can individually babysit the Wolves franchise through its rebuilding phase in this post-KG era. They’ll both have to bring their A games night in and night out for their team to get some W’s. Big Al’s C status edges him past Ricky. Come draft day, however, don’t forget this slashing scorer as his numbers this season may end up as a pleasant surprise especially if you can snag him at around the 6th, maybe 7th round.