Who do you like, Baron Davis or Gilbert Arenas?
Posted by Erik on September 8, 2008
You’re in the tail end of the 1st round or somewhere early in the second and you feel like picking up a high scoring PG. Dwyane Wade and Allen Iverson have been picked ahead of you so your left with the choice of picking either B-diddy or Agent Zero. Who would you pick?
Gilbert Arenas was a former 1st round shoe-in, an elite scorer who loved to light it up from beyond the arc. He’s was a point or two shy of averaging 30 PPG through the 04-06 seasons, while averaging at least 2.5 treys and 6 assists a night; factor in 1.95 SPG and you had an elite PG to say the least. Unfortunately, he was sidelined for most of last season due injury. He played injured and his stats took a dive like you wouldn’t believe. In spite of last year’s performance, or lack there of, for that matter; the Washington Wizards signed him to the biggest deal in the NBA over the off season – $111M over 6 years. Is he healthy enough now to return to his old form? He’s had the summer to hopefully recuperate to 100%, but he doesn’t have Dwyane Wade’s Olympic stint to prove that he’s past last season’s injuries. Until training camp actually begins, we still have no clear and definitive picture of Gil’s recovery. He says he’s healthy, but his late season attempted comback only ended in more damage to his body and production. Well he’s coming back to pretty much the same team he left early last season so he shouldn’t have any problems gelling with his old teammates.
Baron Davis, on the other hand, has never really been 1st round material but he ended last season’s performance like monster of a first rounder. He averaged 21.8 PPG, 7.6 APG, 2.3 SPG and 2.1 treys a game, thriving under coach Don Nelson’s up-tempo, run-and-gun offense. Sweet line? Well the stat of all stats for the new Baron of LA is that he played in all 82 games last season, his first above 70 games since his junior NBA year way, way back in the 01-02 season. He stated before last season started that he was in the best health of his career and his 82 GPs must have been a juicy meal his doubters had to eat along with huge serving of STFU sauce. This former (?) injury-prone PG left the Golden State Warriors and signed with the L.A. Clippers to be its new centerpiece. So it’s a new team, new coach, and a fresh start for Baron to prove that he’s worth the fat contract he signed. He obviously won’t be quarterbacking a small ball offense anymore with Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman (Both Centers) being the 2nd and 3rd best players, respectively, on his new team. He’s definitely got more to prove than Arenas but there are more changed variables in his status. Can his skills, motivation and competitive spirit carry him to another awesome fantasy performance this year?
OK so both of these guys roughly shoot just as terribly from the feild, pretty much in the low 40s. Gil’s got the sweeter FT% at 80+ (8 attempts) vs 75+ (5 attempts), but Baron’s got the better passing ability and playmaking skills – by a margin of at least 2 more dishes a game. They both turn the ball over at least 2.5-3 times a night and look to average arounfd 2 treys and 2 steals an outing. Gil’s the superior scorer and has the overall better health track record, but as I said Baron’s been recently in the BEST health of his career and is in a new team where he can arguably up his PPG to about 24-26 a night.
Hmm…. this is a tough one, isn’t it? I would generally want to stay away from both of these guys from this year’s draft altogether due to that dreaded injury risk hanging over both of their heads. But if there was a gun to my head and I really had to take an early risk on one of these guys on this year’s draft, I guess I would personally have to pick Arenas. I have him edging Baron out ever so slightly based on his superior FT%, the stability of his team, finally his performance and health 2 years running prior to his injury. But that’s my pick, who’s yours?