by Will Overton
The hits keep on coming to the stars of the NBA and this weekend another victim was claimed. This time it was Ricky Rubio who injured his ankle on Friday Night and is now slated to miss 7 – 8 weeks of game action.
It’s a shame because Rubio was looking really good in the early going with 29 assists in the two games right before the injury. With Rubio out the question is who will step up in his place for fantasy owners and will they have any value to your fantasy team.
On Friday Night it was Mo Williams who took over for Rubio after his injury and finished with seven assists. Williams however was just 1 – 7 from the field shooting with only four points scored. The next night it was Zach LaVine starting at the point while Mo Williams continued his poor shooting on the bench. LaVine had 5 PTS, 6 REBS and 4 ASTS in the game.
It looks like it’ll be a combination of Williams and LaVine going forward and I’m not sure if it matters who starts and who comes off the bench because I think they play very similar minutes unless one of them separates themselves from the other.
Williams has not played well so far, shooting just 36% from the field. Williams is a veteran of the game in his 12th season and while he’s never been a superstar, he’s been consistently solid for several years. Williams has a career average of 13.3 PPG, 4.9 APG and 1.3 3PG. With this increased role I do full expect him to average double digits without much effort for the next couple of months.
LaVine is in a completely different place from Mo as he is a 19 year old rookie with really raw skills, but really big upside. LaVine went from really playing no minutes at all in the first few games to a huge role. LaVine isn’t a natural point guard, but he is a big matchup problem given his size and athleticism. If he can develop his court vision and playmaking abilities the potential is limitless. The problem is there are going to be a lot of bumps in the road because the skills he has are so raw.
If I could only own one of these guys and it was a non-keeper league, I’d grab Williams. He’s been cold shooting the ball, but he has a history as a starting point guard in the league and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see 12 PPG and 6 APG with a fair amount of threes. LaVine has the upside, but I don’t think he’s ready yet. His athleticism and skills may keep him on the court, but I’m not entirely sure how it will translate to the fantasy box scores.
The upside of LaVine and the increase in minutes is enough to where he should be considered as an add in leagues, but Williams is the guy you want right now if you have a choice.