Monday , Aug , 22 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

McKie’s Key

Finally Aaron McKie has a purpose!

The Lakers’ agreement to sign McKie to a two-year, $5.2 million deal is a keystone of the 2005 offseason. The inking of the amnesty-waived McKie led to Houston’s inking of the amnesty-waived Derek Anderson.

And because of McKie, more deals are on the horizon.

McKie's Key

Sports Illustrated reported today that Anderson plans to sign a two-year contract with the Rockets.
While Anderson’s role on the team is yet to be determined, he will surely keep defenses honest while providing Houston with a solid three-point threat. His 6’5’’ stature is more than an asset to the altitude-impaired Rocket backcourt.
Although H-Town added Anderson, Stromile Swift and Luther Head – all for more than reasonable prices – this offseason, speculation is the team shouldn’t be done yet. The Rockets still need to address their starting point guard and backup small forward positions.
Jay Williams is a possible choice at point, but he’ll be nowhere near his former second overall pick form, even if his surgery went all well. If the price is right, however, Williams might be worth the gamble. In his rookie season, he showed flashes of greatness, dropping a triple-double before his career-threatening accident.
If the team isn’t content with Bob Sura or David Wesley (I don’t know what team would be), the best available move would be a sign and trade for Miami free agent Damon Jones.
Dion Glover is the perfect fit as a Tracy McGrady backup, but doesn’t seem to be getting much talk around Rocket circles.
There’s also a rumor that Latrell Sprewell will be donning the red and white this season. Sprewell, who started all but two games since 1999, may be detrimental to the very covetous team chemistry issue. Plus, who needs a whinny Spree when you have a very loyal Anderson already onboard?
Now for the fantasy spin on all of this.
Okay, that’s about it! I know, I was excited too. Time to unbuckle and get out of the vehicle!
Now, honestly.
It’s not like Anderson and McKie were stud fantasy winners in the first place, even when they were in their prime. Unfortunately for McKie and Anderson, “less than or equal to” is going to be the operative phrase next season when talking about statistics.
Their teams may be improved, but what really matters (their statistics) has a shunk’s chance in hell of helping anyone’s fantasy roster next year.
McKie will allegedly play point for Phil Jackson and the triangle offense. He fits the mold of the crusty, veteran, tall guard that Jackson tends to covet at the 1. This will obviously boost his minutes from last year, when he spent most of his time daydreaming about 2001.
And, just because he has a 1 next to his name, doesn’t mean McKie’s going to lead the League in assists. Although he IS owner of a jaw-dropping 2.7 assists per game over 11 seasons, I’m not going to flat out crown him the League leader in assists…at least not just yet.
No, if anything, the triangle offense is a stat killer for all but one or two key players. Although McKie, 32, may start, he will not be a key player in L.A.
DA isn’t even assured a starting spot in Houston. Incumbent starters David Wesley and Bob Sura aren’t in any rush to let a newcomer take their minutes. Although Anderson would be best utilized next to Mac as a two guard with height and legitimate range, he does have a health issue. Anderson missed 66 games over the last two seasons.
If Anderson keeps missing games due to injury, he may not see a consistent 20 minutes when he is finally in uniform.
For reasons of injury liabilities and declining statistics alone, I wouldn’t select Anderson in any draft. Let other teams gamble – he won’t produce even if he does have a healthy year.
But wait, I said McKie’s signing with the Lakers is a keystone. I told you this deal affects team executives much more than a couple Keystones.
Well, here’s the news:
With McKie gone, Rod Thorn and the Nets have narrowed down their free agent shooting guard wish list down to four: DerMarr Johnson, Wesley Person, Casey Jacobsen, Jason Kapono.
Whoever swings a contract in the Meadowlands, don’t pick him. They’ll see limited minutes as a backup and dubbed at the defacto three-point shooter. Not too hot from a fantasy standpoint.
Also, this just in: The Nets agreed to terms with Tractor Traylor. But don’t start your prognostications about Traylor’s role in Jersey just yet. The deal has to be only temporary. Because if Shareef couldn’t pass that physical…
Well, at least if Tractor doesn’t get his contract, at least he knows who to come talking to.