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Thursday September 13, 2007 7:51 am

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 4, Pick 4 - Jason Richardson

Jason RichardsonI apologize for the delay folks.  Sometimes, the personal life takes over for a bit – and some things are just unavoidable.  Now it’s back to the grind of getting this mock draft rolling.  With the first three rounds, “Team Nine” has selected Dwyane Wade, Andre Iguodala and Jermaine O’Neal.  This gives an incredibly talented base at both guard positions as well as some flexibility to play Iggy at the three.  Jermaine O’Neal’s flexibility is welcomed, as well as his abilities to notch 20 and 10 a night.  While the health issues are definitely prevalent with this squad, I have no issues in adding some more scoring with some long-range talent and highlight reels mixed in for good measure.  With a new home and bright outlook for this season, I’m going with…

Round 4, Pick 4 – Jason Richardson, SG, Charlotte Bobcats

As mentioned, J-Rich will be taking his game to the Bobcats after being traded for the rights to Brandan Wright.  Richardson missed a few weeks last season, but once he was back…boy, was he back.  His game was one of the main reasons that the Warriors were able to make the last minute run for the playoffs, as well as knocking off the Goliath in the Dallas Mavericks.

While I was very skeptical on draft day, Ron Chow was not after taking him with the sixth pick in the third round of last year’s mock.  In his post, he guaranteed some nice dividends on the investment…

I’m telling you, J-Rich will set career highs in points this season under Coach Nelson.

What he didn’t mention, like the smooth advisor he is, is a timeframe in which these returns would be granted.  Unfortunately, Richardson failed to reach the lofty expectations set by Sir Chow – all while recording his lowest total games played of his career.

After passing on Richardson in all drafts last year, his injuries made him a prime candidate for a waiver addition in many leagues.  In fact, our Wire to Wire piece mentioned Richardson’s name several times, with each one being more forceful than the last. 

After playing in no lower than 72 games in his career, Richardson only suited up for 51 contests in 2006, averaging 16 points a night – a total that bests only his first two seasons in the league.  The addition of Baron Davis and the emergence of Monta Ellis allowed for Richardson to play a different role.  Thankfully, his rebounding totals (5.1/game) and steals (1.1/game) stayed right near career averages.  Of course, his percentages were naturally awful, but you have to take the good with the bad.

What’s changed this season?  Richardson no longer has to share the ball with an entire roster of perennial fantasy factors.  With Emeka Okafor locked in on defense and a solid distributor in Ray Felton, the scoring duties will be up to J-Rich and Crash Wallace.  Dare I double-up on Ron’s guarantee of last season and say that Richardson can achieve career bests in scoring this season?  With his career high at 23.2 points a contest, there’s no denying that this can be bettered in one year with the ‘Cats. 

In our sole DroppingDimes podcast, I’ve gone on record to say that Richardson can easily hit 25 points a night, with plenty of help from outside as well as a few highlight dunks for dessert.  If you can stomach the percentages, or if your league does not use them, do not hesitate to jump all over Richardson this year.  The scoring will come in droves, and you’ll also be the proud owner of one of the best rebounding guards in the league.  Bar none.

Other Players on this Fantasy Team:

1.9 Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Miami Heat
2.4 Andre Iguodala, SG/SF, Phialdelphia 76ers
3.9 Jermaine O’Neal, PF/C, Indiana Pacers

Previous Picks This Round:

1. Joe Johnson, PG/SG, Atlanta Hawks
2. Kevin Martin, SG, Sacramento Kings
3. Brandon Roy, PG/SG, Portland Trailblazer

Previous Round Selections

Round One Recap
Round Two Recap
Round Three Recap

 

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