Fool Me Once..

Forgive me for descending into comic-book geekery, but I see Anthony Randolph as the "Bizarro Brandon Jennings. Jennings was so far under the radar heading into this season, he actually opted to watch the draft on television from his hotel room, rather than risk getting stuck in the "green room" with a disappointed look on his face.

Randolph, on the other hand, was the single biggest star of the summer -- even receiving an invite to Team USA's mini-camp.

Look at 'em now. Jennings is breaking rookie records set by the likes of Kareem. Randolph is getting used out-of-position as a backup center.

But take heart, fantasy owners. Don Nelson has heard your pleas, and he's going to make it all better. As he told the Contra Costa Times:

You ain’t seen nothing yet. He’s going to be a blessed guy if he can mentally prepare himself and handle what I’m going to give him. Because both he and Radmanovic has the ability as a big player to handle the ball and to make it difficult for the defense to match up with us.  As long as he grows and matures and understands what we’re doing — and it was a very good practice (Sunday) for him — the sky’s the limit on how I can use the guy and go to his strengths.

That quote is making the rounds of all the sports blogs this morning, and fantasy players everywhere are breathing a huge sigh of relief. "Finally," they're saying, "we'll start to get some value this freakin' guy."

Don't get your hopes up.

I have no doubt that Anthony Randolph will, at some point, become an excellent NBA player and a early-round fixture in fantasy drafts. But right now, I'm not buyin' what Nellie is sellin'.

Let's consider:

  • Just this weekend, Nelson was bringing Randolph off the bench behind recent D-League callup Chris Hunter
  • A few days before that, someone in the Warriors organization was floating Randolph's name in trade discussions

Now... what seems more likely at this point? Nelson using Randolph as a do-everything "point forward" who will initiate the offense, grab boards and score while playing 30-plus minutes a night? Or Nelson using the media in an attempt to build up a player's confidence, and maybe prevent the same sort of "stop jerking me around" trade demand that Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson made in recent years?

Before you answer -- factor in the fact that, in the same article, Nelson also suggests he's getting ready to unleash Vlad Radmanovic.

Full disclosure: I haven't trusted Don Nelson since I wasted a draft pick on Marco Belinelli in 2007.


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