• A couple of weeks ago we took a look at players’ games played over the last three seasons to get an idea of how many games they’ve missed over the years and how often. It was an assessment of their durability for purposes of preparing for the upcoming fantasy basketball season.

    Another factor worth considering when ranking players aside from historical statistics and games played, is age. It’s part of any player’s career life cycle that at some point in their career, their production will decline. Some players adjust to aging better than others. Tim Duncan, for example, gave us solid seasons up until arguably the season before he retired. He was 40. Shaquille O’Neal, on the other hand, played until he was 39 and overstayed in the NBA with his name value overshadowing the decay of his production. His numbers from 2009 and onward were awful. As a general rule though, guards tend to have better quality years late into their careers. They get less banged up in the paint than big men do.

    In today’s Daily Dish, I will share with you another step in my preparation for the 2017-18 season yet again. I combed through the top 150 players in fantasy in 2016-17 and looked at who were 32 years of age and older at the time. I want to assess who among them are worth trusting and who we should avoid or rank lower due to the downward trend of their production. This was a worthwhile exercise, especially considering that not everyone has Uncle Drew’s game, right?

    I tapped some of Hoop Ball’s brightest fantasy minds to form a consensus of how much we “trust” these players. Each of us rated on a scale of 1-10 (0.5 allowed) how reliable we felt a player is currently. I then averaged our ratings to come up with a consensus value.

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    How are we supposed to use these “trust ratings”? Well for starters, if we at Hoop Ball rate a player highly, it is safe to say that he’s worthy of the ratings and rankings he’s been given based purely off stats. Conversely, if a player has a rating below 5.0, he might be worth bumping down a few to several spots in your personal rankings.

    Chris Paul, PG Houston Rockets (NEW)
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 9
    Age: 32
    Games Played: 61
    Minutes Per Game: 31.5
    Average Trust Rating: 8.8

    CP3 is getting a fresh start in Houston this season but can his 32-year-old body handle the Rockets’ high-octane, run-and-gun style of play? Most likely. He does have a nasty habit of getting injured over the last few seasons and that’s what’s weighing down his outlook for 2017-18.

    LeBron James, SF/PF Cleveland Cavaliers
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 14
    Age: 32
    Games Played: 74
    Minutes Per Game: 37.8
    Average Trust Rating: 9.5

    “King James” has always been a unique physical specimen and has been known to go to great lengths to keep himself in peak physical condition. He’s a beast and is the most trustworthy 32-year-old player in the league. It’s insane considering he came out of high school and technically has been in the NBA longer than most of his peers. Still, LBJ is a multi-cat monster who, despite his age, should give us roughly 73 games or more on average this season.

    Marc Gasol, C Memphis Grizzlies
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 28
    Age: 32
    Games Played: 74
    Minutes Per Game: 34.2
    Average Trust Rating: 7.7

    Gasol was a bit of surprise in 2016-17 considering his ADP took a hit as he was recovering from a bad foot injury the previous season. He had a great year, finishing in the Top 30 of fantasy. He’s shown that he can recover well despite his age.

    Trevor Ariza, SF Houston Rockets
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 39
    Age: 32
    Games Played: 80
    Minutes Per Game: 34.7
    Average Trust Rating: 8.0

    Ariza is an unsung iron man in fantasy. Seriously. He’s 32 but hardly ever misses games. He logs a ton of minutes and delivers the goods when it comes to those key numbers. This great role player is often underrated but is actually worth grabbing ahead of some higher scoring players in his draft range.

    Paul Millsap, PF Denver Nuggets (NEW)
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 45
    Age: 32
    Games Played: 69
    Minutes Per Game: 34
    Average Trust Rating: 7.8

    Millsap’s numbers took a hit last season and he was also hampered by knee problems, something that is a bit of a concern especially when it comes to big men his age. He’s in a new environment and system after signing with Denver and will be more of a mentor/role-model to Nikola Jokic. Paul still has some gas left in his tank but he’s clearly passed his fantasy prime.

    LaMarcus Aldridge, PF San Antonio Spurs
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 53
    Age: 32
    Games Played: 72
    Minutes Per Game: 32.4
    Average Trust Rating: 5.7

    LMA has been a “meh” big man in fantasy basketball for quite some time now and his age is not doing his limited appeal any favors. Still, Aldridge does just enough to be taken in the middle rounds if you’re trying to preserve your shooting percentages.

    Carmelo Anthony, SF New York Knicks
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 60
    Age: 33
    Games Played: 74
    Minutes Per Game: 34.3
    Average Trust Rating: 6.3

    Melo has never been much of slasher and his mid-range shooting keeps out of harm’s way most of the time. His game lends itself to be kind to his durability. The biggest swing factor in his value right now (if at all) is the uncertainty surrounding which he will suiting up for this season.

    Tyson Chandler, C Phoenix Suns
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 70
    Age: 34
    Games Played: 47
    Minutes Per Game: 27.7
    Average Trust Rating: 3.5

    The injury-prone big has not gotten much love in fantasy recently, which is understandable. There are emerging, younger big men who can bring a similar rebounding game to the table. I’d personally prefer to draft Chandler’s backup, Alan Williams, ahead of him.

    Dwyane Wade, SG Chicago Bulls
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 72
    Age: 35
    Games Played: 60
    Minutes Per Game: 29.9
    Average Trust Rating: 4.8

    Despite making adjustments to his game, Wade’s sad history of DNPs does not bode well for his trust rating. At age 35 and with rumors of a buyout in the air, Dwyane could very well be the decorative buddy on another roster this season.

    Pau Gasol, PF/C San Antonio Spurs
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 75
    Age: 37
    Games Played: 64
    Minutes Per Game: 25.4
    Average Trust Rating: 5.2

    Pau Gasol’s minutes were carefully managed by the Spurs and he is likely to get his fair share of “DNP-Old” alerts this 2017-18. He’s barely in “Trustworthy Country,” making him a strong candidate for a serious bump down from his 75-rank range of last season.

    Dirk Nowitzki, PF Dallas Mavericks
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 77
    Age: 39
    Games Played: 54
    Minutes Per Game: 26.4
    Average Trust Rating: 4.9

    Dirk successfully managed to stay relevant despite his age for quite a while. That said, the signs have been all over the wall in recent seasons. Nowitzki is but a shadow of his former first-round value self. It’s time to wish him well, let go, and allow someone else to own him this 2017-18.

    Editor’s Note: We have a brand new APP for all of our FREE Hoop Ball podcasts. You can download it for your Apple devices here and for your Android devices here. ALSO, you can subscribe to our flagship show Fantasy NBA Today on iTunes right here and on Stitcher right here.

    Marcin Gortat, C Washington Wizards
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 85
    Age: 33
    Games Played: 82
    Minutes Per Game: 31.2
    Average Trust Rating: 7.0

    Despite Gortat’s less than impressive big-man numbers, he does have secure playing time and a role to fill with the Washington Wizards. He might not have as much of a spring in his step and the same endurance to bang in the paint with some of today’s younger centers and power forwards, but Gortat does bring enough to the table to be considered as a third center for most fantasy teams.

    Andre Iguodala, G/F Golden State Warriors
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 88
    Age: 33
    Games Played: 76
    Minutes Per Game: 26.3
    Average Trust Rating: 5.6

    While it’s a fact that Iggy is normally “preserved” for the playoffs, he still got over 25 minutes a game in a team that added Kevin Durant. Andre does a bit of everything and is a solid glue guy for rotisserie leagues.

    J.J. Redick, SG Philadelphia 76ers (NEW)
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 100
    Age: 33
    Games Played: 78
    Minutes Per Game: 28.2
    Average Trust Rating: 6.6

    He’s a pure shooter who hardly ever sees any action in the paint, making him a safe bet to deliver his game with some level of reliability. He’s now with a youth-oriented team and will take a backseat to some Philly’s future assets. He’s still a solid threes guy who is field-goal percentage friendly.

    Nick Young, G/F Golden State Warriors (NEW)
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 107
    Age: 32
    Games Played: 60
    Minutes Per Game: 25.9
    Average Trust Rating: 3.5

    Putting a guy named “Young” in a list of “old” players is a bit of an oxymoron. I know, that was just a cheap excuse to type out “oxymoron”. We did see glimpses of his best season in fantasy with the Lakers in 2016-17 but you can scratch all of that now that he’s with the loaded Warriors.

    Thabo Sefolosha, G/F Utah Jazz (NEW)
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 112
    Age: 33
    Games Played: 62
    Minutes Per Game: 25.7
    Average Trust Rating: 4.1

    This roto steals specialist has landed with a rebuilding Jazz team and will see some minutes off the bench. His defensive presence does not translate well to the stat sheet, so adding his age factor makes him even less desirable a target on draft day.

    P.J. Tucker, G/F Houston Rockets (NEW)
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 116
    Age: 32
    Games Played: 81
    Minutes Per Game: 27.6
    Average Trust Rating: 5.9

    Tucker did not get much run while he was with the Suns and will be a staple in Houston’s second unit this season. He’s a marginal guy to pick up in the late rounds of drafts and I’d personally prefer of grabbing a high-upside youngster at that spot instead.

    Kyle Korver, G/F Cleveland Cavaliers
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 130
    Age: 36
    Games Played: 67
    Minutes Per Game: 26.2
    Average Trust Rating: 4.5

    At 36 years of age, Korver does one thing. He shoots threes. Since three-point shooting has widely been regarded as the easiest stat to get late in drafts and off the waiver wires, the fade of Kyle’s relevance has simply picked up too much steam.

    Tony Allen, G/F Free Agent
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 142
    Age: 35
    Games Played: 71
    Minutes Per Game: 27.0
    Average Trust Rating: 3.4

    Sadly, the steals specialist who was once a cult favorite in fantasy circles has not drawn much interest from teams this offseason. Allen may still get signed but is no longer worth consideration in standard leagues at this stage in his career.

    Channing Frye, F/C Cleveland Cavaliers
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 145
    Age: 34
    Games Played: 74
    Minutes Per Game: 18.9
    Average Trust Rating: 3.2

    Frye is the least trustworthy aging player on this list. He didn’t crack 20 minutes per game last season and has an injury history thicker than a now-archaic phone book. The new NBA has a bunch of stretch fours who can knock down treys from the four spot and make their free throws, rendering Channing’s value pretty much fried.

    Taj Gibson, PF Minnesota Timberwolves (NEW)
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 146
    Age: 32
    Games Played: 78
    Minutes Per Game: 25.5
    Average Trust Rating: 5.4

    Taj barely made fantasy’s Top 150 last season and is now on a young Timerwolves club that will have minimal use for him as a back-up big. Gibson is worth considering only in very deep leagues at this point in his career.

    Special mention has to go out to Vince Carter, G/F Sacramento Kings (NEW)
    2016-17 9-CAT Rank: 156
    Age: 40
    Games Played: 73
    Minutes Per Game: 24.7
    Average Trust Rating: 3.4

    He’s the oldest active player in the league and yet somehow was able to finish 2016-17 a stone’s throw out of the Top 150. Color me impressed. The once “Half-man, Half-Amazing” Carter is now just “One-third Amazing and two-thirds Old Man”.

    Remember, you can always reach me on Twitter: @FantasyHoopla, if you want to chat about fantasy hoops!

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