Out of sight shouldn't mean out of mind

Blake Griffin averaged 22.7 ppg and 14.4 rpg in his final season at Oklahoma.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - "Out of sight, out of mind" is a particularly insightful phrase which can be useful in fantasy drafts. Frequently when a player has gone missing through injury or other reason, he gets overlooked the following season.

I'm here to remind you of a group of 10 NBA players who might slip through the cracks because they weren't around much in 2009-10.

Blake Griffin, F, Los Angeles Clippers - As of mid-May, Griffin was cleared to resume "basketball activities." The top pick in last year's draft, didn't play a single game in 2009-10, but that doesn't mean you should ignore him this year. Let me remind you he was a dominating presence at Oklahoma and in his final season there averaged 22.7 ppg and 14.4 rpg.

Yao Ming, C, Houston Rockets - Yao missed the entire 2009-10 season with a left foot injury and only once in the last five seasons has played more than 57 games in a year. He also isn't likely to be 100% when the next season rolls around. Still, when healthy, he's a dominant center who has averaged 19.1 ppg and 9.3 rpg for his career. His early ADP is around 75.

Michael Redd, G, Milwaukee Bucks - Redd has a huge contract with still two years remaining so the Bucks might be looking to move him if they can. When healthy, he's a deadly shooter, it's just that he's played a total of 51 games over the past two seasons. He averaged at least 21 ppg over a six-year span from 2003-2008.

Greg Oden, C, Portland Trail Blazers - In the three seasons since Oden was drafted out of Ohio State, he's played just 82 games (61 in 2008-09). He did average 11.1 ppg and 8.5 rpg last season in 21 games, but it's looking like Seattle/Oklahoma City was the real winner in the 2007 NBA Draft when they lost the top pick and were forced to "settle'" for Kevin Durant. Still, if Oden could stay on the court, he could average 12 points and 10 boards a game.

Josh Howard, F, Washington Wizards - Howard was an NBA All-Star in 2007 when he averaged 19.9 ppg and 7.0 rpg for the Dallas Mavericks. Despite a injury- plagued 2009-10 season, he's capable of averaging at least 16 ppg and 6.0 rpg in 2010-11. He's currently said to be "ahead of schedule" in his rehab from a torn ACL. The Wizards will likely decline the option to retain Howard at his current $11.8 million price, but might still find him useful if he'll accept a lower number.

Gilbert Arenas, G, Washington Wizards - Such a waste of talent. When he is healthy, his game is tough to stop. After returning from two injury-plagued seasons in 2007-2008 (15 games played), Arenas managed to average 22.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 7.2 apg for 32 games before his season-ending suspension. In early mock drafts, he has an ADP of 83, which could make him a huge bargain if he's ready to play basketball.

Kelenna Azubuike, F, Golden State Warriors - Azubuike was one of Golden State's many injuries last season and was limited to just nine games after tearing a tendon in his left knee. The previous season he averaged 14.4 ppg and 5.0 rpg and was a solid fantasy performer.

Andris Biedrins, C, Golden State Warriors - Another of the Warriors' "walking wounded," Biedrins played in just 33 games last season. Over the previous two years he was a 10-point, 10-rebound, per-game guy.

Raja Bell, G, Golden State Warriors - Bell has averaged at least 11 ppg in each of the last seven seasons. However, he only played six games last year joining a large contingent of the Warriors roster. He's a borderline fantasy player, but in the Golden State offense he might be worth a late-round flyer.

Ricky Rubio, G, Minnesota Timberwolves - Rubio led his FC Barcelona team to the European title. Though he's unlikely to ever play for the Timberwolves, who have found a solid point guard in Jonny Flynn, he could be valuable to another team, like the New York Knicks.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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