Jefferson no longer a fantasy stud

Richard Jefferson's 31.3 minutes-per-game is the lowest since his rookie season.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - For the last six years, Richard Jefferson has been a good-to-very good fantasy player. Beginning around his third season in New Jersey, Jefferson became a contributor, not only in points-per-game, but also helped your lineup with rebounding and assists.

Jefferson's 2004-05 campaign was his best, posting career highs in PPG (22.2), RPG (7.3) and APG (4.0). Last year's effort as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks saw a drop in two of three of those categories and this year is much of the same.

It's not that Jefferson has suddenly become a bad basketball player, it's more about opportunities.

Although Jefferson has started all 33 games with the Spurs, his court time is way down from previous seasons. In fact, his 31.3 minutes-per-game is the lowest since his rookie season.

He's also not the No.1 or No.2 options in San Antonio. With a veteran lineup that includes Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, Jefferson's shots attempted-per-game (10.1) is also the lowest since his rookie year.

So Jefferson, who was an eighth-round selection on Draft Day, is playing at about a 12th-round level.

Neither his minutes nor his shots-per-game are likely to change, barring an injury to one of the team's stars, because the Spurs are winning. They are currently holding down the No.2 spot in the Southwest Division at 21-12, two games behind the Dallas Mavericks.

Unless you can find an owner who hasn't been paying attention, I can't see being able to get fair trade value for Jefferson at this point. You'll just have to hope he somehow gets more opportunities from here on out, but barring injury (which you should never root for), I can't see this happening.

Richard Jefferson Career Statistics
YearTeamGmPPGRPGAPGSPGBPGFG%3PT%FT%
2001-02NJ799.43.71.80.80.645.723.271.3
2002-03NJ8015.56.42.51.00.650.125.074.3
2003-04NJ8218.55.73.81.10.349.836.476.3
2004-05NJ3322.27.34.01.00.542.233.784.4
2005-06NJ7819.56.83.80.80.149.331.981.2
2006-07NJ5516.34.42.70.60.145.635.973.3
2007-08NJ8222.64.23.10.90.346.636.279.8
2008-09MIL8219.64.62.40.80.243.939.780.5
2009-10SA3313.23.92.40.80.347.936.970.5


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

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