How the real world interferes with fantasy sports

Since the trade, Jason Richardson has cracked the 20-point mark just five times.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In December, Jason Richardson was rolling along, putting up solid numbers as the only real outside shooter for the Charlotte Bobcats. His fantasy owners were satisfied as he averaged 18.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 2.6 apg while making 27 three-point shots.

Richardson seemed happy and so were we. We were getting exactly what was expected out of the eight-year veteran and former Michigan State Spartan.

Then on December 10th, Richardson, Jared Dudley and Charlotte's 2nd-round pick were sent to Phoenix for forward Boris Diaw, guard Raja Bell and Sean Singletary.

Richardson and Boris Diaw, the two main components of a trade, have moved in drastically opposite directions since the transaction.

You would think that coming to the Suns and All-Star point guard Steve Nash would be perfect for Richardson. But that hasn't been the case. On most nights it seems as if he isn't part of the offense and just stands on the opposite side of the play, at the three-point line, as a decoy.

Since the trade, Richardson has cracked the 20-point mark just five times (20 games) versus nine times in 14 games with Charlotte. His points-per-game is down to 15.3 ppg and over the past four games a disastrous 9.75 ppg. An even worse sign is that the teams seems to be using Matt Barnes and Leandro Barbosa more and sitting Richardson. It's very hard to score from the bench.

At the same time Richardson is floundering, Diaw is flourishing in Charlotte.

In 22 games with Phoenix, Diaw averaged 8.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 2.1 apg in 24 minutes of action. He was stuck behind Amare Stoudemire and Shaquille O'Neal and just not getting the playing time. Which has been a dilemma for the team since 2005 when Stoudemire had a season-ending injury and Diaw showed loads of talent by posting great numbers (13.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 6.2 apg).

In Charlotte, Diaw is getting a chance to start, play big minutes and he has rewarded his team and fantasy owners. Though 23 games with the Bobcats, Diaw is averaging 14.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg and 5.0 apg. Better still, the team was 7-16 before he got there and 12-11 since the trade. And he can only get better as he learns the offense.

Richardson fantasy owners are now jumping ship looking for a place to unload the unhappy guard while Diaw's ownership is growing everyday.

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