SleepersDecember 28, 2005

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Sleeper Watch

By Adam Rizzo

I think it is safe to say that most great waiver wire pickups every year come from the filthy hands of injuries. We have seen our share of injuries this season (Andrei Kirilenko, Corey Maggette, Marcus Camby, the usuals), and Sacramento has its health concerns right about now. Peja Stojakovic has been day-to-day for what seems like a month, and we have just learned that Shareef Abdur-Rahim has a broken jaw and may not see the court for up to eight weeks. With that much talent going down on one squad, someone is going to have to pick up the load for the Kings, and it looks to be Kenny Thomas.

Kenny Thomas has started the last two seasons as a serviceable sixth man for both Philadelphia and Sacramento, but didn’t quite put up fantasy numbers to write home about coming off the bench. But when injuries set in for Sacramento late last season, Thomas was inserted into the starting lineup and did not disappoint. In 26 games with Sacramento last season (15 of which were as a starter), he averaged 14.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1 steal, and great percentages at over 30 minutes a game. This year, Thomas received his first start of this season December 27th against the Clippers and received 32 minutes of playing time, putting up mediocre numbers. Look to see his stats jump across the board as he gets into the flow of being a top option in Sacramento’s offense.

If you have a roster spot where you can afford to drop someone to improve in a few categories, grab Thomas while he is still available. He should be a great option for as long as Abdur-Rahim is out, and who knows how long that will be.

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