Is Kevin Durant a top 10 player right now?
In the preseason I traded Kevin Durant in a keeper league in a package deal for Dwight Howard and several others. I thought Durant was overpriced, and wasn't willing to commit to him as a building block on my team. Right about now, though, that trade makes my stomach hurt. Check out Durant's split statistics for this year, and when you see his numbers as a starting forward you'll understand my need for Pepto:
26.0 ppg, 48% FG, 86% FT (on 7.7 FTA/game), 7.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.6 treys (42% 3-pt %), 1.3 steals, 1.0 blocks, 2.9 TOs in 32 games played
Those are remarkable numbers for a small forward, basically Carmelo Anthony at his best with more of treys and blocks. Yahoo! has him ranked #14 overall for the season by average, ESPN's player rater has him #6 overall, and CBS Sportsline has him at #19. I do the Cheat Sheet for Rotowire, and I currently have him at #15. But in looking at those I have in front of him, I am seriously considering moving him into the top-10 in this week's rankings. He is probably moving past Amare Stoudemire, his free throw effect and treys may be enough to get him past Al Jefferson's rebounds (though Jefferson's C eligibility is nice), and if a draft were held today I'd take him over Yao Ming as well. Tim Duncan is past due for a fall in the rankings now that Ginobili and Parker are back up to speed, and I could see serious arguments made for Durant over even Dwight Howard, Deron Williams or Kevin Garnett in roto rankings as well.
What do you think? If the draft were held today, would you be willing to make Kevin Durant your first pick? Do you think there is any chance he hits a wall, or will he just keep getting better from here? And where do you think he goes in drafts next year? He's not cracking top-2 over Chris Paul and LeBron James, but what about after that? Can he catch Dwyane Wade and his checkered health history? Can he catch Kobe Bryant and his reduced team role? Dirk Nowitzki and his age? How does Durant compare to Danny Granger, the other outstanding young small forward out there?