Now that the All-Star break and trade deadline is over, it’s the last stretch for teams to solidify a playoff spot both in fantasy and in the NBA. The start of the new week is approaching and it’s about time to look forward to the next matchup. Here are a handful of players that you can maybe pick up from the waiver wire that are hot right now and also a couple of players that you could consider dropping. The weekly addition of Adds & Drops is back so let’s get to it!
Week 19: Games Played
4 Games: ATL, BOS, CLE, DAL, GSW, MIA, MIL, NYK, OKC, PHI, PHO, TOR, UTA, WAS
3 Games: BKN, CHA, CHI, DEN, DET, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIN, NOR, ORL, POR, SAC, SAS
+ Terrence Ross (28% owned) – In the past week, Ross has been traded to the Orlando Magic. His stock is increasing pretty rapidly since he was coming from the days of being the second man off the bench to being one of the go-to scorer for the talent-deprived Magic. He was worth a flier when the trade happened but after his two impressive games for the Magic, he should be added in all leagues. In his first game in a Magic uniform, he finished with 13 points, five boards, three steals and two triples on 4-of-17 shooting. It’s not the best but 17 attempts from the field is almost double of what he was attempting in Toronto. After the first game with his new teammates, he got the jitters and nerves away and exploded for 24 points, four rebounds, four triples, two steals and a block on 10-of-15 shooting in the win against the Hawks. He led the team in scoring and had the most attempts in the game. In the two games that he’s played, he’s attempting more shots than Evan Fournier and is replacing him as the scorer on the wing. What’s even better is the fact that he’s played 33 and 35 minutes in these two games. Frank Vogel wants him to score and Ross has the ability to do that. He’s going to be inconsistent and could hurt you in field goal percentage but the upside for points, threes and steals are too good to turn down. He could be a top-75 player for the rest of the season.
+ Marquese Chriss (23% owned) – Chriss is actually a winner coming out of the trade deadline. The Suns sent P.J. Tucker to the Raptors in exchange of Jared Sullinger and a couple of second round draft picks. Sully then got waived so basically no one’s there to replace Tucker. Tucker was taking minutes away from Chriss as Earl Watson would occasionally play him at the four. With Tucker gone and Dragan Bender out for the season, the power forward spot is all for Chriss, unless Jared Dudley miraculously finds the fountain of youth. What’s hindering Chriss is his tendency to get into foul trouble. He’s averaging 3.0 fouls in 19.0 minutes per game and is finding it hard to stay on the floor. Usually rookies tend to hit the wall before the All-Star weekend so having a week long to rejuvenate is advantageous to Chriss. In his first game back this week, he posted 17 points, seven rebounds, two triples, two steals and two blocks and only two fouls in 33 minutes. That’s the attractive upside that he has and could potentially have a mini-breakout that rookies and second year players tend to have after the break. Just manage your expectations as he’s going to have some up’s and down’s.
+ Ish Smith (22% owned) – Two weeks ago, I mentioned Ish Smith would be a good add for owners who are in dying need of assists. Two weeks later, he’s still doing well enough to be mentioned here. Since he was last mentioned here two weeks ago, he’s averaging 8.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 0.8 blocks in 25.3 minutes. He even handed out 16 assists in his latest game against the Hornets and played the entire fourth quarter and overtime. In that game, Reggie Jackson only played 20 minutes and did basically nothing. Yes, Jackson didn’t get traded, which sucks for Smith and possibly Jackson owners but what we know is that SVG isn’t that fond of Jackson and was trying to trade for Ricky Rubio, a point guard who looks for teammates first and hand out dimes. Look down at your bench Stan! There’s a point guard who fits the bill there! I doubt Smith will play 33 minutes for the rest of the season but he is slowly trending up as SVG’s patience with Reggie is getting shorter by the minute. Assists are hard to find in the wire and he’s a good add in 14-team leagues for now.
+ Larry Nance Jr. (21% owned) – The Lakers are going full youth movement here as Magic Johnson took charge of basketball operations of the team. They sent Lou Williams away and is going to be full on tank mode for the Lakers. Sending Lou Williams away could actually give Nance a bump. Nance is a good passer in his position and has the basketball IQ to make the right plays. With Williams gone, the second unit lacks a playmaker and Clarkson isn’t a traditional point guard that could make plays for others. They could potentially go through Nance and make plays for others like how Walton tried to do for Julius Randle at the start of the season. Nance is still going to come off the bench, probably for the rest of the season but his minutes have slowly increased, averaging 22.9 minutes in November, 23.2 minutes in December and now 25.1 minutes in February. Randle is bad and Walton is finally realising that. Nance has the upside to contribute to many different stats in his position, such as field goal percentage, rebounds, assists, steals and an occasional block. In his first game back after a well rested break, Nance posted four points but grabbed 12 rebounds along with three blocks, two steals and two assists in 25 minutes. He’s not going to score a lot but he’s doing well enough to return top-100 value in the month of February.
+ Denzel Valentine (5% owned) – This is a deep league recommendation so standard league owners can only put Valentine on their radar. Valentine is another beneficiary of a trade that happened between the Bulls and the Thunder. The Bulls sent Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson packing in exchange for Cameron Payne, Anthony Morrow and Joffrey Lauvergne. The trade is a head scratcher in terms of the Bulls perspective because it’s not really a trade to tank or to get better. They did get younger and is trying to focus on youth development more and more. They waived the white flag on the McDermott project and needs a shooter on the wing. That means the Bulls has two options, Morrow or Valentine and since Morrow is washed up and is shooting at a worse percentage than the lottery-pick rookie that the Bulls chose to draft, the minutes are going to go to Valentine. Obviously, he isn’t going to challenge Jimmy Butler’s spot but Valentine could get some minutes in the low 20s to do good damage in the second unit. In his two games after the break, Valentine had an average of 13.0 points, 3.5 boards, 3.5 assists, 4.0 triples and 1.5 steals in 27.1 minutes. The rookie is going to have his up and down moments but he’s an interesting add for 16-team leagues.
– Deron Williams (50% owned) – There were a lot of trade talks regarding Deron Williams but eventually, he didn’t get traded. Sadly, he got waived by the Mavs as they free up opportunities for their point guard for years to come, Yogi Ferrell. It’s not like D-Will had really high value in 9-cat but he was handing out good assists, posting averages of 13.1 points, 2.6 boards, 6.8 assists and 1.3 triples. He’s now cleared waivers and is going to sign for the Cavs in the coming few days. Somehow, LeBron James is going to get his playmaker without giving up anything. D-Will will be leading the second unit majority of the time so he’ll play minutes near the low 20s and could potentially be less than that. He can be dropped in standard leagues and 14-team leagues. Deeper leagues can hold on to him to see if he still can return some assists if you’re in need of that before deciding to cut him.
– Ersan Ilyasova (46% owned) – I thought Ersan’s value could be sustainable as long as Ben Simmons doesn’t return but he was already trending down before the All-Star break and since Dario Saric exploded in the month of February, Ersan didn’t really have a place in Philadelphia as they’re going full on youth movement. He subsequently got traded to the Hawks and is now stuck behind Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard while fighting minutes with Mike Muscala. He was doing well the entire season and what was most impressive is that he stayed healthy during his time in Philadelphia. In his two games with the Hawks, he’s averaging 7.0 points, 6.0 rebounds 0.5 steals, 0.0 threes and 0.0 blocks in 20.4 minutes. The minutes are already inflated since the Hawks were being blown out by the Magic. He can be dropped in all leagues now.
– Bojan Bogdanovic (42% owned) – I talked a bit about Bogdanovic in the trade deadline breakdown but his situation applies here as well. He was averaging 27.0 minutes per game and had a respectable usage rate of 22.4 during his time at the Nets. He got traded to the Wizards and is now coming off the bench, stuck behind guys like Bradley Beal and Otto Porter. The Wizards rely on their starting unit too much to win games so adding a piece like Bogdanovic to beef up their bench makes sense. But it’s not like they would suddenly turn to their bench like the Lakers does because of this move. I’ll be surprised if Bojan sees 23-25 minutes per game. He’ll barely see the crack of 20 minutes per game as the Wizards are going to fight for an advantageous playoff spot. Meanwhile, whatever value Bogdanovic had before that made him worth owning, it’s probably all gone now and can be cut.
– Emmanuel Mudiay (38% owned) – Mudiay was bothered by injuries in the month of February, dealing with a lower back problem that prevented him to play the six games before the break. He used the break to get rested and make a final push for the Nuggets to get that eighth spot in the West. When he returned to the team this week, he got demoted all the way down to the third string point guard and even got a DNP-CD in the game against the Kings. The day after that, the Nuggets had a blowout win against the lowly Nets and even then, Mudiay only played five minutes. A 35-year old Jameer Nelson and a rookie Jamal Murray is chosen to play before he does and is probably a big hit to his confidence. The thing is, Mudiay doesn’t fit in the Nuggets style of play. The Nuggets require their guards and swingman to make hundred of cuts, including running around the bigs and making back door cuts for their big men, Nikola Jokic and Mason Plumlee to find them. Mudiay is a ball dominant guard and doesn’t really know how to play off the ball at this stage of his career so this move is understandable by Mike Malone. Especially since the Nuggets are trying to fight for that last playoff spot. Unless the Nuggets take a drastic change, things are probably going to stay the same. Meaning that Mudiay can be dropped in all leagues.
That’s it for the weekly edition of Adds and Drops. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter for more updates or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!