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It’s weird enough that the basketball team that plays in Utah is called the Jazz. I’ve never been to Salt Lake City, but I’m preeetttyyy suuurrree that it’s not crawling with disciples of Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.

Now, said weirdness is multiplied by the recent resurgence of Enes Kanter, which very well could ensure the continuance of a veritable Ottoman Empire at the Utah Jazz center position.

No, it hasn’t lasted 624 years, and no it hasn’t swallowed 32 provinces and all kinds of vassal states in Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

But between Mehmet Okur and Kanter, the paint has been patrolled by a native of Turkey for the last 10 years.

Anyone who’s been following the Jazz knows this has been a lost season, and most of those people probably blame Tyrone Corbin and his very strange distribution of minutes. Why are Richard Jefferson and Marvin Williams, two journeymen forwards who from this point forward will never be anything more than run-of-the-mill 10 ppg, 7 rpg players, getting so much run time? Why aren’t the Jazz clearing the way for the young guns?

Better still, why has Derrick Favors been forced to play out of position, at center, all season while Kanter gets all screwed up coming off the bench? Kanter owners know that he’s stunk on ice all year, and that he deserves to ride the pine, but how else are you going to see what you got in the No. 3 pick in the 2011 draft?

Well, with Favors nursing a sore hip, Kanter has been forced into duty, and what is happening is the same thing that happened all year whenever Favors was out: Kanter thrived. Only now thrived might be too weak of a word. In the three games since stepping into the starting center slot on Feb. 19, Kanter has been putting up Brook Lopez numbers: 22.6 ppg, 9 rpg and even swatted a career-high three shots in a game against the Blazers.

I’ve been on the lookout all year to see if Kanter would hit the wire, and I have to give owners major props for their patience: He’s been at about 60 percent owned or above all year.

That number should be much higher than that now. Kanter has earned the right to start at center alongside Favors at his natural power forward position if/ when Favors returns. If Corbin uses his noggin and agrees, you don’t want to be on the outside looking in.

Pick up Kanter if he’s somehow still out there, or try and deal for him if you can.

Here’s what else I saw in the paint last week:

Marcin Gortat – Preseason Board-N-Blocks fave has been a double-double machine with Nene Hilario out again. It feels like I’ve written this exact same update five times this year. Now that’s Hilario-us!

Jared Sullinger – Was playing well before being concussed Friday in a game against the Lakers where he still managed to get 12 points and 12 boards. He then missed Saturday’s game, however, and word going around is that he could miss some time, so I’m guessing he’ll be widely dropped by teams on the playoff bubble. If you’re up above that bubble in the standings, I’d swoop in and stash him. Otherwise, dig into the garbage for Kelly Olynyk, Vitor Faverani or whatever else is green and doesn’t smell.

Spencer Hawes – People (read: People in Philadelphia) always crap on Hawes, but he’s a solid guy who can get fired up if, say, he’s not playing for a tanking team. A lot of fantasy experts thought he’d lose serious value when the 76ers finally dumped him, but that’s not been the case so far in Cleveland, as he put up 7-10-3 and 16-12-1 in his first two games for the Cavaliers. The only thing I’d worry about is if Anderson Varejao gets healthy and pushes Hawes to the bench – a guy can only take so much abuse in one season.

Tyler Zeller – It’s been fun giggling at his profile pic during his recent good run, but I wouldn’t get too excited about the numbers he’s been putting up as a starter. His big games against the Sixers and Magic were flukes, so if you need to stream his slot do it up.

Anderson Varejao – This guy. Can’t stand him. Both the back and knee are keeping him out, but I hear that even if those heal he still might miss time with broken hair.

Robin Lopez – Double-digit boards in five of his last six, with double-doubles in four of those games. He be blocking too, rejecting four shots in Friday’s win against the Jazz. Loves me some R-Lo.

Bismack Biyombo – Getting a few more minutes per game, and blocking shots accordingly, averaging 2.6 bpg over his last three. I’d stream him if I found myself in a vicious cockfight and needed some snuffs.

Byron Mullens – Razzball almost blew up when Mullens got dealt to Philly, with the thinking that he’d get a good look at the starting center gig for the rest of the year. Hey, why not? His numbers are bad this year, but last year his numbers mirrored the guy he’s replacing: Spencer Hawes.

Jordan Hill – Continued his recent strong play last night against the Nets, posting an 11-8-1 line. I could see maybe buying in due to reports of Pau Gasol making his pouty Pau Gasol face a little too often, but this is Los Angeles, and last time I checked Wild Mike D’Antoni is still the coach.

Dwight Howard – Was making it look easy last night in Phoenix, rattling the rim on one dunk like it was a Nerf hoop hanging on your basement door. Except for one offensive dud last week against he Warriors, he’s been playing extremely well, doing what he’s supposed to be doing in the points, rebounds and blocks cats while not sucking too bad from the line. Love him ROS – I’d attempt to put together a package for him.

Tyson Chandler – Would you eat a double-cheeseburger pizza from Papa John’s? Me neither. Sounds more like a double-sh*tburger, which is what Chandler dropped on the Atlanta front court Saturday with a vintage 10-23-2 line.

Nikola Vucevic – Got into foul trouble and really messed himself last night in a loss to the Raptors. He hasn’t been horrible but he hasn’t been the Vucevic of last year. Hope you listened when I told you to sell!

Andrew Bynum – Knees are still jacked up, yet the Pacers have no problem becoming the third team in two years to give him money for nothing. Let’s just hope he’s not getting the chicks for free.

Little Big Man of the Week: Rajon Rondo – We’ve been waiting all year to bestow this honor on Rondo, as this award could be called the Rajon Rondo Impersonator of the Week because of the point guard’s amazing skills on the boards. Now mostly healthy, he’s back to doing his thing on the glass, scooping up 13 rebounds over his last two games.

From Around The Web

  1. lurk3r says:
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    Thinking about making room for Kanter, but are Marshall or Carroll expendable based on my current roster:

    PG: IT3, Jeff Teague, KENDALL MARSHALL
    SG: DeRozan
    SF: Tobias Harris, DEMARRE CARROLL
    PF: Ibaka, Taj Gibson
    C: Marc Gasol

    I’m currently 7th out of 14 teams and have been losing in Rebounds, especially with Gasol not playing as well as I’d hoped.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @lurk3r: I just read somewhere that the Jazz are 1-23 when Kanter starts. A discrepancy between real life and fantasy if there ever was one. Still, as stated above, I’m willing to wager that Kanter will get run ROS one way or another as a reward for his solid play.

      It looks like the Lakers are going to ride Marshall hard. And regardless of whether he starts or comes off the bench, Kanter is an upgrade over Carroll in boards.

  2. The Tristan Thompson Conundrum says:
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    Just picked up Kanter hope you’re dead right about him, wondering what’s your take on Lopez vs. David West who’d you rather take overall?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @The Tristan Thompson Conundrum: Who’d you dump to get him? Ro-Lo vs. West is the definition of a needs-based decision. Ro-Lo gives you boards and blocks, West can score and gives you good percentages but that’s about it.

      • The Tristan Thompson Conundrum says:
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        @Pete Nice: Dropped Danny Granger. I had an extra pickup to waste last week took a flier but I don’t think he’ll play for the Sixers… Freshly dropped Kanter after last night for Markief. My team is based on efficiency that’s why it’s a tough decision, I just wanted Lopez mainly for him having a 5 game week come playoff time as Slim made me aware of. RoLo has better fg% but shoots less per game so do I want west with 49% taking about 12 shots or lopez 53.5% taking 7.8 shots? Lopez is surprisingly a better Free throw shooter as well 80% to West’s 77%. Jeez I might change my name to the D.West vs. RoLo Conundrum

  3. Lasandro says:
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    Sell vuc?! You and @jb Gilpin seem to be on different pages on that one. Got offered Bosh for him the other day but didn’t think that was good enough ROS value

    I’m gonna sit and wait on Kanter before picking him up. I already own Henson and the last thing I need is another productive big who barely scratches the 23min mark due to his deranged coach

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Lasandro: No way would I do Bosh for Vuc. I didn’t say SELL Vuc for nothing, just that he’s not the beast he was last year. Plus he’s been dinged up a lot and the risk of injury lingers.

      I hear you on Kanter, but Corbin is no Larry Drew.

      • Lasandro says:
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        @Pete Nice: Right, gotchya! Yah, that Magic team is a mess.. and I own trhee of their players on my squad ha!

        So perhaps you could help me out mate. With nene now out, Im in a real tight spot. Added Korver the other day as I need some pts, with ok brds and assists.. kinda like what nene was bringing to the table. Pretty happy to drop Kyle and def have to drop nene now for players who can bring such value, off the wire. Or happy to go with one all rounder and one strong pts and brds guy. Pick 2 please: Kanter, Carroll, Reke, JR, Burke, Burks, T Jones (who I recently dropped, and with good reason!), Markieff.

        Also, is my Jameer droppable if peeps like Raymond, B Roberts, Chalmers and DJA are available? I’ve kept him because I need help in assists and 3s

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @Lasandro: Burke and Markieff are probably the safest bets, followed by Kanter, Jones, JR, Burks, Reke,

          Roberts has had flashes but he’s inconsistent. If the only thing holding you back from going with him is the idea of Jrue coming back, forget that, Jrue looks like he’s done.

      • Lasandro says:
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        @Pete Nice: And these two picks would hopefully be for ROS. Dont have many waivers left to use

      • Lasandro says:
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        @Pete Nice: *FA picks, not waivers

  4. B says:
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    Hi! great article, i feel great getting kanter! some insight please?

    9 cat 12 team h2h

    Conley, Knight, Marshall

    J Green, Carroll, Marion, Tobias, Pierce, J Butler

    Dirk, K Love, A Davis, Griffin, Kanter

    as stated above, should i pull this trade that the owner offered? Tobias is about to go off, but i could really use another PG. I have tried to get other PGs and everyone is staying put

    just cant forget that last year tobias pretty much avg 18-7 and 1 3pt-1 ast-1 stl-1 blk with around 46% FG and 75% FT with playing time and no baby davis/afflalo/vucevic

    its different this year, theres oladipo/afflalo/vucevic, but i just cant seem to pull the trigger. Help?

    • B says:
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      @B: sorry the trade is ellis for tobias! i thought i typed it in lol

      thank you

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @B: Yeah it appears Monta is slowing to a halt, eh? It’s a little bit of a roll of the dice but I’d do it.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @B: And thanks for the kind words!

  5. Kevin says:
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    Hey buddy. Drop or keep varejao? If I should drop should I pick up booker, draymond green, Matt Barnes, mike Scott, or seraphin?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Kevin: Maybe Scott out of those but isn’t there anything better? If not, I’m not sure I’d drop just yet.

  6. hamtime says:
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    similar question to the one above. i own giannis but am looking to maybe drop him for: wolters, scott, seraphin, or wroten. would you do this or just stand pat? thanks

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @hamtime: Hold.

  7. Adam says:
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    So basically my entire fantasy season is coming down to whether Holiday and Bledsoe can get healthy in time for the playoffs.

    Assuming they do, I’m trying to shore up the rest of my team, and I’ve got an expendable roster spot (I’m in a 10-team head to head category league).

    Here’s my team:

    Guards: Lillard, Matthews, Holiday, Bledsoe, Rondo
    Forwards: Melo, Leonard, Lee, Boozer
    Centers: Lopez, Gortat, Marc Gasol

    Can you rank who you think would fit best with my squad for the rest of the season in that final spot? I’d especially like to shore up my percentages, threes, boards, and blocks.

    Available:
    -Tristan Thompson
    -Jared Sullinger
    -Spencer Hawes
    -Patrick Beverley
    -Jameer Nelson
    -Amir Johnson
    -Tony Wroten
    -Byron Mullens
    -DeMarre Carroll

    Thanks!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Adam: First of all I’m not so sure Holiday is coming back. As for the rankings I’d go: Wroten, TT, PBev, Sully, DeMare.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Adam: I hope you don’t mind Pete but I feel obligated to answer all Tristan Thompson questions in the negative. I would take every one of those guys over Tristan. Well, maybe not Mullens… But I thought I would rank em as I see em.

      Carroll, Amir, Beverley, Hawes, Sully (If/When Healthy), Boozer (Yep, I’d take all 5 over him)

      A few tiers later… Wroten ahead of Nelson and tiers below due to Wrotens FTs and TOs which are extremely bad and Nelson due to his age and injury history. I like Wroten and I think he has a nice future but if he plays 30-36 minutes he is going to annihilate your FT% and TOs. Per-36s of 4.3 TOs and 62% FTs on 6.7 attempts. Danger!

      Finally once we are past the top 200 players we see… Mullens and then Tristan, who (maybe that’s supposed to be ‘whom’ but it’s Tristan so it doesn’t really matter anyway) no way should be owned in a 10er.

  8. Pete Nice

    Pete Nice says:
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    UPDATE: Favors is back at center, Marvin Williams at PF, Kanter back to the bench. If it makes you feel any better Corbin is screwing me too. Hey, you win some, you lose some! I’m still holding Kantet for a little while, see how it all shakes out…

  9. Barenrewn says:
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    Just got offered DeRozan and Pekovic for Vucevic and Oladipo. I know Pek isn’t back yet, but he has a great playoff schedule. What do you think?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Barenrewn: Nah I’d stand pat.

  10. Jonathan says:
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    Who wins the trade? H2H league

    Trade: John Wall
    Receive: Paul George

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Jonathan: Wall side.

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