There are some players who left their mark in the NBA more with their personality rather than with their game. This is not meant as disrespect for their game but more of praise of their personality and a major example of this has to be Brian Scalabrine. The original “White Mamba” played five seasons for the Boston Celtics and was one of the most beloved players. His unorthodox style and physique made him stand out but his lack of athleticism always had casual fans go “I could easily beat this guy one-on-one”, “why is this guy even in the NBA?”, and other similar comments. Well, a high schooler actually challenged the 43-year-old Scalabrine to a one-on-one game, and the man, the myth, the legend agreed.
The total annihilation that followed really puts in perspective how much of a difference the level of these players are to an everyday or above-average player. I will wrap this introduction with a quote from Mr. Scalabrine that said, “I’m closer to Lebron than you are to me” to a casual heckler.
Regarding last week’s “Buy” suggestions, Kenyon Martin Jr. has been mediocre, Moses Brown has been must own with Al Horford being a strong trade candidate and getting more and more rest days, while Danny Green proved an awesome suggestion with some of his best performances of the season coming this past week. On the “Sell” front, Kevin Love has yet to play and I highly doubt he will ever this season if he remains in Cleveland, while Kendrick Nunn has predictably lost some of the usage he enjoyed with the Heat injuries.
Tyler Herro: After last year’s playoff appearances, it was supposed to be a breakout year for Herro, but things have not gone according to the script. Inconsistent shooting and turnovers have plagued him and, particularly lately, his long-term accuracy has seen an even steeper decline. The good news is that Miami believes in him and their unwillingness to include him in a trade package cost them James Harden, so I believe that he can turn his season around for the remaining games. The usage and shots are there for him, he just needs to start making them, so I view this as a good buy low and not a panic drop moment.
Jordan Poole: Stephen Curry will miss at least the next week with a tailbone inflammation which means a ton of usage will continue to go Poole’s way. He is a must-own player without Steph, as he is averaging 23.3 points, 3.5 triples, and one steal in the games he has started. If he is still available in your league, thank your lucky stars and go grab him (45% owned).
Alec Burks: The Knicks are enjoying quite a successful run by their recent standards and veteran presences like Alec Burks have been a major factor for their resurgence. Burks is a top 70 player during the last two weeks as a high-scoring, low turnovers wing and, while the return of Derrick Rose can mess with his minutes a bit, he enjoys Tom Thibodeau’s trust. He is at least worth a streaming spot until the Knicks get back to full strength (34% owned). Finally, another option for deeper leagues is Reggie Bullock, who is filling a similar role with less scoring and more triples (8% owned).
Al Horford: No one can dispute Al Horford’s fantasy quality and the reason he is in the “Sell” column is not due to his performances. It is simply a matter of availability, as the tank is on in Oklahoma City. Horford has been rested in four of the last five games and it seems like a trade is the only thing that can guarantee his minutes going forward. With the Thunder actively trying to lose while developing their younger centers like Moses Brown and Isaiah Roby, it would be wise to explore his trade market and even accept a slightly worse player in return that is more available long-term.
Wendell Carter Jr: A major fantasy disappointment this year, Wendell Carter Jr. has lost his starting spot to ageless veteran Thaddeus Young and also hurt his shoulder in the last Bulls game. During the last two weeks, he sits outside the top 200 in per-game value and that injury seems like the perfect excuse to finally give up on him and get a hot free agent from the wire or stream his spot. Your fantasy team will thank you (68% owned).