So, I don’t know how old you guys are, obviously, but I’m at the age where I have “lost youth’ moments. Most recently, I was at the local TargWalmar-conglomerate, and happened to see some of my favourite hip hop acts in the bargain CD bin. Ice-T’s “Power” album for $2? Big Daddy Kane, Eric B and Rakeem, tossed away like so much trash? My blood began to boil, but then I remembered that my doctor told me to watch my angina (don’t worry, I have pills for that), so I shuffled off to the suspender aisle to find my zen. But there is a lesson to be gleaned from this experience, beyond me cantankering about the youth today, and that is: you can find gold in the bargain bin, if you know what to look for.
Remember, the NBA trade deadline is fast approaching, and that fact should remind you to be aware when your fantasy trade deadline is, if you don’t already know. It’s always difficult to slow-play, counter, or reject a trade if you have 48 hours to pull something off, and it puts more pressure on both you and your trading partner. I know this isn’t any great revelation, but it happens every year, some dude in the league sends out an email after the deadline complaining that he/she (he/she?… even I’m not taking the obvious joke there) wasn’t aware, and should be allowed to make one last trade. Don’t be that he/she! What you can do right now, is try and start building the big trade, if you’re in contention. If you’re not (and in a keeper), analyze your team, and start trading assets for picks before the guy in second last does it before you. The third thing to do is pay close attention to the waiver wire gets, as they will be all that’s left in that post-trade apocalyptic wasteland. Guys rise and fall, due to injury and the subsequent opportunity, and you need to be aware of those streamers who can fill those voids. Keep your eye on the following bargains and fool’s gold:
Joe Johnson SG, SF
Johnson has been a passable guard/forward, and his production has only been middle round (think 75-80 ADP) value, in my opinion. Joe’s stats are consistent, around 15.5/4.5/3.5/1/.2 with a trey per, not too shabby, we all need the steady-Eddies on our squad, but not exactly taking your breath away. But there is talk he could be traded to Charlotte for Lance Stephenson, which would be a good move for both guards. And if you can get Joe right now, when he has had only 2 double digit scoring games in the last 6, you’d be buying low. Just don’t trade Lance for Joe, as Stephenson should be the beneficiary of the larger upswing in production if the trade goes through.
Tyler Zeller PF, C
The other Zeller is becoming the lover Zeller lately. I wonder: is Cody Zeller and Tyler Zeller the sons of Fuzzy Zeller? That would be a gas, but what isn’t fuzzy is Tyler’s future. He will see a significant uptick in minutes with Kelly Olynyk injured, and out for a while it looks like. In his 3 games with the extra time on the floor, Zeller has gone 13.3/6/1/0/1, with around a .600 shooting percentage. And, most importantly, Tyler is waiver gold, as he’s only 20% owned.
Terrance Jones PF, C
He might be there on the waiver for you, he’s currently (as of Wednesday morning) only 55% owned. And although there is a glut of forwards in Houston, he is the best of the bunch of Josh Smith and Donatas Montiejunas at the power forward spot. He can produce across the board, potentially, if he can shake the rust off quickly, and earn the lion’s share of minutes.
Kobe Bryant is out for the season, and Nick Young is also out for now. Wes Johnson seems like the obvious choice for touches, but it’s been the Duke who has come through in the early post-Kobe 2015. Ellington has gone 16/4.5/2.25/1.25/0 with 1.75 treys, and shooting well over .500%. Don’t expect me to do the exact math, just trust me.
Khris Middleton SG, SF
Middleton has been anything but middling, he is Godzilla right now. Dude is wrecking Tokyo as we speak, but like the fabled giant lizard, eventually he will be brought down. Khris will continue to get the minutes, it seems, but his production simply can’t continue to keep this pace. He’s only 48% owned, so if by some miracle, he’s not snagged in your league, don’t just stand there pointing and yelling his name, go get him. If you own him, this is the absolute zenith of his production, and we aim to sell high here in Razzball nation. Or ride him out, but you won’t be able to sell him for much at all once he returns closer to our earthly realm.
His name has generated enough buzz, and Whiteside is a great feel good story, maybe the best in the league. Yes, he got a stupid 12 blocks in one game, and that is about as crazy a stat as I’ve ever seen, but he followed it up with 0 blocks the next game. Remember, he’s a rook, and will get into foul trouble, hit the wall, and generally be a roller coaster. Just like Middleton, Whiteside’s a delight, because you snatched him off the waiver. But notice that in the last 5 games he’s played (excluding the 2 he missed due to injury, which is a concern in itself), he played 2 games with 11 minutes, and 15 minutes. If you want to ride that out for the excitement, I understand, but you can get a Tyson Chandler caliber player with Hassan and a piece. Just my two cents.
One more bargain bin fella you can turn into a legit piece. With Brandon Jennings out for the year, Augustin will get burn, and in his last 2 games, 27/4/8.5/1/0, with 4 treys per game. In short, he has looked like a top 5 Point Guard. And while I’m pulling for the kid, he’s not that kind of talent. if you can afford the PG stats, you can turn him into a productive big, hopefully.
That’s where I leave you today, gentle reader, I have to go pay for this Biz Markie CD.
May all your shots be nothing but net!