Los Angeles, we have a problem. A season that started with nothing but optimism has quickly spiraled into a whirlwind of under-performance, coach questioning, and rumors, as the Lakers are currently the 11th seed in the West, six wins below the Spurs, who are currently holding onto the final playoff position. What is more discouraging is that they have won only five of their last 18 games and the chemistry is visibly mediocre, to say the least.
LeBron’s defense has come into question, and for valid reasons, as at times he seems disinterested on that end of the floor. The only player that seems to have come alive, proving me completely wrong in the process, is Rajon Rondo, but the Lakers have a long way to go. It is going to be a very interesting summer for them and I expect many changes both in the coaching and player personnel.
Apart from Rondo, last week’s buy suggestions of Joakim Noah and Tyus Jones were also misses, as the former saw his minutes reduced and the latter disappeared due to the return of Jeff Teague. On the contrary, Luke Kennard is starting to look like a must own player and I encourage you to hurry and get him because he won’t be available for long. Finally, both sell candidates, Harrison Barnes and Justise Winslow, have not done anything to convince me that they should be removed from the trading block of your team.
Delon Wright: With the Grizzlies playing for the lottery, Mike Conley is a prime shut-down candidate and has already missed three games overthe last two weeks due to “general soreness”. This makes Wright a great stash, but even beyond that, he has played well even alongside Conley and is coming off a 25/1/4/1/2/1/2 game. His game is particularly fantasy-friendly and he can provide immediate guard stats and has significant potential down the stretch (11% owned).
Harry Giles: Giles was a very popular sleeper over the summer, but was quickly dropped, as he wasn’t afforded much playing time to start the year. However, Marvin Bagley III has been sidelined with a knee sprain and Giles has been taking advantage of the increased opportunity. The minutes are still low but if you want a boost in fg% and points, he can be your guy until Bagley returns to full speed (9% owned).
Mike Conley: As already mentioned above, Conley is a prime trade candidate on a Memphis team that has no shot for playoff contention. With Marc Gasol already out of town and Conley’s five-year, $153 million contract looming, it won’t be shocking to see him sit the last games of the season. He is ranked 28th in average for the season and is performing great when he is playing, but if the trade deadline has not passed in your league, exploring his trade market is a very alluring option at this point.
Danny Green: The year started great for Green and it looked like this could be a comeback year for him in terms of fantasy, but the last months have not been kind. His value was always tied to his great out-of-position blocks, but those have vanished lately and, paired with with his shooting slump, explain the drop off in his fantasy performance. He is still a low-end contributor in roto, but if you are in a fight for a playoff spot you may want to search for the hot hand and swap him for a player who is in better form. (49% owned).
Malik Beasley: All the injuries the Nuggets experienced throughout the year gave Beasley the opportunity to prove he belongs in this league, and he did an exceptional job. Still, fantasy relevance is closely tied to playing time and, with the Nuggets at full strength, he has lost almost 10 minutes per game. There are better options on the wire at this point but be ready to pounce on him again if any Nuggets’ player suffers an injury (22% owned).
So there you have it folks. As always, I am eager to read your thoughts about other players you think are Buy/Sell worthy in the comments below, as well as all your fantasy related questions! See you next week with new suggestions and a recap of the performances for this week’s showcased players.