It took a while, but we’re finally here. With the NBA trade deadline just days away, the swapping season is officially off and running and from the look of it, we could be in for a doozy. Way back in November, I floated the idea of buying Nets explosion insurance and now, thirteen weeks later, the bomb has finally gone off. On Friday, star guard Kyrie Irving requested a trade after failing to land a palatable extension offer from Brooklyn. By Sunday, his wishes had been fulfilled, as the Nets agreed to swap Irving and Markieff Morris for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, an unprotected 2029 first-round pick, and second-round picks in the 2027 and 2029. 

It’s a big move for two franchises and a massive opening salvo to the upcoming trade deadline, but the fantasy fallout is murky and there aren’t a ton of clear pickups or moves to make in its wake. Let’s dig in. 

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The Magic have been everyone’s favorite fantasy outlet this season, from Bol Bol Euro-stepping into monster jams to Paolo Banchero compiling historic rookie numbers. The play of Franz Wagner has by no means been lost in all the excitement, but his games of late have been next level good. Over his last six games, he’s averaging 24 points on 55% shooting, 68.3 TS%, pitching in about 4 boards, 3 assists, a steal and 3 threes per game. 

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Regarding last week’s suggestions, I hope you followed the Desmond Bane one, as he shot the ball incredibly this week so the buy low window is shut. Meanwhile, Royce O’Neale had two good and one awful game but he remains an add until Kevin Durant returns, while Patrick Williams unfortunately couldn’t capitalize on DeMar DeRozan’s absence properly. Finally, on the “Sell” front, Jordan Clarkson continues to take advantage of absences in Utah and thus continues to be a good sell high target.

No Sell portion this week as it is a week with a tight schedule and lots of good streaming candidates to add.

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I’ve always been fascinated with how humans can control other objects. The Shaolin monks are able to access the energy of the universe and light things on fire from a distance. Think Ryu’s Hadoken from Street Fighter. Random people can spin a 10-pound ball down a lane and knock down pins. Others can use a stick and make a ball spin like planets in an orbit around a table. For hoops, the ultimate joy is making the net dance after launching the ball into the air with the perfect amount of backspin. I always appreciated the chain-linked nets. There was nothing better than that sound. In the NBA, there’s no need to ghettofy things as they can supply the finest nylon for their nets. On Sunday, Julius Randle was the conductor of a nylon ballet, putting on a show for the Detroit crowd.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 13!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.  If you saw last week’s post, I hope you benefitted from investing in the Marshall Plan – Naji Marshall, that is.  He was a far better investment than Patrick Beverley, who promptly ceased to produce after I thought it was safe to promote him again.

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Regarding last week’s suggestions, Kelly Olynyk unfortunately suffered an injury that will sideline him for the coming weeks, while Jalen Williams continued impressing and I hope you already picked him up. Jalen McDaniels has also been productive and is a standard league player as long as Gordon Hayward is out. Finally, on the “Sell” front, Gary Trent Jr. continues his hot streak and thus his sell high window continues to be open for savvy fantasy managers.

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In this life, do-overs are rare. The opportunity to go back and change the mistakes of the past is reserved for science fiction plots or melancholy discussions over a pint in dimly-lit watering holes. But over this last week, I was presented with an opportunity to do just that – to go back with the knowledge of hindsight and fix where I failed, to atone, to set things right. I had screwed up once and now I was gifted a second chance. Please, I told myself, don’t blow it again. 

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I’m pretty sure Ivica Zubac doesn’t have a pocket full of rocks. He’s definitely not skinny and likely has never gotten his ass kicked. He was probably doing the ass kicking. He’s not smoking blunts but has made millions without having to cut a quarter ounce. That said, if Zubac wants to continue making millions, he’s gotta keep dealing and ballin’. And ballin’ he did as no one can take Sunday’s game away from young Z:

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
31 29 3 0 3 5 0 14/17 3/3

Holy schiztnitz. It was a White Man’s World. The only other player who has put up a 30-point, 29-rebound, 3-assist, and 3-block game was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar back in 1978 when he went for 37 points, 30 rebounds, 5 assists, and 6 blocks! As a Lakers fan, it makes me sad that the Lakers traded him away. And to the Clippers no less for Mike Muscala. And by Jerry West, who is the greatest general manager in the history of the game and ended up consulting for the Clippers.

“The Clippers, sources said, never even called the Lakers to inquire about Zubac. The Lakers made the offer and the Clippers gladly accepted. Sources said that those at the dinner table shared a hearty laugh at the Lakers’ expense.”

Excuse me as I go perform seppuku for the eighth time in my life. I guess I’ll find out soon if I’m a cat or not.

Here’s what else I saw yesterday:

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The Nets are leaning more and more on Yuta Watanabe, and he’s rewarded them with hard-nosed defense and a sizzling start from beyond the arc. Watanabe has averaged 24 MPG over his last seven healthy outings (scoring in double figures in five of them), and was a key cog in 29 minutes last night after scoring 20 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and nailing five triples. With his 5-for-7 display from deep, he’s now up to a ridiculous (albeit unsustainable) 55.6 percent on his threes. A long, switchy wing who can keep defenses honest from distance is a good fit for Brooklyn, and Watanabe should stay in this prominent role as long as his jumper doesn’t go in the toilet. He’s a deep-league add who should be on the streaming radar in standard formats as well (three percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues).

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Four!  In this post, you’ll find widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.

The past few days have provided plenty of intrigue, with Kyrie Irving and the Nets taking center stage.  After Brooklyn handed Kyrie a minimum five-game suspension, Jaylen Brown told media outlets that senior members of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) viewed the punishment as too severe.  Their objection is based on the lack of guidance governing social media conduct in the league’s collective-bargaining agreement.  Though Brown indicated that the NBPA would seek to appeal the suspension, no appeal is filed as of this writing.  Brown mentioned that the outcome of a Tuesday meeting between Irving and Adam Silver would influence the NBPA’s decision to move forward with the appeal, so it’s possible that the reportedly positive meeting compelled the union to stand down.  Inaction on the part of the NBPA suggests that Kyrie’s suspension will not greatly exceed the five-game minimum, but it’s equally possible that I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Either way, Brooklyn players who have picked up the slack over the past four outings are due for at least one more game of elevated run.

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Hello Razzball Nation! Welcome to another massive NBA DFS slate for Wednesday. There are 13 games tonight so as always, my #1 piece of advice is to be up to date on injuries. In a 13-game slate there will always be value plays that open up throughout the day.

Let’s get down to it. Pricing is always (Fanduel/DraftKings). I mostly play tournaments and my picks will always bias towards volatility and upside.

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The NBA on Friday Night rolled back the clock two nights too early (the end of daylight savings is Sunday 2 a.m.), harkening the days where big men ruled the professional basketball roost. There were myriad starting backcourts taking the night off with injuries and “injuries” (the league loves it when teams rest their stars on Friday night!), leading to a slew of point-forward play and 7-footers trying out for the 3-point contest.

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