Last night, with the wind howling and sheets of rain falling outside, I sat to watch the Tuesday night slate of NBA games in preparation for this very article. I had ideas, a notepad handy, a keen eye for fantasy talent on the ready, and all set for business.
Then the power went out. What made it worse was it came back on early, but late enough that it was past my bedtime. So I’m going blind here, only on numbers, not my scouting eye.
Here’s what I saw, um, ooops, here’s what the box scores are telling me this Wednesday morning.
These guys are going to be a pain in the patootie for the rest of the year. Ja Morant is out due to non weapons related injuries now, so of course, what do teams in the NBA do? Of course! They’re going to tank for picks? Jaren Jackson, Jr. sat last night with knee soreness, which is NBA for “Ah, screw it.” I would expect Desmond Bane to get some nights off, Marcus Smart to miss a ton of time, but I guess that’s it? Luke Kennard stands to benefit as he camps behind the arc. 15 last night, 3 treys, and I’d get him if you need that and only that stat. He won’t help much elsewhere. Keep an eye on the Grizzlies; someone will emerge as an own-worthy guy. We just don’t know who it is.
Wait, you want more than that, don’t you? Fine, fine, fine, this is the order of pickup priority if you want a flier.
Zaire Williams: it behooves them to see if he’ll fit the team in the future, I think they prioritize his development
GG Jackson: only if you have a stash. He’s talented but crazy raw, might be an end of the season monster if you can afford the spot
Luke Kennard: I talked about this, but he’s an elite 3s guy if you need that
You happy now? That’s all I got on this team.
Raptors New Roster
Impressive how they have rebuilt a little bit on the fly, isn’t it?
RJ Barrett’s role is safe. He’s cleared 30 minutes easily in each of his four games as a Raptor. In that time, he’s exploded twice for 37 and a juicy 23-10-5 line. I’ve been in the camp that RJ can still be a really good player but not a top round draft pick. He’s still super young, remember? I think with a new role, in his home country, and consistent run he’ll be better, like top 100 good.
Immanuel Quickley is the guy to watch for me. He’s always linked with Tyrese Maxey because they played at Kentucky, are both guards who shoot a lot, are the same size, and have similar hairstyles. He’s not going to be as good as Maxey, but he’s not the Dollar Tree version of him either. Think Coby White level, like 20-4-6 and be happy.
Gary Trent, Jr. has been a favorite of mine since his college days. He’s an expiring contract and I don’t think the Raptors are going to prioritize him. He may be dealt, though, and keep an eye on what Trent may do. Raptors are committing to Barrett and Quickley as the guards; Trent’s value is pretty well tanked unless he’s moved.
Magic Bigs Rotation
Wendell Carter, Jr. has knee tendonitis now. You know, I’m starting to worry he might be injury prone. Looks like Goga Bitazde and Mo Wagner will flip minutes based on matchups, effectively killing the upside and value and knowing who to count on. Good real life situation that’s bad for fantasy.
If you can get Paolo Banchero in a dynasty or keeper situation, he’s a future top 20 pick for the next decade. Last ten he’s averaging 29-8-6. Yes, I rounded up from the decimals, you’re allowed to do that if the tenth spot is over 5, don’t you remember your fourth grade math? Just get him.
Random Disconnected Thoughts
Rudy Gobert’s season is underappreciated. 12-12 with 2 blocks and 62% shooting is really rewarding those who drafted him in the middle rounds. He’s better than Jaren Jackson, Jr. at this point. And Jaren Jackson, Sr. too, although he was underrated.
I think that’s about enough for this week. Thanks for reading, and until next time………………