NBA Waiver Wire: Week 21
Justin Fensterman goes around the league, providing players who are worth adding to your roster.
Don’t fall in love with players at this point. Look at their usage on a per game basis. It doesn’t matter how your team looks on paper at the end of the day. It’s about who can get you to the top. You may drop a player who has been dominant for you all season if they’re all of a sudden being shutdown or limited for a player you know very little or even nothing about. It’s all about what these players can prove RIGHT NOW! Good luck and DOMINATE your opponents! No other option!
Nemanja Bjelica PF SAC-30% Ownership: Marvin Bagley III is still banged up and Bjelica is seeing a steady dose of playing time. He serves multiple purposes for the Kings. He’ll be a bailout shooter at times helping the Kings spread and then he’ll play in the paint at other times. He’s been helpful with steals and blocks lately. He’s swiped balls in his last four games. He’s an aggressive defender. He’s physical against taller players. He’s recorded blocks in four of his last six games and three of those games were multi-block games. He gets a lot of high-percentage shots from long-range and he’s scored in double figures in two of his last three games. In fact, he’s been so helpful on the boards that he’s compiled double-doubles in two of his last three games. He’ll fight for boards at the top of the paint and he doesn’t give up on plays easily.
Ivica Zubac C LAC-22% Ownership: Zubac has improved his production over the last few weeks. He’s been a volume producer who doesn’t always get 20 minutes per game. He’s taken advantage of every opportunity given to him. He’s scored in double figures in his last three games. He’s also been successfully cleaning the glass as he’s grabbed double-digit boards in three of his last six games. Zubac is a low-block exclusive player and he uses his size to position himself well in the post. He’s developed post moves from the low-block and he’ll get to the line each game. He’ll help a bit with blocks, but don’t rely on his blocks for consistency. He’s blocked shots in three of his last six games, which is trendy, but, invest in him for the points and boards he provides. The Clippers need all of the muscle they can get under the basket and Zubac should be able to hit the 20-minute mark more often then not.
Kent Bazemore SG, SF ATL-40% Ownership: Bazemore’s minutes are being obviously being watched, but, he shouldn’t be ignored. When he’s trending up, you go after him. He’s scored in double figures in four of his last six games. He’s also grabbed six or more boards in four of his last six games. Bazemore’s rebounding and three-point shooting have been saving his value. He’s also grabbed steals and blocks in two of his last four games. He’s been doing just enough to hold value. Don’t expect him to always look to feed the cutter once he gets the entry pass at the elbow, but, he’ll always at least take a look for one of the Hawks bangers on the block. He’ll provide minor assist relief, but don’t expect anything consistent. View assists as an added bonus. Grab him for points, three’s and boards at this point.
Maxi Kleber PF DAL-7% Ownership: Kleber is healthy again and with Kristaps Porzingis not making his Mavs debut until next season and Dirk Nowitzki ’s minutes being limited, Dwight Powell , Dorian Finney-Smith and Kleber will be handling low-post responsibilities. Kleber has posted two double-doubles in his last three games since returning. He’s also recorded steals in two of his last three games. Kleber will also help out with blocks to a lesser extent. Kleber can help stretch the floor as well. He can hit a three as a last resort bailout option. The minutes he’s been getting have interested me in Kleber. He’s a hustler on the court and he’s played at least 29 minutes in his three games since returning from injury. The Mavs guards will handle most of their scoring, but Kleber will find ways to get inside and score off of second chance opportunities.
Landry Shamet PG LAC-11% Ownership: Shamet has been scoring in double figures a lot lately. He’s scored 11-plus points in his last 6 games. He’s been a major threat from distance. He’s hitting multiple three’s per game recently. He plays more of an off-guard role and he’ll provide a little help with assists. We’re looking for him to get more shots down the stretch and he’s certainly getting the love in the rotation. He’s playing steadily in the 20’s and 30’s and even though the Clippers have a lot of guards, Shamet has done a good job of keeping the ball moving. Watch his rebounding numbers as their slowly trending upward. Always look for guards who grab three boards per game. Shamet has hit this mark three times in his last six games. View boards as a bonus for now, but that can become a reliable stat if he continues to produce more three-rebound games.
Ante Zizic C CLE-7% Ownership: Zizic is healthy again and a lot more is being asked of him because both Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. are injured. Thompson may not return this season and that could give Zizic even more playing time in the Cavs rotation. The Cavs are playing for nothing at this point and I can even see Kevin Love getting his minutes limited over the next couple of weeks. Zizic has scored in double figures in his last three games and he’s learned how to use his size in the post. He’s hard to box out of the paint. Skill-wise, he’s almost at the same level as Nance. Zizic has also grabbed five-plus boards in his last four games. He’ll help specifically with points and boards. He’s seen a lot more success operating from the post. Zizic has been getting a lot more plays called for him in the post and even when Nance is fully healthy, Zizic should be able to keep his minutes in the late-20’s and his usage won’t drop as much.
Tyus Jones PG MIN-12% Ownership: SHORT-TERM SOLUTION ALERT! The Timberwolves guards continue to be injured and the fact that they are quickly falling out of the NBA Playoff race, Jones should pick up more minutes down the stretch. He’s scored in double figures in his last three games and he’s been very helpful with steals. He’s produced swipes in his last four games. Jones has a long-range game and he’s not afraid to use it when Andrew Wiggins is doubled at the elbow. Luckily for Jones and the other Timberwolves guards, Wiggins (when healthy) often drives into trouble in which he’s trapped by multiple defenders and has to pass off. Jones is coming off of a nine-assist game. When Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose are healthy, Jones is the third guard on the depth chart, but if the ‘Wolves have a tanking mentality, they’ll start using Jones more to get him more experience. As much as they don’t want to halt Derrick Rose ’s major comeback season, he hasn’t been healthy and the Timberwolves could opt to go young moving forward. For now, consider Jones a short-term solution.
Jakob Poeltl PF, C SAS-18% Ownership: It’s hard to see and appreciate Poeltl’s success from looking at his stats, but LaMarcus Aldridge needs more muscle to support him in the paint, especially if the Spurs are going to compete in the playoffs. Poeltl has been rebounding better lately as he’s grabbed at least seven in three of his last four games. He’ll score cheap points off of put backs and second chance opportunities, but don’t rely on him to score frequently in double figures. Poeltl will fight for loose balls. He’s grabbed steals in three of his last four games and blocked shots in two of his last three. He’s a big body who has improved his physical play over the last few years. Poeltl has also been helpful with assists over his last couple of games. He’s dished three dimes in his last two games. View his assist production as an added bonus.
Kevin Huerter SG ATL-20% Ownership: Huerter has definitely earned his rotation spot and he’s been playing in the 20’s and he’ll also see some games in which he eclipses 30 minutes. He’s scored in double-digits in six of his last eight games. He’ll balance his offense between shooting from downtown and driving the lane. He’s not afraid to draw contact and he has a quick step to the basket. Huerter has also grabbed steals in his last two games. His rebounding has been a major plus lately, grabbing four or more in his last four games. He’ll also provide support with assists. He has good ball-handling ability and he’s dished at least three dimes in four of his last six games. He’ll hit three’s regularly and he’s always moving off the ball. He moves off the ball almost as much as JJ Redick does. Expect him to continue to get more love in the rotation down the stretch as the Hawks are looking at the lottery.
WILDCARD PICK UP: CJ Miles SG, SF MEM-1% Ownership: The Grizzlies are playing for nothing and Miles has taken full advantage of the increased minutes he’s gotten over the last few weeks. He’s been regularly playing the 20’s and he’s been more of a prioritized scorer for Memphis. He’s scored in double figures in four of his last six games. He’s coming off of a 33-point game. Miles is more of a three-and-D player and he’ll provide help with steals. In fact, he’s recorded steals in three of his last four games. He’s also blocked shots in three of his last five games. Miles will take a lot of shots from downtown. He’s utilized as a bailout option and he’ll benefit when Mike Conley drives and draws the extra defender. He’ll provide minor rebounding help, but view any boards that he grabs as an added bonus.