NBA Waiver Wire: November 18
Justin Fensterman goes around the league, providing players who are worth adding to your roster.
Playing time is the clear proof of how much a player is actually in their team’s rotation. When seeing a player’s minutes, the questions that should be going through your mind are whether or not the player is truly part of their team’s rotation. Will that player stick? Is he just filling in for another injured teammate? How much depth does that player’s team have? 20 minutes per game proves to me that a player is actually in their team’s rotation. Rotations have not yet settled in as it’s still very early in the season. Now is the time to search and find those players whose minutes are trending upward. After this week, start looking at playing time trends ever two weeks to see if that player hits the 20-minute mark.
Alec Burks G GSW-43% Ownership: I’M CHEATING! Yes, I admit it, but it’s for a good reason. I’ll rarely put a player owned over 40% on Yahoo! on this list, but, the Warriors continue to get injured. With D’Angelo Russell out for the next couple of weeks, expect Burks to be featured a lot. Draymond Green can only do so much and he and Willie Cauley-Stein are both needed in the post. Burks will get a lot of time with the ball and shots from the perimeter. Since the start of November, he’s had multiple 20-plus point scoring outings. He continues to more games with playing time in the 30’s and as I’ll continue to point out, the Warriors are truly running out of scorers. Burks has stolen the ball in three of his last four games. His 3.9 rebounds per game is also encouraging because guards who rebound and grab steals show the coaching staff that they’ll be needed in more in the closing minutes of tight games. By default, Burks will be in the game because of the lack of depth, but the chances of him getting more shots late is also very high.
Nemanja Bjelica PF SAC-32% Ownership: Marvin Bagley III getting hurt got Bjelica more minutes and De’Aaron Fox getting hurt gets him more shots. Bjelica is a safe player to grab and even though he’s grabbing just 5.2 boards per game, he’s put up two double-doubles in his last three games. Bjelica has scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games. He hits at least two three-pointers a game. He’s a smart shooter and gets open a lot from mid-range. Bjelica plays tough defense. He knows how to body up on opposing forwards. The Kings can use all of the physicality in the lane they can get as their big men continue to be banged up. Bjelica has played at least 30 minutes in two of his last three games. He also grabs a steal per game as well. The commitment on the defensive end will keep him in games even when Bagley is ready to return.
Langston Galloway G DET-14% Ownership: With Reggie Jackson still out and Tony Snell in and out of the lineup, Galloway has been able to not only hang in the Pistons rotation, but he’s picked up more shots. Galloway has scored in double figures in every game he’s played in this month. He’s coming off of a 32-point performance. He’s even blocked a shot in four of his last six games, which is very surprising. Galloway hustles on both sides of the ball and can operate from both guard spots. When Derrick Rose came back from injury it looked like Galloway was going to lose minutes, but he’s getting involved and because of the ongoing health issues with guards, his long-range shooting is needed late in the game as Blake Griffin will need to be in the post more. Galloway has been playing over 25 minutes per game this season.
JaMychal Green PF, C LAC-9% Ownership: While the Clippers still figure out how to organize their centers, Green’s ability to stretch the floor and play the post should keep him hanging in the rotation. Expect Kawhi Leonard to get a decent amount of “load management” games and that will benefit the Clippers frontcourt. Green hits nearly two triples and gets over 22 minutes per game. There’s a chance that his playing time could drop a bit in games in which both Leonard and Paul George are active, but he should be able to continue to get a share at both center and power forward. Green’s rebounding also makes him attractive if you need help in that category. He’s grabbed at least 10 boards in three of his last five games, and he’s averaged two steals per game in his last three outings. The defensive efforts have been there. Green has also recorded blocks in two of his last four contests. There’s room for him to stick in this rotation.
Norman Powell SG, SF TOR-16% Ownership: Kyle Lowry getting hurt was the best thing that could have happened for Powell. With the departure of Kawhi Leonard there were minutes and a starting spot that Toronto didn’t replace with any kind of offseason acquisition. The minutes Leonard left behind were going to go to Powell or OG Anunoby . As we’ve seen, Anunoby has taken the spot and run away with it to the point in which Powell lost the contest. Fred VanVleet has to help run the point and with Serge Ibaka going down, Anunoby has to help fill the forward void and that leaves a guard spot open for Powell. He’s hit double-digits in scoring in four of his last five games. He’s played no fewer than 26 minutes in a game in that stretch, and he’s shown improvements defensively. Powell has grabbed at least five boards and blocked a shot in three of his last four games. With the Raptors lacking depth, Powell will come into good use for at least the next few weeks.
Bobby Portis PF, C NY-31% Ownership: It’s no secret that the Knicks have a ton of forwards and centers and Portis is definitely in a timeshare. However, like with JaMychal Green , Portis ability to hit shots from beyond the arc makes him standout. The Knicks have shuffled PF/C options in and out of the lineup all season but with Portis still playing over 23 minutes per game, his spot is safe. Portis hits at least one three-pointer per game and he’s done a good job defensively fighting for loose balls in the post. Portis has stolen the ball in four of his last five games and when he’s in the paint, he doesn’t stop fighting for position or the ball. He sets up in different areas on the court depending on what play is called. Portis has also grabbed over seven boards per game this season as well and the Knicks needs all of the help they can get at stopping the opposition from getting in the paint. I like it better when he matches up against opposing second units. Mitchell Robinson can only play so many minutes.
Malik Monk SG CHA-14% Ownership: The Charlotte guards have been a huge help at carrying the team offensively. Monk has gotten hot, but is it at the wrong time? Nicolas Batum is back in the mix and that could impact Monk’s playing time. Ultimately, the Hornets have relied on their youth more this season and that could be the saving grace for Monk. He’s scored in double figures in his last four outings and has played at least 22 minutes in all four of them. Monk will set up at the arc a good amount, but he’s been crashing the boards and getting inside a bit more, and that’s what has elevated his value a bit. Despite only averaging 2.9 boards per game for the season, he’s averaged six per game over his last four. Monk has also dished five assists and blocked a shot in two of his last three games. He’s giving fantasy owners a little bit of everything. We’ll have to wait and see just how much Batum eats into Monk’s playing time and production, but he should be able to hang in there for at least the next week or two.
Daniel Theis PF, C BOS-10% Ownership: Theis has been a bit banged up this season, but, his production has improved a bit over the last couple of weeks making him an intriguing end of bench option. Enes Kanter needs help and Robert Williams can’t be the only back up. With the injury to Gordon Hayward , other forwards shift down to help out on the perimeter and Theis can steal a few power forward minutes behind Jayson Tatum because he also needs time to cool off during the game. Theis has blocked two shots per game over the last two weeks and has grabbed 6.4 boards per game during that stretch as well. Theis continues hitting the 20-minute mark and he’s often seen hanging out in the paint on both sides of the ball, which bodes well for his rebounding potential. He has a small long-range game, but because of the Celtics lack of depth after not really filling the void that Al Horford , Aron Baynes and Marcus Morris left behind, Theis is securely in the Celtics rotation. Pick him up as the last guy off your bench.
Frank Kaminsky PF, C PHX-13% Ownership: Short-term pick up alert! We’ve gone through this with Kaminsky a lot over the last few years. He’ll be a constant streamer option. With Deandre Ayton still suspended, there are minutes open and while his game is similar to Aron Baynes , Baynes needs back up and Kaminsky has been able to score 10.6 points per game and pull down six rebounds per contest. Kaminsky has scored 17.5 points per game and grabbed at least a steal in his last two outings. If the three’s are falling, Kaminsky will continue to get fed. There will be games in which he sets up at the elbow and draws contact inside, but he’ll mainly look to pop out after giving the entry screen to get a high-percentage long-range shot. Seeing him take more mid-range jumpers gives me confidence that he’ll keep his rebounding numbers where they are right now. Once Ayton comes back, he’ll lose minutes, but, with Boston, Sacramento and New Orleans as his next three games, he should be able to produce.
WILDCARD PICK UP: Carmelo Anthony F POR-34% Ownership: After being signed to a non-guaranteed contract by the Blazers, Anthony is expected to join the Blazers on Tuesday. It’s hard to tell how many minutes he’ll get right away, but the Blazers need the scoring help and with their big men being banged up, there’s a huge void to fill and they were in need of a scoring forward. Anthony has scored 24 points per game for his career and even though he plays horrible defense, he grabs a lot of cheap boards and has averaged 6.5 per game over the years. Anthony hasn’t played in an NBA game in a year and the Blazers are already looking to get him on the court and that screams desperation. It may not work out ultimately, but why not take a shot on this All-Star caliber offensive player. The Blazers have nothing to lose and if he scores 20-plus in his first game back, it’ll be too late to grab him. The Blazers could decide to cut him before January, but, it’s worth the risk because Anthony Tolliver is just not getting the job done and Zach Collins won’t be back for months. Why not?