NBA Waiver Wire: December 16
Justin Fensterman goes around the league, providing players who are worth adding to your roster!
Remember, don’t only focus on players in this particular article. Go back and look at the previous few to see if any player mentioned catch your eye on your waiver wire. We want to get in as many names in as possible and none of the players listed (outside of an emergency injury situation) will be mentioned a second time in four articles. Keep looking at stats of players over the previous two weeks of action to get an idea if you can catch a trendy player early. Always stay one step ahead of the game.
Alex Len PF, C ATL 35% Ownership: This could be the start of a trend as Len’s minutes have improved a bit in recent games. He’s played 20-plus minutes in his last three games. Len has also scored in double figures in four of his last five contests. He doesn’t have many post moves, but he is having success and is hanging on to his rotation spot. Len doesn’t need a lot of minutes to produce, but, he has had trouble with consistency over the years. Give Len a couple of games to see if he can sustain 20 minutes, and help as much as he has with points and rebounds. He’s grabbed double-digit boards in two of his last four games. John Collins is still suspended and there are definitely open minutes. Len will be in a timeshare with Damian Jones , but he has blocked shots and grabbed steals in four of his last five games.
Josh Hart SG, SF NO-33% Ownership: For the most part, the minutes will be on the side of Hart and he continues to play in the 20’s and 30’s. The Pelicans are also experimenting with new lineups and that should also benefit Hart. He has scored in double figures in three of his last six games, will spend a lot of time off the ball moving around the arc, and he’ll be used as a bailout option on the perimeter. Hart also grabbed at least four boards in four of his last six games. He’s had a few more games lately in which he took shots in the double-digits. The Pelicans clearly aren’t happy with Lonzo Ball and that should give Hart the ball to facilitate a little bit more. New Orleans has a weaker schedule coming up and he should be able to produce a good amount of points against the Timberwolves and Warriors guards. Portland isn’t much better, and he’ll be able to take advantage of their second unit.
Landry Shamet PG LAC-11% Ownership: Shamet is just returning from an ankle injury and after seeing him get 21 minutes in his first game back, it’s a very encouraging sign that he will be able to regularly get 20-plus minutes per game. It’ll be interesting to see if Shamet’s minutes are impacted with Paul George now in the lineup. He can help at both guard spots, and the Clippers guards have been a bit banged up lately. Shamet will shoot from downtown, but he’ll also attack the lane when it’s somewhat open and as he shakes the rust, expect him to start attacking more. He’ll be a bit more tentative when it comes to driving the lane for the next few games, but he was able to hit four of his five shots in his first game back while hitting three three-pointers and grabbing four rebounds. Patrick Beverley ’s defense earns him minutes, and Shamet being able to help out on the offensive side of the ball makes him a good compliment to Beverley.
Cameron Johnson SG, SF PHX-3% Ownership: Even with Deandre Ayton coming back soon, there is still room for another guard off the bench to take shots and Johnson has hit double-figures in scoring in four of his last six games. He’ll hit threes and drive the lane and take contact. Johnson has grabbed at least four boards in his last five games. Johnson has been seeing minutes in the 20’s and 30’s over his last six games, and the Suns have given him more of a commitment lately. Tyler Johnson ’s shot can’t be trusted and Mikal Bridges is very hit or miss. That means behind Devin Booker , Kelly Oubre Jr. and Ricky Rubio , there’s certainly room for another shooter and Johnson has been able to see seven or more shots in his last five games. He’ll also help play defense on the perimeter and he has grabbed steals in four of his last six games.
Dwight Powell PF, C DAL-38% Ownership: Powell is a utility player who will come through in at least one category in each game. Owners can’t expect him to score in double figures every night. Kristaps Porzingis helps handle the offense from the perimeter half the time and the give and go is often called between Porzingis and Luka Doncic . Powell is on the court to help clear the ball and grab rebounds, and he grabs nearly five boards per game. One positive of his game is that he’s good at grabbing loose balls in the lane. Powell has stolen the ball in seven of his last eight games. He can hit threes if needed as well and he’ll be left open because opposing defenses won’t expect him to fire from the arc as much. He’ll regularly see around 25 minutes per game and when Porzingis is at the arc, he has the paint to himself.
Jordan Clarkson G CLE-28% Ownership: If you need scoring, Clarkson has been hot from the field lately and even in games when he doesn’t get 20 minutes of playing time, he’s still scoring in double-digits. Clarkson has scored 14.3 points per game this season. He’s hit three or more three-pointers in his last four games. He’ll get some time to run the point and he’s dished at least three dimes in each of his last four games. Clarkson has also grabbed at least three boards in four of his last five games. While the Cavs don’t want to stand in the way of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland ’s development, Clarkson has been a good fill in option for both players. He’s even grabbed steals in his last four games. Clarkson’s spot in the rotation is safe and he’s been taking 11.3 shots per game. When Cedi Osman is cold from the field, Clarkson will get even more shots.
Aron Baynes C PHX-40% Ownership: There’s still a little time to take full advantage of Baynes value, but Ayton’s return will relegate him back to being a back up. That doesn’t mean that he won’t be given any love in the rotation, but, Baynes will have to battle Frank Kaminsky for extra minutes. Baynes will have to leave the arc a bit and be the gritty guy that we remember from his Boston days and his skill-set can compliment Kaminsky’s playing style. Kaminsky will play more on the arc and Baynes will have the paint to himself. He has been a bit banged up lately, but since returning to action from injury, he’s scored in the double-digits in three straight games. Baynes is hitting threes now, but when Ayton returns, expect his rebounding numbers to improve as he’ll spend more time in the post. He’ll pop out to the arc if other drivers can’t get in the lane, but his long-range game will be used only when he’s wide open at the arc. Baynes is also protecting the rim, and has blocked shots in two of his last three games.
Patty Mills PG SAS-7% Ownership: The minutes will always be safe for Mills, who continues to have the exact same role each year for the Spurs. When his scoring numbers are solid, naturally he’ll be recommended more. Mills has scored at least ten points in his last three games. Mills hits 2.2 three-pointers per game and he will help turn up the pace of the Spurs slower offense. Mills plays over 23 minutes per game and he’s not afraid to shoot when defenses focus more on defending the paint, especially on transition. He’ll stop and pop when defenses shift too far back in the paint. Mills will also help fight through screens on the defensive side of the ball and that’s another reason why he’s able to keep his minutes high. He’s recorded two multi-steal games in his last three. He’s also surprisingly grabbed five-plus boards in two of his last four games. Keep him until his scoring drops off again.
Denzel Valentine SG, SF CHI-2% Ownership: Valentine has had issues staying on the court throughout his career. Luckily, the Bulls continue to suffer from mid-court injuries and they need another scorer to help shoot them back into games and Valentine is starting to see an uptick in minutes. Valentine has seen 22-plus in three of his last four games. Valentine is good at finding openings at the arc. Otto Porter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison continue to be out of the lineup and Valentine has room to earn minutes at both shooting guard and small forward. Valentine has scored in double-digits in five of his last six games, and he’s hit three-plus three-pointers in four of his last six games. Valentine is also been a committed defender and has grabbed steals in four of his last six games. Valentine has helped some in rebounding, grabbing three or more boards in his last three games. Kris Dunn will also get small forward minutes, but it’s mainly because of his defense. Valentine definitely has room to grow his role on this banged up Bulls squad.
WILD CARD PICK UP: Bruce Brown Jr. SG DET-3% Ownership: If you need cheap scoring and assists, Brown has been reliable when it has come to getting minutes in recent games. Brown has played at least 21 minutes in his last five contests. Brown will hit from downtown, but he’s more of an attacker and he’ll get to the free-throw line. Brown has been more helpful grabbing boards in his last few games grabbing seven-plus boards in three of his last four games. He’s also dished four or more assists in three of his last four. Brown will be aggressive on the perimeter and he’s grabbed steals in four of his last six games. He won’t always score in double figures, but when the Pistons need more defensive help, they’ll take some of Derrick Rose ’s minutes and shift them over to Brown. As good as Rose is offensively, Brown will provide them a bit more on the defensive end.