NBA Waiver Wire: January 13
Justin Fensterman goes around the league, providing players who are worth adding to your roster!
It’s time to make those trades. We have players such as Victor Oladipo and Zion Williamson that are getting ready to enter the scene and before the NBA trade deadline and now is the time where rotations will start to a shift a bit. Teams will be making trades and other team that aren’t in playoff contention will start emptying their bench to see what exactly they have on their roster looking towards the future. Take advantage and never sleep on your waiver wire. One trade impacts multiple players on two different teams.
Jarrett Culver G, SF MIN-39% Ownership: Culver has exploded in January when it comes to his production. He can not play multiple spots on the court, but with Karl-Anthony Towns still out of action, the ‘Wolves need more secondary scoring. Culver has hit double figures in his last seven games. He’ll not only hit long-range shots, but he’ll get in the lane as well. He’s grabbed five or more rebounds in six of his last seven games. The Timberwolves have had to rely on different players to lead the scoring each night beyond Andrew Wiggins with Towns out and Culver has been certainly picking up more shots. Culver has also grabbed multiple steals and blocked multiple shots in two of his last four games. Culver is seeing more playing time into the 30’s and that’s not going to change even when Towns eventually returns.
Jaxson Hayes C NO-31% Ownership: Things will get a bit crowded once Zion Williamson is playing full minutes, but Hayes has at least a month and a half to prove why he deserves 20 minutes in the Pelicans rotation. Since returning, Derrick Favors has been hot and his spot is solidified at Center. Brandon Ingram will handle a mix of Power Forward and Small Forward responsibilities, but beyond them, Hayes definitely has room to be given more minutes. Hayes has good speed getting down the court and he’s hard to keep out of the paint. He’ll help give the Pelicans second-chance scoring opportunities. Once he takes a step at the top of the paint, he’ll take flight and get to the basket. Hayes has seen a small rise in minutes over his last few games. He’s played in the 20’s in his last three and scored 14-plus points and double-digit rebounds in two of the three games. Hayes has also blocked multiple shots in his last three games. He’s swatted shots away in seven of his last eight games and he can be relied on for blocks, points and rebounding as of late.
Eric Gordon SG, SF HOU-40% Ownership: As much as I don’t like chasing one-category players, the Rockets being very top-heavy makes Gordon more appealing. Gordon’s game is centered around playing off the ball. Since returning to action at the end of December, Gordon has scored 12 or more points in every game he’s played in. The Rockets heavily utilize their starters, but Gordon is more reliable than Danuel House Jr. and Ben McLemore . Gordon has been a bit cold shooting from the field since returning, but, he’ll start heating up again soon and he’ll take a good amount of three-pointers. Gordon will also attack the lane if it’s open. He has a couple of soft match ups coming up that favor guards and he should have no issues taking out Memphis and Portland’s second units.
Kris Dunn G, SF CHI-35% Ownership: As frustrating as it is when Dunn doesn’t score in double figures, he makes up for it in other areas and with Otto Porter Jr. still out, Dunn’s defense is needed and he’ll continue getting more minutes. Dunn has played 23-plus minutes in his last six games and he even logged a 40-minute game. Dunn is playing out of position, but is still making enough of an impact to secure minutes at Small Forward. Dunn has grabbed steals in four of his last five games. He’s more of a bailout shooter when it comes to the Bulls offense but with Wendell Carter Jr. out and Lauri Markkanen forced to play more in the paint, that can give Dunn a few more looks when opposing defenses collapse on the Bulls once the ball hits the paint. Dunn averages 3.3 assists per game and will provide minor relief in that area. Dunn has also grabbed four or more boards in five of his last six games.
Trevor Ariza SG, SF SAC-7% Ownership: Ariza is another player who earns his minutes because of his defense, but, he’s scored in double figures in his last three games and we should look to take advantage of the extra category for the next couple of games and see if he truly is hot shooting from the field. Ariza has played in the 30’s in his last 4 games. The Kings have had issues with healthy forwards throughout the season and Ariza has benefitted. Ariza has a few good match ups coming up and he should see high-percentage three-pointers versus Orlando and Dallas. Ariza has also grabbed six or more boards in four of his last five games. Always rely on Ariza for steals as he’s made a career grabbing a lot of them. He’s grabbed multiple steals in his last four games. Ariza’s game keeps him more at the arc, but he’ll look to crash the boards a good amount. If his rebounding numbers drop and he’s kept exclusively at the arc once the Kings are at full strength, which is possible, look for another option unless you need the steals.
Omari Spellman PF GSW-18% Ownership: One of the more surprising moves of the season was the Warriors releasing Marquese Chriss . Honoring Damion Lee ’s contract did make sense, but releasing Chriss didn’t. With Chriss out of the way, Spellman has a chance to get playing time at multiple spots. Draymond Green has been banged up all year and Willie Cauley-Stein can log only so many minutes. Spellman has scored in double figures in his last five games and can provide balanced offense between driving and jump shooting. He’s hit seven three-pointers total in his last two games. Spellman has also grabbed at least five boards in his last five games. Spellman will help block shots from the top of the paint as well. He’s blocked multiple shots in three of his last four games. Opportunities will be there for him as the Warriors don’t have a lot of healthy depth beyond Spellman.
Elfrid Payton PG NY-27% Ownership: The Knicks don’t have a lot figured out in regards to which rotation works the best to keep them in games, but, one thing they do have figured out is who they are prioritizing at Point Guard. Dennis Smith Jr. has been hurt a few times this season and Frank Ntilikina is too inconsistent on offense. Payton has dished five or more assists in his last two games. Payton has been helpful on transition and isn’t relying on getting fed open looks. He looks to drive to the basket. Payton has scored in double figures in his last five games. He’s also grabbed multiple steals in three of his last four games. Payton will always have a safe floor because of the Knicks Point Guard situation being very weak. Payton is very quick and will thrive on transition. He has learned how to stop and pop at the elbow to get better and closer shots to the rim. He’s a safe add and he also grabbed 4.1 rebounds per game this season.
Patrick McCaw SG, SF TOR-6% Ownership: With Fred VanVleet hurt, Norman Powell is going to need help behind him and McCaw can help out on the wing and bringing up the ball. He’s coming off of a double-double and should be looked at as a short-term solution at this point. McCaw will bring up the ball when Kyle Lowry is off the floor, but, the problem with that is Lowry logs a lot of minutes. McCaw has helped out enough with defensive stats to be looked upon as a two-category threat. He’s grabbed three or more boards in four of his last five games. McCaw is an aggressive defender on the perimeter and he’s grabbed steals in seven of his last eight games. Even when other Raptors players such as Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol are able to take on a full workload, until VanVleet gets back, McCaw should be safely in the rotation. OG Anunoby has had every opportunity to take over the second scorer role with all of these injuries, but he’s been inconsistent. McCaw has a safe floor when it comes to playing time.
Daniel Gafford C CHI-8% Ownership: Wendell Carter Jr. is hurt and the Bulls don’t really have depth behind him. Lauri Markkanen is not as aggressive as he’s been in past season’s and part of that is because the Bulls are so infatuated with stretching the floor as much as possible that he plays mainly at the arc and it takes him out of a lot of offensive rebounding opportunities. In order for Markkanen to stay at the arc, someone else needs to be able to produce in the lane and Thaddeus Young has lost a step offensively since last season. Gafford has drawn starts and he’s been given more breathing room in the Bulls rotation hitting the 20-minute mark in three of his last four games. He scored in double figures in two of those games. Gafford will also provide help with steals and blocks. He’s shown aggressiveness in the lane and he’s grabbed steals in four of his last five games. Gafford has also blocked shots in his last 11 games. As he gets more playing time in the post, he’ll start to log more rebounds.
WILD CARD WATCH PLAYER Georges Niang F UT-2% Ownership: The Jazz have a strong need for another forward that can help get in the paint a bit more. Niang has been able to be a primary bailout shooter with the Jazz second unit playing behind Bojan Bogdanovic and with no Jeff Green around, it opens up 17-20 minutes for him in the Jazz rotation. With Mike Conley out, Royce O’Neale has to spend time bringing up the ball and that also opens up the Jazz rotation a bit more for Niang. He’s scored in double figures in four of his last six games. Niang grabs fewer than two boards per game overall, but, he’s grabbed at least three in four of his last five games. Niang will also provide some mid-range scoring. He’ll step inside the arc looking for long rebounds. Watch to see if his role grows at all beyond being a bailout shooter. If he can continue to improve his rebounding, he’ll become an appealing add from a team with light Power Forward depth.