NBA Waiver Wire: February 23
Justin Fensterman goes around the league, providing players who are worth adding to your roster!
Now that we are beyond the All-Star break and trade deadline, it’s time to watch which teams start shutting down players for the rest of the season. That will open up more minutes and you’ll have to focus on the teams that get eliminated from playoff contention mathematically first so you can pounce on those teams. This is the time when short-term solutions become season saviors and even though the team is horrible, someone has to produce right? Every team has a fantasy option, even if that player is a short-term stopgap.
Josh Hart SG, SF NO-38% Ownership: Hart continues to hold his ground in the Pelicans rotation and even with Zion Williamson playing full minutes and taking a lot of shots, Hart has been able to see more love with the reserves and the fact that he can play multiple positions benefits him and he can even run the point if needed. Hart has been especially helpful grabbing boards lately. He’s compiled seven rebounds in seven of his last eight games. With Kenrich Williams out of action, Hart will be able to sneak in a few more SF minutes when Brandon Ingram has to shift up to PF. Hart has also scored in double figures in three of his last five games. He’ll take smart shots and won’t just chuck them up. He’ll get set up at the arc when he’s off the ball. Expect him to be on the ball when he’s on the court with the second unit for a good amount of time, especially on transition. His minutes are safe and even though his steals have been a bit inconsistent lately, he’s still swiping 1.1 balls per game.
WATCH PLAYER: Shabazz Napier G WSH-15% Ownership: Just when Napier is starting to find his rhythm, he gets traded, but he should still be able to log 20 minutes per game when all is said and done. Give him another game or two to get in line with the Wizards offense, but once he does, there’s room for him with the second unit. He’ll split time with Ish Smith for the rest of the season. He won’t have to worry about John Wall returning to the court this year either. Napier has dished four assists and grabbed a steal in his last two games. He’ll be especially helpful on transition because of his tremendous speed and even though Bradley Beal will bring up the ball a decent amount, Napier will help the Wizards by playing off the ball. He constantly moves around the arc and he’ll even backdoor cut to the basket against careless opposing defenses. His quickness alone will help the Wiz because it will keep them moving quickly from baseline to baseline. His scoring will go up over the next couple of weeks.
Cedi Osman F CLE-22% Ownership: We are going to have to see the extent of Kevin Love ’s Achilles soreness that he’s suffering from, but Osman looks like he will be in line for more shots for at least the next few games. He’s hit the 10-shot mark in two of his last three games. Osman is mainly used as a bailout option, but one of the things he does very well is not run to the other side of the court to get back on defense immediately when he shoots. He waits to see if the ball ricochet’s off the back iron back to him at the elbow and arc. He is good at grabbing long boards and keeping the possession alive for the Cavs. Osman, who grabs just 3.6 rebounds per game, has topped that in his last six games. He’ll toggle between both forward spots with Love injured and he’s even grabbed steals in two of his last four contests. He won’t shoot exclusively from the arc, as he’ll look to set up at the elbow and that will continue to help make him a better rebounder.
Cam Reddish G, SF ATL-20% Ownership: De’Andre Hunter has been in and out of the lineup and Reddish has thrived since returning from the Concussion and because of his versatility, he will see more minutes. He was taking terrible shots earlier this season and he has taken at least 11 shots in his last three games. Reddish has scored in double figures in his last four games and he will earn more minutes because of his defense on the perimeter. Reddish has been a productive rebounder in his last few games, as he’s grabbed four or more over his last three games. He has been especially helpful grabbing steals as he’s produced swipes in his last four games including two multi-steal games. The Hawks will continue to give Reddish more minutes down the stretch as they are lottery-bound and they don’t get much help up front offensively. Clint Capela is still hurt and the Hawks Guards besides Trae Young will have to pick up the production in order to keep up with their opposition on a given night. This team plays a very limited amount of defense, and Reddish should see more 30-minute games for the rest of the way.
Naz Reid C MIN-27% Ownership: This is a no-brainer, must-add player right now because the Timberwolves will be without Karl-Anthony Towns for at least the next few weeks because he’s dealing with a fractured Wrist. There are even talks of shutting down Towns for the rest of the season as the ‘Wolves are looking towards the lottery. Towns wants to come back so we’ll have to see, but for now until Jake Layman comes back, Reid will see a lot of minutes. He’s scored in double figures in four of his last five games. He’s grabbed blocks and steals in two of his last three games. James Johnson and Juancho Hernangomez will split PF minutes with Johnson helping relieve Reid when he needs a break. Reid has grabbed at least six boards in three of his last four games. Reid can help stretch the floor and hit shots from the outside as well. Centers with long-term appeal have been hard to find on the waiver wire this season, and Reid is certainly a rest of year rotation candidate for Minnesota.
Malik Monk G CHA-36% Ownership: Four weeks ago, Monk was just a wildcard candidate when it came to waivers, but now, he has enough room to breath in the rotation. The Hornets got rid of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams . Monk will battle Cody Martin for minutes and since the Hornets started dangling Monk as trade bait, he’s taken advantage of all opportunities given to him. Monks has scored 15 or more points in his last six games. He’s a scoring threat from long-range. He played at least 30 minutes in three of those games and his minutes should continue to stay in the late-20’s and early 30’s for the rest of the way. Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier handle most of the offense, but they will need breaks at times and the Hornets don’t have many mid-court options forcing them to run a three-guard offense a decent amount of times. Monk has grabbed four-plus boards in his last three games and he has stolen the ball in two of his last four contests.
Garrett Temple SG, SF BKN-4% Ownership: With the news of Kyrie Irving being done for the season, it opens up a lot of shots for the rest of the Guards on the Nets and it saves Temple’s rotation spot. He’s been in a constant fight for minutes and he has been able to play over 28 minutes per game this season. Temple is coming off of a double-double and he’s grabbed four or more boards in three of his last four games. He’s also grabbed steals in his last three games. Temple was more of an instant offense player earlier in his career, but has since improved his defensive game and he’s been earning more minutes because of his ability to read through screens at the elbow and arc. He’ll often be used as a bailout shooter on offense. He has hit the 10-point mark in three of his last four contests, taking 10 or more shots in two of those games. Watch his assists as well because he’ll have games in which he provides a small amount of relief.
Alec Burks G PHI-28% Ownership: Burks is amount to receive a major bump in minutes and his defense will keep him in games late especially when the score is close because Ben Simmons is suffering from an injured Back and could be looking at multiple games on the shelf. Burks proved on the Warriors that he can produce on and off the ball and he can run the point if needed and Burks should have the priority when it comes to a minutes infusion over Furkan Korkmaz and Shake Milton . A couple of games ago, Burks scored 19 points and grabbed four boards in 30 minutes and he has taken double-digit shots in his last two games. Expect Burks to not only see his scoring and assists rise, but he’ll help grab steals as well. He’s coming off of a two-steal game. The Sixers needed more depth and traded for Burks for this exact reason. He’ll be battling Josh Richardson for shots, but he should continue hitting the 10-shot mark. Burks defense alone will protect his piece of the rotation pie.
Anfernee Simons G POR-6% Ownership: For now, view Simons as a short-term solution because Damian Lillard should only miss a few games with an injured Groin. There’s a chance he’ll need more time off the floor than expected. Simons will battle Gary Trent Jr. for fill-in minutes at PG, but he has played at least 27 minutes in his last two games. He’s coming off of a three-steal game. Remember, the Blazers offense is set up to feature Lillard and CJ McCollum for the most part and they’ll want to keep the familiarity even with Lillard out and that will benefit Simons. He’s grabbed 10 rebounds total in his last two games and if he continues showing that he can provide defensive help, he’ll see more minutes. The Blazers Guards are horrible defensively and every little bit helps and counts when it comes to earning more rotation minutes with the featured player out of action. This is Simons time to earn more minutes down the stretch. Don’t be surprised if Lillard’s timetable gets backed up.
WILD CARD PICK UP: Thon Maker PF, C DET-23% Ownership: As much as I can’t stand this player when watching him, the opportunity has presented itself for Maker in Detroit because Blake Griffin is out for the season, Andre Drummond is traded and the Pistons bought out Markieff Morris . The Pistons big men are down to Maker, Christian Wood and John Henson . Maker has scored in double figures in his last three games including putting up a double-double in one of them. Maker has also blocked shots in his last three games. He’s been hitting the 20-minute mark a lot more lately. He’s grabbed six-plus boards in two of his last three games. He doesn’t have any moves to the basket, but he will have the paint to himself because Wood likes to stay at the arc to help stretch the floor. Maker has also grabbed steals in three of his last five games. He is a bit scrappy and now he’ll have more time to improve his craft for the rest of the season. Detroit has a limited amount of depth.