The 2023-2024 NBA season is here. After a few months without regular season NBA action, we have finally made it to opening week. Just because your rosters were carefully selected following an off-season full of research, it doesn’t mean you can’t do some tweaking or make any improvements. At the very least, there are some players that warrant a spot on your radar. With that being said, lets take a look at some NBA Waiver Wire options I have my eye on.
Fantasy Basketball NBA Waiver Wire Picks
Christian Braun, SG/SF, Denver Nuggets
For most of last season, Christian Braun failed to really make an impact in his rookie season. However, as we got into the last few weeks of the season and then the playoffs, Braun’s playing time and role began to increase. The guard was up to the task, and the big change for Denver this season is Bruce Brown now playing in Indiana. Braun is likely recipient of the increased playing time and role. Behind the arc is where my attention is focused, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Braun score in double figures this season while adding a few rebounds and assists off the bench. What does bear watching is whether it is Braun or Justin Holiday that is first off the bench.
Terance Mann, PG/SG, Los Angeles Clippers
Yes, Terance Mann is more of a perimeter player, but technically he will be starting at power forward this season. After seeing his workload drop by about five minutes her game last year, this is a positive development for Mann who is a volume-based player. While his role will obviously increase when Kawhi Leonard or Paul George inevitably miss time, now the playing time will continue to be there. When in the starting lineup last season, Mann averaged 11.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. We can start there as a baseline for Mann knowing that he will also benefit from opposing defenses focusing on Leonard and George. Additionally, we cannot overlook the positional eligibility that he will pick up.
Josh Green, SG/SF, Dallas Mavericks
Josh Green can score. Last season that was certainly only display from the rookie when he was given a chance and that has continued through to this preseason. Of course, for most of last season, Kyrie Irving was in Brooklyn (or somewhere, just not Dallas) and we know that he, along with Luka Doncic, will control the Dallas offense. That pushes Green down to being, at best the third option alongside Tim Hardaway. While it is possible, we see Green start ahead of Hardaway, each will have a substantial role as far as playing time although it is unlikely we see either play more than about 25 minutes per game with 30 potentially being the upper limit. Of course, should Doncic or Irving miss any time, that and the workload that goes with it, will certainly increase. When starting the last two months of the season last year, Green averaged 10.5 points per game with 3.7 assists, and 2.1 assists while shooting 52% from the field and 38% from three-point.
It is just like last year, just in a new city for Drew Eubanks. Instead of backing up Jusuf Nurkic in Portland, they now form the center duo for the Phoenix Suns. With that being said, we can likely expect a similar role for Eubanks this season, but his placement here is notable given the general state of the center position. To say that streaming is sometimes the only viable option and that things are challenging would be an understatement. When given the chance, Eubanks does make good use of his playing time as he averaged 6.6 points per game last season to go along with 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. If dealing with an injury, managing schedules or otherwise looking for a streamer, you can do worse here.
While the Celtics just acquired Jrue Holiday to lead their backcourt, they are also a little thinner after seeing Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon depart this off-season. That leaves Payton Pritchard as the first guard off the bench for Boston and that puts him in a situation in which he can flourish. Not only will Pritchard likely lead the second unit offensively, he will also benefit from some residual playing time with the starters. The problem though is that Pritchard is generally one dimensional and he is a shoot first, and second option. However, that does mean he can score in benches and knock down some shots from downtown. Perhaps this year we will see a few more assists from him and it is also telling that the Celtics committed a $30 million contract extension to him.
Day’Ron Sharpe, C, Brooklyn Nets
The Nets are awfully thin up front on the boards, so Day’Ron Sharpe could end up playing a relatively significant role. Just 21 years old, Sharpe is entering his third NBA season and he has yet to truly make a mark although the potential is there. In just over 11 minutes per game last year, Sharpe was efficient and averaged 4.2 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game to go along with 4.7 points. Earlier this week, Sharpe picked up a double-double in the preseason against Miami with 19 points and 11 rebounds over 21 minutes and I can see the Nets giving him a larger role this season.
A move to San Antonio last season was just what Julian Champagnie needed. In 17 games, the forward got his first taste of NBA action and averaged 9.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game over 19 minutes of action. What was also notable, is that Champagnie made just under two three-pointers per game. Champagnie made an impact on Gregg Popovich which resulted in a long-term commitment from the Spurs as we will be one of the first reserves off the bench this season. With a few extra minutes of playing time each game and more comfort, Champagnie could expand on his performance.