The 2023-24 NBA season is just a few games old for each team, but we beginning to get some clarity on preseason question marks. Of course, the way things present now is liable to change over the course of the season, but now we have some true, on court, action to work with. 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
While odd, the early returns on Bones Hyland requesting to be moved from Denver are positive; at least this year. Last year that wasn’t the case, but so far Hyland has been a key offensive piece off the bench for the Clippers. Granted it is just two games, but the guard has played 22 minutes each night while scoring 12 and 17 points. Hyland is generally one-dimensional, but he does have five three-pointers in those two games while taking 13 shots from behind the arc.
Jalen Smith, PF/C, Indiana Pacers
There are 80 games left in the NBA season, and Jalen Smith needs to be on the court for more than an average of 16 minutes per game. However, Smith has made great use of his time scoring 13 points in both games to go along with an average of seven rebounds. Smith did begin last year in the starting lineup but ultimately played his way to the bench where he currently finds himself. Ahead of Smith on the depth chart is Obi Toppin at power forward and Myles Turner at center. To this point, Toppin has failed to distinguish himself and if Smith continues to play like this, the latter deserves more playing time. At just 23 years old and filled with talent, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Smith continue to emerge as the Pacers don’t much invested in Toppin either.
Aaron Nesmith, SF/PF, Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers could be an interesting team this season as they are filled with young players, most of which, don’t have truly defined roles aside from Tyrese Haliburton. One of these players is Aaron Nesmith who just received a three-year contract extension from the Pacers prior to the start of the season. After a solid game on opening night (seven points and five rebounds in 23 minutes, Nesmith exploded over 30 minutes in his next game. The swingman scored 26 points to go along with nine rebounds while knocking down five three-pointers.
Dorian Finney-Smith, SF/PF, Brooklyn Nets
Dorian Finney-Smith is never going to jump off the page as far as upside, but the veteran is a solid contributor with a steady for the Brooklyn Nets. In 30 minutes a night over the first two games, Finney-Smith is averaging 11 points, six rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. Look for something similar moving forward from Finney-Smith as he is a solid streaming option.
After some player movement this off-season, Moses Moody appears to be slotted into about 20 minutes per game for Golden State. While he is coming off the bench, there likely be situations later in the season where veterans are sitting out for “injuries” or rest and Moody moves into the starting lineup. Until that point, Moody should be good for double-digit scoring (10 and 11 points so far) while grabbing a few rebounds. For those looking for specific category help though, Moody has three steals in each game so far.
This is more of a temporary option while Ja Morant is suspended, but there is value to be found here with Derrick Rose. The veteran is getting steady minutes with the Grizzlies to begin the season and he is averaging 10.3 points and 3.7 assists per game. There is still something left in the tank here and Rose could be a solid short-term solution.
Marvin Bagley, PF/C, Detroit Pistons
Initially, there was some concern about how the playing time would go in Detroit’s front court, but now we have some clarity. And at this point, it looks like there is room for everyone. The problem though for Marvin Bagley is that he is at the back end of that list. Through three games, he is averaging just 15 minutes per game, but when on the court, he has been quite efficient. Bagley is currently averaging 11 points and six rebounds per game, and on a Detroit team short on assets, that production is meaningful. From a fantasy perspective, the fact that Bagley is eligible at center truly makes a difference.