The Wire Troll: Lamar Odom Can Still Get it Done
Isaiah Thomas is whipping the Sacramento Kings offense into shape.
Welcome back to another week of NBA waiver wire recommendations, featuring only players with a maximum ownership of 50 per cent.
The NBA All-Star Game is coming up, so take a look at how your league’s scoring periods work around the next two weeks. We’re also nearing the trade deadline, which means it’s time to really pay attention to players that could potentially benefit from either being moved or by being elevated into a more important role once a teammate is dealt.
LeBron James is on fire lately, scoring 30 or more points in four straight games to help Miami take over the East’s best home record; Kobe Bryant helped the Lakers avoid serious embarrassment by coming from 20 points back to beat the Bobcats and continue what’s been a successful road trip so far; and the Nets are looking to deal Kris Humphries to Charlotte for Ben Gordon, a trade that could change Gordon’s Fantasy value (see below).
Let’s get to this week’s recommendations…
Isaiah Thomas, PG, Sacramento Kings: In late-November, Thomas was losing PT, but he’s slowly worked his way back into the picture in recent months to the point where he needs to be owned now. Coach Keith Smart finally lived up to his name and clued in to the fact that Thomas is his best bet at the point, and the results have been very sweet. Thomas has been much more involved in the offense lately, he’s doing a great job of staying out of foul trouble and he’s been protecting the pumpkin. Assuming he maintains the starting gig, Thomas is going to be a real force down the stretch as he helps whip the floundering King offense into shape.
Ben Gordon, SG, Charlotte Bobcats: Last month, we recommended Gordon for pickup and he did in fact see more PT in January, making it a worthwhile grab. However, the fact of the matter is that coming off the bench, he’s just not seeing enough action with the rebuilding Bobcats to be a great Fantasy option. That may soon change if Gordon is dealt to the Nets for Humphries as is rumoured. Brooklyn needs more three-point prowess, so Gordon will likely have a bigger role for the Nets. He’s shooting nearly 42 per cent from beyond the arc, so if he gets a chance to hoist even more shots from downtown, Gordon’s value will rise significantly. Stash him if you have room.
Others to Consider
Lance Stephenson, SG, Indiana Pacers: While Danny Granger remains out, Stephenson has been worthwhile add, scoring double digits in six of the last seven games.
Andre Miller, PG, Denver Nuggets: Sure, a trade would open up more PT for Miller, but even as the backup in Denver, he’s been useful as the man that makes the second unit go.
Lamar Odom, PF, Los Angeles Clippers: Odom was starting with Blake Griffin out, and although he’s headed back to the bench now, he’s still seeing enough PT to be useful. A candidate for our 2012 Fantasy Dud of the Year, Odom remains an intriguing play because of his ability to do almost anything. Monday, he had nine boards, Wednesday he had six steals and Friday he had two blocks. He hasn’t really seen enough minutes the past couple of seasons to do that kind of damage consistently, but has proved in recent games that he can still deliver when he gets the chance. Of course, Odom is also dealing with problems on the home front, so let’s hope that doesn’t interrupt his mini renaissance.
Jeff Green, SF/PF, Boston Celtics: Green is just 13 months removed from a major heart procedure, but that hasn’t stopped him from establishing himself as a big-time contributor for Boston. Like many of the Celtics, he seems to have really taken off since Rajon Rondo went down for the season. On Thursday, Green tied a season high with 19 points in 29 minutes, knocking down his only 3-point attempt and pitching in with a block. Despite coming exclusively off the bench this season, his touches are up lately and that’s manifested itself in higher scoring outputs. On Thursday, when Green threw down a dunk and then raced back for a rejection on D that helped set up a Paul Pierce trey – all in a span of 20 seconds — the rout over the Lakers was on.
Others to Consider
Patrick Patterson, PF/C, Houston Rockets: Patterson has scored in double figures in six straight games and as long as his foot doesn’t act up, he’ll be a 15 PPG dude going forward.
Gerald Henderson, SG/SF, Charlotte Bobcats: Henderson is a solid defender and he’s been getting more touches lately, including 17 attempts Friday en route to a 20-point performance.
Samuel Dalembert, Milwaukee Bucks: Back in mid-November, we suggested that Dalembert was the starter in name only. Well, with Larry Sanders hurting, Dalembert is getting a chance to start again and has made the most of it. He went off for a career-high 35 points with 12 boards on Tuesday and then followed that up Wednesday with a double-double, four blocks and four steals. Back-to-back double-doubles ought to buy Dalembert some goodwill even when Sanders returns.
Marreese Speights, PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers: Speights was a waiver wire recommendation last month when Zach Randolph got sick, but now that Speights has been dealt to Cleveland as the Grizzlies looked to dump salary, he has a more direct route to PT. Speights enjoyed back-to-back double-doubles this week and then poured in 18 points Friday. Hell, he even put up a couple of three-point attempts last week. We love what Speights has been doing off the bench, and wouldn’t be shocked if he gets even more PT going forward.
Others to Consider
Boris Diaw, San Antonio Spurs: Diaw has been starting for the injured Tim Duncan lately, and even if he hasn’t been dropping dimes at his usual pace, he offers a generally Fantasy-friendly game.
Ryan Hollins, Los Angeles Clippers: Hollins was getting more PT with Griffin hurting, but still saw decent minutes when he returned and his 8.0 boards and 1.5 blocks per game over the past two give you an idea of what he can do when he gets a shot.
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