Working the Wire
By Charlie Zegers
RotoWire Hoops Editor
The list of point guards on the market got an impressive addition yesterday, when Jason Kidd confirmed that he's seeking a trade from the Nets. Kidd reportedly harbors no ill will towards the team he recognizes that they aren't going anywhere in the short term, and that he's their most tradable commodity.
If Kidd does change addresses which is far from a sure thing, as moving any player who makes $19 million a year is never easy his fantasy value isn't like to change much. It would be more or less impossible for him to become more valuable; the guy just keeps posting triple-doubles. By the same token, it's hard to imagine his value taking a hit it's not like any team would acquire Jason Kidd to serve as a backup.
Where, then, can speculators find value in a potential Jason Kidd trade?
The most obvious guy to grab now is Kidd's backup, Marcus Williams. The Nets have been very high on the second-year pro from Connecticut, and he may still be flying under radar after missing the first three months of the season with a foot injury. Williams is zero percent owned in Ultimate Fantasy Commissioner; that'll change in a hurry if Kidd is dealt.
Who else? One suggestion: remember Mikki Moore.
Heading into last season, Moore was an unheralded journeyman playing for his eighth team in nine years. But an injury to Nenad Krstic forced the Nets to use him more often and with Kidd setting him up for easy baskets he became a force -- he actually led the NBA in shooting last season at over 60 percent from the floor.
So if Kidd does get traded, you might want to take a look at underutilized players on his new team. That disappointing power forward, that under-performing spot-up shooter they might suddenly find themselves getting a lot more easy looks.
This Week's Picks:
The first set of picks is intended for players in shallow leagues. The recommendations will be players who are available in 40-80 percent of all Ultimate Fantasy Commissioner leagues on NBA.com. The second group is for deep leagues more speculative picks, more "sleepers" guys who are available in more than 80 percent of Ultimate Fantasy Commissioner leagues. Feedback and questions are always welcome look me up over on The Opening Tip blog and give me a shout.
Elton Brand LAC [PF]: Brand resumed "heavy running and jumping" exercises this week the first news in a long time that seems to indicate that a return this season may be in the cards. He's still available in around 55 percent of Ultimate Fantasy Commissioner leagues, but that number will shrink in a hurry if we get more positive news about his rehab.
Kenyon Martin DEN [PF]: K-Mart came through with 18 points, nine rebounds and three assists in Denver's loss Monday. He's an excellent play so long as he remains healthy, especially with Nene out. Martin is under 40 percent owned.
Chris Webber GS [PF,C]: Webber finally chose a destination this week, signing a one-year deal with the Warriors. Fantasy owners haven't been nearly as patient C-Webb is already 57.5 percent owned in Ultimate Fantasy Commissioner.
Thabo Sefolosha CHI [SG,SF]: We're recommending Sefolosha for the second straight week in this space. Due to a rash of injuries, to Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich and Chris Duhon in particular, Sefolosha has started eight straight games. He's averaging 32.3 minutes per game in that span, with five double-digit scoring efforts and at least one steal in all eight games. He's certainly playing well enough to earn a regular rotation spot even after the others are healthy.
Jannero Pargo NOH [PG]: Need backcourt help? Pargo is emerging as a valuable bench player for the red-hot Hornets. He's averaging 13.6 points and 4.2 assists in 24.6 minutes in his last five games, and is "zero percent" owned in Ultimate Fantasy Commissioner.
Kyle Lowry MEM [PG,SG]: Damon Stoudamire is gone, and Friday night Mike Conley took a nasty fall and suffered an injury to his chest and ribs. That makes Lowry the starting point, at least temporarily. He's available in over 98 percent of Ultimate Fantasy Commissioner leagues. Juan Carlos Navarro (2.2% owned) should get a boost in playing time as well.
Charlie Bell MIL [SG,SF]: Michael Redd's latest knee injury makes Bell one of Milwaukee's go-to perimeter scorers. He netted 22 points on 7-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, with six rebounds, six assists and one steal in 41 minutes off the bench Sunday, but that performance hasn't been factored into his "percent owned" status yet he's available in over 99 percent of Ultimate Fantasy Commissioner leagues. Redd is hoping to return this weekend, but knee injuries sidelined him for 20 games last season, so Bell's short-term window of opportunity might not be all that short.
Royal Ivey MIL [PG]: Ivey is actually Redd's replacement in the Milwaukee starting lineup. He doesn't have Bell's track record of success, but he also put up nice numbers in Sunday's game (17 points on 5-of-10 shooting with six assists and three steals in 35 minutes of an overtime win) and is zero percent owned.
Damon Stoudamire Free Agent [PG]: Mighty Mouse is expected to clear waivers this week and will be free to sign with any team. He could be valuable in the right situation, and is well worth a pickup on the off-chance that he becomes the starting point for Boston or Orlando in the next couple of weeks. He's 1.5% owned as of press time.
Renaldo Balkman NYK [SF,PF]: Balkman was on lots of sleeper lists in the preseason as a potential elite garbage man, but he hasn't gotten enough run to generate real fantasy value. If Sunday's game is any indication, that may finally be changing, as Balkman played 27 minutes against Golden State, scoring 11 points with four rebounds, three blocks, two steals and an assist. He's zero percent owned
Article first appeared on 1/29/08