Taking a second-look at last week's trade deadline deals
I thought new Laker MarShon Brooks a fairly skilled volume scorer - would have an opportunity to contribute right away with Kobe Bryant and Nick Young out of the picture, and Brooks has been pretty solid, averaging 11.5 points and 2.25 assists in a little over 22 minutes per game. But fellow ex-Warrior Kent Bazemore has been a superior play, getting 35 minutes per night and averaging 17.25 points and 35 minutes in his first four games as a Laker.
Bazemore is still just 25 percent owned in Yahoo! Leagues, Brooks just 1 percent. Both should continue to have value, as the Lakers are expected to bring Young along slowly, and there's still no word on Kobe Bryant's return.
Steve Blake (11%) hasn't been much of a factor for the Warriors just yet. He's played 17 minutes or less in three of four games since the trade, has yet to score in double figures and aside from a five-assist outburst against the Nets really hasn't produced numbers in any other category.
As expected, Evan Turner is getting less playing time as an Indiana Pacer 23 mpg in his first two games there, as opposed to 30-plus as a Sixer so adjust expectations accordingly. He's still 79 percent-owned, but that number will drop in the weeks ahead. Spencer Hawes (86%), on the other hand, hasn't lost any fantasy value, as Anderson Varejao's absence has allowed Hawes to get over 30 minutes in three of his first four games with the Cavs. His situation may change when Varejao returns, but no one has any idea when (or if) that will happen.
Speaking of the Sixers, Tony Wroten (15%) has scored 15 or more in three games since the deadline. He should continue to be a good play for what is now a comically-thin Philadelphia roster.
Marcus Thornton (41%) played 27 minutes in his first game as a Net a blowout loss to the Blazers and just 17 in his second. Like most of his new teammates, I think Thornton's playing time will be inconsistent down the stretch. Nets coach Jason Kidd will likely look to give Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett significant rest down the stretch, which will mean occasional big games for Thornton and Mason Plumlee (1%). Jason Collins (0%) is a great story, but he won't play enough to merit consideration in fantasy leagues.
The post-buyout market has also been active, with Glen "Big Baby" Davis (17%) headed to the Clippers and Danny Granger (46%) reportedly set to join him soon. Neither figures to be a particularly good fantasy play; Davis will be a frontcourt depth option behind Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, while Granger will have to prove he's healthy before leeching off any minutes from Matt Barnes or Jared Dudley. Caron Butler's (9%) outlook is similar he's set to join the Thunder, but it's unlikely that he'll play enough to merit a roster spot in most fantasy formats. One trend to watch: whether or not Butler becomes Scott Brooks' choice at small forward when OKC shifts Kevin Durant to the four. If that becomes a regular lineup, Butler could become a good play in some formats.
Jimmer Fredette (1%) is more intriguing. He is reportedly close to a deal with the Chicago Bulls, a team that could really use another outside shooter. Some critics are skeptical of Fredette's potential there, and that's fair. He isn't exactly a stopper, and defense is how Chicago wins games. Thing is, Tom Thibodeau has managed to incorporate lots of sub-par defenders Kyle Korver, D. J. Augustin, Kirk Hinrich even Carlos Boozer into his scheme over the years. Why not Fredette? Don't forget, Fredette dropped 24 points on 9-14 shooting (6-8 3pt) on the Knicks just two weeks ago he's certainly got scoring ability.
Crime and Punishment
Knicks guard Raymond Felton is in serious trouble, and could be facing jail time for possession of an illegal handgun. New York City is about the worst place in the country to be caught with an illegal gun just ask ex-New York Giant Plaxico Burress, who served two years in prison on a similar charge. But it seems the court proceedings won't have any impact on his availability or playing time in the short term. Two days after his arraignment, Felton started and played 31 minutes in the Knicks' loss to Miami. The NBA is likely to wait until the criminal case plays out before suspending Felton, and as he's not scheduled to return to court until June, that should mean he'll be available for the rest of this season. (That may or may not be a good thing for fantasy owners or the Knicks, as Felton has been pretty awful for much of the year.)
Back in 2010, Gilbert Arenas of the Wizards was suspended by the league while gun charges were still pending, but that was a unique case.
If the situation changes if Felton opts to enter a guilty plea, for example Pablo Prigioni (4%) would be the most likely candidate to replace him as the Knicks' primary point guard, with Toure Murry (0%) moving up on the depth chart. The Knicks would also likely add another guard to the mix in that scenario; they've reportedly had discussions with NBA veteran Lester Hudson, who is due back soon after playing this season in China.
Picks for the Week:
Louis Williams (24%): Still working his way back from a major injury, Williams has become a very consistent bench scorer for the Hawks, with averages of 14.3 points, 4.2 assists and 2.0 treys in Atlanta's last six games.
Brian Roberts (23%): Jrue Holiday's status for the rest of this season continues to be uncertain, which makes his replacement look like a better buy on a daily basis.
Darren Collison (22%): With JJ Redick likely out until the playoffs and Jamal Crawford (calf) hurting, Collison could be in line for increased minutes. Watch Crawford's status, though, as his injury may not be all that serious.
Trevor Booker (5%): With Nene out and Kevin Seraphin hurting, Booker could get an extended look as Washington's starting four. That didn't pay big dividends in Thursday's win over the Raptors, as Booker was limited to just 21 minutes, but he'll have more chances in the weeks ahead.
Chris Johnson (1%): Multiple outlets are reporting that Gerald Wallace (knee) will need surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. That puts Johnson - who just recently signed for the rest of the year - in position to log significant minutes off the bench backing Jeff Green and Avery Bradley.
Al Harrington (0%): The Wizards are seriously short-handed at power forward, which will give Harrington an opportunity to contribute. But don't expect the oft-injured veteran to play more than 20 minutes or so per game.
Shannon Brown (0%) and Earl Clark (1%): The Knicks signed Brown and Clark to fill the roster spots opened by the buyouts of Beno Udrih and Metta World Peace. Of the two, Brown seems the better bet to get significant playing time, as Iman Shumpert is still sidelined by a sprained knee.
Will Barton (0%): Came off the bench to post a season-high 20 points and a career-best 11 rebounds in a blowout win over the Nets this week. Will this happen again? Probably not, but it wouldn't be shocking if that performance wins him a slight increase in playing time.