NBA Waiver Wire: Late-Season Targets
NBA Waiver Wire: Late-Season Targets

This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.

Welcome back, I hope you enjoyed the All-Star break.

We've only had one night of games since last week's article, so let's take this opportunity to take a longer-term view of the waiver wire. In this column, we'll focus on players who might be poised for a second-half breakout.

Every season, a few players – frequently, but not always, young guys on tanking teams – emerge shortly after the All-Star break and turn into season-defining waiver pickups. I can't predict the future, but the players who follow are the ones I think are best situated for that kind of second-half breakout.

We'll stick with the usual rules of only featuring players rostered in less than half of leagues, and listing players in the order in which I'd recommend them (assuming they are all equally good fits for your roster).

Mitchell Robinson, Knicks (48 percent rostered)
Mentioning Robinson in this article almost feels like cheating, since he's been a regular feature in the normal weekly waiver wire columns and his roster rate barely qualifies. The crux of the Robinson argument is simple: He's a great shot-blocker, his workload has increased throughout the season, and he's already made significant strides to address the biggest weaknesses that were limiting his minutes early in the season. So instead of continuing to repeat myself with Robinson stats, here is a list that will hopefully emphasize Robinson's potential value.

The following are semi-comparable, recent rookie big men's pre- and post-All-Star break splits. All of them

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Rikleen
Rikleen writes the NBA column "Numbers Game," which decodes the math that underpins fantasy basketball and was a nominee for the 2016 FSWA Newcomer of the Year Award. A certified math teacher, Rikleen decided the field of education pays too well, so he left it for writing. He is a Boston College graduate living outside Boston.
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