This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.
The NBA Playoffs are less than a month away, which means the league is divided between teams pushing for the postseason and those looking ahead to the 2021 NBA Draft.
Though the vast majority of teams are still fighting for playoff spots and positioning, there are another half dozen squads who have essentially packed it in already (at least to some extent). Oftentimes, it's the worst clubs that offer the most potential upside as the fantasy basketball season nears its end.
As such, five of my 13 recommended adds for this week are suiting up for Orlando, Detroit or Minnesota. As usual, to avoid repetition, I have refrained from featuring any of the players mentioned in last week's column.
Cole Anthony, Magic (49% rostered)
Anthony has reached double figures in scoring in seven straight showings. Moreover, across the last seven games, Anthony is averaging 14.3 points on 44.7 percent from the field to go along with 5.4 assists to 1.7 turnovers, 4.4 rebounds, 1.0 three, 0.9 steals and 0.4 blocks in 26.9 minutes. Michael Carter-Williams (ankle) has missed the last four matchups, but Orlando had already handed over the keys to its offense to the rookie point guard. Anthony may not be able to maintain this level of efficiency over the final month of the season, but he could continue producing similar counting stats the rest of the way.
Josh Jackson, Pistons (37% rostered)
The former top-five pick turned journeyman has scored in double figures in nine of the last 10 games, including four efforts of 20-plus points. During this recent stretch, Jackson is managing averages of 18.1 points on 45.1 percent shooting, 4.1 boards, 1.7 threes, 0.8 blocks and 0.5 steals across 28.1 minutes. If you can deal with the poor assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6 dimes to 2.7 turnovers over the last nine), Jackson is worth a look as he tries to prove that he deserves to stick in the league long-term.
Bruce Brown, Nets (42% rostered)
With James Harden (hamstring) out indefinitely, Brown is perhaps the best bet to pick up the slack for Brooklyn. He has certainly been doing his part thus far, having averaged 13.0 points on 62.5 percent shooting, 8.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.5 blocks in 27.5 minutes across a six-game stretch prior to Sunday's win over the Suns. He only played 10 minutes Sunday, but that looks to be somewhat of an anomaly considering he'd played 20 or more minutes in each of the previous 17 contests. Brown had a similar stretch of strong performances earlier in the season when the Nets were banged up, so it's not like this is coming out of nowhere. Fellow backcourt mate Landry Shamet (26% rostered) has stepped up lately as well and could be worth a look for those in need of scoring, threes and assists.
Daniel Gafford, Wizards (33% rostered)
Gafford had a 19-point, 10-rebound, three-block performance against a sturdy Golden State defense last week, accomplishing all of that in only 24 minutes of action. He followed up with a dud Friday night in OKC, but prior to that, Gafford had turned in averages of 14.5 points, 7.5 boards and 3.0 blocks across his last four games. The Wizards have been hesitant to trust Gafford for long stretches, but he could play his way into a larger role down the stretch, as Robin Lopez and Alex Len haven't been consistently productive.
Dorian Finney-Smith, Mavericks (32% rostered)
Dallas isn't getting much from most of its wing rotation, but Finney-Smith is the exception. He has scored in double figures in five straight games, plus he's a pretty consistent source of boards and treys. Over that five-game stretch, Finney-Smith has posted 15.4 points, 4.8 boards, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 3.6 made threes (18-30 3Pt).
DEEP LEAGUE OPTIONS
Royce O'Neale, Jazz (25% rostered)
O'Neale is a sporadic statistical contributor, particularly when it comes to scoring. However, he earns no shortage of playing time thanks to his status as the team's top wing defender, and he's averaging 10.1 boards and 2.9 assists across the last seven outings.
Killian Hayes, Pistons (21% rostered)
Opportunity knocks – or at least every other game it does. Hayes continues to be held out of the front or back end of back-to-backs. However, he's had some encouraging performances of late, including a nine-point, seven-assist, four-rebound, five-steal outing against the Thunder. He's liable to put up a complete dud on any night – as he did Saturday in Indianapolis – but on a Pistons team that's primarily playing for ping-pong balls and focusing on developing its youth, Hayes will likely see increased involvement going forward.
Mo Bamba, Magic (32% rostered)
Bamba earned a career-high 28 minutes in Thursday's matchup against the Pelicans and made the most of it, totaling 17 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and two treys. With Wendell Carter Jr. dealing with a sore ankle and set to play the next few games under a soft minutes limit, Bamba is worthy of short-term consideration at the very least.
Reggie Bullock, Knicks (23% rostered)
Alec Burks (protocols) will miss his sixth straight game Monday, and Bullock was already in the midst of his best month this season. Over the last eight contests, Bullock is averaging 14.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 threes, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals in 35.8 minutes. His ability to knock down shots from deep and defend multiple positions has helped him earn a major role on a team for which those two skills are its most notable areas of need.
Naz Reid, Timberwolves (18% rostered)
Prior to Saturday's clunker against Utah (four points in 13 minutes), Reid compiled averages of 14.4 points on 53.8 percent from the field, to go along with 8.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks in only 22.4 minutes across his last four games. The sophomore big man could see his fantasy value skyrocket if Minnesota opts to regularly rest Karl-Anthony Towns down the stretch this season. If Towns is on your roster, Reid is very arguably a must-add player, but he's a strong option in deep leagues regardless.
Naji Marshall, Pelicans (8% rostered)
With Josh Hart (thumb) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (ankle) still sidelined, the 23-year-old rookie has been filling in admirably of late. Prior to Thursday's dud against Orlando, Marshall was averaging 13.5 points, 7.0 boards, 5.0 assists, 2.0 treys and 1.3 steals in 31.5 minutes across his last four games. He struggled again Saturday against the Spurs (six points, six rebounds, two assists), but he did play an encouraging 32 minutes off the bench.
Other names to consider:
Oshae Brissett, Pacers (28% rostered)
Goga Bitadze, Pacers (3% rostered)
Darius Bazley, Thunder (51% rostered)
Saddiq Bey, Pistons (38% rostered)
Marcus Morris Sr., Clippers (36% rostered)
Jalen Brunson, Mavericks (26% rostered)
Reggie Jackson, Clippers (24% rostered)
Khem Birch, Raptors (18% rostered)
Matisse Thybulle, 76ers (11% rostered)