NBA Waiver Wire: Time To Add Isaiah Roby, Other Top Targets

NBA Waiver Wire: Time To Add Isaiah Roby, Other Top Targets

This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.

As the long and winding NBA regular season carries on and the finish line draws nearer, the number of players worth considering as free agent additions seemingly just continues to grow. The best teams begin relying more on their benches going forward to keep the starters fresh for a playoff run. The worst teams devote more playing time to some of the younger guys who may not have played a significant role to date.

Given the ever-growing number of players worth considering during the stretch run, this week's fantasy basketball waiver wire column will briefly delve into a plethora of intriguing options.

Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (48% rostered)

Jones hasn't been scoring the ball as well as before (single digits in six of the last 11 contests) now that Brandon Ingram isn't dealing with injuries and C.J. McCollum has joined the fold. Still, Jones finished February with monthly averages of 10.1 points (48.1% FG, 31.8% 3PT, 96.6% FT), 4.6 boards, 2.3 dimes, 1.5 steals, 0.6 threes, and 0.5 blocks across 30.8 minutes. Moreover, he is coming off a superb showing to start the month of March, having totaled 14 points, six rebounds, three blocks, two steals, and two treys in 32 minutes during Wednesday's blowout win over the Kings. He added three steals and a block in Friday's win over Utah.

All told, Jones is the heart and soul of the team's defense, and the rookie deserves a ton of credit for the Pelicans' plucky play. He has

As the long and winding NBA regular season carries on and the finish line draws nearer, the number of players worth considering as free agent additions seemingly just continues to grow. The best teams begin relying more on their benches going forward to keep the starters fresh for a playoff run. The worst teams devote more playing time to some of the younger guys who may not have played a significant role to date.

Given the ever-growing number of players worth considering during the stretch run, this week's fantasy basketball waiver wire column will briefly delve into a plethora of intriguing options.

Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (48% rostered)

Jones hasn't been scoring the ball as well as before (single digits in six of the last 11 contests) now that Brandon Ingram isn't dealing with injuries and C.J. McCollum has joined the fold. Still, Jones finished February with monthly averages of 10.1 points (48.1% FG, 31.8% 3PT, 96.6% FT), 4.6 boards, 2.3 dimes, 1.5 steals, 0.6 threes, and 0.5 blocks across 30.8 minutes. Moreover, he is coming off a superb showing to start the month of March, having totaled 14 points, six rebounds, three blocks, two steals, and two treys in 32 minutes during Wednesday's blowout win over the Kings. He added three steals and a block in Friday's win over Utah.

All told, Jones is the heart and soul of the team's defense, and the rookie deserves a ton of credit for the Pelicans' plucky play. He has been a huge part of why New Orleans is a frontrunner to make the postseason play-in tournament. Those in need of a well-rounded wing who can pile up defensive stats should scoop Jones up without thinking twice.

Jarred Vanderbilt, Minnesota Timberwolves (47% rostered)

Vanderbilt (left quad contusion) isn't just injured; he's also mired in a slump, having averaged 6.0 points, 8.6 boards, 1.3 dimes, 0.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 25.5 minutes over the last 10 games prior to Saturday's breakout against Portland (14 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal).

Like Herbert Jones in New Orleans, Vanderbilt's defensive dominance has been a major factor in Minnesota exceeding expectations this season. Those in need of immediate production can hardly be blamed for moving on from Vanderbilt at this time. Nevertheless, those who can afford to add and stash the standout stopper and rebounding savant could be handsomely rewarded if Vanderbilt can return to full strength and get back on track.

Isaiah Jackson, Indiana Pacers (45% rostered)

Jackson has been a per-minute monster lately, with injuries being the only thing that has slowed him down over the last month or so. During his last five appearances, the rookie big man is averaging 12.4 points on 68.6 percent shooting from the field to go along with 6.2 boards and 3.0 blocks. The Pacers' frontcourt is crowded with several mid-level options, but they've found ways for multiple players to be productive. That should continue to be the case going forward – at least until Myles Turner is back.

Kyle Anderson, Memphis Grizzlies (41% rostered)

The looming return of Dillon Brooks (ankle) does throw a bit of a wrench into Anderson's fantasy outlook. Nevertheless, Brandon Clarke has taken a step back lately, while Anderson has averaged 7.5 points, 7.8 boards, 3.5 dimes, 1.8 steals, and 1.0 blocks across 23.8 minutes during the last four games. Even if it's only as a one-week streamer, Anderson is worth considering.

Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia 76ers (39% rostered)

Surprise, surprise: since the 76ers acquired James Harden, the looks Thybulle is getting are even more wide open than they were before. And he's being relied upon just as heavily defensively. Although he's scored zero points on four total shots over the last two games, Thybulle is averaging 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks per game since James Harden made his debut. As usual, Thybulle should be on the radar for any manager in need of defensive help.

James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors (33% rostered)

Go big or go home. Those who swear by that slogan would be wise to keep an eye on Wiseman (knee), who could be on the verge of making his season debut. Kevon Looney and Jonathan Kuminga have filled in admirably during the extended absence of Draymond Green (back), whose timetable to return remains murky at best. Looney remains a strong defender who understands Golden State's offensive system and executes effectively, while Kuminga has been a pleasant surprise as a rookie.

Coach Steve Kerr has tried to temper expectations about what Wiseman will bring to the table this season, but that shouldn't totally scare fantasy managers away; after all, we're talking about a player who was taken first overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. All of which is to say, if Wiseman comes back looking surprisingly spry sooner rather than later, he could be a stat-stuffing machine who thrives in pick-and-roll situations with Stephen Curry.

Jalen Smith, Indiana Pacers (31% rostered)

With minimal incentive for the Pacers to rush Myles Turner (foot) back, or to push him to play a ton of minutes when (or if) he does return this season, Smith boasts both immediate and long-term upside. If you throw away his first game with Indiana, in which he earned only six minutes, Smith has been a fixture in the team's regular rotation in every contest since the mid-season trade.

He's logged three double-doubles in his last four games and has played at least 25 minutes in five straight games entering Sunday's matchup against the Wizards. Personally, I'm keener on Indiana's Isaiah Jackson, but those who miss out on him should consider snagging Smith.

Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs (30% rostered)

Prior to Saturday's dud against Charlotte (five points in 18 minutes), Walker had been scalding hot as of late, averaging 21.7 points on 53.0 percent shooting from the field, to go along with 3.0 boards, 2.6 threes, and 1.7 assists in 28.3 minutes across the previous eight games. San Antonio's decision to trade Derrick White prior to the trade deadline has pried open the door of opportunity for young Spurs wings such as Devin Vassell and Walker, and they are making the most of it. Walker is an especially strong addition in points leagues. However, if the career 41.6 percent shooter has turned a corner from an efficiency standpoint, he's a quality pickup in all formats.

Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic (26% rostered)

Fultz (left knee management) sat out Friday's game against the Raptors, and he will likely be rested regularly down the stretch in hopes of avoiding a setback. Still, he has been far from shy through his first three appearances this season, combining for 27 points, 11 dimes, seven boards, one steal, and one block in 50 minutes of action. Particularly in deeper points leagues, Fultz may be worth a look on a Magic team that has invested heavily in him.

Gabe Vincent, Miami Heat (24% rostered)

With Kyle Lowry (personal) sidelined indefinitely again, Vincent becomes a viable streaming option for managers in need of a guard. Basically, any time that Lowry has been out this year, Vincent has filled in capably. As such, those already rostering Lowry might want to add Vincent for insurance purposes. Vincent finished Saturday's win over the 76ers – his fourth straight start – with 16 points and four three-pointers in 29 minutes. 

Aleksej Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder (23% rostered)

Pokusevski has come on strong over the last month or so amid injuries all over the OKC roster. During the last 11 games, the sophomore forward is averaging 10.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 threes and 1.1 blocks in 24.6 minutes.

The injuries have obviously helped, but Pokusevski's playing time was always likely to increase as the season progressed. Based on his recent, well-rounded production, palpable upside, and increased involvement, Pokusevski is intriguing enough to merit consideration in most formats.

Isaiah Roby, Oklahoma City Thunder (21% rostered)

Roby put up a career-high 26-points during Wednesday's win over the Nuggets, in which he also managed seven boards, five dimes, four treys, two steals, and two blocks in 34 minutes. He followed up with 21 points, 10 boards and three steals against the Timberwolves on Friday. Regular readers know that I'm almost always going to highlight a couple players from losing teams such as the Pacers and Thunder, especially as the end of the regular season draws nearer.

Isaiah Hartenstein, Los Angeles Clippers (13% rostered)

Hartenstein has been playing well since the Clippers parted ways with Serge Ibaka, averaging 10.8 points, 5.6 boards, 3.2 assists, 2.2 blocks, and 1.2 steals in 21.6 minutes across the last five contests. Furthermore, the Clippers have a four-game week on the horizon. Those searching for a streamer with center eligibility could do a lot worse.

Donte DiVincenzo, Sacramento Kings (12% rostered)

DiVincenzo has been more involved and more productive since being traded to Sacramento at the deadline. His dreadful field-goal percentage reduces his value in category formats, but he has been contributing decent counting stats across multiple departments. Through nine appearances with the Kings, DiVincenzo is putting up 8.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.8 threes in 25.0 minutes.

Given that DiVincenzo will be a restricted free agent this season, it makes sense that Sacramento will continue to afford him a decent role down the stretch, to figure out whether he fits into the club's long-term plans.

Recent recommendations still rostered in less than 50 percent of leagues: Jae Crowder, Oshae Brissett, Mason Plumlee, Cameron Payne, Dorian Finney-Smith, De'Anthony Melton, Kelly Olynyk, Royce O'Neale, Darius Bazley, Jaxson Hayes, Kevin Huerter, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tre Mann, Patrick Beverley, Brandon Clarke, Alperen Sengun, Bruce Brown, Jonathan Kuminga, Kevon Looney, Derrick Rose, Reggie Bullock, Danilo Gallinari, Maxi Kleber, Deni Avdija, Raul Neto, Immanuel Quickley, Dwight Powell, Goran Dragic, Aaron Holiday, Ish Smith

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gabriel Allen
Gabriel Allen is a tennis professional and freelance journalist whose work has been published in the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated, among other places.
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