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NBA Waiver Wire: Trade Deadline Fantasy and Reality

Charlie Zegers

Charlie has covered the NBA, NFL and MLB for RotoWire for the better part of 15 years. His work has also appeared on,, the New York Times, ESPN, Fox Sports and Yahoo. He embraces his East Coast bias and is Smush Parker's last remaining fan.

Trying to separate rumor from reality as we approach the trade deadline:

The latest version of the Carmelo Anthony deal reportedly has Wilson Chandler, Corey Brewer and a first-round pick landing in Denver, Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry headed to Minnesota and 'Melo going to New York. Knicks' fans dreams of landing Anthony without having to give up either Danilo Gallinari or Landry Fields were rudely interrupted when rumors of a Anthony-for-Andrew Bynum deal surfaced today… but Laker management has put the kibosh on that talk.

Chandler's health could be a bigger issue, as there's increasing buzz that the calf problem that caused him to miss three games recently is related to his offseason surgery, and that he might need to go under the knife again. Shawne Williams (2% owned) makes sense as a speculative pick at this point, on the assumption that a trade or injury will thin out the Knicks' forward rotation.

The Lakers are eager to make some sort of deal, though it's hard to imagine what they can get for the pieces they have to offer. They're reportedly interested in Kirk Hinrich (41% owned), who would seem to be a pretty good fit for Phil Jackson's system - though it's not clear that he'd win enough playing time away from Derek Fisher (12%) to make him a better play than he is today.

The Lakers would love to move Ron Artest (48% owned), and according to some reports, the feeling is mutual. It's hard to imagine most teams having an interest in a player with Artest's history, but Charlotte is reportedly intrigued at the possibility.

Add Aaron Brooks (79% owned) to the list of players who could be wearing new colors after the trade deadline. Brooks had a little hissy-fit over playing time during Saturday's game; instead of returning to the bench when he was pulled from the floor, he headed directly to the locker room, earning himself a suspension.

The Rockets have a surplus in the backcourt, as Rick Adelman has been trying to find minutes for Brooks, Kevin Martin, Kyle Lowry and Courtney Lee. Brooks could be moved for a building block or even some cap relief, as the team plans for a Yao-less future.

If Brooks is moved, Courtney Lee (4%) might become a very useful add.

Picks for the Week
The first set of picks is for players in standard leagues - guys who may be available in your average 10 team/15 player roster league. The second group is for owners in very deep leagues, and will be based more on speculation than actual numbers.

All "percent owned" stats are taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball - your mileage may vary.

Shallow Leagues
Brandon Roy (79% owned) - Roy could be back in the lineup as soon as Friday. It's impossible to say how long his surgically-repaired knee will allow him to play, or if he'll even approach his own high standards of production. But he's too talented to leave on the wire.

Rodney Stuckey (74% owned) - Stuckey will be dressed and ready to play for Tuesday's game. He hasn't played since January 26 due to a shoulder injury.

Jason Thompson (15% owned) - Back from an ankle injury, Thompson was re-inserted in the starting lineup for Monday's game against Utah and proceeded to score 14 points with four dimes, three boards and three blocks.

Deep Leagues
Sam Young (8% owned) - Young has scored in double figures in six of his last seven games and is clearly emerging as a Lionel Hollins favorite. Unfortunately, he doesn't offer a ton of value aside from points and threes.

Rodrigue Beaubois (7% owned) - Yeah, I know… I've written this same update several times. But he's really really close to making his season debut - he's practicing with the team, and could be in uniform by next week.

Matt Bonner (3% owned) - Bonner is set to return after missing ten games with a knee problem. He doesn't play much, but he's hitting threes at a remarkable rate (50.4 3PT on the year).

Quincy Pondexter (0% owned) - Starting in place of Trevor Ariza. He hasn't put up numbers thus far, but at least he'll be getting consistent playing time for a couple of weeks. Worth watching.

Follow Charlie on Twitter - @charliezegers