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NBA Waiver Wire: Working the Wire-Week 18

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.

Working the Wire
By Charlie Zegers
RotoWire Hoops Editor

The dust is still settling after last week's trade deadline; players with new addresses are trying their best to get acclimated to new systems and new teammates.

Larry Hughes, for example, hasn't exactly won over the crowds at Madison Square Garden with his play to date. But some rust was to be expected - he's been languishing in DNP-land for weeks. The Knicks have a homestand this week which should allow Hughes and Chris Wilcox some practice time - look for his play to improve significantly in the coming weeks.

Of course, if Larry Hughes is "rusty," Stephon Marbury must be petrified. Marbury hasn't played since the preseason - but he finally worked out a buyout arrangement from his Knicks contract yesterday and is now free to sign with any team and be included on a playoff roster. By the time this column is published, he may be a member of the Celtics.

(Just what I needed - another reason to hate Boston.)

That said, it's not often that a player of Marbury's caliber becomes available this late in the season. Would I want him on my team? Absolutely not. Is it possible that he could carve out a productive role in Boston's rotation down the stretch? Well… ask yourself this: if you're Doc Rivers, who would you rather play… Marbury or Gabe Pruitt?

Picks for the Week

The first set of picks is for players in standard leagues - guys who will typically 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. The third batch of players will be guys I've mentioned in previous columns that still seem to be available in a lot of leagues and worth a look.

Standard Leagues:

Aaron Brooks (HOU) - My first move after the deadline deals was to claim Brooks - and I haven't been disappointed, as Houston's new starting point has scored 19 or more in two of three games since.

Francisco Garcia (SAC) - For years, John Salmons was the guy who put up scintillating numbers in limited minutes. Salmons finally got a starting gig this year, and Garcia became the "do everything" guy off the bench. Now Salmons is in Chicago, and Garcia has the chance to take a significant step forward.

Johan Petro (DEN) - Nene's knee injury moved Petro into the starting lineup, and the Frenchman responded with nine points, ten boards and two blocks in a loss to the Celtics on Monday. He's likely to split time in the middle with Chris Andersen until Nene is healthy.

Deep Leagues:

Kyle Lowry (HOU) - Lowry may eventually challenge Brooks for the starting spot, but for now it looks like he'll be Houston's first guard off the bench. His productivity should increase as he gets used to his new team.

Mikki Moore (BOS) - From the outhouse to the penthouse - veteran forward Moore was released by Sacramento and has signed with the Celtics, where he'll provide frontcourt depth.

Rashad McCants (SAC) - McCants had fallen out of the rotation in Minnesota, so the move to Sacramento can only improve his value.

DeAndre Jordan (LAC) - The Clippers are so far out of contention, they've actually been mathematically eliminated from the 2010 playoffs already. Seems reasonable to expect that they'll take an extended look at their 2008 second-round pick down the stretch.

Shelden Williams (MIN) - Deep sleeper here… Williams hasn't gotten into a game for the T-Wolves yet… but with Al Jefferson done for the year, Minnesota is seriously lacking in size; it seems reasonable to expect Williams will get some run at some point.

A Second Look:

Article first appeared on 2/25/08