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NBA Waiver Wire: Working the Wire-Week 20

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 Oklahoma City Thunder have won five of six games with Kevin Durant sidelined… leading to conjecture that the team is actually better without Durant on the floor.

Personally, I think the schedule maker has more to do with the Thunder's hot streak than Durant's injury -- three of the wins came against Sacramento, Washington and Memphis. But Nenad Krstic has also been a significant factor. In his last five games, Krstic is averaging over 16 points, five boards and an assist, while shooting 57 percent from the field and over 90 percent from the line.

Krstic, you may remember, started the year playing in Russia and joined the Thunder at mid-season. The injury to Durant -- and to Jeff Green -- may have been the opportunity he's needed to prove he can be a useful part in the Thunder's offense. But his season averages haven't caught up with his recent production -- and he's still just 24 percent owned.

His numbers may drop off a bit when Durant and Green return, but he'll probably be a lot more valuable than a lot of other center/power forward qualifiers down the stretch.

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:

Rasual Butler (NOR): Peja Stojakovic's latest injury makes Butler the Hornets' primary perimeter scoring threat.

Andres Nocioni (SAC): In his first start with the Kings, Nocioni went off for 23 points, five boards, and three three-pointers. If he hangs on to the job, he could produce some solid numbers.

Jason Maxiell (DET): Maxiell will move into the starting lineup while Rasheed Wallace's injured calf mends.

Deep Leagues

Leon Powe (BOS): With Big Baby Davis hurting, Powe becomes the primary beneficiary of Kevin Garnett's continued absence.

Julian Wright (NOR): Wright moves into New Orleans' starting five while Peja is out. He won't reproduce Stojakovic's outside shooting, but he can score a little and shoots a very good percentage from the floor.

Stephon Marbury (BOS): Marbury hasn't shown much but rust in his tenure in Boston to date... but he's been installed as the short-term starter while Rajon Rondo gets healthy.

A Second Look

Larry Hughes: Still just 43 percent owned -- that number will rise after last night's 39 point/six board/four steal explosion.

Carl Landry (HOU): His ankle is still sore, but it didn't keep him from playing 29 minutes against Denver on Monday.

Article first appeared on 3/11/08