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NBA Waiver Wire: Working the Wire-Week 9

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

A couple of weeks ago in this space, I wrote about Antonio McDyess - just returning to active duty after a month in limbo - as the most valuable player likely to be added to the player pool during the season.

This may shock you, but I may have been wrong on that.

Last summer, several NBA free agents - unhappy with the level of offers they were getting stateside - chose to pursue bigger dollars in Europe. Now one of those free agents is looking to come back.

Center Nenad Krstic - still technically a restricted free agent and property of the New Jersey Nets - has reportedly signed a three-year offer sheet to join the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Nets have ten days to match - but most observers think Jersey will pass, preferring cap flexibility in 2010 over Krstic's services - especially given that they're currently overloaded with young bigs. Don't be surprised, though, if Rod Thorn and Kiki Vanderweghe try to turn this into a sign-and-trade.

If the Nets don't match, Krstic could be suiting up for OKC by New Year's Eve.

Krstic didn't produce much last season, playing just 18 minutes per game and scoring 6.6 points on average. But remember, he was recovering from a torn ACL - before the injury, he was playing 30-plus minutes per night and scoring in the mid-teens.

He's not a major defensive presence (under a block per game) and doesn't grab a ton of boards (6.8 per game was his best mark). But he's a skilled offensive player with center eligibility - hard not to like that combination.

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:

Eddy Curry (NYK) - Curry should be back in practice before the New Year, and could be in New York's rotation before mid-January. Curry hasn't played all season due to a variety of injuries, conditioning problems and illness - and we honestly don't expect a ton of production from him. But don't be surprised if he gets an opportunity to play - if only as a pre-trade deadline showcase.

Tyrus Thomas (CHI) - Currently sitting out after suffering a concussion last week… which means he hasn't been picked up yet in a lot of leagues. He's expected back by the end of this week.

Louis Williams (PHI) - Williams seems to have shaken his early-season slump… and is picking up some of the slack for the injured Elton Brand. Williams has scored 13 or more in eight straight games (with a DNP on December 12 as the only blemish on his game log), and posted a career-high 26 against the Wizards on December 19.

Luc Mbah a Moute (MIL) - Bucks coach Scott Skiles and his… "fluid" (I'm being charitable) substitution patterns and lineups will drive you nuts. But Mbah a Moute has the potential to be a tremendously valuable fantasy garbage man if he gets regular minutes. He's played 30-plus in three-straight games now, and seems to be set - as set as any Skiles player can be, anyway - as the Bucks' starting four.

Deep Leagues:

Leon Powe (BOS) - With Glenn "Big Baby" Davis on the shelf for a little while after being hurt in a car accident last weekend, Powe should get a little more run than usual. You have to like Powe's ability to get to the line - he's currently eighth on the Celtics in minutes, but second in free throw attempts.

Mareese Speights (PHI) - Another beneficiary of Elton Brand's injury, rookie Speights has scored in double figures in three straight games. Speights has the potential to really blow up - if he keeps playing well, he could potentially steal playing time from incumbent center Sam Dalembert.

Chris Andersen (DEN) - The Birdman's return to fantasy relevance might be short-lived - Andersen posted 11 points, six blocks, and three rebounds in 21 minutes during Monday's win over Portland, but that production was due, in part, to Carmelo Anthony's absence.

Worth a Second Look:

Article first appeared on 12/17/08