RotoWire Partners

The Give and Go: Kanter Bargnani Me any Favors

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown is the Managing Editor of NBA Content for He hosts the Fantasy Basketball Podcast and writes about fantasy basketball. Kyle used to run an after school program and approaches his work as an editor with teaching in mind. He genuinely cares about helping others win their fantasy basketball leagues, which seems really dorky when it's written in the third person.

Shannon McKeown

Shannon McKeown is the VP of Advertising Sales and Basketball Editor for He's a two-time FSWA finalist for Fantasy Basketball writer of the year. He also covers the Pistons and Tigers for the site.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Kyle McKeown" 
Sent: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 9:45AM
To: "Shannon McKeown"
Subject: Give and Go

Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter have been given some extra run over the last few games for the Jazz, with Al Jefferson (ankle) missing the last two games and Paul Millsap (ankle) missing two games before his return to the lineup Monday.

We've watched both of these kids flash their potential and capitalize on almost every opportunity to play more minutes by putting up monstrous scoring and rebounding totals.

It's been hard to own them in standard leagues this season because they simply don't get the minutes to be of use on a nightly basis, but for keeper leagues, knowing that Millsap and Jefferson are both on the final few year of their deals with the Jazz, I've been picking them up and trading for both Kanter and Favors wherever I can.

Do you think that's putting the cart before the horse, or do you have faith that the Jazz will be starting a frontcourt of Kanter and Favors next season as well?

To round out the discussion on Jazz players with great potential, I'm wondering what you think about Alec Burks? He received comparisons to Dwyane Wade entering the NBA, but the Jazz opted to bring him along slowly until recently. In fact, it was almost exactly a month ago, on Feb. 4, when the Jazz finally started giving Burks big minutes on a nightly basis.

In the 12 games in which he's played since earning the larger role, Burks has averaged 11.6 points (on 49 percent shooting from the field and 68 percent shooting from the line), 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 three-pointers in 29 minutes per game. In eight-category leagues, he's been the 117th-ranked player during that span.

Have you grabbed him in any leagues; can he sustain this production the rest of the season; and more importantly, will the Jazz finally give him a starting gig or an uncontested sixth-man role next season?

-----Original Message-----
From: "Shannon McKeown" 
Sent: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 1:45PM
To: "Kyle McKeown"
Subject: RE: Give and Go

While maybe not to such an extreme extent, we knew this would happen once Favors and Kanter were given larger roles. The development makes it all the more maddening that Utah didn't move Millsap and/or Jefferson before the deadline. I get that the Jazz are currently holding on to a playoff spot (the Lakers are starting to get close, though), but the brass in Utah had to realize that the team would be better off trading their veterans, while building around Favors, Kanter and Gordon Hayward. After all, Utah officials get to see these young studs up close every day, so there had to be hints at this level of play. Hell, we could see it from our couches. Eric Bledsoe sure would look nice running the show in Salt Lake City.

Despite the recent surges from Utah's young big men, I don't know if either are good long-term pickups for the remainder of the season. Sure, ride them while Jefferson and/or Millsap are sidelined, but once the veterans are healthy, they will get the full load of minutes. That said. I'm absolutely targeting Favors and Kanter in keeper leagues.

Burks will never be Wade, and those comparisons should have been deemed idiotic the moment they left anyone's mouth or fingertips. Burks best fit is as at shooting guard. If he's paired with a good playmaker at the point (again, Bledosoe would have been perfect), I could see Burks developing into a solid two. But I don't expect huge contributions this season, especially with Mo Williams (thumb) returning soon. His ceiling is a Wes Mathews-type player a season or two down the road.

Speaking of second-year players, Derrick Williams has been on fire in Minnesota. He's averaging 17.8 points and nine boards over the past 12 games. His shooting is still somewhat mediocre (45 percent from the field) and we haven't seen the deadly three-point stroke that he had in his final year of college. What's Williams ceiling going forward? Will he be able to keep up his production once Kevin Love (hand) returns?

After a dreadful stint coming off the bench upon his return from injury, Andrea Bargnani is starting to show signs of life now that he's back in the Raptors' starting five. Over the past two games, Bargnani has averaged 18.5 points, seven rebounds and three treys. Are you buying him for the stretch run? Recent news that Toronto will start playing their youngsters more has left me skeptical.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Kyle McKeown" 
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:25PM
To: "Shannon McKeown"
Subject: RE: Give and Go

The Clippers are a weird team due to all of their depth, and other than DeAndre Jordan, they don't have a lot of bruising size, so adding Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap could have helped them more than keeping Eric Bledsoe in the fold.

However, with Chris Paul only signed through this season, I understand why the Clippers were reluctant to trade Bledsoe without getting back a piece that they thought would have nearly assured at least a trip to the Finals.

From a fantasy perspective, I was disappointed we didn't see Bledsoe moved to a team like the Jazz, just because it would have meant we'd get to see him blossom as the man running the show.

It's peculiar to me that the Jazz's future seems tied to their bench and that all of their starters are nothing more than capable placeholders. How much more exciting would they be to watch if Kanter, Favors, Hayward, and Burks were all starting on a nightly basis? That's a lot of intrigue for fantasy next season.

We might have seen a lineup like this sometime during the season, but the placeholders have kept the Jazz in the playoff picture, so we've been left with the status quo in fantasy.

Derrick Williams' ceiling is very high. I think the most damning thing about his stats so far in his career has been his shooting percentages, but I also think you could point to erratic minutes and an ever-changing role as the reason for him struggling to post the gaudy shooting numbers we saw from Williams in college.

I think he will be capable of producing stats somewhere between the third-round value Carmelo Anthony typically offers and the first-round value Kevin Durant offers. To put it more simply: I think he has the ability to be as good as Anthony in fantasy and that some of his numbers would be closer to Durant's at some point in his career.

I wish I had him in more keeper leagues, and I hope Rick Adelman stops limiting Williams, or the Timberwolves trade him. Unfortunately, for this season, when Love is ready to return, it pretty much guarantees that Williams' value takes a huge hit. The T-Wolves run him almost exclusively at power forward, so that won't leave much time for Williams when K-Love is back.

I've tried adding Bargnani in any league that he was dropped after he showed up big in Monday's game. The Raptors are anxious to see him do well because they need him to improve his trade value for the offseason.

It'll be nice if the Raptors start getting more run for Terrence Ross, but I really only think guys like Alan Anderson will get benched. Bargnani should get plenty of run the rest of the season, as long as he's healthy.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Shannon McKeown" 
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:56PM
To: "Kyle McKeown"
Subject: RE: Give and Go

Whether or not the Clippers end up re-signing CP3, their window to win is now. They needed to roll the dice on acquiring a guy like Jefferson or Millsap. And, in the end, wouldn't Paul be more likely to re-sign with a team that made such a championship push? I believe so.

Favors and Kanter will be popular breakout candidates next year, and rightfully so, but we're already looking at a breakout from Hayward. He has put together a very solid season in Utah, while showing improvements throughout the season. Hayward has found a niche as the team's sixth man and should get some consideration for Sixth Man of the Year honors after the season. He won't take home the trophy but at least deserves to be in the discussion. Over the past month, he's been a top-30 fantasy option and will probably slot into the 50-60 range for me next year, depending on the Jazz's offseason moves.

While I agree that Williams' ceiling is high, putting him in the same neighborhood as Durant is lunacy. LeBron is the only player who's able to match or surpass Durant's production. I do think Melo is a fair comp, but that's also where I see Williams topping off. Like Anthony, Williams is somewhere in between a three or four. Once he starts knocking down long-range shots with more consistency, he could reach that ceiling.

While I agree that Toronto needs to get Bargnani's trade value up, he should still lose time to Jonas Valanciunas down the stretch. JV is the future of their frontcourt. Meanwhile, it's amazing Ross didn't leapfrogged Anderson in the rotation long ago. Toronto used a lottery pick on Ross, and they should be doing everything humanely possible to groom him into a valuable piece of their future.

See you in the comments.