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NBA Waiver Wire: Over-Owned Stars

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.

As a contributor to one of the bigger Knicks blogs, I spent a lot of time this summer talking about New York's roster and the rotations Mike Woodson will use this season. Will Carmelo Anthony move back to small forward? Will Andrea Bargnani start or come off the bench? Will Iman Shumpert continue to improve? Who will back up Tyson Chandler at center?

One player that rarely entered the conversation: Amar'e Stoudemire.

It's not that Stoudemire doesn't have value. He was actually very good last season, showing flashes of a post-up game he developed – with the help of Hakeem Olajuwon – to better complement Anthony. But knee trouble limited him to just 29 games. At this stage of his career, it might be best to assume he'll contribute nothing; that way, anything he does contribute becomes a bonus. In the hopes of keeping Stoudemire healthy, Mike Woodson is reportedly planning on putting Stoudemire on a very strict minute limit of around 20 minutes per game, and sitting him during back-to-backs.

As of opening day, STAT is 71 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – that number seems way too high. Sure, Stoudemire has some upside potential; completely healthy, he's capable of posting all-star numbers. But he probably isn't capable of "completely healthy." I might use him as a spot-starter in some formats, but in most leagues I'd rather use a roster spot on someone like Cody Zeller (also 71 percent) a player on his way up.

Related question - rank the following players in order of games played this season:

  • Amar'e Stoudemire
  • Greg Oden
  • Danny Granger
  • Andrew Bynum

  • The trade of Marcin Gortat to the Wizards won't have near as big an impact as last year's late-October shocker (James Harden to Houston) but it will make Washington a strong contender for the playoffs for the first time in a long time. The biggest beneficiary of the deal might be Nene (70 percent owned in Yahoo!), who will shift back to his preferred power forward position this season. Also: look for Al Harrington (1 percent owned) to play a very important role for the Wiz this season as a stretch 4/5 off the bench.

    The Gortat trade ranks as the second-most obvious tank job of the offseason; Philly's trade of all-star Jrue Holiday for an injured Nerlens Noel tops that dubious list. But with what seems like an unprecedented number of teams that would rather finish in the lottery than reach the playoffs, we could see quite a few more talent liquidations before February's trade deadline. Some potentially interesting players that could be dealt this season:

  • Rajon Rondo (93%)
  • Goran Dragic (90%)
  • Jameer Nelson (79%)
  • Glen Davis (15%)
  • Thaddeus Young (93%)
  • Spencer Hawes (68%)

  • Picks for the Week

    All percent-owned stats are Yahoo!

    Isaiah Thomas (61%) – Greivis Vasquez was named the Kings' starting point guard, but Thomas had a much stronger preseason and could make a real push for the job before long.

    Miles Plumlee (10%) – Plumlee will inherits the starting center gig in Phoenix – at least until rookie Alex Len (44%) is ready to take over.

    Vitor Faverani (8%) – Faverani will be the starting center for the Celtics.

    Shawne Williams (2%) – "Extra E" is a favorite of Mike D'Antoni's, and will have a good opportunity to contribute as a "D and three" forward for the Lakers.

    Jamaal Tinsley (1%) – Tinsley was re-signed by the Jazz, who will be without rookie guard Trey Burke (broken finger, 66%) for another month or so.

    Chris Copeland (1%) – Copeland could have a much more significant role than originally anticipated, due to Danny Granger's uncertain status.

    Evan Fournier (1%) – Randy Foye's injury gives second-year guard Fournier an opportunity to open the season in Denver's starting five – and a nice opportunity to land a more substantial role in the Nuggets' rotation.

    Luigi Datome (0%) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (28%) – Most modern NBA offenses are built around some combination of dribble penetration – to get easy shots from the paint – and long-range shooting to draw defenses away from the basket and create space for that dribble penetration to happen. This year's Pistons have lots of guys that thrive in the paint, but if Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings and a 37-year-old Chauncey Billups are their primary threats from outside, things could get ugly. That's why I'm high on Detroit's two rookie wings, Datome and Caldwell-Pope… SOMEONE's gotta take a few threes for this team, right?