Here are some Monday thoughts from the Hoops Lab as we gear up for week 15 of the fantasy basketball season. Keep in mind that the Fantasy Basketball Rest of Season standings also update on Mondays, so check these rankings as you gear up for this week’s matches. Between the ratings and this article, we’ll also help you identify some good “buy low/sell high” candidates. So, without further ado, let’s dive into it.
Next NBA trade deadline
The NBA trade deadline is February 9th, which is just over two weeks from now. This date should be circled on the calendar for all fantasy basketball managers because trades in the next couple of weeks can have a significant impact on player value going forward. We recently had a roundtable about the players whose value would change the most, for good or bad, if they were traded. As a fantasy manager, you should do similar calculations for the players, whether on your team or the league you play in, that you think might be moved to see if you can find an angle to improve your team. It’s my guess, because if you play a deal and it doesn’t happen, you have to live with the results, but sometimes the results can be exciting.
For example, in the article, John Kerrigan posed Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma is flirting with the top 50 fantasy value this season, taking on all the responsibility he can with the Wizards. He is a primary scorer and secondary scorer with average career highs (senior) of 21.8 PPG, 2.6 3PG, and 4.0 APG. He plays well, but the sudden spike in numbers is due in large part to him playing a career-high 35.2 mpg with a career-high utilization ratio of 28.1.
Now, imagine if he was traded to a opposing team that is in the market for a frontline assist who could score. Chances are good that he might not even start, bringing him back to the 27.0 mpg he averaged in seasons 20-19/20-21… where he also averaged 12.8 PPG, 1.7 3PG and 1.6 APG. Even if he were to start, there’s almost no chance he’ll get close to minutes and use on an opponent that he does for the Wizards.
So if you have Kuzma on your FBA team, and you’re familiar with the level of production he’s delivered so far, it can be really useful to gauge the value of Kuzma’s trade in your league. You don’t want to give it up for nothing, because there is a chance that the wizards will keep it and carry on as it is. But, if you can directly swap Kuzma with another talent from the top 50, or if you can pair Kuzma with another powerful player to bring back a power man, it might pay to be more aggressive than usual in moving him, if you think wizards might do the same. .
Now, look at the opposite scenario. In the article, Eric Moody points this out Caris Levert He is a walking bucket stuck behind two highly used teammates Donovan Mitchell (31.8 USG%) and Darius Garland (28.7 USG%). LeVert puts up strong numbers for his position with 12.8 PPG, 3.7 APG, and 1.6 3PG, but that’s just enough to be a marginal player in the FBA Top 150 listed in over 45% of leagues.
What if he was traded to a team that wanted to feature him? LeVert averaged 20.2 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 1.8 3PG during the 2020-21 season, and he’s already had a 41-point, 7-assist, and 6-point game this season. If he’s available in your league, it might be worth having a spot on the roster and the crew to pick him up just in case. Or ask him to take the “throw-in” role in a larger deal.
I’m just saying. There is often chaos surrounding the NBA trade deadline, and chaos is a ladder, so… it’s time to start climbing.
Antetokounmpo and Middleton about to return?
Giannis Antikonmo Missed the past five games due to knee problems, and Chris Middleton Missed the last 18. Both are listed as potential for Monday, a potential return that would put the Bucks’ starting lineup at full strength for one of the few times this season. But watch both near game time, because there have been false alarms in the past. Giannis was listed as likely to play ahead of last Monday’s game, but he ended up being out of that game and the next as well. Middleton, on the other hand, made his season debut on December 2 after missing the first month and a half of the season, playing in seven of the next eight matches, then missing every match after December 15. He’s likely to need intense time off, even after he’s spent the past two weeks training with the Bucks and their G League affiliates to try to get his fitness and legs back.
The expectation is that the Bucks won’t be rushing either of their superstars again, prioritizing their long-term health and postseason availability over regular season success, so listing them as prospects is promising. But stay tuned.
Ball is recovering from an ankle injury again
lamelo ball He re-sprained his left ankle Wednesday in Houston after a teammate PJ Washington fell into it. Ball also has a sore right wrist, but in the short term the ankle looks even more troublesome given it’s the third time this season he’s had to miss time with an injury. He missed the first 13 games of the season, returned from three, then missed 11 more when he sprained the first time. Ball already missed one game on Saturday, but it’s encouraging to be listed as a doubtful for Monday’s game after being listed as a doubtful on Saturday. Ball is among the top 10 to 15 FBA contributors in the NBA when healthy, so both the possibility of an absence and the possibility of this third injury should be a worrying trend for FBA managers with Ball on the roster. Whether you write it down on the list or not, decide its trading value carefully, because it’s a game-changer when it’s on the field but now has a risk-reward proposition that could make it worth trading – either way, depending on your team’s situation.
Suns in and out
Chris Paul (Hip) He returned from a seven-game layoff Sunday to lead the Suns to victory over the Grizzlies. Paul recorded 22 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 three-pointers, 3 steals and 1 block in 38 minutes, one of his best performances this season, to indicate that he is back in full force.
Cameron Johnson He also returned Thursday after missing 37 games with a torn meniscus, scoring 19 points with 6 boards and 2 3-pointers in 22 minutes off the bench. He missed Saturday’s game since the Suns played back-to-back Saturday/Sunday games, but returned to the starting lineup and played 29 minutes on Sunday.
Devin Booker He’s still suffering from the left groin strain that sidelined him at the end of December, but he’s approaching the four-week mark that was given as an initial milestone for a potential return. The Suns haven’t announced an imminent return, so temper expectations until more news is available. Colleague Deender Eaton He missed two consecutive games due to illness but could return to action sometime this week. Cameron Payne (twisting the right foot) f Landry Shammit (feet) Both are still out, making Damion Lee (Available in 95.7% of leagues) The next man in the Suns backcourt. Lee had a quiet game in Paul’s return Sunday, but he’s averaged 17.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.7 APG and 2.5 3PG at 29.8 MPG in the previous six games — two games and four games off the bench.
Issac will play?
when i read it Jonathan Isaac He was due back in action as soon as Monday, and I found myself echoing the excited skepticism of the famous “Daniel LaRusso Will He Fight?” line at the end of “The Karate Kid”. After all, the last time he played in an NBA game was in the Orlando bubble in July 2020 before knee injuries derailed his career. But his return is big news for Magic and fantasy basketball managers, because when he plays, Isaac’s got it. Defensive-minded Isaac (available in 75.5% of the leagues) averages 2.3 BPG, 1.6 SPG, 11.9 PPG, 6.8 RPG and 0.9 3PG in 28.8 MPG when he last played during the 2019-20 season.
He joins a Magic team full of talented young frontcourt players, so he may not get the minutes to produce fantasy numbers in the short term. Plus, after nearly three full years, it will presumably be brought back slowly due to minute constraints. But he’s definitely worth going on, with a top 75 up, if he gets his starting minutes.