With less than one month to go before the NBA’s annual swap meet, the time to make preparations is now.
In the fluctuating market that is player values, owners who get out in front of the news are the ones who reap the biggest rewards. And given how much the landscape projects to be altered at the Feb. 19 trading deadline, I’m willing to speculatively stash guys for the next three weeks. I’m also willing to buy and sell based on projected real-life deals.
Sorry Ms. Jackson
Reggie Jackson will be a restricted free agent this summer, the Thunder are finally healthy and they recently added a similar scoring guard in Dion Waiters. The writing is on the wall here. No matter where Jackson lands he projects to see far more than the 22.0 minutes per game he’s playing in January. And we know that when he does get starter’s minutes, high-end fantasy production follows (19.5 points, 7.5 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 3-pointers in 38.2 November minutes). Get Jackson on your roster until the dust settles.
Through the Brook
Mason Plumlee has played under 30 minutes in seven of his last 11 games, in large part due to the presence of Brook Lopez. That shouldn’t be an issue much longer. According to Yahoo! NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets have a desire to trade Lopez -- a move that would free up Plumlee to really spread his wings. A double-double waiting to happen, Plumlee’s per-36 minute numbers are currently at 16.3 points and 11.0 rebounds. Trade for him now before owners realize the opportunity ahead.
Born ready to move
Free agent addition Lance Stephenson has been a disaster in the Hornets’ defensively-oriented, team-ball scheme. They reportedly have buyer’s remorse already and are looking to dump the ex-Pacer. So even though Gerald Henderson’s fantasy upside is capped by his mostly three-category production, he needs to be held in deeper formats. Stephenson also shouldn’t be sold low on right now, as a change of scenery should serve him well. There are even rumors he could go back to Indy, where he was a top-60 fantasy player last year.
NBA Pickups of the Week
Chris Kaman, C, Blazers – Portland’s bigs are extremely banged up, leaving the ball-hogging Caveman to hoist shots.
Marcus Smart, G, Celtics – The rebuilding Celtics might as well let their No. 6 overall pick get 27-30 minutes nightly.
Langston Galloway, G, Knicks — With all the veteran Knicks candidates for shutdown, we want to cling to prospects.
The previous Raiders regime should have been arrested for giving washed up runners Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew carries ahead of Latavius Murray. New offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave doesn’t plan to make that mistake. Musgrave said Tuesday that he will “tailor” his run game to Latavius, a 6’2/223 beast with 4.38 speed. Expect Murray to be a workhorse in his third NFL season.