Fantasy: Waiver Wire Watch
With the trade deadline already passed in most leagues, scooping up talent off the waiver wire may be the only way to improve your roster with the fantasy playoffs just around the corner.
Thus, we take a look around the NBA and see if we can unearth a few gems that may be able assist those general managers looking to make a final push to capture their league’s 2013 fantasy championship belt.
Tobias Harris – Orlando Magic:
Harris has found a new lease on life since landing in Orlando as part of the J.J. Redick swap. Tobias had shown flashes of promise early in the season off the Bucks bench, but was completely buried in Milwaukee (he had scored more than two points just once in the two months prior to the trade deadline). However, Harris has been a beast since slipping on a Magic uniform. In the seven games he has played for Orlando, Harris is averaging 16.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, a three-pointer and a steal – while shooting over 56 percent from the floor. Orlando is obviously in rebuilding mode and wants to see exactly what they have in this youngster; as a result, expect his minutes to only increase down the stretch this season. If he is somehow still on your league’s waiver wire, run to scoop him up.
Andrea Bargnani – Toronto Raptors:
Bargnani has been about as popular among fantasy owners as he has been among Raptors fans this season – and if you’ve read about the reaction he’s received in Toronto of late, it’s understandable why so many owners cut bait on Bargs a long time ago. However, the disappointing former first overall pick has shown some signs of life lately. In particular, pouring in 26 points and grabbing seven rebounds in a loss to the Warriors on Monday. The thinking here is that Toronto would love to trade Bargnani this summer in order to clear his salary off the books. However, Andrea’s value is at an all-time low right now. It’s not difficult to envision the Raptors giving Bargnani extended minutes over the final few weeks (especially if Rudy Gay is injured), in hopes that he shows flashes of promise and baits another organization into making a decent offer. For that reason, snatching Bargnani off the wire might be worth the minimal investment.
Enes Kanter – Utah Jazz:
The talent has always been there, Kanter just hasn’t had much of an opportunity to put it display due to the wealth of frontcourt talent on Utah’s roster. However, with Al Jefferson nursing an ankle injury, Kanter has finally seen some consistent minutes. Enes has played at least 20 minutes in three straight contests for the first time in his career this week, and wowed the state of Utah in the process (where Jazz fans are still wondering why management didn’t deal either pending free-agent Jefferson or Millsap at the trade deadline). Through three games in March, Kanter is averaging 19.3 points and 13 rebounds, while shooting 69.4 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the stripe. Kanter will be relegated to fewer minutes once Big Al returns, but Kanter has proven he deserves consideration for an extended role.
Dorell Wright – Philadelphia 76ers:
Wright has been plagued by bouts of inconsistency this season, but has stepped up this month, playing his best basketball of the season. With Jason Richardson sidelined for the season and Nick Young dealing with a bum ankle, Wright has made the most of newfound opportunities. Wright is averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 boards, 2.8 triples, and 1.5 steals through Philly’s first four games this month. Dorell may see his minutes scaled back once Young returns, but if you are in the market for three-pointers, Wright is worth taking a flier on.
Derrick Williams – Minnesota Timberwolves:
The second overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, Williams hadn’t lived up to expectations early on during his stint with the Timberwolves. However, after injures decimated the Minnesota frontline (Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, and Andrei Kirilenko are all sidelined) Williams has been given his best opportunity, and has the results have certainly been encouraging. Over the Wolves’ last six games, D-Will is playing nearly 40 minutes a night and averaging 20.5 points and 9.7 rebounds. He won’t stuff the stat sheet in many other categories (he has a total of just two assists over that stretch), and his percentages aren’t terrific – but if he’s still on the waiver wire, he is definitely worth adding.