The Wire Troll: Dion Waiters worth the Wait
Jameer Nelson (left) is taking advantage of his chance in the Mile High City. (LM Otero, The Associated Press)
Here we are at the halfway point of the NBA season, Steve Kerr and Mike Budenholzer are the All-Star coaches, while both Gasols are starting in the All-Star game. (Picking Pau as a Bust was one of our worst calls ever.) The BBVA Rising Stars challenge will be a USA vs. the World format and the NBA is as wide open as ever.
And now, here are this week’s Fantasy basketball waiver wire recommendations.
Dion Waiters, SG, Oklahoma City Thunder (ESPN: 17.4 per cent; CBS: 50 per cent): After being traded to the Thunder (a move that, contrary to some reports, did not involve any bad blood, according to Cleveland coach David Blatt — see vide below), Waiters struggled to get into a rhythm. Now, after a few weeks, he is getting there. He is now playing close to 30 minutes per night and because of his extended PT, his stats have gone up. He is still struggling shooting the ball (only 39.8 per cent from the field and 25 per cent from downtown since arriving in OKC), however, his steals and points have gone up since the trade and we expect them to continue to grow.
Jameer Nelson, PG, Denver Nuggets (ESPN: 8.1 per cent; CBS: 27 per cent): Nelson played 42 minutes on Friday as Ty Lawson was out due to personal reasons. Nelson stepped in and had 23 points and seven assists as it turns out that Lawson was arrested on Friday morning on suspicion of DUI. With Lawson’s situation unclear, Nelson is a great plug and play moving forward and might be worth a long-term pick up if Lawson ends up missing a long period of time.
C.J. Miles, SF, Indiana Pacers (ESPN: 9.9 per cent; CBS: 44 per cent): Miles can score pretty well, however, the only reason you would pick him up is if you need help in three pointers made because he is draining almost 2.5 per game over the past two months.
James Ennis, SF, Miami Heat (ESPN: 0.2 per cent; CBS: 2 per cent): As one of the final picks in the 2013 NBA Draft, Ennis has yet to make any noise from a Fantasy perspective. He forgo the NBADL last season to play overseas, so is only now an NBA rookie. After a strong preseason, his big games have been few and far between. Sure, Ennis went off for 16 points and eight boards against the Celtics late last month, but since then had only topped 16 minutes of action once — until Wednesday, went he again flashed his talent with eight points, seven boards, a block and a steal in 28 minutes. Then, he takes a DNP-CD Friday. Clearly, Ennis is only someone to keep an eye on for now, but if Luol Deng gets hurt or is traded, be ready to pounce.
Zaza Pachulia, C, Milwaukee Bucks (ESPN: 12.5 per cent; CBS: 47 per cent): Since picking up the starting role roughly a month ago, Pachulia has stepped up his game, averaging 11 points and 10 boards over the last 13 games. As a major double-double threat, he needs to be owned in almost all formats.
Marreese Speights, C/PF, Golden State Warriors (ESPN: 18.8 per cent; CBS: 44 per cent): Speights has turned into an under the radar scorer, averaging over 15 points in the past month while shooting 87 per cent from the line. Although Klay Thompson had a massive 52-point game on Friday, Speights still ended up as the Warriors’ second leading scorer with 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy basketball waiver wire pick of the week is.