The Wire Troll: Lonnie Walker IV Stepping up Again for Spurs
Luka Doncic’s absence opened the door for a massive game from Tim Hardaway Jr. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball. With the season about seven-eighths done now, this will be our final batch of Fantasy basketball waiver wire picks of the 2020-21 season, We trust our recommendations have helped lead you to some Fantasy championships!
This week, Kevin Porter Jr. exploded on Thursday, becoming the fourth youngest player ever (20 years, 360 days) to log a 50-point game; the Warriors are getting killed on the glass with their front court injuries; and the situation with Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s ankle has gotten a bit more tenuous.
And now, let’s get to our final collection of…
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Picks
Lonnie Walker IV, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs (ESPN: 4.9 per cent; CBS: 19 per cent): Walker headlined our picks back in early January and offered mixed results. He didn’t jack up as many treys in January and then saw his role reduced a bit the following month before his PT bounced back in March. So far, April has seen Walker sinking fewer field goals, but he now has another golden opportunity with Derrick White (ankle) probably done for the season. Walker got 29 minutes of action Wednesday, going off for 18 points, three three-pointers and three boards. He had been virtually invisible the previous two games, so we’ll see what happens (24 points on Friday worked for us!), but given how much better he’s getting defensively, the minutes should be there down the stretch. Walker, the 18th overall pick in 2018, is worth watching because of his athleticism and scoring ability.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. had a night to remember Thursday, going off for a career-best 42 points with Luka Doncic (elbow) sidelined. Hardaway put on a shooting clinic, canning 13-of-23 from the floor, 6-for-10 from downtown and all 10 freebies while adding three assists and a steal (see video below). The outside shooting was a welcome sight considering how badly he’d been struggling from beyond the arc in April. Hardaway hasn’t been scoring as much from the line this season, so that was also some rare recent footage.
- Devin Booker enjoyed some fine shooting himself on Friday, going 13-for-19 from the floor (2-for-5 from deep) and 3-for-3 from the line en route to 31 points as the Suns took over the NBA’s best record from the Jazz (based on owning the tiebreaker). He’s playing slightly heavier minutes this month, but hasn’t done quite as good a job of sinking three pointers this season.
- Ben Simmons also shot brilliantly Friday, scoring 18 points on a highly efficient 8-for-10 showing (2-for-2 from the line) with a block. He hasn’t been scoring much from the line this month, and hasn’t been quite as accurate from the field this season.
- Bojan Bogdanovic sure had a stinker on Monday, but has bounced back since, including Friday’s 22-point, four-rebound, one-steal effort. He’s been shooting it better after struggling in March, but overall hasn’t seen as much PT as he’s had a tough time duplicating his career effort from last season.
- Trae Young‘s ankle is clearly fine now. He returned from a four-game absence and went off for 32 points on Friday. Young’s steal count is up this month, but overall he’s been unable to build on his amazing sophomore effort from last season as injuries have been a bigger factor for him this season.
- Dillon Brooks has really picked up his offensive game lately, scoring 18 or more points in four of the last five games. He hasn’t been recording as many assists this month, but is enjoying his finest season and getting more touches than ever.
- Heading the list of players that had memorable efforts on Friday, Jayson Tatum went off for a career high 60 points (tying the Celtic franchise record held by Larry Bird), eight boards, five assists and a block in helping Boston bounce back from a massive first half deficit. He now has 35 or more points in three of the last four games as he’s been shooting the lights out this month from deep. Tatum just keeps getting better every season as his bucket count continues to rise.
- We have yet to give any Fantasy love to Orlando rookie point guard Cole Anthony, but it’s high time. On Friday he managed 15 points and six boards giving him at least 14 in an eighth straight game. Anthony has been doing a better job of getting to the line in April and the 15th overall pick from last year’s draft has taken almost no time to establish himself as the starter for the Magic.
- DeMar DeRozan managed his third game of at least 30 points in four tries on Friday, adding 14 assists, five boards and two steals. He’s really stepped up in April, seeing his most action of the season and is enjoying the best free throw shooting of his career (88.5 per cent).
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Here’s a tune from jazz-funk god Azymuth‘s 1982 effort Telecommunication, “Estreito de Taruma.”