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The Wire Troll: The LBJ Injury Impact

March 4, 2023 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Troy Brown Jr. has a chance to step up for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Can Troy Brown Jr. take advantage of extra PT? (Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball. Your trade deadline has probably passed now, meaning league playoffs have likely begun, so for those in need of a little push to advance, let’s raid the waiver wire, shall we?

This week, Kyrie Irving teamed up with Luka Doncic to enjoy his best game yet as a Maverick; the Clips have slipped into the play-in tourney thanks to four straight losses; and LeBron James‘ tendon injury will be re-evaluated in three weeks (see below for a related Fantasy opportunity).

And now, let’s get to this week’s…

Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Picks

Troy Brown Jr., SF, Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN: 0.6 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Yes, he’s been inconsistent, but Brown has generally capitalized on the extra PT he’s getting with James out. Tuesday was a very forgettable effort for Brown, but his shot has been dropping since and he’s really stepping up from downtown (see video below). And even when the touches aren’t there, he’s pitched in elsewhere, like on Friday (six boards, three steals and two assists). If Brown is going to get near 30 minutes per game for most of March, he’s going to be a sneaky good pickup. Playing the three, he doesn’t have the same size advantage as he did as a two-guard, but he’s a solid defender, has impressive strength and has done a decent job for a player whose NBA-readiness was in question when he was drafted.

Delon Wright, PG/SG/PF, Washington Wizards (ESPN: 10.5 per cent; CBS: 21 per cent): Wright dealt with an extended absence early this season, but returned just before Christmas. Since then, his role has steadily increased to the point where his numbers are attractive: five straight games of at least seven points, two straight with at least four assists and six boards on Thursday (plus 11 assists!). Wright played 33 minutes on Thursday, so if he’s getting starter minutes as long as Monte Morris (back) is out, this is a great pickup. Wright’s been flying off the wire lately, but it’s not too late to jump on his train.

Eric Gordon, SG/SF, Los Angeles Clippers (ESPN: 3.9 per cent; CBS: 25 per cent): Gordon bounced between starting and coming off the bench in Houston, but has mostly been a reserve since getting dealt to the Clippers at the deadline. Still, with Kawhi Leonard (knee management), Norman Powell (shoulder) and Marcus Morris Sr. (elbow) all out Friday, Gordon came through with 21 points. Gordon has played 30 or more minutes in back-to-back games, and while seeing that kind of PT down the stretch is contingent on the Clipper injury situation, it’s great to know he can still step when it’s there. Now in his 15th season, this could be his last hurrah at Fantasy value, so give him a look.

Matisse Thybulle, SF/SG, Portland Trail Blazers (ESPN: 5.5 per cent; CBS: 19 per cent): In late-January last year, we recommended Thybulle as a great source of steals, and he offered mixed results down the stretch, while the first half of this season has been quite forgettable. But since Philly traded him to Portland, he’s experienced a major revival, playing at least 25 minutes every game, pouring in the treys and pitching in with tons of steals and a goodly amount of blocks. The fact that Thybulle is a full-time starter in Portland alone makes him worthy of being grabbed; the fact that he’s averaging 35 MPG this month while provided a very intriguing stat profile for a swingman makes him a near must-add (especially with Anfernee Simons out).

Fast Breaks

  • Washington SF Kyle Kuzma started hot Thursday, pouring in the first 10 points of the game and wound up with 30 (adding five assists and a steal), for his second straight big scoring night. His PT has declined since December, but it looks like that will change this month. The big issue we have with Kuzma right now is his efficiency; he hasn’t shot as well this season, but it’s been really bad over the last couple of weeks (under 36 per cent from the field over the last five games). Volume shooter, much?
  • San Antonio forward Jeremy Sochan has scored 22 points twice in the last three games, and after seeing less PT last month, looks like he’ll get more action down the stretch. He’s enjoyed a real nice rookie effort, but we hope to see him get to the line even more often going forward.
  • Garrison Mathews offered some value as a three-point specialist last season, but saw his role in Houston reduced greatly this season and — now that he’s been traded to Atlanta — he’s barely playing at all. No one in the NBA has a higher 3PAr, but considering how seldom he’s taking the court right now, it’s rather moot.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Monty Python really broke out after creating its brilliant series Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which ran between 1969 and 1974. In 1974, the troupe released a live album, Monty Python Live at Drury Lane, and it included the hilarious skit “Travel Agent.”

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