2022-23 NBA Wire Troll All-Star Team
Jalen Williams was a major score off the waiver wire. (@okcthunder)
The 2022-23 NBA season is in the books, so it’s time to see how our Fantasy basketball waiver wire picks did this season.
Mining the wire can provide value in many ways. Sometimes, it offers a temporary fix to an injury issue or it’s simply a case of jumping on a player delivering short-term value. But when you pick up a player and he sticks on your team for the entire season (or even the lion’s share) and contributes throughout, that is the true definition of waiver wire gold.
With this in mind, we rank players higher that were identified earlier in the season, as — in theory — they had an opportunity to provide value for your team for a longer stretch and have a greater overall impact on your Fantasy season. Curiously, few of our early season pickups hit paydirt; we tended to hit more homers mid and late-season in this particular basketball campaign.
Oh sure, we had plenty of misses among our picks and, because of the bi-weekly nature of our column, it means that some hot free agents get scooped up days before we can tout them. But the fact is that if you managed to wind up with, say, two or three of these guys on your team, chances are you enjoyed a pretty successful season.
Without further ado, we present the 2022-23 NBA Wire Troll All-Star Team…
Dates in parentheses represent when we recommended each player.
Jalen Williams, SG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder (Week One): Williams was the best wavier wire pick of the season, as we identified him right at the start of the season (even suggesting he could be one of the steals of the 2022 NBA Draft) and he really delivered. Although he missed a bit of time with some injuries, he had a real sweet rookie season, sinking plenty of buckets (some of which were worth a second look — see video below) while pitching in with a trey per game, plus providing a decent amount of boards and blocks. Williams also did a good job of getting to the line with strong percentages both from the stripe and field. Oh, and he’s got a pretty good sense of humour, to boot.
Bruce Brown, SG, Denver Nuggets (Week Three): When we pimped him in late-October, we anticipated Brown would be a hot pickup, and he sure was as his ownership exploded. We complained about his lack of consistency early on, but the fact is, his numbers were very stable over the course of the season. Brown didn’t see as much duty as a starter in his first season in Denver, yet in terms of minutes, he never saw more action. And despite not faring nearly as well from beyond the arc, he shattered his personal best in scoring. If Brown can bounce back from downtown next season, he’ll be poised to take another leap forward.
Shaedon Sharpe, PG, Portland Trail Blazers (Week Three): Another solid rookie, Sharpe got a chance to start periodically and saw enough PT as a freshman — especially as the season progressed — to enjoy some Fantasy relevance. He did pretty well from deep (36.5 per cent), took care of the rock and proved he can rock the rim…
Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Washington Wizards (Week Seven): Avdija has mostly been employed as a bench player since being drafted ninth overall in 2020 by the Wizards, but this season he made a career-high 40 starts. His bucket count has increased each season, despite some regression in his outside game in 2022-23. Avdija has also shown continually improvement in his rebounding (even on the offensive glass), but foul trouble was more of a factor this season — although that also got better down the stretch.
Kyle Anderson, SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves (Week 19): He may not get along with Rudy Gobert, but Anderson became one of two top late-season recommendations as he was especially effective in March. Although Anderson doesn’t jack as many three-point attempts in recent seasons, he did a better job of getting to the charity stripe in a solid bounce back campaign. He’s not the rebounder he once was, but managed career bests in A/40, true shooting percentage and assist ratio, so there was a lot of good things going on for the veteran this season.
Talen Horton-Tucker, SG/SF, Utah Jazz (Week 19): Our other strong late-season pick, Horton-Tucker had a tale of two halves this season, mostly relegated to the bench and failing to garner enough action to be Fantasy relevant over the first four months. But from February on, his PT kept rising, as did his production. In the end, THT matched his career high in games played while getting more starts and sinking more buckets than ever. His free throw shooting regressed, but he showed enough to set him up for a bigger role next season.
Tyus Jones, PG, Memphis Grizzlies (Week Seven): How efficient is Jones? Well, all he’s done is lead the NBA in assists-to-turnover ratio for each of the last five seasons. Jones upped his scoring from the charity stripe, while improving his rebounding work as part of a career-best effort this season. Man, does this dude deserve a starting job somewhere, but off the bench — where he mostly toils — he’s naturally an inconsistent producer.
Jeremy Sochan, PF, San Antonio Spurs (Week 11): Another fine freshman, Sochan was among our top mid-season recommendations. Showing through the roof defensive potential, he was given extra PT in the second half, and really responded. All told, Sochan played low-level starter’s minutes and enjoyed a strong bucket count with solid point totals and — for a frontcourt player — decent assist numbers. Despite late-season knee issues, he proved to be one of the season’s better waiver wire additions.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Shortly after the Young Aborigines changed their name to Beastie Boys, John Berry left the band and was replaced by Adam Horovitz. Here’s another track from Beastie Boys’ 1999 compilation album Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science, “Root Down,” originally released on the 1994 album Ill Communication.