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The Wire Troll: Marvin Bagley III Gets Another Fresh Start

January 20, 2024 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Marvin Bagley III made an immediate impact for the Washington Wizards.
New Wizard Marvin Bagley III (35) wasted no time showing his potential. (Last Word On Sports)

Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball. January is nearly done, so be sure to get as much juice from the waiver wire while you can.

This week, the Raptors waived Christian Koloko (blood clots) to make room for the players acquired in the Pascal Siakam trade; Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to pace all Eastern Conference players in All-Star voting; and the police investigation of Josh Giddey has been closed.

And now, let’s get to this week’s…

Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Picks

Marvin Bagley III, PF/C, Washington Wizards (ESPN: 7.6 per cent; CBS: 33 per cent): The 2018 second overall pick has struggled to establish himself as a big-time NBA player thanks to injuries and wearing out his welcome. Well, once again his team grew tired of waiting for Bagley to deliver on the hype so he was traded to Washington. However, the early returns sure look promising: 20 points, 11 boards, three blocks, two steals and two assists in a season-high 39 minutes in his Wizard debut on Thursday. Bagley is sure to be one of the top waiver wire picks this week, so move fast here. He’s been sinking more buckets this month, although the fact that he wasn’t starting as much for Detroit really hurt, so let’s hope Washington continues to set him free with this kind of PT. Bagley remains a force in the low post; now if he can regularly get blocks and boards like he did on Thursday, maybe we’ll finally be on to something here, and his defensive play will be good enough to keep him in the starting lineup and playing big minutes. He also seems to have formed some instant chemistry with Kyle Kuzma (see video below), so there’s another reason to give him a long look.

Luke Kennard, SG, Memphis Grizzlies (ESPN: 4.8 per cent; CBS: 27 per cent): Early last season, Kennard got hurt; now, he’s the one taking advantage of injuries. With the Grizz backcourt in shambles (Ja Morant, Marcus Smart and Derrick Rose are all currently out), opportunity abounds, and Kennard has seized it, scoring 11 or more in five straight games. Kennard is shooting better lately and even if he’s still not playing as much as he did last season, that’s trending the other way now with 29 or more minutes in four straight games. We love his ability to be efficient, too; how about 18 points on Thursday despite taking just nine shots? The way things are going, don’t be shocked if a contender tries to pry Kennard from Memphis at the trade deadline.

Fast Breaks

  • How well has OG Anunoby fit in with the Knicks? Despite not sinking as many buckets as he did in Toronto, his +173 in the highest +/- figure in NBA history for any player through his first 10 games with a team.
  • Speaking of Knicks currently rolling, it’s high time for us to give some love to point guard Jalen Brunson. He’s missed a couple of games recently because of a calf woe, and has returned with back-to-back contests with at least 30 points, including a whopping 41 on Thursday. Brunson’s heavy workload has eased a bit over the last couple of months, and that’s helped him remain productive. Since arriving from Dallas, he’s been a full-time starter and has taken his game to a whole new level.
  • Bruce Brown, a Wire Troll All-Star last season, looked pretty good in his first game with the Raptors after coming over in the Siakam deal (15 points, seven boards), but may not be in Toronto for long. Rumours suggest that the Lakers (or perhaps the Knicks) may make a play for him before the trade deadline in less than three weeks.
  • We’ve always loved Matisse Thybulle as a source of steals, and he continues to impress in that regard. In fact, before taking a goose egg on Wednesday, he hadn’t gone without at least one since November 14. Small wonder Thybulle’s 3.4 per cent steal percentage leads the entire NBA. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all he brings to the table, Fantasy-wise, but at least his turnovers are down this season.
  • RotoRob Tune of the Day

    New Zealand band Split Enz formed in 1972 and remained active until 1984. In 1982, they released their eighth album, Time and Tide, and the second single from this effort was “Six Months in a Leaky Boat,” which reached the top 10 in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

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