The Wire Troll: Cam Whitmore Coming of Age in Houston
Houston has another young potential star in Cam Whitmore. (Troy Taormina-USA Today Sports)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball. Keep loading up on opponents of the Atlanta Hawks and their woeful defense, and forage through the waiver wire, my peeps.
This week, the LeBron James trade rumours had cold water splashed on them, which we suppose makes the Lakers a better play on FanDuel; Joel Embiid‘s knee is becoming a bigger concern; and Jalen Brunson again proved he’s worthy of his All-Star selection.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Picks
Cam Whitmore, SG/SF, Houston Rockets (ESPN: 5 per cent; CBS: 38 per cent): Houston has yet another promising youngster on its hands in rookie Whitmore, the 20th overall pick in last year’s draft. Taking advantage of extra PT while Jabari Smith was out, Whitmore poured in at least 12 points in six straight games, and even in the three games since Smith has returned, Whitmore averaged 21 points despite not getting more than 21 minutes of action. Whitmore’s shooting has regressed with the extra PT, but now that the kid is getting enough action to be Fantasy worthy, he’s really opened some eyes. He knows how to finish near the bucket, and with his physicality and athleticism, he’s going to put himself in position to score a lot of easy hoops. There’s serious offensive upside here, folks, plus the kid is willing to stand up for his teammates (see video below).
Ayo Dosunmu, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls (ESPN: 8.6 per cent; CBS: 28 per cent): Less than a year and a half ago, Dosunmu headlined our picks as we liked his chances of capitalizing on Lonzo Ball‘s injury. Unfortunately, Dosunmu never really topped his October performance despite seeing some substantial PT. All told, it was a decent sophomore effort as he saw more action and improved his work at the line, but failed to sink as many hoops. This season, he’s been improving each month to the point that he’s playing at a top 45 level in the last week and has rhymed off nine straight double-digit scoring efforts with solid secondary numbers. Dosunmu’s bucket count is rising, he’s shooting brilliantly and is becoming a more efficient player. Better yet, he’s recently taken over as the starting PG, and we see no reason that won’t continue for the foreseeable future.
Paul Reed, SF/PF, Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN: 8.5 per cent; CBS: 40 per cent): We pimped Reed as a short-term add when Embiid was out early last season, but he never got enough PT to have more than merely short-term use. But with Embiid hurting again, we’re back to give Reed another look; he exploded for 30 points and 13 boards last Saturday, and then flirted with double-doubles in two of the three games since (playing just 10 minutes in the other as Embiid was back in action). Reed’s PT has been rising all season, he’s started three of the last four, and he’s even shooting well from long distance (although he still doesn’t take many treys). Grab him while you can.
- Tyrese Haliburton hasn’t exactly been lighting it the scoreboard since returning from a hamstring injury on Tuesday, but in fairness, he’s being babied with just 22 minutes played in each game. Let’s hope the Pacers set him free soon because his level of play in November and December was off the charts amazing. Now if only Haliburton could reverse a trend of two straight seasons of decreasing three-point accuracy.
- Anthony Davis (Achilles/hip) has missed two straight games and it’s unclear if he’ll be ready to return on Saturday (he’s listed as questionable). This news really sucks considering he’d been on a nice roll in recent games, but hadn’t been doing as good a job of getting to the line last month. Overall, we’d really like to see Davis get his bucket count back to where it was last season.
- If Scoot Henderson is somehow available in your league, grab him. Before Friday, he hasn’t been playing big minutes lately (moving back to the bench in mid-January), but man has he ever been efficient, racking up at least 15 points in three straight games (including 30 on Friday)), buoying hopes he’ll return to his December form. Could a trade deadline move return Henderson back to the starting lineup? That’s what we’re banking on here.
- Back to the Lakers, we’ve got to give some love to Austin Reeves. He’s gotten to the line at least seven times in three of the last four games and has scored 17 or more in four of the last five. Reeves didn’t hoist as many treys last month, but we love the fact he’s been completely healthy and has already started more games this season than he did in all of 2022-23. Breakout City, baby.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
A member of the Order of the British Empire, Sir George Ivan Morrison is better known as simply Van Morrison, the Irish singer/songwriter who has been active since age 13 in 1958. In 1972, he released his sixth album, Saint Dominic’s Preview, and the second single was “Redwood Tree,” which reached No. 98 on the U.S. Billboard charts.