by Dave Freeman
First of all: Happy Holidays, guys. I hope you’re all psyched for the Christmas Day Quintuple-Header of NBA deliciousness. At Rotoprofessor we’re nothing if not festive, so here’s a quickfire Holiday edition of Market Watch to help you get an extra gift or two in your Fantasy Basketball stocking this year.
Here are a few guys who – for one reason or another – you may be able to acquire at a post-Christmas discount.
Jrue Holiday – I couldn’t resist the pun here. Still, as it happens, Jrue “Don’t-Call-Me-Drew” Holiday fits his own category perfectly. He missed four of the last six games with an injury, but showed himself to be fully back with 24 pts and a typically beefy stat line over the weekend. Not generally an injury worry, Holiday has wild and crazy upside as a go-to scoring option with a permanent green light in Philly. He’s arguably switched from rookie to veteran over the course of just two seasons and he seems ready to take on the role. Buy, buy, buy.
Goran Dragic – I won’t spend much time on the Slovenian Studmuffin since Will already broke down his value last week. I just wanted to point out that last night’s game was probably the nadir of his performance this season and your buy-low opportunity is right now. For those (like me) worrying that Alvin Gentry is too dumb to figure out that playing Dragic 35+ mins a game gives his team the best chance to win – I hear you. Still, I think that Gentry will either figure it out or be relieved of his duties. There’s a reason Sebastian Telfair has played for every team in the NBA, folks.
Hope You Got a Gift Receipt
These are some guys you’re going to want to “return” to the Waiver Wire ASAP.
Byron Mullens – His nasty-looking ankle injury should be the final straw you need to cut Mullens loose. On any team other than Charlotte, his inconsistency would have found him #7 or #8 in the rotation by now, but the Bobcats’ desperation knows no bounds. I’d much rather Ed Davis, Amir Johnson, Andre Drummond or some other high-upside meal ticket on the end of my bench. Mullens will burn you much more often than he will win you anything.
Andrew Nicholson – I’m not sure any Orlando PF/C is going to take full advantage of the Big Baby injury, but if I’m betting on anyone it’s Gustavo Ayon, who has shown flashes in the past.
Andray Blatche – You may want to wait and see whether Humphries “abdominal” pain amounts to anything here, but I just don’t love Blatche’s ability to consistently produce on a team as deep as the Nets. If you can still trade him on the back of his strong two week outburst, go for it.
The Ultimate Re-Gift
After realizing he’s something you definitely didn’t want, it’s time to re-gift.
DeMarcus Cousins – If you were wondering when the time was going to be to sell high on DeMarcus Cousins: you’ve missed it. Boogie Cousins was the Christmas gift that – when wrapped – looked to be exactly the size and shape of the gift you most wanted this year. And yet, when you opened it with reckless abandon and uncontrollable excitement, you discovered that it was yet another ugly holiday sweater – this time with the crocheted countenance of Boogie Cousins smirking and giving you the finger. We did a whole article here on Rotoprofessor in the pre-season about where Cousins should be taken in drafts and the consensus was somewhere in the second round. The guy has all the upside and talent in the world, but his petulance and buffoonery seem to be winning out well into his third NBA season which, to be fair, was always a possibility.
Worse still, Cousins may be in the worst possible situation (Sacramento) for a hot-headed egoist. If the guy doesn’t get a veteran presence to smack him upside the head sometime soon, he really could wash right out of the league, which seems remarkable. As a Cousins owner, you can either hold him and pray for a trade, or try to “re-gift” him to another owner. I’m advocating the latter, if only because I think that a Cousins trade is actually extremely unlikely. If you can get anyone with 3rd or 4th round value for him, do it instantly. And ask yourself some really tough questions before you scoff at seemingly “low-ball” offers. Would you rather have the super-solid, pain-free production of David West (say, 15.0 PPG and 8.0 RPG), or all of Cousins’ “potential” and the childish petulance that comes with it?
Advertise him right and you may just be able to pull off a Christmas miracle.