by Will Overton
A fantasy basketball owner who stays put is usually a fantasy basketball owner who won’t have much success. Sometimes you have that killer draft that doesn’t need tweaking later on, but that’s a very rare case and usually the winner has done some work to improve their team during the season.
There are two ways you can do this, the waiver wire and trades. If you’re diligent with the way you handle the waiver wire it can be a great source, but sometimes the big move you need to make can’t be done on waivers and you have to pull the trigger on a trade.
The key to making good trades is all about timing. You want to sell a guy at the right time and buy a guy at the right time. You also need to know when to hold on to a guy even though you may want to sell or buy them based on their performance thus far.
Each week I will check in with one guy I think you should sell high, buy low and hold on to. So without wasting any more time let’s get to it:
Buy – Jose Calderon – PG, New York Knicks: I was extremely high on Jose Calderon in the preseason after he was traded to the New York Knicks, and before he was hurt. Calderon has missed much of this season no and in the eight games he has been back for fantasy owners have to be very underwhelmed and many of them considering selling. I’m on the other side though, I’m buying Jose Calderon, because I still believe better things are coming.
The reason I liked Calderon so much in the preseason is because he fits what the Knicks needed. He’s a playmaker at the point who doesn’t make a ton of mistakes and can knock down threes with the best of them. He’s still working his way back and the minutes have been inconsistent so far, but we have seen flashed of the guy I expected. At some point Calderon is going to leave guys like Pablo Prigioni in his dust and start getting the 30+ minutes per game he deserves. Calderon should be putting up 13 PPG, 7 APG and 2 3PG and if you buy him now you’ll be more than happy to have that guy in a couple weeks.
Sell – Serge Ibaka – PF/C, Oklahoma City Thunder: I know I will take some heat for this one, because I take heat every time I talk about Serge Ibaka on here. I think it’s time to trade the guy though if you can land a top 20 player for him and I think you might be able to. Ibaka has actually added another piece to his game by stepping up his range and knocking down threes at a surprising rate of 1.5 per game. So Ibaka is possibly a little better than before, so why trade him now?
Ibaka did a lot of his damage with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook out and now they are both back. This won’t affect his bread and butter shot blocking, or it shouldn’t, but it will affect his point scoring and it will affect his threes. Ibaka had been taking 14 shots per game and that’ll likely become 11 – 12 per game now. Ibaka’s rebounding numbers have also declined this season after spiking to 8.8 per game last season and Durant being back could affect that some too. I do like Ibaka, I just think he takes a small step back and he isn’t a top 20 guy going forward, if you can get someone like Chris Bosh or Kyle Lowry for him, I’d absolutely do it.
Hold – Goran Dragic – PG, Phoenix Suns: This is a tough one to really gauge what you should do. Goran Dragic has been fairly disappointing so far this season, but he’s looked good that last handful of games. Ultimately I think you just have to hold on to him right now. If you own him and try and sell him I don’t know that you get good enough value out of him just based on these last few games, the overall numbers fall short. If you don’t own him I don’t think I want to buy him either because I do worry about the low assist rate with two other very capable ball handlers taking turns running the offense with him.
The thing that makes the most sense is riding it out with Dragic. You probably drafted him in the top 30 of your draft and he won’t finish top 30 or even all that close, but you may have to just eat that and get what you can out of him. If you could sell him as a top 50 player I would, but I don’t think you’ll be able to and if nothing else I do think he is a nice scorer to hold onto.