January 8, 2024, 2:44 pm
The NBA season rolls on and we had some notable news in the last week; some of it real, some speculative.
First off, we have Draymond Green returning from his suspension in the near future. That’s going to throw a big wrench into things for Trayce Jackson-Davis and Dario Saric, while the gradually improving Andrew Wiggins might also get dinged. The Warriors seem ready to go down dancing with the guys that brought them there, but Jackson-Davis and Saric should still be part of the rotation going forward. Enough to remain fantasy-relevant? We’ll see.
Jonathan Kuminga reportedly lost faith in Steve Kerr but everyone was all smiles after that report broke, and Kuminga played 36 minutes in the team’s next game. The squeaky wheel gets the grease more often than not here, either via more minutes or a trade to a team that has more minutes available. It’s pretty daring for a player of Kuminga’s status to float that sentiment to the media, for the record, but he’s not exactly wrong to be confused about why he isn’t playing more regularly — or at least consistently.
Further up the roster, Chris Paul is set to undergo hand surgery. With the trade deadline approaching, is it possible that we’ve seen the last of him in a Warriors uniform? Cory Joseph will get some playing time in the interim but is only worth consideration in leagues with 20-plus teams, and the hope is that Brandin Podziemski ends up getting most of the available time.
The Warriors are one of the teams linked to Pascal Siakam in trade rumors, as are the Kings, Pacers and Mavs, among others. There’s plenty of fantasy implications with each destination but no need to dive into the infinite hypotheticals for now. Just start thinking about the guys who might shake loose in a new environment, whether that’s a whole new team or a new rotation.
The other big name on the trade block seems to be Dejounte Murray as the Hawks keep trying to find a way to improve the roster around their core guys. It was thought that Murray was one of those core players, but apparently not. The rumor mill spinning up is always fun, and although we’re probably a little too far out from making preemptive stash adds, you can always mess around on your watch list…
Grayson Allen, G, Phoenix Suns
The Suns are healthy again and Allen remains a starter, which was always the expected outcome. Phoenix tried a few different names at that spot throughout the season but it feels like they knew Allen could handle the role and just wanted to see what else might bubble up through trial and error. After a career night last week, there’s no need to let Allen sit on waivers any longer. Don’t count on too many explosive games but he’s going to silently deliver top-100 output thanks to modest points and rebounds with surges in 3-pointers and steals. The Suns are top-heavy and Allen is a strong fit for their stars.
Tre Jones, G, San Antonio Spurs
You can never be sure exactly what the Spurs will do next, especially since there’s no obvious long-term answer at PG on the roster, but for now they’ve gone back to Jones. Jeremy Sochan was worth a look but Jones always made the most sense of anyone in the current group. Last year he was a full-time starter and managed top-100 numbers; that’s a reasonable, if slightly optimistic, expectation for what he’ll do this time around. Even so, starting point guards don’t grow on trees and we know Jones can handle the position competently. If he’s starting, he should be added.
Lu Dort, G/F, Oklahoma City Thunder
Dort is going to end up back on the waiver wire in standard leagues eventually, but he shouldn’t be there right now. He snuck up on a lot of people last week en route to top-50 value, and the scary part is that he didn’t do anything that looks out of the ordinary: 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.0 blocks, 1.7 3-pointers on .414 shooting (and perfect free throws). Dort rarely gets everything clicking at the same time but there’s nothing here that’s out of his reach on a week-to-week basis. He’s got a big role and while his shooting slumps are drop-worthy, he can get by when the defensive stats are coming in.
Norman Powell, G, LA Clippers
Powell has been listed here before and we’ll probably see him here again at some point. He needs to be more widely rostered than he is at the moment. Powell isn’t feasting given all of the Clippers’ stars but he is getting his fair share in the flow of the offense and is a rare player who can give you a lift in both points and FG% out of a guard slot. He was a top-75 guy last week and is pretty much automatic as long as he’s shooting at an above-average clip.
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