by ROYCE KING
THREE TO SET FREE
Here are three players you can attempt to trade or drop before you hit the waiver wire.
Ersan Ilyasova, F, Milwaukee: Ilyasova is shooting .396 from the field this season. He has plenty of Fantasy appeal, but early season injuries, a new coaching staff, and new teammates have contributed to a down year. You are a better owner than me if he is still on your roster. Fellow league owners would be sick of my inbox trade proposals. Hell, I’m so sick of the declines, it’s “drop-that-punk” time! A Playmaker has got to do, what a Playmaker has got to do!
Enes Kanter, C, Utah: Kanter was supposed to be a breakout candidate in Fantasy Basketball this season. I still think there is plenty of time left in the campaign for Kanter to make his mark. But, I can’t blame you for choosing a more reliable and productive option.
Iman Shumpert, G, New York: Shumpert earned a name and some Fantasy value in the steals department as a rookie. However, Shumpert is an “avoid” at all cost player. He continues to shoot below 40 percent from the field for his career (currently 38 percent this season). What about the steals? Well, 1.3 steals per game (spg) isn’t exactly the 1.7 spg he averaged as a rookie. So, don’t let the real-life hype attributed to his defensive and positional versatility fool you in to committing to his lackluster Fantasy value. Dismiss him with quickness!
THESE FIVE ARE ON THE RISE
Reggie Jackson gives Fantasy owners a reason to smile. Photo Credit: Driller Photography
Jimmy Butler, G, Chicago: Butler is back and playing 32 minutes per game since returning from a toe injury. He will spend the next few games shaking off the rust while regaining his in-game conditioning. I have made it my business to snatch Butler off the wire in every league where he was available.
Wilson Chandler, F, Denver: Chandler has received the green-light from Coach Brian Shaw. He is averaging 18.0 points per game (ppg), 6.0 rebounds per game (rpg), 3.0 assists per game (apg), 1.0 steals per game (spg), 1.5 blocks per game (bpg), and 2.0 3-pointers made over the last two games. It’s in his skill-set to produce lines like this for an entire season should he remain in good health. His upside makes him worth the add.
Reggie Jackson, G, Thunder: Jackson has received plenty of attention from the naysayers in the month of December, and rightfully so. It was my mission since the end of last season to assure you that Jackson would be a viable Fantasy option, with or without Russell Westbrook available. So, to the faithful listeners of the Pick-and-Roll with The Playmaker podcast, please stand and take a bow. You have Jackson’s 12.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.5 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.7 3-pointers per game, on 48 percent shooting from the field and 95 percent free throw shooting.
Jon Leuer, F, Memphis: Leuer is averaging 15.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.7 bpg, and 0.9 3-pointers per game, while shooting 54 percent from the field and 87 percent from the line in 29 minutes per game, over the last seven games. He looks like a keeper. If you catch and release this guy he probably won’t come back around again this season.
Tony Wroten, G, Philadelphia: Wroten averages for the last eight games are 15.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.6 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.5 bpg, and 1.3 3-pointers per game, in 29 minutes. His 43 percent shooting from the field is serviceable, but his 56 percent free throw shooting (4.0 attempts per game) means you must compensate for his presence on your roster. Coach Brett Brown is committed to playing Wroten alongside Michael Carter-Williams once he returns from the knee infection that has kept him sidelined. I think Wroten will be worth owning for the entire 2013-14 Fantasy Hoops season.
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