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Courtside Seat: Do the Knicks have a point?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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MIAMI -- Knicks point guard Baron Davis is not expected to play in Fantasy Week 6 with his back injury, but he could return soon. Coach Mike D'Antoni is hopeful Davis is back in Week 7, but Fantasy owners shouldn't be holding their breath since he has yet to play this year.

In the meantime, several players have emerged as legitimate Fantasy options as the Knicks sort out their backcourt. The player to benefit the most has been rookie Iman Shumpert, who got off to a hot start but has cooled off of late.

Shumpert said in an interview with CBSSports.com that he remains confident in his ability and expects to finish the season strong, including when Davis returns.

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"I feel like the season has been a little fast," said Shumpert, who is averaging 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists. "For myself individually, I feel like I've been up and down. I have to try and stay consistent and try to keep my mindset the same every game."

Shumpert remains a key reserve for Fantasy owners, and he could emerge as a starting option in all leagues if he starts playing with more consistency, as he said. Another Knicks guard who is on the rise is Landry Fields, who is averaging 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his past five games. Fields has scored in double figures in seven of his past eight games and should be considered a starting Fantasy option in deeper leagues.

Toney Douglas, despite scoring 16 points at Miami on Friday, has also slowed down of late and is averaging just 8.8 points and 3.6 assists in his past five games. Still, he remains confident in his game and expects to remain a contributor once Davis starts playing.

"I just have to stay on top of everything and keep working," Douglas said. "As the season goes on I'll be fine. It's a long year."

Fantasy owners shouldn't expect much from Douglas once Davis is active, but Shumpert and Fields should be fine as part of a three-guard rotation, especially in deeper leagues. We expect Davis to have the most Fantasy value of the trio, but he has to get on the court and start playing now before it's too late.

Each week we will take a look at a variety of topics around the NBA. We will look at guys to trade, trade for, add off the waiver wire and also answer some of your social media questions, among other things.

More on the Knicks

Amar'e Stoudemire is having a down year as he tries to adjust to playing with Carmelo Anthony. He is averaging 17.6 points and 8.0 rebounds, which are his lowest stats since 2005. But Stoudemire said he's not concerned and expects to improve.

"It's just a matter of us moving the ball," Stoudemire said. "It will loosen up out there. When we move the ball, they can't guard everyone. They can key in on me, that's fine. We have four other people on the court who are deadly weapons, and we just have to exploit that."

Stoudemire is a good buy-low candidate. He still has eight double-doubles on the season in 19 games, and when the Knicks are 100 percent healthy with Davis we could see the best stretch of production from Stoudemire this year.

Buy-low candidates

Gerald Henderson, SG, Bobcats
Why you should trade for him: Henderson has been slowed of late due to a lower-back injury, but he played 30 minutes Tuesday night at the Lakers and should be fine going forward. Some Fantasy owners might think the start he had this season was a fluke, but team owner Michael Jordan has invested plenty of time in making sure Henderson plays well. He should continue to thrive this year with the Bobcats in need of scoring, especially with Corey Maggette (hamstring) still out.

Jrue Holiday, PG, Sixers
Why you should trade for him: Holiday has not taken the leap in production many hoped for this season since his assists are down from last year and his scoring has only improved marginally. But even though Holiday has struggled he remains a Top 20 guard in Head-to-Head leagues and should continue to post quality production. He also has room to improve, and if you can get him for the right price from a disgruntled owner he could pay dividends to close the season.

Stephen Jackson, SG, Bucks
Why you should trade for him: There's a chance you might find Jackson on the waiver wire soon since some owners in shallow leagues could drop him. But we suggest holding on to Jackson in case he's traded or the Bucks start using him with Andrew Bogut (ankle) out. And if someone is willing to part with him for nothing then you might want to acquire him because if he's traded to a team in need of scoring he could close the season on a high note. We don't have high expectations for Jackson, but in the right scenario he could play well.

Chris Kaman, C, Hornets
Why you should trade for him: We know the Hornets plan to trade Kaman soon, and in the right scenario he could be helpful to Fantasy owners. This is, after all, a center who averaged 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds last season with the chance to be 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds like he was in 2009. He may never reach those stats again, but he could end up as a No. 2 Fantasy center if he's traded to a team where he can get significant playing time. If you do get Kaman just be patient until he is traded, which hopefully will be soon.

Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Mavericks
Why you should trade for him: Nowitzki has struggled in the two games he played after missing four with a knee injury. He averaged 10.0 points and 8.5 rebounds over that span, which is a shell of what Nowitzki is capable of doing. There are going to be plenty of disgruntled Nowitzki owners, and we expect him to improve as the year goes on. In one mixed Rotisserie league on CBSSports.com, Nowitzki was traded for Ricky Rubio and he also was traded for Brandon Jennings in a Head-to-Head league. Those are two good trades to buy low on Nowitzki with the chance for him to play like he has historically.

Free agent watch

Here are five guys I am looking at in my leagues:

Anthony Morrow, SG, Nets
Owned: 60 percent of leagues

Jerryd Bayless, PG, Raptors
Owned: 46 percent of leagues

Ersan Ilyasova, PF, Bucks
Owned: 40 percent of leagues

Jason Thompson, PF, Kings
Owned: 31 percent of leagues

Trevor Booker, PF, Wizards
Owned: 18 percent of leagues

Morrow has stepped up his game since MarShon Brooks (toes) went down. He is averaging 19.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in his past five games with 11 3-pointers over that span. Brooks is out indefinitely, and Morrow's value will continue to rise, especially if he does more than just score. Bayless has done well since he moved into the starting lineup at shooting guard, and hopefully he will continue to get playing time. Ilyasova is averaging 9.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in his past five games and will be counted on to help replace Bogut. Thompson is coming off a double-double Tuesday against Golden State and has done well even with Chuck Hayes (shoulder) coming back. And Booker has scored 14 points in each of his past two games, narrowly missing a double-double Monday against Chicago, and should benefit with Andray Blatche (calf) out 3-5 weeks.

Social media corner

@Big_Head0184 on Twitter wants to know: Trade Wesley Matthews for DeMar DeRozan?

It depends on what you are looking for. DeRozan has more upside since the Raptors need him to succeed. Matthews is just a role player for the Trail Blazers, who have plenty of weapons. The stats are similar for both players, but I would take the upside of DeRozan, especially with his move to small forward. The only reason to keep Matthews is he is a better shooter with more made 3-pointers and better percentages from the field and foul line.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyNews . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Heat add Reggie Williams
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(8/16/2014) The Heat signed guard Reggie Williams to a free-agency contract last week, the team announced. Terms of the deal are not known.

Williams appeared in just three games for the Thunder last season, and has played 180 games over parts of five NBA seasons. He averages 8.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from three-point range for his career.  


Isaiah Thomas undergoes wrist surgery
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(8/15/2014) Suns newcomer Isaiah Thomas underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist, the team announced Thursday.

Thomas dealt with a sprained wrist last season but was able to play through it on his way to a career year. An MRI in February revealed no ligament damage, which would indicate this latest procedure is nothing to worry about. The team expects him to be ready for training camp. 


DeMarcus Cousins avoids serious injury at Team USA practice
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(8/15/2014) Kings center DeMarcus Cousins dodged a bullet Thursday when the MRI on his right knee came back negative.

According to Yahoo Sports, Cousins limped off the court during a Team USA training session after Anthony Davis landed on his knee during a scrimmage. Cousins later tweeted that he was "fine," helping to suppress any concerns of a serious injury. 


Pacers shopping Roy Hibbert, call Pistons about Greg Monroe
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) The Pacers are shopping center Roy Hibbert, and they have called the Pistons regarding a potential deal involving restricted free agent Greg Monroe, Detroit Sports 105.1 reports.

There's no word about whether the Pistons would be interested in a Monroe-for-Hibbert spot, but they are pretty well set in the middle with Andre Drummond in the starting lineup. It's a rumor that seemingly has very little chance of coming to fruition.


Rockets sign Kostas Papanikolaou
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) The Rockets have signed small forward Kostas Papanikolaou .

Papanikolaou gets $4.8 million guaranteed in the upcoming season, with a team option of $4.6 million for the following season. He has been playing in Europe since being drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft.


Report: Greg Oden faces felony charge
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) Free agent Greg Oden is facing a felony charge after allegedly attacking his former girlfriend after a night of drinking, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Oden is accused of punching the woman in the face three times and fracturing a bone in her nose, according to court documents. The felony offense carries a penaly of one-to-six years in prison.


Markel Brown out with broken hand
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) Nets guard Markel Brown will be held out of basketball activities for four-to-six weeks after being diagnosed with a nondisplaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand, the team announced Monday.

Brown was selected 44th overall in this year's draft, and the Nets acquired him for cash considerations on the night of the draft. He averaged 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in his senior season at Oklahoma State.


Report: Wolves to swap Anthony Bennett for Thaddeus Young
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(8/8/2014) Though the trade can't go official until August 23, the deal reportedly struck between the Cavaliers and Timberwolves will lead to another trade between Minnesota and the 76ers.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported early Friday that Minnesota, upon receiving Anthony Bennett from the Cavs as part of the Kevin Love trade, would then trade him for Thaddeus Young. The Timberwolves have been showing interest in Young since Love stated his desire to be traded.

Meanwhile, the 76ers want to move Young because he's entering his prime at age 26 and only has one additional year left on his contract. Acquiring Bennett would complete a core of young talent to develop over the coming years. Young was one of the most productive forwards in the league last year playing in Brett Brown's up-tempo offense, averaging 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. Bennett, on the other hand, failed to make any impact what so ever but did show signs of growth during the Summer League. 


Landing in Minnesota should improve Andrew Wiggins' value
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(8/7/2014) The prize of the trade that ultimately sent Kevin Love to Cleveland will likely be the Timberwolves' acquisition of No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins , assuming there are no unexpected changes in the deal the two sides agreed to.

If Wiggins does ultimately land in Minnesota, as expected, this should be a boon to his Fantasy value. Though Wiggins will have substantially less help as he makes the transition to the NBA than he would have in Cleveland, he is also likely to be much more of a featured option than he otherwise might have been.

Wiggins was likely going to be the third or possibly even fourth offensive option for the Cavs, and likely would have been so for some time, given the presence of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on long-term deals. Now, the Timberwolves get to build around Wiggins as their long-term centerpiece, and he should be given plenty of rope as the team tries to navigate their upcoming rebuild.

Wiggins is raw, but still put up 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game as a freshman at the University of Kansas. There are some questions about how well his game will translate to the NBA, but he will at least have some help, in the form of point guard Ricky Rubio, who knows exactly how to set up teammates for shots they like.

Wiggins is mostly upside right now, but should be considered a second-round pick in all keeper-league Fantasy formats. In yearly re-draft leagues, he is more of a mid-round option at this point, albeit one with tremendous upside. 


Anthony Bennett a bit more intriguing following trade
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(8/7/2014) After a rookie season that can be charitably described as lost, a change of scenery is probably the best outcome Anthony Bennett could have hoped for this offseason. He got that Thursday, with the news that the long-awaited Kevin Love trade has landed him in Minnesota.

Last year's No. 1 overall pick luckily doesn't have to join the Cavaliers with the pressure of replacing Love as the face of the franchise -- this year's No. 1 pick, Andrew Wiggin, will take that on. Bennett gets to join a Timberwolves team that can give him more consistent playing time than last year's Cavaliers afforded him, but which won't ask him to do more than he is capable.

Bennett might end up starting at power forward for the Wolves, though a bench role seems more likely at this point. He had a disastrous rookie season after entering the season out of shape, but appeared to be in better shape while playing with the Cavaliers during the Summer League in Las Vegas. He still shot the ball poorly in Vegas -- 42.6 percent from the field and just 4 of 16 from three-point range -- but Bennett looked much more capable during his time there.

Based on his rookie season, Bennett has a long way to go before he is contributing at a high level. However, Fantasy owners in deeper category-based leagues should consider taking a chance on the 21-year-old in the later rounds, because he will have the chance to earn a large role if he proves worthy. 


 
 
 
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