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Waiver Wire: Waiting for a big trade?

Fantasy Writer
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In anticipation of what is still expected to be a busy trade deadline, roster moves in CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues have slowed to a crawl. Fantasy owners are likely worried about making a decision on a player before Thursday's trade deadline, as a number of moves are still expected in what has been a surprisingly quiet trade season so far. And that impulse is understandable. Why give up on a player when his role could shift dramatically with a series of phone calls midway through the week.

Between the lingering uncertainty and the All-Star break keeping players from suffering any role-altering injuries, there was shockingly little player movement since last week. Only three players in the league were added in 10 percent or more of CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues this week, and only one was dropped in as many leagues. Fantasy owners are standing pat at least until they see how the trade market shapes up.

Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams was one of the three players who saw his ownership rate change significantly, as he was added in 14 percent of leagues since last week. He is also one player who is no stranger to trade talk, as he has been included in rumors ever since he was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He told reporters he wouldn't be surprised "either way" by a deadline-day trade.

A trade would almost certainly improve Williams' long-term value because he remains stuck behind Kevin Love once he is healthy, but Fantasy owners are likely targeting him more because of a recent hot streak than any speculation on his future. Williams entered the All-Star break on a role, averaging 16.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game in the previous five games, despite shooting just 42.4 percent from the field.

Williams is still struggling with his efficiency, but we're finally starting to see stretches where he looks like the kind of talent that deserved to go towards the top of the draft. He has disappointed this season, but with Love still out likely until March, Williams has a few weeks left to continue his development unimpeded, regardless of whether the team opts to trade him.

Williams is likely reaching his do-or-die moment with Fantasy owners pretty soon. If he continues playing as well as he has in the last few games, there will be little reason to leave him on waivers. But, if this recent run proves to be a mirage, we might as well write him off for the rest of the season.

Most Added Guards

Chauncey Billups, Clippers Billups has played a high of just 22 minutes since returning from an injury, so you would think that Fantasy owners might not be clamoring to get him on their rosters. And yet, he closed out the unofficial first half of the season with a pair of huge performances, dropping 40 points combined over consecutive nights last week. That was more than enough to pique the interests of Fantasy owners. Fantasy owners expecting that regularly from him are going to be disappointed, as BIllups had put up 15 points combined in his previous two games. With the Clippers' depth and his age and recent injury history, Billups is almost certainly going to be limited to 20-25 minutes per game at most moving forward, so I still do not think he is worth grabbing in most formats. (39 percent owned; +18 percent)

Jason Terry, Celtics: I wrote on Terry as a possible starter for this week, so I have to suggest that you grab him off the waiver wires as well. Terry entered Tuesday's action averaging 13.0 points per game in nine games since Rajon Rondo went down with an injury, while playing 29.4 minutes per game despite continuing to come off the bench. The Celtics are playing some of their best offense of the season since Rondo went down, and Terry has been a big part of that. Boston is still trying to figure out whether they consider themselves playoff contenders heading into the trade deadline, and the possibility remains that Terry could find himself moved for the right offer. Depending on whether the team trades him, Terry's value could fluctuate, but he clearly looks to have hit his stride and is worth picking up.(56 percent owned; +7 percent)

Tony Allen, Grizzlies: Shockingly, Tony Allen has been scoring the ball a bit more recently, reaching double figures in three of the last four games. For a defense-first player who sometimes struggles completing the most basic offensive tasks, that is enough to qualify as an offensive eruption. Still, Allen had reached double figures in just one of his previous seven games, so we should not consider this much more than just a hot streak yet. Allen is averaging 29.8 minutes per game in February, and is not seeing much of an increase in his role in the aftermath of the Rudy Gay trade, so his outlook moving forward is the same as always. Don't expect Allen to become a fixture in your starting lineup if you are going out to pick him up. (22 percent owned; +5 percent)

Most Added Forwards

Jeff Green, Celtics: Green received an extensive write-up in this week's Start/Sit column due to his recent strong play, but Fantasy owners remain understandably tentative about picking him up. The Celtics appear to be gearing up for some big moves in the next few days, and there seems to be plenty of uncertainty about what Green's ultimate role might be. Green's role is likely to change with any trade deadline deals the Celtics make, but is he likely to see a smaller role the result of a trade? I find that to be an unlikely possibility, since Green's contract is widely considered to be an overpay, with three years remaining. The Celtics are invested in Green's future, and could lean heavily on him down the stretch if they decide to blow the team up. I think there is very little downside to going out and grabbing Green, if he is available. (58 percent owned; +10 percent)

Kawhi Leonard, Spurs: Leonard got hot heading into the All-Star break, which explains why his ownership jumped up a bit this week. He averaged 15.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in six pre-All-Star-break February games, and certainly looks to be coming into his own. Most observers think the second-year wing is the Spurs' next star, and he certainly has looked like that over the last few weeks. However, the Spurs' current stars were dealing with a litany of injuries for much of his run, so Leonard may find fewer opportunities to succeed moving forward. Leonard has the ability to turn into a must-own Fantasy option eventually, but I think the near-term picture still leaves him short of that. The Spurs simply have too much depth for Leonard to keep that kind of production up. (82 percent owned; +6 percent)

Jason Thompson, Kings: In a slow week for player movement, sometimes I end up having to profile a player who simply is not worth the time. We know all about Jason Thompson already, and there is nothing new to report here. The Kings are unlikely to make a move at the deadline, and they have yet to really be linked to any possible deals. He had a strong run of games prior to the All-Star game, averaging 17.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in the last five games, however he was averaging just 5.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in the previous five games. Thompson is certainly capable of putting up stretches of strong play; that's why the Kings gave him a $30 million contract last offseason. He is well worth owning in the majority of Fantasy leagues, but that is more for his steady dependability than anything; Thompson has averaged at least 9.0 points per game in each of the last four months. Just don't expect big numbers from him consistently. (70 percent owned; +6 percent)

Most Added Centers

Samuel Dalembert, Bucks: By all indications, Milwaukee is doing absolutely everything they can to change that name next to Dalembert's name by Thursday's deadline. They acquired him this offseason with the intention of making him the starter at center, but Larry Sanders' breakout made it clear fairly early on that Dalembert was superfluous. He had some big performances with Sanders dealing with a back injury, but Sanders returned Tuesday and relegated Dalembert to the bench role we had grown accustomed to seeing him in. The best-case scenario for Dalembert's Fantasy value moving through the end of the season is obviously a trade, however the rumors of possible deals involving him have started to dry up a bit. Dalembert has greatly improved his offensive efficiency this season, and is averaging 7.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in just 17.3 minutes, so there is a useful Fantasy option here. However, if the Bucks do not make a move by Thursday, there will be little reason to hold on to Dalembert moving forward. (63 percent owned; +7 percent)

Jermaine O'Neal, Suns: O'Neal has been taking advantage of Marcin Gortat's continued underperformance, upping his playing time and production in recent weeks. He missed some time due to a heart issue at the end of January and beginning of February, but reached double figures in scoring in three of five games before the trade deadline. Fantasy owners who have dealt with Gortat's frustration know why O'Neal is starting to see a larger role, but you have to wonder how long this can last. A report surfaced Tuesday that teams have inquired about O'Neal's availability via trade, so Fantasy owners who have grabbed him should understand that O'Neal might lose his newfound role. At 34 years old, O'Neal's upside is so limited that he is just not worth targeting. (9 percent owned; +6 percent)

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Player News
Report: Celtics closing in on multiyear deal with JaVale McGee
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:30 am ET) The Celtics are on the verge of signing center JaVale McGee to a multiyear deal, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN. The deal is expected to last through next season.

McGee was waived by Philadelphia on Monday and cleared waivers Wednesday.The Mavericks, Raptors and Heat were among the other teams weighing in on making a play for the embattled big man. McGee averaged 4.6 points and 2.7 rebounds. in 23 games this season, including 17 with Denver.


Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard sets career-high with 18 boards
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:38 am ET) Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard pulled down 18 rebounds on Wednesday against the Clippers.

Lillard had an awful night shooting, hitting just 1 of his 13 shots from the field. He hit three of his four free throws, finishing with just 5 points. Lillard made up for that by setting a career-high with 18 boards. His previous career-high of 10 rebounds was set back in December of 2014. Lillard also had four assists dueing the contest. 


Clippers' Chris Paul doubles up on the Trail Blazers
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:36 am ET) Clippers guard Chris Paul posted a double-double on the Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

Paul shot 14-29 from the field, including 2-6 from beyond the arc. He sunk all six of his free throws, finishing with a team-high 36 points. Paul didn't do everything himself, and was sure to involve his teammates. He dished out 12 assists during the contest. He also added six rebounds and one steal.


Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge goes off for 29 points
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:33 am ET) Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points on Wednesday against the Clippers.

Aldridge shot 12-30 from the field. He sunk five of his seven free throws, leading the team in points. Aldridge just missed out on a double-double, coming up with nine rebounds. He added one block during the contest.


Warriors' Draymond Green picks up a double-double
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:03 am ET) Warriors forward Draymond Green picked up a double-double on Wednesday.

Green shot 9-14 from the field, including 4-9 from beyond the arc. He sunk one free throw, finishing with 23 points. Green was active on the boards, pulling down 12 rebounds. He added five assists, three steals and three blocks during the contest. 


Bucks' Zaza Pachulia doubles up on the Warriors
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:02 am ET) Bucks center Zaza Pachulia posted a double-double on the Warriors on Wednesday.

Pachulia shot 5-9 from the field. He sunk three of his four free throws, finishing with 13 points. Pachulia was active on the boards, pulling down 11 rebounds. He added four assists and two steals during the contest. 


Popovich: Spurs' Tony Parker 'more aggressive' Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:46 am ET) Spurs point guard Tony Parker scored 19 points on 8 of 14 shooting and turned the ball over just once in his team's 112-85 win over the Kings Wednesday.

"(Parker) was more aggressive," coach Gregg Popovich said after the game, per the Associated Press. "We saw his floater a few times and he shot jumpers. He looked like he was more aggressive. That's what we have to have from him."

Parker recently endured a three-game stretch in which he scored a total of nine points on 3 of 21 shooting, but Wednesday's performance was his second with 19 points in his last three games. He also kicked in three assists, two steals and one rebound in 25 minutes.

After losing four straight games coming out of the All-Star break, the Spurs bring a three-game winning streak into Friday's matchup with the Nuggets.


Timberwolves' Kevin Garnett calls out Nuggets after loss
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:07 am ET) Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett had some harsh words for the Nuggets following the team's loss on Wednesady.

"To be honest, they quit on Brian Shaw and I thought they'll quit again," Garnett said. "A quitter is a quitter. That was my take on that." That wasn't the case, as Denver beat Minnesota 100-85. 

Garnett shot 5-6 from the field. He hit one free throw, finishing with 11 points. He also added six rebounds and two assists during the contest. 


Heat SF Luol Deng dealing with deep thigh bruise
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Heat small forward Luol Deng was treated for a deep thigh bruise after Wednesday's 100-94 win over the Lakers, ESPN.com reports.

Deng played 35 minutes in the win, scoring 15 points on 5 of 11 shooting but missing all four of his three-point attempts. He also hauled in six rebounds in the win. The team is off Thursday before facing the Wizards Friday.

Deng will likely be re-evaluated in the morning to check on whether he's dealing with extensive swelling in the thigh.


Pelicans' Alexis Ajinca posts double-double on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca posted a double-double on Wednesday against the Pistons. 

Ajinca shot 5-10 from the field, finishing with 10 points. He was active on the boards, pulling down 11 rebounds. Nine of those came on the defensive side of the court. Ajinca added two assists and one block during the contest. 

Following the game, Ajinca talked about his recent breakout. "I'm trying to bring anything I have to the team. Especially because first we had A.D. (Anthony Davis) and Ryan (Anderson) be out so I had to step up and play big time minutes, and I had to do some different (things)," he said. "It went well, so now I’m going to go and keep it this way and hopefully I will keep having some good minutes."


 
 
 
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