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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
Pelicans' Omer Asik receives stitches to neck during Monday's game
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) Pelicans center Omer Asik required stitches to close a laceration on his neck, reports Fox Sports.

Asik suffered the laceration near the end of the first half and went to the locker room for treatment. However, the laceration will not prevent him from playing in the second half.


Bulls F Nikola Mirotic injures quad in win over Bucks
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic was forced to exit Monday's 91-82 playoff win over the Bucks with what the team announced to be a strained left quadricep.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Mirotic was seen limping in the postgame locker room. ESPN Chicago reports that a large knot could be seen around his knee. 

Mirotic was injured late in the fourth quarter after a collision with O.J. Mayo. He was also involved in a skirmish with Zaza Pachulia that resulted in Pachulia's second technical foul and subsequent ejection. 

Mirotic scored eight points and brought down four rebounds in the game. 


Bulls G Jimmy Butler has big fourth quarter in win over Bucks
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) Bulls guard Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 31 points in Monday's 91-82 win over the Bucks in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs. 

Butler scored 14 of his points in the fourth quarter, which included sinking three three-point field goals. The first three-pointer tied the game up at 74-74 and Butler took over from there. His third three of the quarter put the Bulls up 89-80 with 2:20 left in the game. 

Butler also had nine rebounds and two assists. He went 10 of 19 from the field and 8 of 14 from the free-throw line. He finished 3 of 9 from behind the arc. 


Bucks center Zaza Pachulia ejected from Game 2 on Monday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) Bucks center Zaza Pachulia was ejected from Game 2's loss to the Bulls after receiving his second technical foul of the game, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Pachulia got into a confrontation with Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic in the fourth quarter and both players were assessed technical fouls. Pachulia scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds before being ejected.


Pelicans G Tyreke Evans in, G Jrue Holiday out vs. Warriors
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans will play while Jrue Holiday has been ruled out of Monday's Game 2 matchup against the Warriors, the team announced

Evans was able to participate in pre-game warmups. He's dealing with a bone bruise in his knee sustained in Saturday's Game 1 loss to Golden State. Evans came into the day questionable and was a game-time decision.

Holiday is dealing with lingering pain from a stress reaction in his leg. He was hopeful of playing but was also deemed questionable and a game-time decision. In games Holiday has played in since returning from the injury, he's seen his minutes limited. 


Bucks F Jabari Parker won't play in summer league
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) Bucks forward Jabari Parker said he will not play in this offseason's summer league, according to Racine Journal Times

Parker is still recovering from ACL surgery in December, making the decision for him not to play in summer league understandable. Parker has previously been non-committal on when he'll be able to return from the injury. 


Clippers G Jamal Crawford starting to find shooting stroke
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) After missing 17 games due to a calf injury, Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said he's starting to find his shooting rhythm, reports NBA.com.

"The days in between last game and this game, I was able to get some work in, get my conditioning right, get the work in," Crawford said. "It just felt normal."

Crawford scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting during Game 1's win over the Spurs.

"To be out five weeks and not be able to do anything but watch, I mean, you can take some good things from it, but it was more bad than good for me," Crawford said. "You want to be out there so bad and help your team and just be part of the guys."


Mavs' Chandler Parsons and Devin Harris sit out Monday's practice
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons and guard Devin Harris were non-participants in Monday's practice, according to the Houston Chronicle

Parsons has a right knee injury but was able to play 37 minutes in Saturday's playoff-opener, a 118-108 loss to the Rockets. Harris has an injury to his big toe and was unable to finish Saturday's game.

“They did not do anything today on the court,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “They did lifting and some rehab work. They’re listed as questionable and see where we are tomorrow.”

Both Parsons and Harris are listed as questionable for Game 2 on Tuesday. 


Bucks F Jared Dudley (foot) will play Monday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) Bucks forward Jared Dudley is listed as probable for Monday’s game at Chicago, reports the Bulls radio play-by-play announcer.

"He can play," coach Jason Kidd said, per NBA.com. 

Dudley is dealing with a left foot issue, but he was able to play 12 minutes in Game 1's loss to the Bulls.

The Bulls are 7 1/2-point favorites over the Bucks in Game 2. 


Bulls G Derrick Rose (knee) has no minutes restriction
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau before Monday's game that guard Derrick Rose is no longer on a minutes restriction, reports ESPNChicago.com.

Rose was able to play 27 minutes and scored 23 points in Game 1's victory over the Nets. While Rose will not be limited, Thibodeau said the team remains cautious with Rose making his way back from knee surgery.


 
 
 
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