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Waiver Wire: Will Robinson get his chance?

Fantasy Writer
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The trade deadline passed without nearly as many rotation-shaking deals as we expected, but Fantasy owners seem to betting on Thomas Robinson to be one of the bigger beneficiaries given his move to Houston. Robinson is set to debut with his new team Wednesday (Feb. 27), so we have not yet gotten a glimpse of how he fits in with his new team.

Despite that, Robinson is the most-added player in CBSSports.com over the last week, with his ownership jumping from 14 to 48 percent since the trade. This could turn out to be a fantastically lucrative move for the Fantasy owners who have jumped on his bandwagon so early. There are signs that it is a very risky move, however, as Robinson is not guaranteed to see big minutes in Houston.

Robinson has tons of upside in the Rockets' fast-paced offense, as he fills a niche the team does not currently have. He is already a strong rebounder, averaging 10.6 rebounds per 36 minutes and his athleticism could fit in extremely well for a team that likes to run and spread the floor as much as the Rockets. He shot just 42.4 percent from the field with the Kings, but the Rockets actually have a functioning offense, so I would expect him to improve drastically from that standpoint. If given the minutes, I think Robinson could approach a nightly double-double status if everything clicked.

Unfortunately, the Rockets are painfully patient when it comes to developing their young players, as talented young big men like Marcus Morris and Terrence Jones can attest. Robinson might make sense as a piece for the Rockets' playoff push, but the organization likely views him as a long-term building block, one they will move as slowly as everyone else.

The Rockets and coach Kevin McHale have embraced the spread pick and roll offense this season, so a lineup featuring both Robinson and starting center Omer Asik may be too cramped for their liking, at least while Robinson continues his development. He is shooting just 30.1 percent on jump shots this season, so the team might be hesitant to rely on him too heavily. They have already announced that Donatas Motiejunas will move into the starting lineup in the short term and it is not yet clear whether Robinson will be able to work his way into the starting lineup.

The Rockets are savvy enough to know Robinson's long-term development is more important than their push toward the bottom of the Western Conference playoff race, so they will not push him to take on a bigger role than he needs. Robinson's upside makes him worth a speculative look, but if he ends up buried like so many young big men in Houston have been in recent years, I would not hold on too long.

Most Added Guards

Carlos Delfino, Rockets: Delfino has been the short-term winner following the Rockets' trade of two rotation big men, as the team has switched to a much smaller starting lineup that spaces the floor incredibly well. Delfino made 13 three-pointers in three games in the starting lineup, but will return to the bench beginning Wednesday, with Motiejunas' ascension. That news kind of throws Delfino's status for the future up in the air, but I would expect the team to continue giving him solid minutes even off the bench. Delfino is an inconsistent player on a nightly basis who nonetheless has been pretty useful category-based formats this season. Unfortunately, I would not expect much improvement down the stretch, with him likely settling into the same 25-minutes-per-game role he has been in.(53 percent owned; +22 percent)

Beno Udrih, Magic: One possible winner of the trade deadline is Udrih, who goes from a crowded backcourt in Milwaukee to one that might actually require his services. The Magic are hurtling headfirst toward the lottery, so it is probably a stretch to say they "require" a 30-year-old, but they certainly might put him to use anyway. He has little upside long-term, but the Magic are currently dealing with an injury to starting point guard Jameer Nelson that could put Udrih to use with his new team. In his first two games with the Magic, Udrih put up 16 points and 16 assists total, while coming off the bench behind E'Twaun Moore. If Nelson continues to sit out, I could see Udrih being useful in deeper Fantasy formats. (19 percent owned; +16 percent)

Isaiah Thomas, Kings: So often, players see a spike in ownership thanks to little more than a random hot streak, and that could certainly be the case with Thomas. He is averaging 18.8 points per game in February, far higher than his season total, so this could just be a fluke that regresses quickly. I don't have much confidence in saying that, though, as Thomas emerged as an unlikely playmaker late last season and has consistently improved as his second season has gone on. Thomas has fought off all intended usurpers to his starting spot and has averaged at least 12.3 points per game in the last three months. The Kings are such a mess offensively (not to mention organizationally) that it might take a while for the players to settle into their roles. Thomas is averaging 33.3 minutes per game in February, and I would consider adding him in all remaining formats moving forward. (84 percent owned; +11 percent)

Most Added Forwards

Maurice Harkless, Magic: In Harkless and Andrew Nicholson, the Magic have created a real headache for Fantasy owners. Ever since Glen Davis went down with an injury, the two have both flirted with Fantasy relevance, with neither really holding on to their opportunities. Harkless has recently emerged as the more productive option of the two and he is getting minutes a bit more consistently. Unfortunately, the Magic complicated matters by adding Tobias Harris to the fold at the trade deadline, a 20-year-old who totaled 30 points in his first two games with the team. So far, Harris has taken more of Nicholson's minutes than Harkless', who has topped the 30-minute mark in both games since the trade. Harkless is averaging 11.9 points and 6.8 rebounds in the month of February and looks to have solidified his role. He is probably the best bet still available on your waiver wire. (63 percent owned; +29 percent)

Jeff Green, Celtics: Good luck making sense of Green, who followed up a career-best 31-point game against the Suns with a pair of stinkers on back-to-back nights earlier this week. Green has been playing a huge role for the Celtics recently, averaging 15.3 points per game in the last 10 games, so a pair of bad games should not scare you off too much. Green's ownership has been steadily increasing recently, but I would have expected the pace to quicken given how well he is playing. Fantasy owners might be waiting for the other shoe to drop with Green, who was a consistent disappointment to begin the season, but I think he is here to stay as a useful Fantasy option. Green has quit relying as much on inefficient mid-range shots during his hot streak, which indicates it might not be just a random hot streak. He is shooting 49.5 percent from the field over the last 10 games, scoring 153 points on just 105 shots with 65.7 percent of his shots coming from within five feet of the rim or beyond three-point range. His role has increased, but he is also doing more with each shot. If he can keep that up, I see little reason why Green should still be available on any waiver wires. (79 percent owned; +20 percent)

Michael Beasley, Suns: For a little while, at least, it seemed like Beasley was earning the trust of interim Suns' head coach Lindsey Hunter. And then this happened. Actually, Beasley's role was already fading before earning that response from his coach, but the look Hunter shoots him during that clip neatly sums up why Beasley is averaging just 12.2 minutes per game over the last five. The former No. 2 overall pick in the draft might look like an All-Star in workouts and pre-game warm-ups, but when the lights come on and the time for actual winning basketball comes around, it is not difficult to see why coaches have soured on him at every stop in his career. Beasley has been the most dropped player in CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues, and for good reason. You cannot get off this sinking ship fast enough; even much-maligned Wesley Johnson is seeing more minutes than him now. (57 percent owned; -18 percent)

Most Added Centers

Jermaine O'Neal, Suns: Fantasy owners have been understandably slow to pick O'Neal up, despite his consistently solid production during the month of February. It is a small sample size still, but O'Neal is now averaging 11.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in 11 February contests, while pulling close to even with starter Marcin Gortat in playing time. O'Neal has played a total of 237 minutes in 11 February games, while Gortat has played 294 in that same span. O'Neal's recent track record is very spotty, but if I was in need of held at the notoriously shallow center position, O'Neal would be at the top of my list while he is playing this well. (20 percent owned; +11 percent)

Samuel Dalembert, Bucks: Eight days. That is how long Dalembert's re-emergence as a useful Fantasy option lasted. From his career-high 35-point game on Feb. 5 to his 17-point effort Feb. 13 against the 76ers, Dalembert was a moderately useful Fantasy option for all of four games. He has been pushed back to his spot on the end of the bench since, and he was suspended by the team for failing to show up to a function on time. According to reports, the Bucks are not looking to buy out the remainder of Dalembert's contract after failing to find a suitor for him at the trade deadline, which just about closes the book on Dalembert's Fantasy season. Barring another injury to Larry Sanders, Fantasy owners in the remaining 40 percent of leagues that still have Dalembert can go ahead and cut him loose. (40 percent owned; -22 percent)

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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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