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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
Thunder PF Serge Ibaka scores season-high 26 vs. Mavericks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:13 pm ET) Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka scored a season-high 26 points on 11 of 14 shooting, including 3 of 4 shooting from behind the arc, while racking up 10 rebounds in his team's 112-107 loss to the Mavericks Sunday.

Ibaka has posted back-to-back double-doubles for just the second time this season, but the big news was his efficient shooting performance, which matches an 11-for-14 effort from early November as his best shooting night of the season. He's made three three-pointers in three straight games. Ibaka will square off with the Suns Wednesday.


Grizzlies PF Zach Randolph (knee) has no timetable for return
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:55 pm ET) Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph said Sunday that he doesn't have a timetable for his return from a knee injury, the Commercial Appeal reports.

"I don’t have a target date yet. I’m just trying to get it right and get the swelling out," Randolph said. "I want to get comfortable playing on it. We’ll see how it is in a couple of days. I’ll probably get it checked out again."

Randolph has missed four games with the knee issue, and coach Dave Joerger said Saturday that the power forward is day-to-day. Randolph has been treated with ice and electric stimulus since sitting out the fourth quarter of a Dec. 19 game.

"You know, I hate being on the sideline. I want to be out there playing," Randolph added. "But I have no comfort level playing right now. (The knee) is tight and swollen."

Randolph has averaged 16.1 points and 11.4 rebounds in 26 games.


Spurs PG Patty Mills scores eight points in debut Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:47 pm ET) Spurs point guard Patty Mills scored eight points on 3 of 8 shooting in his season debut Sunday as the Spurs won 110-106 against the Rockets.

Mills played 20 minutes in his first game of the season, picking up four rebounds, one assist and one block while turning the ball over five times. His next matchup comes Tuesday against the Grizzlies.


Spurs SG Danny Green scores team-high 24 vs. Rockets
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:46 pm ET) Spurs shooting guard Danny Green scored a team-high 24 points on 6 of 13 shooting, including 3 of 9 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 110-106 win over the Rockets Sunday.

Green matched a career high with five steals while pacing the team in scoring in the big win. He also added four rebounds and three assists in 35 minutes of action. The Spurs are set to square off with the Grizzlies Tuesday.


Rockets SG Corey Brewer scores season-high 25 vs. Spurs
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:42 pm ET) Rockets shooting guard Corey Brewer scored a season-high 25 points on 8 of 11 shooting, including 6 of 8 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 110-106 loss to the Spurs Sunday.

Brewer was playing just his third game since being traded from Minnesota to Houston, and he's knocked down 11 of his 17 three-point attempts with his new team after going just 8 for 41 from behind the arc in 24 games with the Timberwolves. He also kicked in two rebounds and one assist 24 minutes off the bench in the loss. The Rockets are set to face the Wizards Monday.


Rockets SG James Harden scores team-high 28 vs. Spurs
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:37 pm ET) Rockets shooting guard James Harden scored a team-high 28 points on 10 of 18 shooting, including 3 of 6 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 110-106 loss to the Spurs Sunday.

The Rockets turned the ball over a season-high 25 times in the loss, with Harden responsible for nine of the giveaways, helping to finish off the Rockets in the close game. The shooting guard also racked up five assists, two rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes. He'll square off with the Wizards Monday.


Rockets C Dwight Howard posts 24-17 line vs. Spurs
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:34 pm ET) Rockets center Dwight Howard scored 24 points on 11 of 13 shooting while racking up a season-high 17 rebounds in his team's 110-106 loss to the Spurs Sunday.

Howard was probable to play with a knee injury but looked strong, delivering his best shooting performance and rebounding total of the season in the same game. He also kicked in one assist, one block and one steal in 38 minutes. The Rockets will square off with the Wizards Monday.


Kevin Love: Cavs PG Kyrie Irving (knee) could miss more time
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:38 pm ET) Cavaliers forward Kevin Love said after Sunday's game that point guard Kyrie Irving could miss another game or two while recovering from his knee contusion, ESPN reports.

Irving has missed two games with the knee issue after sitting Sunday, and it sounds like his status for Tuesday at Atlanta and Wednesday at home against the Bucks is also in doubt. He has averaged 20.2 points and 5.2 assists in 28 games.


Raptors SG Landry Fields (concussion) out Sunday vs. Nuggets
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:33 pm ET) Raptors shooting guard Landry Fields (concussion) will not play Sunday against the Nuggets, the team announced.

Fields is missing his fourth straight game with the injury. James Johnson will likely continue to start in his absence.

Toronto is a 2 1/2-point favorite in Denver Sunday.


Knicks without J.R. Smith, Dalembert, Stoudemire vs. Blazers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:29 pm ET) Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (heel), center Samuel Dalembert (ankle) and power forward Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) will not play in Sunday's game against the Blazers, the team announced.

Smith and Dalembert were questionable to suit up Sunday, while Stoudemire was considered doubtful to play. New York is a 12-point underdog in Portland.


 
 
 
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