December 13, 2019, 5:59 pm
What’s up HoopBallers! Welcome to another edition of Stock Watch and this week we’ll be going over a couple of young guys who are starting to really break out.
Devonte’ Graham, PG/SG, Charlotte Hornets
Ladies and gentleman, we might be looking at this season’s Most Improved Player.
Seriously, Graham went from averaging 4.7 points, 2.6 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 0.7 triples on 28.1 percent from beyond the arc to putting up 20.0 points, 7.6 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 3.8 triples on 42.9 percent from deep. Yes, Graham’s minutes did receive a huge bump but it’s easy to see that he’s just been on a different level this year.
It takes a special kind of guy to erase a 20-point lead and basically beat an entire team yourself and that’s what Graham did against the Nets in his most recent outing. He was coming down court and pulling up from 30 right in front of Nets’ defenders with ease to finish with a career-high 40 points, five assists and five rebounds. He’s been doing this for a while though, but people are just now starting to notice.
Over the past two weeks, Graham is the tenth ranked player in 9-cat leagues with averages of 24.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 5.0 triples and only 2.1 turnovers on 43.0 percent shooting in a team-high 35.1 minutes. He’s attempting the most shots (18.6) on the Hornets within that time and he’s also managing to knock down 83.3 percent of his team-leading 4.5 free throw attempts per game. When looking at his usage rate over the past eight games, Graham’s is 27.9 percent which is, yet again, leading the Hornets.
He’s literally breaking records and making history as he’s recently become the third-fastest player to hit 100 triples in a season behind only James Harden and Stephen Curry. That’s some great company to be in and Graham should be in line for all of the opportunity he can handle on this Hornets team for the remainder of the season. You most certainly won’t be able to buy low but if you’re one of the people who already own him consider yourself lucky and hold onto him for dear life.
Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Memphis Grizzlies
After a disappointing start to the season, JJJ might finally be starting to turn things around. Over his last three games he’s playing the best basketball of his entire season and averaging a team-high 22.0 points to go along with 4.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.7 triples and 1.7 blocks on 50.0 percent shooting in 31.2 minutes.
He’s a top-75 guy within that time and he’s only going to continue moving up the ranks if he continues to play like this. His good play has correlated with Ja Morant’s return to the court and he’s even attempting the most shots (16.7) on the Grizzlies within that time. Everything just finally seems to be clicking for him and over his last three games he’s got team’s highest usage rate by far at 29.1 percent.
He’s worth buying low on because owners might already be too burned by him and ready to move on. If that’s the case then shoot out an offer because we’re not even half way through the season yet and Jackson Jr. could still end up living up to all of the hype he was receiving this offseason.
Davis Bertans, PF/C, Washington Wizards
Davis Bertans has been the Wizards’ best player over the past two weeks.
Yes, you read that right.
Not Bradley Beal, but Davis Bertans is the 6th-ranked player in fantasy over his past seven games and he doesn’t seem like he plans on slowing down anytime soon. He’s averaging 21.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 5.4 triples on 50.5 percent shooting from the field in 32.0 minutes. Bertans is taking six fewer shots per game than Beal and somehow only averaging three fewer points.
He’s been helped by a foot injury to Thomas Bryant that has opened up more opportunity for him but that should stick even when Bryant returns. He’s been an absolute monster ever since he got to Washington and while the shooting percentage might not be sustainable, he’s still going to knock down at least 2.0 triples per game as he managed to put up 1.9 last season.
He’s putting up career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and percentages and looks to be the real deal in terms of fantasy. He’s providing third round value as someone who was likely added as a flier a couple of weeks ago which is exactly why owners should try and sell high. See if someone will bite and give up a true top-50 guy for him but if not, he’s worth holding onto.
Jabari Parker, PF, Atlanta Hawks
Jabari Parker’s NBA career continues to be one of the most tragic in recent years as this season he hasn’t been much better than he was in the last couple. He’s the 134th-ranked player in fantasy right now with averages of 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.3 steals on 44.6 percent shooting in 26.7 minutes.
Those aren’t bad numbers and he’d be worth holding onto if it weren’t for one giant missile heading straight for his fantasy value. That missile is named John Collins and he’ll be returning from his suspension very soon, December 23 to be exact, and will likely be inserted right back into the starting lineup. A ton of people, outside of those that own him, just sort of forgot that Collins was going to eventually come back but now that time is approaching.
He was a third round pick in most fantasy leagues and is still one of the league’s most promising young studs which means Parker will go right back to playing a bench role and being unrosterable in most leagues. If you can trade him now for someone with more long-term value, pull the trigger immediately.
Kristaps Porzingis, PF/C, Dallas Mavericks
Porzingis missed the entirety of last season and when he was traded to the Mavs everyone thought that it would be the beginning of something special for him. Well, we’re about 20 games into the season and Porzingis is playing the worst basketball of his entire career. He’s shooting a career-low in free throw, field goal and 3-point percentages and averaging the least amount of points since his rookie season.
Over the past two weeks he’s the 125th-ranked player in 9-cat leagues with averages of 12.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.0 triples and 1.9 blocks on 37.2 percent shooting in 27.8 minutes. He’s one of only three players attempting more than 10.0 shots per game but he’s not even making the most of those. It’s tough to see him struggle this much because everyone knows that the potential is there, he just needs to find his rhythm again.
He went from a team where he was the one and only option to one where he’s basically been an afterthought. Dallas is the Luka Doncic show and Porzingis is in the audience just like the rest of us, which has to be a big adjustment for him. He likely won’t be this bad all season because there is so much talent there but most owners can’t wait for him to figure it out. He’s at rock-bottom now so try to buy-low if you can and hope that brighter days are ahead.