• Some of the most controversial parts of a fantasy league are trades.

    Do you have the commissioner automatically put every trade through as long as it’s clearly not collusion or do you have the league vote on the trades?

    It’s a tough question with pros and cons to both options. If the commissioner puts every trade through that doesn’t leave room for much discussion in the league and if the trade is left up to a vote then spiteful managers could veto it.

    I faced this dilemma this week in my main league of record. I traded Myles Turner and Otto Porter for Anthony Davis and Jerian Grant. Now I know you might be thinking I gave up too much for an injury prone AD, but my big men were horrible and the person I traded with demanded I take Grant off his hands.

    I thought the trade was pretty fair, and me being the commissioner I put it through because that’s how all of the trades in our league had been handled. I thought all my problems were over, but boy was I wrong.

    All of a sudden I received a bunch of texts saying that I abused my power as commissioner and basically gave up nothing to get Anthony Davis. Last time I checked Otto Porter and Myles Turner, the 17th and 31st ranked players, weren’t considered to be “nothing,” but I digress.

    So what did I do?

    Absolutely nothing.

    I had just gotten Anthony Davis to pair with Victor Oladipo, Aaron Gordon, Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, Clint Capela and Jimmy Butler.  No way i was giving that up.

    My leaguemates basically demanded that I reverse the trade and even made the other owner feel bad about it. Of course I didn’t do that though, the trade was agreed upon by both sides and in no way was it collusion.

    Eventually they got over it and moved on, but let me know, what method do you prefer? Commissioner Approval or League Voting?

    Oh and also, who do you think won that trade?

    Me? Yeah, I think so too.

    Without further ado, Stock Watch.

    Editor’s Note: You can get the Hoop Ball Premium Membership for FREE (normally $29.99) by signing up as a new user with DraftKings. Check this page to see how the promotion works.

    Here are the “Stock Up” guys from last week with a little update on how their stocks have changed, with “Stock Up” meaning they’re still on the rise, “Neutral” meaning their stock hasn’t changed and “Stock Down” meaning they’re on the decline:

    Devin Booker, SG, Phoenix Suns: Stock Down (Unfortunately the strained adductor he’s facing is causing him to miss multiple weeks, but he’ll go back to his monstrous ways when he gets back, hold tight.)

    Kevin Love, PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers: Neutral

    Alec Burks, PG/SG, Utah Jazz: Neutral

    Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers: Stock Down

    Brandon Ingram, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers: Neutral

    Rajon Rondo, PG, New Orleans Pelicans: Stock Up

    Stock Up

    Kawhi Leonard, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs

    HEEEE’SSSSSS BACKKKKKK!

    The Claw made his season debut Tuesday and put up 13 points, six rebounds, one steal, one block and a 3-pointer on 6-of-12 shooting in just 16 minutes. If you’ve held him all of this time you’ve got to be ecstatic with this performance.

    Honestly, Kawhi could’ve came out and scored four points on 2-of-12 shooting and his owners just would’ve been happy he’s finally playing. It just makes it all the sweeter that he actually had a great game in his return. His minutes will definitely be limited as the Spurs will take the utmost caution with their franchise cornerstone, but he showed on Tuesday night that he deserves to be started no matter what.

    They’ll likely sit him for back-to-backs too, but at least he’s finally playing. He should be all systems go by the mid-January at the latest. He was picked inside the top-10 in most drafts with his ADP coming in at 9.7 according to FantasyPros. Leonard finished as the fourth best player last year in per-game value and while he might’ve missed too much time to get back there this year, he’ll definitely be inside the top-8.

    He provides his owners with points, rebounds, assists, steals, 3-pointers……yeah, basically everything. The Spurs are currently sitting at third in the Western Conference at 19-9 and they’re extremely excited to get their perennial All-Star back, last year he was 10th in usage rate amongst all starters at 31.2 percent. That was miles above the second highest rate on the team which was LaMarcus Aldridge‘s at 24.9 percent.

    Once he’s fully healthy, the Claw should be right back to his old ways and that time can’t come soon enough for his fantasy owners. Be patient, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, now you’ve just got to get to it.

    Clint Capela, PF/C, Houston Rockets

    Capela exploded for his owners on Monday night with 28 points, eight rebounds and five blocks on 13-of-14 shooting in only 24 minutes. The five blocks matched a career-high for Capela and he could’ve racked up even more had he played more minutes but coach D’Antoni was worried about his conditioning.

    Capela is having a career year as things have been as easy for him as they’ve ever been. Elite ball-handlers Chris Paul and James Harden are taking up all the attention, so all Capela has to do is roll to the basket and slam down the lob that is inevitably coming from one of them. He’s currently the 29th ranked player on the season, above players like Myles Turner, Marc Gasol and Andre Drummond.

    Capela is averaging 13.7 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.8 blocks and 0.8 steals on .677 percent shooting from the field. The .677 percent from the field is currently the highest in the league and the points, rebounds and assists are a career-high. According to FantasyPros his ADP was 67.3 and he’s drastically outplaying that.

    He’s still only 23 years old and is one of the best young big men in the league. Barring injury Capela will continue to improve as the season progresses and if he’s only playing 25.2 minutes per game so if he could get more time he’d be even better. He’s firmly cemented himself in the Most Improved Player race and if he could keep the fouls down he legitimately has top-20 potential.

    I’ve noticed that he’s actually really underrated and it would make sense to try and pry him off whoever owns him in your league before he becomes a household name, because it’s coming.

    Jahlil Okafor, C, Brooklyn Nets

    Finally, Jahlil Okafor is getting a chance to show us why he was the third pick in the 2015 Draft just three years ago.

    He was supposed to make his debut Tuesday night vs. the Wizards but he didn’t get off the bench. It’s likely that the Nets just want him to get more accustomed to the offense and get in a couple more practices before they roll him out. Coach Kenny Atkinson has said that Okafor will have to “earn” his minutes but that shouldn’t be hard with the only other centers on the Nets’ roster being Timofey Mozgov, Jarrett Allen and Tyler Zeller.

    Jarrett Allen is probably the best of the three but he’s still very raw and still isn’t ready to take on a regular NBA workload. The 22-year old Okafor should be able to take control of the starting spot in no time and run away with it. His talent was being wasted this year in Philadelphia but the Nets are rebuilding and they’ve just secured their center of the future.

    Two years ago, Jah’s rookie year, he averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocks on .508 percent shooting. Those stats were good enough to land him as the 105th ranked player and if you’re punting turnovers he raises to the 85th overall player. He won’t get you many defensive stats and his turnovers are a problem but he’s the most talented big man on the Nets roster and its not even close.

    If he can match those stats from two years ago he’ll be worth a roster spot but if he’s improved any since then there’s a good chance he can get up to 20 points per game. When D’Angelo Russell comes back it’ll give him someone to run the pick-and-roll with and Russell thrives in that kind of offense, being adept at getting the ball to the rolling big man.

    He’ll thrive with Russell on the court and should even feast while he remains sidelined. There’s no guarantee he’ll be amazing on the Nets but this is the best chance he’s had so far to really show off his talent, making him worthy of an add in all leagues so long as expectations are kept in check.

    Honorable Mentions

    Jrue Holiday, PG/SG, New Orleans Pelicans: Holiday is the 17th ranked player over the past two weeks and gets boosted up to the 11th ranked player over the past week. He’s a monster when Anthony Davis isn’t playing but he’s been playing great all season regardless. On the season he’s averaging a career-high 18.0 points and 4.3 rebounds to go along with 5.5 assists and 1.3 steals. He’s also knocking down shots at a career high .487 percent and he is clearly playing the best basketball of his career. He’s showing no signs of slowing down and he should be locked into all lineups as long as he’s playing this well.

    Will Barton, SG/SF, Denver Nuggets: The absence of Nikola Jokic has awakened Barton and he’s been on a tear lately. Currently the 55th ranked player, Barton is averaging 16.1 points, 5.3 rebounds,3.2 assists and 1.2 steals on .469 percent from the field. The points and field goal percentages are career-highs for him and he’s got the green light right now, attempting 12.5 shots per game which are the most of his career. He’s the 16th ranked player over the past two weeks and he’ll continue to eat for as long as Jokic remains sidelined. However, he seems to be on his way back soon so I would try to sell-high on Barton now before he comes back down to Earth.

    James Harden, PG/SG, Houston Rockets: This is a no brainer, he’s a basketball god and is unguardable. He’s playing arguably the best basketball of his career alongside Chris Paul and it looks like he’s finally going to get a hold of that MVP trophy that has eluded him for the past three years. No need to talk about stats when it comes to the Beard, he’s a monster. You know it, we know it, everyone knows it.

    Here are the “Stock Down” guys from last week with an update on how their stock has changed in the past week with “Stock Down” meaning they’re still falling, “Neutral” meaning their stock hasn’t changed and “Stock Up” meaning that they’re on the rise:

    C.J. McCollum, PG/SG, Portland Trailblazers: Stock Up

    Carmelo Anthony, SF/PF, Oklahoma City Thunder: Neutral

    Jaylen Brown, SG/SF, Boston Celtics: Stock Down

    Ricky Rubio, PG, Utah Jazz: Stock Down

    Stock Down

    Dennis Schroder, PG, Atlanta Hawks

    Schroder was viewed as the leader of a Hawks team that was beginning its rebuilding process, and so far he has been.

    He started off the season well, however over the past two weeks he’s only the 91st ranked player. He’s taking 18.5 shots per game over the last week, which the the highest on the team by far. The second most shots, 10.3, are being attempted by Ersan Ilyasova. He’s shooting .419 percent from the field over that span of time, and if you looked at just the counting stats you wouldn’t understand why Schroder is in the “Stock Down” portion of this article.

    He’s playing just 22 minutes in each of the past two games and at first it was believed to be because of foul trouble. However, last game he was completely benched by coach Mike Budenholzer in the fourth quarter, which is concerning. The franchise’s best player and point guard of the future doesn’t just get benched for the final 8 minutes and 14 seconds of the game.

    The Hawks are extremely thin at the big men positions with Dewayne Dedmon, John Collins and Mike Muscala all dealing with injuries, so there isn’t much competition for Schroder other than Taurean Prince and Kent Bazemore.

    The Hawks are currently sitting at last in the Eastern Conference with a record of 6-21 so its possible they’re already starting to tank for a good draft pick by sitting their players. However, I believe its too early for that and that Schroder and Budenholzer are just going through something right now. It wouldn’t be the first time either as the two have bumped heads before.

    Schroder is this team’s clear best player and there’s no way they continue to limit his minutes so this serves as a perfect buy-low window for owners who are scared about Schroder’s recent minute problem.

    Justin Holiday, SG/SF, Chicago Bulls

    Holiday has been one of the biggest contributors for the Bulls so far, even though they’re currently sitting at 14th in the Eastern Conference at 6-20.

    However, over the past week he’s been struggling and with the return of Zach LaVine steady approaching that’s not a good sign. He’s only the 94th ranked player over the past week and he’s averaging only 9.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 32.3 minutes. Those are a pretty hefty decline from his season averages of 13.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 34 minutes.

    He’s been struggling with his shot lately, shooting only .341 percent from the field over the past week while also averaging 1.5 turnovers. He’s a volume shooter and he’s still attempting 10.3 shots per game over this last week. That’s the problem with someone whose main value comes from points and threes — when their shot is off they take a huge tumble down the rankings.

    It’s easier to predict an uptick in production with someone who has proven themselves before over the season but with Holiday this is being viewed as his breakout season. With the Bulls finally getting healthy and Nikola Mirotic coming back, both him and Kris Dunn are competing with holiday for shots over this past week with Dunn attempting 15.3 shots and Mirotic matching Holiday with 10.3.

    It’s even more concerning with Zach LaVine returning soon. He’ll more than likely take over as the team’s lead scorer and lead them in shot attempts over the second half of the season. If Holiday is taking less shots that means he’ll have to take advantage of the ones he is attempting. If he can’t manage to get his shot on track he’ll take a huge dip, but that is yet to be seen.

    If you want to ship off Justin Holiday before LaVine gets back I wouldn’t blame you, I probably would. However, I also understand if you want to pump the breaks until we see how LaVine changes the team, but if he hurts Holiday too bad it might be too late by then.

    Jeff Teague, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Teague has been bad over the past two weeks, sitting as the 95th ranked player and it gets even worse over the past week as he drops down to 117th.

    His counting stats have been down over the past two weeks as he’s posting 12.8 points, 6.2 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals on .517 percent shooting. However, over the season he’s averaging 13.6 points, 7.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 3.0 turnovers on .433 percent shooting.

    Since returning from his injury he just hasn’t been the same player. His points, assists, rebounds and perhaps most importantly, steals, are way down. The steals were one of the most important parts about his value and without those there’s no wonder he’s been down as of late.

    The minutes are still up at 35.4 over the past two weeks but with Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns beginning to turn it on there’s less opportunity for Teague and Andrew Wiggins. That was always the problem in Minnesota, too many mouths to feed and not enough opportunity.

    There’s a chance that he stays outside the top-85 for the rest of the season but it’s not likely. On the season he’s currently the 65th player and he’ll probably stay around that range. If you can package him with someone else for a top-50 player I’d definitely try to.

    Honorable Mentions

    Marcin Gortat, C, Washington Wizards: He hasn’t hit double digits in points and rebounds for the last five games and he’s in danger of being dropped unless he gets back on track. Over the past two weeks he’s outside of the top-160 and isn’t helping his owners very much in any particular category. His minutes are also down to only 23.4 and he’s averaging below double digits in both points and rebounds. He wasn’t very good without John Wall and the likeliness of him turning it around when Wall returns isn’t very high. He’s an aging center in a league that’s getting younger every year and this might finally be the year that the Polish Hammer completely loses his fantasy value.

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