February 27, 2020, 3:23 am
Welcome to Wednesday’s Daily Dish! Tonight’s slate of nine games shed some light on rotations around the league, especially for teams that were active at the trade deadline. Below are a few of my takeaways.
Adds of the Night
I try to recommend players available in the majority of standard leagues, so you may need to look elsewhere for more specific advice if playing in a shallower pool.
Furkan Korkmaz, G, Philadelphia 76ers – 25 minutes, 14 points, one rebound, two assists, one steal, four 3-pointers, 4-for-12 FG
Several years ago, I profiled Korkmaz as he prepared to enter the NBA Draft. It wasn’t easy to translate statistics from his native Turkey, but the offensive skill set was hard to question. The Sixers claimed him near the end of the first round in 2016 and Korkmaz opted to spend another season in his home country. While Korkmaz hit just a third of his shots in Wednesday’s loss to the Cavs, it’s encouraging that he continues to get opportunities. Ben Simmons won’t even be re-evaluated for two weeks, so if you need long-range shooting Korkmaz could help during your push to the playoffs. What’s more, he has made at least three triples going back to Saturday’s matchup with the Bucks. Don’t forget his crazy hot streak from February 7-9 when Korkmaz drained 13 threes in two games and went 25-for-34 from the floor in the process. His ownership in Yahoo has risen to 11%.
Royce O’Neale, F, Utah Jazz – 29 minutes, 14 points, four rebounds, one assist, three steals, two 3-pointers, 4-for-7 FG
Earlier in the day, the Jazz had apparently decided that O’Neale would enter the starting lineup at the expense of Mike Conley. In the end, it was Joe Ingles who became the odd man out. In any event, O’Neale’s defensive gifts have punched his ticket to the starting five, and owners in deeper leagues can profit from the thefts he generates. While 29 minutes don’t represent a huge leap from the 25 he logged off the bench on Monday, Wednesday was the first time he cracked double digit points since January 25. That fact might scare off prospective owners, but his peripheral stats including the three steals made for a useful overall line. He sits at just 4% Yahoo ownership, but a couple more solid nights should lead to more widespread recognition.
Here are a couple of players who could be worth cutting if you find a promising free agent.
Danuel House, Jr.
Even without Eric Gordon on the court, House had an unproductive 26 minutes against the Grizzlies. His four points and two rebounds were reminiscent of Saturday’s game against the Jazz. House ended with just three points, four rebounds, one assist and two steals in that one. In addition, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni no longer allots him 30 or more minutes every night and House ended with just 19 last Friday versus the Warriors. House’s ownership has tumbled to 26% in Yahoo, and recent arrival Jeff Green clearly outproduced him in his 23 minutes on Wednesday.
Wagner was a fairly hot pickup when Thomas Bryant found himself on the shelf, but his value is very limited at this point. Bryant took a day of rest on Monday, which resulted in Wagner ending with eight points and 10 rebounds. On Wednesday, Scott Brooks granted him only 13 minutes with predictable results: four points and three rebounds with no other category contributions. Many owners have caught on in recognizing that per-minute value doesn’t deliver much the way Wagner is being deployed on most nights. He is now 11% owned in Yahoo and single digits aren’t far behind unless the Wizards’ coaching staff decides to alter the rotation.
Joel Embiid departed Wednesday’s game with a left shoulder sprain and will have an MRI on Thursday.
Luka Doncic briefly left with a left thumb injury before returning to play 37 total minutes.
Bam Adebayo (sprained right ankle) had a double-double in 33 minutes.
Willie Cauley-Stein (personal) missed facing the Spurs.
Trae Young (illness) ended with 37 points in 38 minutes.
Dewayne Dedmon (right elbow pain) missed the game against the Magic.
Elfrid Payton (sore right ankle) had nine assists in 27 minutes.
Wilson Chandler (personal) was held out of action.
Jimmy Butler (personal) returned after two missed games and played a solid 35 minutes versus the Wolves.
Kemba Walker (left knee soreness) was unable to play.
Eric Gordon (right knee contusion) was sidelined against the Grizzlies.
Frank Ntilikina (groin soreness) did not play.
Davis Bertans (sore right knee) played 30 minutes despite falling hard near the end of the game.
Malik Monk’s suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy kept him from playing against the Knicks.
Tatum on a Tear
At the heart of things, I write about fantasy basketball because it feels personal to me. Looking back, my Hoop Ball staff league draft wasn’t perfect (hello, Blake Griffin!) but I certainly feel fortunate to have nabbed Jayson Tatum in the fourth round. On Wednesday against the Jazz, Tatum was an efficient 13-for-20 from the field including 3-for-5 from downtown. His 33 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists led the Celtics to a 114-103 victory in Utah. Without Kemba Walker in the lineup, Tatum’s performance is even more critical to the Celtics as they try to secure second place in the Atlantic Division. The Duke product has averaged over 30 points per night during his last ten contests, essentially while shooting 50% both from the field and behind the arc. That’s certainly one way of rising to meet the occasion.
Over the weekend, I drove to Los Angeles to watch the first home appearance for Marcus Morris, Sr. as a member of the Clippers at Staples Center. The team looked disjointed as the recently acquired Morris and Reggie Jackson attempted to impress the crowd, but the former Knick appears to be much more comfortable over his last two games. After committing five turnovers and shooting 3-for-9 on field goals during that Saturday afternoon loss to the Kings, Morris has shown why the Clippers sent back a first round pick as part of the trade. On Wednesday, Morris hit four of his eight attempts from long range and ended with 18 points, five rebounds, three assists, and one block in the 102-92 win over the Suns. It will be hard to replicate the numbers he delivered in New York, but this performance was a positive sign. Of course, the forward’s greatest value should arrive during the postseason when he allows Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to operate with more space even against strong defenses.