Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 20
We’re still dealing with the after-effects of some trade deadline deals, but, for the most part, rosters have settled. That means this weeks’ Fantasy Basketball Waiver Pickups’ includes not just a couple of recently acquired players, but two rookies whose recent play has better established their roles.
(All owner percentages are for ESPN leagues as of March 8th)
Malcolm Brogdon (SG/PG – MIL) 37%
A second-round pick who may be the leading Rookie of the Year contender with Joel Embiid (C – PHI) out for the season, Brogdon has been on fire since replacing Matthew Dellavedova (PG – MIL) in the Milwaukee Bucks’ starting lineup. Brogdon is shooting 53.8 percent from downtown (on 3.3 attempts per game) since the switch, and his length and basketball intelligence will keep him in head coach Jason Kidd’s switch-everything defense. Even with the additional playing time, it’s easy to point out the obvious likelihood of regression here. However, it’s just as easy to point to the similarities between Brogdon and Chandler Parsons – a comparable player both by biographical details (four-year college players, conference Players of the Year as seniors, drafted in the second round) and analytics (both improved their three-point shooting percentage and assists per game from college to the NBA). Brogdon is a smart late-season pickup.
Bojan Bogdanovic (SG/SF – WAS) 36%
Not to be confused with Euroleague player and potential Sacramento King Bogdan Bogdanovic, Bojan Bogdanovic has elevated his play since being traded to the Washington Wizards. Despite not having a starting role, or playing more than 29 minutes, Bogdanovic has scored at least 27 points in three of his past five games. The third-year NBA veteran is a career 37.5 percent shooter from three and fits a Wizards’ need for scoring off their bench. Bogdanovic’s ownership rates rose with this hot streak, but a couple off games may make current owners willing to cast him aside for the next shiny thing. If you need shooting, he’s worthy of a roster spot in standard leagues right now, and his fit on the Wizards bench will give him consistent, if not necessarily starter’s, minutes.
Terrence Ross (SG/SF – ORL) 25%
Most of Ross’ numbers have not been great since his trade to the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline, but there’s one important one that’s shot way up; minutes per game. Ross averaged a little over 22 minutes per game with the Raptors but has played in over 34 minutes per game as a member of the Magic. While none of Ross’ career numbers stand out, his consistent averageness projects well in starter’s minutes. Per BasketballReference.com, Ross has averaged 14.6 points per 36 minutes for his career. That, combined with a career three-point shooting percentage of 37.4, makes Ross rosterable and someone to buy low on in his early struggles with the Magic.
Tyler Ulis (PG/SG – PHX) 16%
The only person on this list shorter than me (if I round my height up), Tyler Ulis shined this past week for a Phoenix Suns team desperate for excitement. His game-winning shot against the Boston Celtics’ aside, Ulis has upped his playmaking game in March, averaging 6.3 assists per game during the month. The rookie from Kentucky may not unseat the veteran from Kentucky – Eric Bledsoe (PG – PHO) – in the Suns’ starting lineup, but he’s shown enough skill to keep getting the 25 minutes per game he also averaged this month. Right now he may still be more prospect than must add, but should Bledsoe get hurt, not an unlikely possibility considering he’s played less than 45 games in two of the past three seasons, Ulis becomes worthy of a pickup.