Fantasy Basketball Buy/Sell (1/10)
For the third week in a row, I’m recommending an elite fantasy asset as a player to sell. Do we like to trade our star players away? Of course not.
But like I’ll get into below, we sometimes need to make the tough decisions before it’s too late. If you wait too long, the window to sell high might be firmly slammed shut on your fingers.
You don’t want to be the guy on the outside looking in because you could pull the trigger when needed. This week, I head to the Big Apple for a pair of recommendations and force myself to recommend selling arguably my favorite fantasy player from the last four or five seasons.
Players to Buy
Michael Beasley (SF/PF – NY)
To be honest, for a while I wasn’t smelling what Michael Beasley was cooking. He performed exceptionally well while Kristaps Porzingis was sidelined, but struggled once “The Unicorn” returned to the lineup. I’m sure I’m not the only one that thought his fantasy value was going back into the dumpster after Porzingis’ return.
However, over the last five games, Beasley has carved out a nice role for himself in the Knicks’ rotation averaging 19.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game on 58.5% shooting. He’s been a top-50 fantasy asset over the last two weeks and needs to be owned right now while he’s this hot. Just remember, that he’s had hot stretches like this before and they can end just as quickly as they started.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG/SF – NY)
I easily could’ve included Tim Hardaway Jr. in last week’s article, but I wanted to wait one more week on him and give him more of the spotlight. Unlike the others I recommended last week, THJ has actually made a fantasy impact this season.
Before he went down with a stress reaction in his leg near the end of November, Hardaway was averaging 17.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.3 three-pointers. The Knicks desperately needed a second scoring option behind Kristaps Porzingis, and Hardaway was doing his best to fill that void.
His return date is still flux, but it sounds like he should return to the lineup within the next couple weeks. Now is the time to make sure Hardaway isn’t floating around on your waiver wire or to try and acquire his services via trade. He was a top-75 player before the injury and should have no issues reaching that value again upon his return.
Kris Dunn (PG – CHI)
With all the exciting rookies and sophomores in the NBA right now, a player like Kris Dunn often gets overlooked. Well, that needs to stop happening right now. Dunn has always been a high-energy, high-motor type of player that’s going to be all over the court doing a lot of positive things. He’s been that way dating back to his collegiate days at Providence College.
That high-energy style of play has finally created some good statistical upside over the last couple weeks. Over his last eight games, Dunn is averaging 17.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 2.0 steals on 46.4% from the field and 83.3% from the line. Those stats have produced more value than guys like Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol.
If you need a point guard or some assists in general, Dunn makes for an attractive trade target. Just make an offer for him sooner rather than later as he’s trending up in a hurry.
Players to Sell
Kawhi Leonard (SF – SA)
Trust me. This pains me to put Kawhi Leonard here, but it needs to be done. A lot of times it’s the hard decisions that make or break a fantasy decision.
If Leonard is currently on your roster, you had to use a top-10 pick or spend $50+ in an auction to nab him. Even with him starting the season injured, it was a worthwhile investment for one of the best all-around fantasy players in the game. However, his absence went from a few days to a few weeks to almost two full months.
Since his return, Leonard has performed quite well averaging 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.0 blocks, and 1.4 three-pointers in just 22.8 minutes per night. That was all before we found out that he’s dealing with a partial tear in his left shoulder though. The Spurs are downplaying the injury, and it looks like Leonard will attempt to play through it, but we all know how the Spurs, and more importantly, Coach Popovich operate.
They’ve been babying Leonard so far and will likely continue to do so for the remainder of the season to keep him as healthy as possible for the playoffs. I’m one of his biggest supporters out there, but it’s time to dangle him in trade talks to see what type of package you can get back.
Lou Williams (PG/SG – LAC)
What Lou Williams has done the last few weeks, and frankly, most of the season has been great. But this is likely the highest we’re going to see his value this season. Over the last two weeks, Williams is fifth in the NBA in scoring at 28.6 PPG and has chipped in 5.3 assists and 3.4 three-pointers to go along with some solid percentages.
Do we expect him to keep this pace up for the rest of the season, especially with his name in a bunch of trade rumors heading towards the trade deadline? He’s been asked to carry a huge scoring load this season with Blake Griffin out for a large chunk of the season and not many other good scoring options available on the Clippers.
As such, any trade involving him to a contender is likely going to cut into his scoring significantly. That’s why now is the time to see what you can get for Williams.