With the season now upon us, the waiver-wire has quickly become the hottest ticket in town. A few injuries already, both short-term and season-ending, and owners are beginning to panic. So, while Josh has spoken briefly about owners offering some ridiculous trades, I’m going to go over some players that might be sitting, hidden, on your waiver-wire. These players could be worth a look if you have a borderline player you are considering dropping. Some of these players won’t offer much upside, but may help you in a category you are lacking. There a few out there, so I’m going to just list a couple at each position in detail, with a few names listed underneath.
Rozier has played well in both games this season, demonstrating his athleticism on both ends of the floor. With Gordon Hayward (ankle) going down for the season, Boston are going to need to find additional scoring from the second unit. Rozier seems likely to fill this scoring role, whilst maintaining efficiency from both the floor and the free-throw line. He is worth a look if you are in need of points, steals and some three-pointers.
Murray was handed the start in his first game of the season, and delivered for coach Gregg Popovich. The talk in the off-season was that whilst Murray would start, Patty Mills would still get the playing time. Murray was able to outplay Mills and take a firm grip on the leading point-guard position. Mills will still get hot occasionally, and this will likely result in Murray taking a back seat. Murray has more upside, and should be viewed as the stronger option, especially if you are in need of a guard who can do a bit of everything.
Other point guards to keep an eye on are Jerryd Bayless, Yogi Ferrell and Delon Wright
Ross finished last season with some flair, and has started the same way. Aaron Gordon will take more of an offensive responsibility this season, meaning Ross will likely be the third or fourth option. This could in fact help Ross with his efficiency, as he is able to take better shots rather than forcing them. Ross’ value comes from his ability to hit three-pointers and collect steals, something that he should be able to maintain, even with a reduced role in the Magic offense.
Green has been a thorn in the sides of many owners over the last few seasons. There is a good chance that this happens all over again, but let’s try and remain positive. In his first game of the season, he played extremely well, and reminded us of his upside on both ends the floor. His well-rounded line was indicative of what he was doing three years ago. With Kawhi Leonard (quad) missing some time, Green Is going to have a chance to be more of an option on offense as well as using his length on the defensive end.
Some shooting guards to also watch are Jeremy Lamb, Tyreke Evans and Justise Winslow.
LeVert is another player that could benefit from the misfortune of a teammate. With Jeremy Lin (knee) now out for the remainder of the season, LeVert is going to be fast-tracked to a more prominent role. He was always going to be in the rotation, however, he is now a chance of garnering the starting spot alongside D’Angelo Russell. With additional minutes, LeVert should be able to have more of an impact across the board. He is still developing, so there are going to be plenty of dud games, but also some nice stat lines.
Miles appears to be the backup to Norman Powell, based on the first game of the season. This is likely to be a timeshare however, and Miles should still be able to put up good numbers from the bench. He has had some minor injury troubles over the last few seasons, but he has always been a strong three-point option when healthy. While Powell seems to be the better of the two options, Miles is a great streaming option if you are in need of some quick points.
A couple of other small forwards worth watching are Kelly Oubre Jr, P.J Tucker and Al-Farouq Aminu.
Larry Nance Jr
Nance has always shown glimpses of his upside, but seems to be limited by his injury concerns. As he is such a high-impact player, these injuries are always going to be in the back of owners’ minds. Last season he again gave us a small sample of his upside, but was derailed by various niggling injuries and Julius Randle snaring the starting role. Nance was given the nod to start the season, and again displayed what we would all like to see out of him on a nightly basis. If he can maintain this, then he really shouldn’t be available in many leagues at all.
Labissiere was one of the positive stories to come out of an otherwise disappointing year for Sacramento. He started the first game of the season and played well in 33 minutes. Keeping in mind that Zach Randolph (mouth) was sitting for this game, he might return to the bench for the foreseeable future. There is still some nice upside there, even in a bench role, and he will likely increase his minutes as the kings go into tank mode later in the season.
Some other power forwards of note are Marvin Williams, Domantas Sabonis and Nikola Mirotic (face), as he nears his return from injury.
Dieng is an obvious loser from the Timberwolves acquisitions during the off-season. He has gone from a starter playing 35 minutes per game to a backup playing 20 minutes. Given this change is circumstances, he is available in a lot of leagues. Now while he likely isn’t going to put up numbers like last season, he could still be a nice source of boards, blocks and steals with excellent percentages. Remember also, Taj Gibson does not have the cleanest injury record, so there is every chance he misses some time during the season. Dieng could be a nice player to put at the end of your bench to see what he can do.
Bell is a pure upside player. He is only going to see limited minutes during the season, but given his strong showing in the preseason and the first regular season game, he is worth keeping an eye on. There is a chance he starts in his next game if in fact Draymond Green (knee) doesn’t play. This is news in itself, as coach Steve Kerr seems to prefer Bell over JaVale McGee in the first unit. With a good chance the Warriors are able to blow a lot of teams out this season, Bell could see some unexpected minutes from time to time. This should only increase his opportunity to show the coaching staff what he can do.
Finally, a few other centers are Cody Zeller, Kelly Olynyk and Richaun Holmes, when he also returns from his injury.