It has nothing to do with Waiver Wired, but I still find it hard to believe that Dwight Howard shot an NBA record 39 free throws on Thursday night. He hit just 21 of them, but the fact he shot that many is amazing. He shattered Wilt Chamberlain’s record for attempts by five and it will be interesting to see if other team’s follow Mark Jackson’s lead on the Hack-a-Dwight plan. Of course, had the Warriors won, there would be a better chance of that happening. And if you came for the Ant-Rand hype, he's on page 2.
Now on to the waiver wire. I consider deep leagues to be 14 or more teams, standard leagues to be 12 teams and small leagues to be 10 teams or less. And this is assuming there are 12-15 players on each roster.
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Iman Shumpert Knicks
Shumpert was awful in Thursday's blowout loss to the Grizzlies, scoring 12 points on 5-of-20 shooting, but did have four steals and a block in 29 minutes. He hasn’t exactly been a fantasy beast thus far, but he’s got a green light to shoot and is playing heavy minutes. He also has the potential to rack up stats in nearly every category on any given night, and I still think he should be owned in all leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues as long as he’s starting for the Knicks.
Brandon Knight Pistons
Knight scored 20 points and his two 3-pointers on 7-of-9 shooting with two rebounds, three assists, one block, and five turnovers in Thursday's loss to the Bucks. He’s still available in some leagues, but should be owned in nearly all of them, as he’s only going to get better with time.
Recommendation: Should be owned in most leagues.
Nate Robinson Warriors
Robinson stepped off the plane and right onto the court after being signed by the Warriors and has been very effective thus far, helping to fill in for Stephen Curry, who could miss another week with another sprained ankle. In four games Robinson is averaging 14.5 points, 4.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 3-pointers in 32.5 minutes per, and will continue to see heavy minutes as long as Curry is out. And while he still may be worth holding even after Curry returns, he’ll only be startable for most teams in the upcoming week.
Recommendation: Should be picked up and used as long as Curry is out.
Delonte West Mavericks
Jason Kidd is still out with a sore back and there’s been very little information coming out of Dallas about how he’s feeling. Even when Kidd was playing, West was starting at shooting guard, but Vince Carter is now in that spot. West is averaging 10 points, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals in his last four games and is worth a look in deeper leagues. And even when Kidd returns, it looks like West should still have a solid role with the Mavs.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deep leagues and considered in most.
Luke Ridnour Timberwolves
Ridnour has scored in double figures in six of his last seven games and is averaging 12 points, three assists and more than a steal and three per game on the season. He continues to start over Ricky Rubio and spends much of his time on the court with the young phenom. He had 22 points, three 3-pointers and a fat stat line in his last game against the Bulls, and should continue to produce even if Rubio enters the starting lineup.
Recommendation: Should be considered in most leagues, but starting job could be in jeopardy.
Anthony Morrow Nets – He’s simply on fire and should not be available in any leagues now, but is still not owned in 19 percent of ESPN leagues. He’s scored 20 or more in three of his last four games and hit 18 3-pointers in the hot streak. I am still not sure what will happen once DeShawn Stevenson and Damion James are back from their injuries, except that Morrow will keep getting minutes and bombing threes. MarShon Brooks is not on the list this week officially, but is still a player I think should be held in most leagues in case he prevails over James for the starting SF job going forward.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.
Kawhi Leonard Spurs
Leonard is now the starting shooting guard for the Spurs and is averaging 14 points, seven rebounds, two steals and a block over his last three games, hitting 20-of-34 shots from the field over that stretch. It's anyone's guess as to whether or not Gregg Popovich sticks with him in the starting lineup going forward, but he has said he loves Leonard's defensive skills. Gary Neal might still be starting over Leonard, but was put on the bench to back up point guard Tony Parker after T.J. Ford tore a hamstring. Dropping Neal for Leonard makes a lot of sense.
Recommendation: Should be owned in most leagues.
Evan Turner Sixers
Turner is starting to turn it on, scoring 16 points in each of his last two games and nearly posting a triple-double in one of them. Expectations were high coming into the season and he got off to a slow start, but his last two games could be a sign that he’s turning it around. If he was dropped in your league, picking him up looks like a good idea.
Recommendation: Should be considered in all leagues.
J.J. Redick Magic
Redick had 13 points, three boards, three assists and a 3-pointer Thursday, and is averaging 12 points, 2.5 boards, 2.5 assists and a 3-pointer on the season. The news here is that Jason Richardson hurt his knee on Thursday and will have an MRI, meaning Redick could finally get his shot at the starting lineup. In five starts last season Redick averaged 14.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, a steal and 2.4 3-pointers. Don’t be surprised if he starts for the next several games and pick him up if you need threes, at least as long as JRich is sidelined.
Recommendation: Can be used in most leagues as long as Richardson is out.
Tony Allen Grizzlies
Allen scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting with five rebounds, one assist, five steals and one block in 26 minutes on Thursday against the Knicks. He continues to start over O.J. Mayo and while his scoring will fluctuate greatly from game to game, he should be a solid source of rebounds and steals as long as he’s starting. Mayo had a season-high 18 points with four 3-pointers on Thursday and appears to be in line for more minutes going forward, meaning he’s also worth a look off wires.
Recommendation: Should be considered in deeper leagues.
Michael Redd Suns
Redd scored 12 points on Thursday and hit three 3-pointers in 19 minutes. Oddly, Alvin Gentry is thinking about starting him on Friday against the Nets, which is bad news for Jared Dudley. But I’m not convinced Redd can play more than 20 minutes a night, or stay healthy, so Dudley is a guy worth holding onto until we see how this shakes out. Feel free to take a flier on Redd if you’re desperate for a shooting guard, but don’t be surprised to see him struggle with knee soreness in the near future.
Recommendation: Should be monitored in most leagues, but he’s a very risky pickup.
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