Waiver Wired is back with a look at all the hot pickups, and while I’m not going to give you a flowery take on the Jeremy Lin craze today, I will tell you how the schedules are shaping up the rest of the way. Believe it or not, we’re nearing the halfway point of the season heading into the short All-Star break week. It’s time to start planning for the playoffs, so the weekly games played for each team going forward are included at the end of this column. Check me out on Twitter.
Ramon Sessions Cavaliers – Sessions is averaging 15 points, nine dimes, nearly a steal and a 3-pointer per game over his last five, but Kyrie Irving is back from his concussion. However, with shooting guards Daniel Gibson and Anthony Parker both hurting, Sessions played 30 minutes on Wednesday, and could continue to get a lot of SG minutes as they continue to heal. Lastly, he’s still a candidate to get traded to a team in need of a point guard, so there are several reasons to look at keeping Sessions around in the short term.
Greivis Vasquez & Jarrett Jack Hornets – Vasquez has been starting for Jack, who is expected to be back on Friday night against the Knicks. I’m assuming that once he’s fully healthy, Jack will retake his starting job from Vasquez, who has averaged 10 points, seven assists and nearly two steals per game over his last five. In short, both players are worth owning over the two-headed disappointment in Utah (Devin Harris & Earl Watson), but there is probably going to be a timeshare in New Orleans as well. Jack was only averaging 10 points and four assists in his four games before leaving with a knee injury, but is at 15 points, seven dimes and four boards on the season.
Jerryd Bayless Raptors – Bayless has been out with his troublesome left ankle, again, but should be back soon, and is a game-time decision for Friday night. Jose Calderon has been on fire, but could probably use a break soon, and there’s no doubt Bayless has talent. He can play both guard spots and was averaging 14 points, three assists and nearly a steal over his last six games before the injury and even totaled 10 3-pointers in back-to-back games on Feb. 5 & 6 before going down.
C.J. Watson Bulls – Derrick Rose doesn’t want to come back until he’s 100 percent, but he is getting close after missing the last four games with back spasms. He also has the toe issue, which appears to be behind him for now, but Watson is a nice insurance policy for Rose’s owners if you have the room on your bench. As a starter this season, Watson is averaging nearly 14 points, five assists, 1.5 steals, and nearly two 3-pointers per game. With Rose coming back, Watson should start hitting waiver wires again soon, but is still only owned in 23 percent of ESPN leagues.
Luke Ridnour & Jose Juan Barea Timberwolves – Ridnour returned to the starting lineup on Wednesday after a personal leave and had 10 points, four boards, five assists, a steal and a block in that one. He was struggling prior, but as long as he continues to start, might be worth a look in case he gets hot again. JJB has scored in double figures in four of his last five games, averaging 11 points, three boards, four assists and nearly a steal and two 3-pointers over that stretch. These two are going to timeshare as well, but both could be helpful if you’re desperate at guard.
Arron Afflalo Nuggets – Afflalo is finally hot, yet despite scoring 20 or more in three of his last four games (he only scored 3 on Wednesday), is only owned in 44 percent of ESPN leagues. He’ll score and hit 3-pointers, but that’s about it.
J.R. Smith Knicks – Smith will join the Knicks and should play off the bench as soon as Sunday for Jeremy Lin’s little engine that could. Smith averaged 12 points, four boards, two assists, a steal and 1.6 3-pointers per game for the Nuggets last season and those numbers look about right in New York, although there is also some upside here. The Knicks could really use his 3-point shooting and Smith looks like a must-add player in all formats until we see how this plays out.
Tony Allen Grizzlies – Allen is healthy again had 21 points, four boards, three assists, five steals, a block and a 3-pointer on Wednesday. Over his last four, he’s at 12 points, five boards, a block and three steals, and while he’ll be inconsistent, looks like a solid add in all leagues. He’s owned in 64 percent of ESPN leagues.
Ben Gordon Pistons – Gordon is healthy again and had 22 points, three dimes, a steal and four 3-pointers on Wednesday, and has hit double digits in four of his last five games. He’s still not the most trustworthy guy around, but now that his shoulder’s finally healthy, is worth grabbing if you need threes.
Randy Foye Clippers – Foye caught a break by J.R. Smith landing in New York and should continue to start at SG until further notice. He’s averaging about eight points, three boards, three assists, a steal and a 3-pointer over his last five games, but could be better than that going forward.
Wilson Chandler Nuggets – Chandler could re-join the Nuggets anytime between now and the next couple weeks, but his role is undefined in Denver. Starting at small forward while we await the return of Danilo Gallinari makes the most sense, and he’s worth stashing in most leagues. He should get solid minutes whether starting or coming off the bench, and averaged 12 points, five boards, a block and more than a 3-pointer per game for the Nuggets last year.
Carlos Delfino Bucks – Delfino continues to hold off Stephen Jackson and Mike Dunleavy in Milwaukee and is averaging 15 points, five boards, two steals and nearly 3.5 3-pointers over his last five games. He can disappear at any time, but is only owned in 33 percent of ESPN leagues.
MarShon Brooks Nets – Brooks is finally getting over his foot injury and had 14 points, five boards, four assists and a 3-pointer in 36 minutes on Thursday. He scored 12 in his previous game and now that he’s healthy and starting again, should be scooped up in all leagues. He’s still available in more than 30 percent of them.
Anthony Morrow Nets – Morrow’s not available in many leagues these days, but could be in yours. He could also be dropped in your league, as he’s scored eight or fewer points in three of his last five. He had 17 points and three 3-pointers on Wednesday and is capable of doing that every night, so grab him if he was dropped in your league.
Corey Maggette Bobcats – Maggette is starting and finally healthy, averaging about 17 points, four rebounds and a steal over his last three games. I don’t trust him to stay healthy, but while he is, he’s worth rolling out there.
Linas Kleiza Raptors – Kleiza will miss a second straight game with a knee injury on Friday, which is too bad. He had 15 points, 11 boards and a 3-pointer in his last game played, and is averaging 13 points, six boards, two assists, nearly a steal and more than a 3-pointer per over his last four. His knee injury doesn’t appear to be serious, and he’ll be worth grabbing once he’s back on the court.