Nicolas Batum POR – Batum will slide to small forward and should be a big winner in Gerald Wallace trade to New Jersey. Batum was absolutely on fire a couple weeks ago, but was slumping as the McMillan era came to a close. A new coach, a new position and a new attitude in Portland should do wonders for Batum and he’s a must-own player if he was dropped due to his recent struggles. He’s one of the few players in the league with a potential of scoring 30 points and going for five 3-pointers, five rebounds, five assists, five steals or five blocks on any given night. The Blazers finish 4-4-4-4-3-2.
Alonzo Gee CLE – Gee, to put it bluntly, has been flat-out ballin' and should rack up a ton of steals the rest of the way. His recent five-game averages are 15 points, six boards, two assists, 3.4 steals, 0.6 blocks and just under a 3-pointer per game. He survived the trade deadline without any new competition for his job and should be good to go the rest of the way. Maybe Anderson Varejao comes back and pushes Antawn Jamison into Gee’s spot, but that just wouldn’t make sense. Gee has earned minutes and is only going to get better from here, and needs to develop for a team on a bridge to nowhere this season. The Cavs finish 4-4-4-5-4-3.
Corey Maggette CHA – Maggette is getting healthy again, but don't plan on him staying that way. As usual, I’m going to continue to ride him until he breaks, and those of us riding him caught a break when he failed to miss a single (entire) game after suffering a back injury earlier in the week. He’s been a scoring machine for the Bobcats over the last month and will continue to flourish as long as Paul Silas is starting him. Just know that the Bobcats could decide to go on a youth movement at any time, or Maggette could go down with an injury in an instant. The Bobcats finish 3-4-4-5-3-2.
Dorell Wright GSW – Wright has actually played well in three straight games and I’m not worried about the arrival of Richard Jefferson in Golden State. He’s averaging 17 points, seven rebounds and three 3-pointers right now, and with five games next week, it’s time to pounce if he was dropped. The Warriors finish 5-4-4-4-5-2.
Brandon Rush GSW - Like Wright, Rush benefits from absence of Monta Ellis - and has five games next week. He’s coming off the bench, which is a bit of a buzzkill, and is averaging eight points, five rebounds and just over a 3-pointer per game over his last five. Just keep in mind that Monta was around for three of those, and he is averaging 12 points, 6.5 boards, a block and 2.5 3-pointers in the two games without Ellis.
Chandler Parsons HOU – Parsons has been on a roll for Rockets, averaging 15 points, five boards, five assists, 1.4 steals and a 3-pointer per game over his last five. He’s gone on a couple other streaks this season and then fizzled out, but this one feels a little different. The Rockets finish up 3-4-3-4-5-1, which isn’t an ideal schedule.
Steve Novak NYK – The three-point specialist off still hasn't cooled off, despite a new coach and a permanent bench role. He’s averaging 10 points, and 2.6 threes over his last five. He won’t do much more for you, but if you need quick help in threes, he’s the man.
Stephen Jackson SAN – Jackson finally landed in San Antonio, where he’s played before. He should be comfortable there, and could even end up starting for Gregg Popovich, but you have to wonder if he’s in game shape. Jackson’s not a must-own player at this point, but is a nice add if you have room, and are in need of threes, steals and the ability to produce across the board. Just beware of his field goal percentage, as it’s usually shaky, at best. The Spurs finish 4-3-4-4-5-3.
Wilson Chandler DEN – Chandler is ready to sign with Denver, but his minutes and role could be shaky with Arron Afflalo & Danilo Gallinari entrenched as the starters. Chandler could end up starting at some point, but will still be sharing time. He’s a good source of points, rebounds, assists, steals and threes when he’s rolling, but I just think it’s too crowded in Denver for him to fully breakout. The Nuggets finish 4-4-3-4-4-2.
Chase Budinger HOU - Like teammate Parsons, Budinger is on a roll, but will take a hit once Kevin Martin is healthy again. Budinger is at 13 points, 5.5 boards, 0.8 steals and 2.3 3-pointers over his last four games. The Rockets finish 3-4-3-4-5-1.