This week’s Waiver Wired will take a look at each team’s remaining schedule and the possible free agent pickups that exist for each of them. And at the end of the column, be sure to read the notes about the remaining NBA schedule over the last nine weeks of the season. Depending on your league, trading Kevin Durant for LeBron James could win you a championship, if you can get the other owner to play along. Also keep in mind that ESPN combined Weeks 16 and 17 in most leagues, meaning there are fewer scoring periods in those leagues, and that my "Week 17" is actually just part 2 of their "Week 16."
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Games Played for Week 17
4 Games Boston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Golden State, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, Orlando, Phoenix, San Antonio
3 Games Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indiana, L.A. Lakers, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, Toronto, Washington
2 Games L.A. Clippers, Utah
Atlanta – Remaining Weekly Schedule - 3-4-4-4-4-4-4-2-2 = 31 Games
The Hawks have a solid schedule remaining, but the only guys who may be available in your league and worth picking up are Kyle Korver and Devin Harris. Despite coming off the bench, Korver still looks like a great player to own, while I just don’t trust Harris. If Josh Smith is actually traded, Anthony Tolliver and Ivan Johnson might be worth a look.
Boston – 4-2-4-3-4-4-4-3-2 = 30
The Celtics remaining schedule is pretty good, but guys like Brandon Bass, Jason Terry, Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee haven’t exactly been killing it. Jeff Green, on the other hand, is a guy I’d like to own in most leagues, while Terry looks like the best option out of those guards. Obviously, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are solid players to own the rest of the way.
Brooklyn – 4-3-3-3-4-3-3-4-2 = 29
The Nets’ schedule is pretty awful with just two four-game weeks left after this week’s games. Deron Williams’ ankle is dinged up and if he misses more time, C.J. Watson will be worth a look. Kris Humphries could be worth a pickup if he’s traded into a good situation, while I still think Gerald Wallace is worth holding if he was dropped in your league. Reggie Evans is a solid option for rebounds, but tough to own given his lack of offense. Andray Blatche is worth keeping an eye on, but still isn’t worth owning in most leagues.
Charlotte – 4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3-2 = 30
The Bobcats have a nice remaining schedule and Byron Mullens remains a must-own player in all formats. Just beware that if they trade for another power forward, Mullens’ minutes could take a hit. Gerald Henderson is a nice pickup if available in your league, while Bismack Biyombo is also worth a look given his strong play of late. Just don’t expect much offense out of the big man.
Chicago – 4-4-3-2-4-3-4-4-2 = 30
I have been against owning/holding Derrick Rose all season, and last week’s comments about possibly sitting out the entire season do nothing to improve my pessimistic view. Despite an eventual return of underwhelming Kirk Hinrich, Nate Robinson remains a must-own player the rest of the way, while Taj Gibson is worth a serious look, especially with Joakim Noah’s foot bothering him so much. Richard Hamilton is playing better these days and Marco Belinelli is healthy again, making Jimmy Butler pretty useless in fantasy.
Cleveland – 3-3-4-3-3-3-4-4-2 = 29
Cleveland’s schedule is pretty lame, but Dion Waiters, Alonzo Gee and Tyler Zeller are all guys you should be looking at on the wire. Waiters is a must-own player, while Zeller’s inconsistency has been tough to live with. Anderson Varejao is out for the season.
Dallas – 3-4-3-4-4-3-4-3-2 = 30
Darren Collison’s value would take a hit if the Mavs trade for a point guard, but is still worth owning across the board for now. The same goes for Shawn Marion, who has looked good after an early mid-season slump, while Vince Carter is also worth a close look as he continues to play well despite being an old man. Elton Brand and Chris Kaman could easily turn it on and get going at any time in the remaining nine weeks, but Kaman has been out with a concussion and Brand hasn’t been playing enough to warrant owning in most leagues.
Denver – 3-3-4-3-4-3-3-3-2 = 28
Andre Miller is always worth a look, but inconsistency will be his middle name with Ty Lawson playing at such a high level. Corey Brewer and Wilson Chandler are always worth a look, but will also be inconsistent as long as Danilo Gallinari and Andre Iguodala are healthy, although that wasn’t the case in the final games just before the break. I’m guessing Gallo and Iguodala will be ready to go this week. JaVale McGee is another guy always worth a look for his shot blocking, but his minutes and production have been pretty sketchy under George Karl. Kosta Koufos is worth a look as the starting center, while Kenneth Faried is a must-own player. If something happens to Chandler’s hip or Brewer goes down, Jordan Hamilton might become relevant at some point.
Detroit – 4-4-3-3-3-3-4-2-2 = 28
Will Bynum, Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Kyle Singler and Charlie Villanueva are all players who are available in many leagues, and might be worth owning the rest of the way. Detroit’s schedule is nothing to write home about though. And out of all the players I listed above, Knight and Villanueva are the two most interesting to me.
Golden State – 4-4-4-4-3-3-3-3-2 = 30
The Warriors play four times in each of the next four weeks, and then finish out with 3-game weeks to end the season, meaning they’re playoff schedule is weak. Jarrett Jack is playing well enough off the bench to be owned in all leagues, while Harrison Barnes and Carl Landry are worth a look in many. Just don’t plan on being able to use any of them in the playoffs with all those three-game weeks. If you can trade Stephen Curry for Carmelo Anthony, it makes sense.
Houston – 3-3-3-3-3-3-4-3-2 = 27
Carlos Delfino, Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris are always worth a look when healthy, but keep in mind the Rockets’ schedule is as bad as it gets with six straight three-game weeks coming, and just one four-game week (Week 23) left on the schedule. I’m not against trading any Rockets not named James Harden for more playoff games, although trading him for Carmelo Anthony could help you win your league. Trading Omer Asik for Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler or even Emeka Okafor could also end up being a shrewd move.
Indiana – 3-4-3-3-4-4-3-3-2 = 29
Danny Granger should be owned the rest of the way and owners of Paul George are praying that he doesn’t slow George’s roll once he’s back. I’m not too worried about it. D.J. Augustin would become a must-own player if George Hill were to go down, while the return of Granger should end the nice run Lance Stephenson has been on. Tyler Hansbrough is another player who could emerge if one of the Pacers’ bigs goes down, but I don’t trust him as long as David West and Roy Hibbert are healthy.