Jonas Nader

NBA Roundtable

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Roundtable: Hidden Gems

Friday, December 1, 2017


Hello and welcome back to the NBA Roundtable! For this week’s topic, I asked the Rotoworld Hoops crew to name some sneaky under-the-radar players who could have a lot of value a month or two from now. Tommy Beer will start things off for us this week. 

 

 

Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)

 

Jahlil Okafor (15 percent ownership rate): 

 

As we know, Okafor is buried on the bench in Philly. However, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before he is either bought out or traded. Landing in a new location would allow Okafor to revive a withering career. Remember, this is a player who showcased a remarkable offensive skill set as a 20-year old rookie. He averaged 17.5 points (on 50.8 percent shooting), 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game back in 2015-16. In the process, he became just the sixth player in NBA history to average at least 17.0 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting above 50% from the floor, before turning 21. Per Basketball-Reference, the other five members of that exclusive club are Magic Johnson, Adrian Dantley, Chris Weber, Shaq O’Neal, and Karl-Anthony Towns.

 

Frank Mason (2 percent ownership rate):

 

As I wrote about yesterday (link) Mason has been more efficient and productive than both De'Aaron Fox and George Hill on a per-minute basis this season. Over Sacramento’s last six games, Mason is averaging 10.3 points and 4.5 assists in just 21.0 minutes, while shooting 53.3 percent from the floor, 66.7 percent from 3-point range and 88.9 percent from the free-throw line. If Hill or Fox were to miss time with an injury, Mason would see an uptick in minutes and would be worth roster consideration in deeper leagues. 

 

Joe Harris (7 percent ownership rate):

 

Harris has been impressively consistent all season long. Lately, due to the injuries in Brooklyn, he has stepped up his game even more. Harris has scored in double figures in five straight games and is averaging 13.0 points (on 50 percent shooting), 4.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.8 treys over that five-game stretch. 

 

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Jonas Nader (@JonasNader)

 

I agree with you on these three guys, Beer. Okafor committed himself to getting into better shape this offseason and hit 18-of-27 shots in the preseason, but the 76ers have no interest in playing him. They are still holding out in the hope of receiving a good trade offer, but nobody is going to give away any notable assets for a player that could be bought out any day now. I’m excited to see what he can do with a fresh start. 

 

Harris is a sneaky 3-point specialist that coach Kenny Atkinson wants to mold into a Kyle Korver type of player, while Mason has looked like the best PG in Sacramento for the past two weeks. De’Aaron Fox is still the future, but Mason looks like he’s going to have a big role and they can coexist with the Kings using a lot of two-PG lineups. I’ll add some additional guys to keep a close eye on. 

 

Jonathan Isaac- You could argue that Isaac may have the most long-term upside of any rookie in fantasy. The Magic were sitting in first place earlier this season and were always planning to work Isaac into the rotation slowly, but they lost nine games in a row while Isaac was nursing an ankle injury and may be looking at another lost season. "You hate to say you’re missing a 20-year-old rookie, but we are," Vogel said last week. "He’s a dynamic player, especially on the defensive end, and he’s missed.” Isaac is a combo forward that is versatile enough to coexist next to Aaron Gordon, and it’s likely just a matter of time before he’s unleashed. With per-36 minute averages of 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals, 2.3 blocks and 0.8 triples, he has waiver-wire pickup of the year potential. 

 

Jordan Bell- You’d be hard-pressed to find a player more deserving of minutes than Bell. Out of all players with a minimum of 10 games under their belt, Bell leads the NBA with a ridiculous net rating of 26.7. Coach Steve Kerr has heard the calls for more playing time, and he hinted this week that we’re going to see a lot more of him. "He's earning more time," he said. "He's going to play some more. He's a rookie. So he's got to learn the league. He's got to learn concepts. I'm bringing him along slowly. I'm really pleased with his production. You'll see more of him coming up.” 

 

Bell isn’t going to play a ton of minutes, but he really just needs 20 minutes or so to help fantasy owners and I think that’s definitely possible, especially with the Warriors resting their studs San Antonio style. With per-36 minute averages of 13.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.1 steals and 3.3 blocks, we may have another Draymond Green on our hands. 

 

 

Matt Stroup (@MattStroup)

 

I'll start by saying I can see why you like Isaac, Jonas. My one question is exactly whose minutes he will steal. It's a bit crowded there at the forward spots, but then again, if Terrence Ross (25 minutes a game in November) needs to miss time, that will certainly help. The bottom line is Isaac may need an injury, but he is no doubt an intriguing stash. 

 

NOTE: After I wrote this, word came out that Ross is out indefinitely. Potentially big news for Isaac once he's back healthy.

 

I'll also throw the name Caris LeVert into the discussion. He's only on rosters in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues, and is already putting up good numbers in relatively limited minutes. His last eight games: 12.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.4 spg and 1.3 3s in just 25 minutes a game. He's been closer to 30 minutes a game over his last 3, and it's easy to see the Nets continuing to play him more and more as the season progresses. 

 

Lastly, Tyler Ulis is 6 percent rostered in Yahoo leagues, and has remained relatively immune to awful Suns blowout losses. Over his last eight games (three of them 20+ point losses), he has put up 10.8 ppg, 4.5 apg, 1.1 spg and 0.8 3s, shooting 47.8 percent from the floor. 

 

 

Mike Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher)

 

Definitely all about those guys. I’ll add a few things.

 

Jonathan Isaac has played 53 minutes next to Aaron Gordon, seven minutes next to Mo Buckets as a 3-4 combo with Bismack Biyombo at five, and three minutes with Buckets as 3-4 with Nikola Vucevic at five. And that was with the Magic healthy on the wing. I’d add Isaac now in competitive leagues.

 

Frank Mason III has played 48 minutes next to De’Aaron Fox. That’ll be going up. Check out our podcast yesterday for more!

 

Jordan Bell has played 12 minutes in a Draymond Green and Kevin Durant frontcourt with 23.2 points per 36 minutes on a 19.8 usage rate. The KD-Dray-Bell trio has a +58.4 net rating. 

 

It’s also probably time to start stashing Milos Teodosic.

 

If you’re in a deep league, here are a few guys I have my eye and are owned in one percent or less.

 

DeAndre Bembry - He should be sneaky now with Dewayne Dedmon out. Bembry has hardly done anything yet, but John Collins is probably going to play straight five, which opens up some forward minutes.

 

Willie Reed- We’ve really seen Reed bust out when he started in games without Hassan Whiteside, and now you’d have to think DeAndre Jordan could get dealt.

 

Super Deep

 

Brice Johnson - He’s not better than Ben Simmons, but I thought it was kind of interesting that both Doc Rivers and Austin Rivers mentioned him first when they talked about who would step up after Blake Griffin went down. Basically any young Clipper here.

 

Kobi Simmons - He got first-half minutes on Wednesday, he dropped 31 in a G League game and the Grizzlies can’t even win a game these days.




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