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NBA Roundtable

Roundtable: Sell-High Targets

by Jonas Nader
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Hello and welcome back to the NBA Roundtable! With a full month of NBA action in the books, it’s time to talk about our favorite Sell-High targets. Gauging a player’s trade value can be tough, but Yahoo Leagues has this neat feature where you can see what other owners have given up for certain players, so be sure to check that out. As a general rule of thumb, I usually try and trade players when they’ve hit the peak of their value, so I’ll start off with three guys that I think should be able to fetch a really nice return on investment…


Jonas Nader (@JonasNader)


Eric Gordon- With an ADP of nearly 100, Gordon has proven to be one of the best draft-day steals this season. So why am I selling a player that is second in the NBA in 3-pointers made and averaging 22.1 points, 3.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 3.7 triples? Well, I’d be lying if his injury history didn’t scare me, as last season was the first time he’s reached 75 games played since his rookie season in 2008. He’s also posting a 28.0 usage rate which is his highest mark since 2012-13, but that’s going to take a hit with Chris Paul (knee) due back on Thursday. Gordon is currently ranked inside the top 60 for standard 9-category leagues, but I think I would move him if I could just get a top-75 player in return unless I’m relying heavily on his 3-pointers. 


Tyreke Evans- You would be hard-pressed to find a hotter SG in the NBA right now. After a sluggish start to the season, Evans’ workload and production have spiked, as he’s averaging 23.7 points, 4.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.1 triples on 57.9 percent shooting in November. A career 44.5 percent shooter, Evans has no shot of sustaining this pace and his owners need to realize that. And if you think Eric Gordon is injury-prone, Evans isn’t exactly known for his durability either, playing just 65 in his previous two seasons. Evans is sitting pretty with top-35 value in standard leagues, so his owners should be able to get a really nice piece in return. However, it’s not a bad idea to wait until Mike Conley (Achilles) returns because Evans will get a nice bump in his absence. 


Otto Porter- Well it’s good to know that last season’s success wasn’t a fluke, but Porter is playing out of his mind in 2017-18 with top-10 value in standard leagues, averaging 16.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.1 triples. He’s shooting 57.6 percent from the field, so that’s bound to come down significantly when nearly half of his shots come from beyond the arc. He could hold onto early-round value, but expecting him to maintain this pace is as likely as Marcus Smart hitting a jumper. 


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Steve Alexander (@Docktora)


I feel like Mr. Obvious, but Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans are on a pretty amazing pace so far. Gordon should be negatively impacted by the return of Chris Paul, although he should also still clearly be worth owning. But if you have any doubts about the oft-injured guard, his value may never be higher than it is right now. 


As for Evans, injuries are not his friend, either, and you have to think, maybe, that Chandler Parsons might become relevant at some time this season and start eating into Evans' touches a little. Especially with JaMychal Green coming back, which would theoretically push Parsons over to more time at small forward, which is where Evans is playing. Maybe this is the year it finally happens for Tyreke, but I'll believe it when I see it. 


Jrue Holiday might take a small hit from Rajon Rondo, although I doubt it's possible that Rondo could actually ruin him. But Rondo's minutes, once he starts getting them, will have to come from somewhere and Holiday will likely get a couple extra minutes on the bench. I don't think you need to desperately try to move Holiday or anything like that, but if you've been disappointed thus far, now's probably the time to try to ship him out. 



Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer)


Enes Kanter:

Kanter has exceeded expectations over his first month in NYC. He’s currently averaging 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in 25.4 minutes, while shooting 64.7 percent from the floor. He is one of just three players in the league averaging a double-double and shooting over 60 percent from the floor. (The other two are Rudy Gobert and Clint Capela.) Kanter currently ranks inside the top-50 overall in nine-category fantasy leagues. The issue is whether he’ll be able to maintain this pace all season long. Personally, I’d short the Kanter stock. The Knicks have four capable centers on their roster. Kyle O’Quinn is the only other pivot in the rotation right now, but the organization would surely like to see Willy Hernangomez get minutes sooner or later. And Joakim Noah is owed $55 million over the next three years. They don’t want him riding the pine that whole time. If Kanter’s play dips at all, he may see his minutes reduced quickly.


Lauri Markkanen

Those of us that took a flier on Markkanen late in drafts last month could not have asked for more over the rookie’s first 12 career games. He’s averaging 14.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.4 treys. The 29 3-pointers he has made is the most by any player over their first dozen NBA games. However, my chief concern going forward is his ability to withstand the rigors of the marathon NBA season. He hasn’t missed a game yet, but he’s already dealt with a sore quad and an ankle issue. He also briefly exited Wednesday’s game after falling on his back; which is noteworthy because he was sidelined for portions of training camp due to back pain. If you can get solid value in return, I’d suggest selling high on Lauri. 


Andre Drummond:

This is all about whether you think his vastly improved free-throw shooting is for real. Drummond entered this season as a career 38.1 percent free-throw shooter, one of the worst marks in league history. Over his first ten games this season, he was shooting 75.0 percent from the stripe. Since then, he's at 44.0 percent. Last season, Drummond ranked 83rd overall. Over the first ten games this season, he ranked inside the top 15. If someone in your league believes his early-season hot streak is real, try to flip Drummond for a more reliable top-50 talent. 



Jared Johnson (@JaredJ831)


Enes Kanter -- Kanter has been a double-double machine this season, posting top-50 value behind averages of 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds on 64.7 percent shooting from the field and 87.0 percent from the stripe. However, he's been doing all this with Willy Hernangomez essentially out of the rotation, and I just can't imagine Hernangomez still earning just under 10 minutes a night once we get closer to the second half of the year. Knicks' management has ensured Hernangomez that they view him as a part of their future, and have asked him to stay patient, so Kanter’s owners should take that as their cue to sell high. I think as Hernangomez’s minutes increase, Kanter's should start heading in the opposite direction, and I could even foresee a shutdown towards the end of the year in the likely event that the Knicks are far removed from the playoff chase.


Couldn't agree more on Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and especially Jrue Holiday. Rajon Rondo is going to destroy Holiday.


Also, Evan Fournier's current top-15 pace seems wholly unsustainable. We've seen him get off to explosive starts before, only to fade as the year went on, and I think history will repeat itself. Why not try and switch him out now for a proven top-15 contender.



Ryan Knaus (@Knaus_RW)


Evan Fournier has been impressive this season and Orlando's revamped offense is serving him well. That said, there's no way he keeps up his current second-round production, which is bolstered by a scorching October -- 22.0 points (54.5% FGs, 96.0% FTs), 4.3 boards, 3.9 assists and 1.4 steals, while hitting 2.9 triples on 55.6% from deep. Every single one of those numbers has declined in November, but Fournier has still been good enough to keep the 'sell high' window open a while longer.


I'm all for Lou Williams in a sixth-man role with the Clippers, but I'm not buying his production over the past two weeks, with 22.0 points on 45.5% FGs and 91.7% FTs, 3.0 triples, 3.7 boards, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals. Milos Teodosic going down opened up backcourt minutes, and recent injuries to Pat Beverley and Danilo Gallinari have thrust Lou into an even bigger role that can't last. Last year's 42.8% shooting was Sweet Lou's highest mark since 2009-10 and he's never averaged more than 17.5 points in his career, so the other shoe is going to drop eventually.


LaMarcus Aldridge. Two words -- Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs are still being amazingly vague with Kawhi's potential return date, which is why this is the time to deal LA. He's been very good with an efficient 22.0 points per game and it's an easy case to make in roto leagues, since he doesn't hurt you anywhere -- he's even knocking down 0.6 threes per game. That's 28.4% usage will decline when Leonard is healthy, of course, and Aldridge's trade value will drop a few rounds the moment San Antonio pegs a return date for Kawhi.



Mike Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher)


Tyreke Evans - Is he healthy now because he doesn’t play for the Pelicans? His track record suggests he’s not going to be able to keep this up, so I would gladly cash out with a substantial profit for a guy you likely picked up. If you can get a top-60 player, that’d be a solid move.


Evan Fournier - The Magic were running most of their offense through Fournier while Elfrid Payton was out, but the he’s starting to trend down a bit now that Elf is back. Plus, Fournier has really trended down in his efficiency on pick-and-roll scoring. He should still be a mid-round guy, but I’d cash out with a top-40 player. Plus, the Magic offense is slightly trending down overall — I’m buying Aaron Gordon, by the way.


Robert Covington - The Lord is just ridiculous with his 49.5 percent from deep for 3.6 makes. His usage rate hasn’t really dropped off from last season, but it likely will once Markelle Fultz (shoulder) and/or Jerryd Bayless (wrist) come back. RoCo could still be a top-50 player, but I wouldn’t mind cashing out at top 30.


LaMarcus Aldridge - This one is kind of obvious because the Spurs are so banged up, so Kawhi Leonard will take away some usage from him. Plus, he’s on the Spurs and we know how likely it will be for him to get games off late in the year.