I’m pinch-hitting for Dr. A on this edition of Waiver Wired, which is being brought to you from approximately 37,000 feet after 48 hours of yours truly getting bludgeoned senseless by the terrifyingly wonderful city of Las Vegas, NV.
We are soaring into Week 24 — the second-to-last full week of the regular season — in which a mere nine teams have four games. And before we get to the pickups, here’s the quick schedule breakdown:
4 Games: DEN, LAC, LAL, MEM, OKC, ORL, POR, SAC, WAS
3 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOR, PHI, PHO, SAS, TOR, UTA
2 Games: NYK
Now to the waiver wire adds. As a reminder, the number before each player’s name is his games played for the week, and all stats were calculated prior to Saturday night’s games:
4 games — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (47 percent owned in Yahoo leagues): I’m guessing that SGA is long gone in your league, but this is a quick reminder that the rookie is locked in right now and is pretty close to must-start status for Week 24. Gilgeous-Alexander has scored 12 or more points in 10 of his last 11 games, putting up 14.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.3 spg and 1.5 3s, and shooting 54.6 percent from the field during that run — with just 1.3 turnovers a game.
4 — D.J. Augustin (47 percent): Augustin averaged 16.5 ppg and 7.5 apg during Orlando’s two-game week, which is right on par with his recent numbers (last five games: 16.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 7.6 apg, 1.0 spg and 1.8 3s on 48.3 percent from the field and 13-of-13 from the line). Augustin is playing way over his head at the moment, but he’s doing so at the right time, and the reward for fantasy owners who added him or pick him up now is a four-game week.
3 — Tyus Jones (27 percent): Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose are both done for the year, so Jones — as we’ve been anticipating for a while — is closing out the year with very little competition at PG for Minnesota. Despite a scoreless dud a few games ago, he's averaging 10.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 6.2 apg, 1.2 spg and 0.6 3s in his last five heading into Saturday, and should primarily be added onto fantasy squads that need a boost in steals and dimes.
4 — Delon Wright (24 percent): Wright is pure butter when he gets a start for Mike Conley (his 12-7-8 stat line from Friday being the latest example), but on a four-game week for Memphis, he’s worth serious consideration even with Conley on the court. Over his last eight games, Wright is averaging 12.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.6 bpg and 0.5 3s in 32 minutes a game.
2 — Emmanuel Mudiay (26 percent): The Knicks have a number of waiver wire players who have made some noise recently, including Mudiay, Kevin Knox and even Mario Hezonja. However, given the two-game week, I can’t really endorse any of them that wholeheartedly. If you do find yourself adding a Knick, make it Mudiay, who’s cruising right now with Dennis Smith Jr. out due to a back injury, putting up 17.7 ppg, 4.3 apg and 1.8 3s over his last six games.
4 — Monte Morris (16 percent): Monte is more of a deep-league option at the moment, having settled into a low-volume but relatively productive bench role, with 11.0 ppg, 3.6 apg, 1.0 spg and 1.7 3s (in 25 minutes a game) over his last seven.
4 — Landry Shamet (12 percent): Shamet has multiple 3s in 10 straight games for the Clippers, and has hit double digits in eight of those 10, posting 12.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.3 apg, 0.3 spg and 3.4 3s during that run. He’s a points and 3s guy almost exclusively, but he is pointsing and 3s’ing pretty effectively right now, so I’m not afraid to start him if I can live without rebounds, assists and steals from that lineup spot.
3 — Ish Smith (10 percent): Ish has played exactly 24 minutes in three straight games, with 10.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 5.7 apg and 1.7 spg. In a deeper league, there’s some logic behind taking a swing on him for steals and assists.
3 — Frank Jackson (9 percent): F-Jax has scored 13 or more points in eight consecutive games for NOLA, averaging 16.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 1.8 3s during that span. That stat line is okay if you’re just looking for points and 3s, and it is worth noting that he had back-to-back games of four assists on Monday and Wednesday. If Jackson can continue getting a handful of assists, it would be a welcome addition to a relatively limited arsenal — per-36 minutes, he’s at 14.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.1 bpg and 1.6 3s on the season.
3 — Brandon Knight (3 percent): Matthew Delladeova has been sidelined for a couple weeks due to a concussion, giving Knight some elevated value lately. He had an off game on Friday (seven points in 20 minutes), but is still churning out 11.4 ppg, 3.1 apg, 1.1 spg and 1.6 3s on 46.3 percent from the floor over his last eight games.
4 — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (42 percent): KCP also had a bad game on Friday night — 7 points on 1-of-6 shooting — but he still played 33 minutes for the out-of-contention Lakers, and has put up 17.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.3 spg, 0.5 bpg and 3.2 3s (47.8 FG / 94.7 FT) over his last six. On a four-game week, I would not hesitate to light the KCP candle.
4 — Alex Caruso (12 percent): Out of nowhere (and so it goes in March), Caruso has double-digit points in four of his last five, and combined numbers of 11.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.0 spg, 0.8 bpg and 1.2 3s. Caruso is only shooting 37.5 percent, but he’s taking just eight attempts, and is shooting 88.0 percent on free throws on 5.0 attempts per game during this run. If I miss out on KCP, I’m happily gambling on four glorious games of Caruso during the upcoming week.
4 — Seth Curry (3 percent): All indications are that we won’t see C.J. McCollum (knee) again during the regular season, and Curry has back-to-back games of 11 and 20 points, with seven 3-pointers. Before you commit to him for Week 24, I'd check back to see what he did on Saturday night.
3 — Wayne Ellington (36 percent): Ellington is a points/3s guy in the purest (most limited) sense, but he’s been consistent lately (double digits in 11 of his last 13), and is hot at the moment, with back-to-back games of 25 and 23 points. His overall numbers the last 13: 12.5 ppg, 1.1 spg and 3.3 3s, but… you have to live with pretty ghastly numbers in boards and assists: 1.6 rebounds and 1.3 dimes, to be exact. Combine that with a three-game week, and my excitement level on Ellington is about a 5.3 out of 10.
3 — Pat Connaughton (6 percent): Malcolm Brogdon is not expected back during the regular season, and Sgt. Connaughton is straight-up balling. Getting 28 minutes a night over his last seven, the former second-round pick has averaged 10.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 0.6 spg and 2.1 3s, with a FG percentage of 56.0 percent. He also has exactly four dimes in three consecutive games, and is getting 33 minutes in those games — with 10.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 4.0 apg, 0.7 spg and 1.7 3s — so if anything, his role is actually growing.
4 — Troy Brown (2 percent): Trevor Ariza is out with a groin injury, and as a 33-year-old veteran on a 30-43 team, he’s not likely to be rushed back — if he returns at all. Enter 19-year-old Troy Brown, the Wizards’ No. 15 overall pick, who has posted 11.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 0.5 spg and 0.5 3s in 31 minutes a game over his last two. It would be nice to see more in the way of 3s and steals, but the convergence of opportunity, schedule and availability in fantasy leagues makes Brown a very notable name heading into Week 24.
3 — Josh Okogie (11 percent): The rookie from Ga. Tech was working on three straight double-digit games heading into Saturday evening, with 16.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.7 bpg and 2.0 3s on 55.9 percent shooting during this mini hot streak. I can’t say I really trust Okogie to keep scoring, but his potential for steals, blocks and 3s makes me more inclined to take a chance on him than a hollow points and 3s guy like Ellington. And speaking of hollow points/3s guys…
4 — Rodney Hood (10 percent): I shudder at the thought of trusting Hood at such a crucial juncture of the season, but I feel obligated to tell you that he has scored 17, 13, 11 and eight points in his last four games (12.3 ppg), with 1.5 3s on 50.0 percent shooting in 26 minutes a game. The rest of his stat line has been pretty atrocious lately (1.8 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.3 spg), so please don’t do this unless you have to.
3 — Langston Galloway (9 percent): More points and 3s. Galloway has posted 12.7 ppg and 2.9 3s on 52.9 percent shooting in his last nine, and I would list him ahead of Hood if he had four games instead of three.