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Wired: Top Pickups for Week 18

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Wired: Top Pickups for Week 18
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Dr. A is back for Week 18's Waiver Wired, as the season starts to wind down. Is it Ben McLemore  …

Games Played for Week 18

4 Games: CHI, CLE, DAL, GSW, IND, NOP, NYK, ORL, PHI, PHX, UTA

3 Games: ATL, BOS, BRK, DEN, DET, HOU, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIL, OKC, POR, SAC, SAN, TOR, WAS

2 Games: CHA, MIA, MIN

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Update: Nene injured his left knee on Sunday night and will have an MRI. Kevin Seraphin picked up his minutes, while Trevor Booker would also see a boost if Nene misses time. 

Guards

Brian Roberts NOP – Roberts should be owned until Jrue Holiday is back in action, and we simply don’t know when that will be. Roberts has been playing well, averaging 14.4 points, 4.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five.

Tim Hardaway Jr. NYK – He’s averaging 34.6 minutes, 13.6 points and 2.4 3-pointers over his last five games, and the Knicks simply have to play him.

Patty Mills SAN – Mills went 2-of-14 and 0-for-6 from downtown on Friday, but had been pretty amazing in his prior three games, scoring between 16 and 29 points. All bets are off once Tony Parker is back, but Mills has earned minutes for Gregg Popovich.

Kyle Singler DET – Singler cooled off on Saturday with seven points, but also had five boards, three steals and a 3-pointer, and had scored in double figures in eight straight games prior to that one. He’s getting crazy minutes and starting, making him look like nearly a must-own player.

Ben McLemore SAC- This one is more of a prospective add now that Marcus Thornton is out of the way. Mac may get it going, or could struggle the rest of the way, but he did play 27 minutes on Saturday and he simply has to put up some numbers if he’s getting 30 minutes a night.

Tony Wroten PHI – The Sixers dealt Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes at the deadline and Wroten could see a boost. He had 21 points on Friday and should see heavy minutes the rest of the way. Just beware of the free throw shooting, which is at just 62 percent on the season.

Will Bynum DET – Bynum has been getting a lot of fourth-quarter minutes with Brandon Jennings struggling and has put together a surprising five-game run. He’s averaging 12.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 6.6 assists over his last five, and while I don’t have confidence in it lasting, he is clearly the No. 2 point guard in Detroit. Just don’t expect many threes or steals if you pick him up.

Marcus Thornton BRK – Thornton is hoping to make his Nets debut on Sunday, and while he’s done nothing thus far, there’s a decent chance that he could replace Shaun Livingston in the starting lineup and catch fire. He’s not a must-own just yet, but if he does start for the Nets and pulls off a big game, I think he should quickly be grabbed.

Jarrett Jack CLE – Jack still isn’t shooting the ball well, but he is starting and playing heavy minutes for the Cavs. And over his last four games he’s averaging 8.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.75 3-pointers, but has hit just 11-of-32 shots over that stretch. If the shots start falling, Jack is going to be fun to own, which I think I’ve been saying since Halloween. He also got off to a quick start on Sunday, as I was writing this.

Shelvin Mack ATL – Mack has played very well when Jeff Teague has missed time, and given Teague’s struggles, Mack could continue to see minutes. He might be worth a handcuff for Teague owners in deeper leagues, but is more of a daily spot-start guy than someone you want to hold in standard leagues.

Forwards

James Anderson PHI – We are expecting big things from Anderson, who has played 39, 30 and 37 minutes in each of his last three games. He’s averaging 11 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.7 3-pointers over that stretch. And with Evan Turner in Indy, Anderson has a real chance to blow up right now. I’m in favor of holding him in all leagues.

Shawn Marion & Vince Carter DAL – Marion is suddenly hot after going for 7 & 7, 22 & 7 and 10 & 11 points and rebounds in each of his last three games, while Carter is averaging 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five. Both guys should be owned in most leagues.

Caron Butler MIL – Butler went nuts with 21 points, seven rebounds and seven 3-pointers in his return from a high ankle sprain on Tuesday, and then had 17 points and a full stat line on Thursday. And just as we were all ready to jump on the bandwagon and ride it to the end, Butler sat out Saturday’s game with ankle soreness. IF he can get and stay healthy he could be a very astute pick up, but he plays for the Bucks and is no spring chicken. Chances are he’ll let you down in the end, but if you’re in a deeper league and have room, adding him makes sense, even though he’s iffy for Monday.

Kent Bazemore LAL – Bazemore came out of nowhere on Friday to explode for 15 points, three rebounds, four assists, two steals and two 3-pointers on 5-of-10 shooting in 30 minutes. And then it was announced he’ll start on Sunday over Ryan Kelly. Bazemore may be the long shot of long shots, but I’m using him in a daily league on Sunday and might even pick him up if things go well in that one. Good ol’ Mr. D’Antoni. Perhaps no player on this list is as intriguing as Bazemore.

Josh McRoberts CHA – I haven’t checked, but McBob might have 100 percent attendance in this column this year. He’s still only owned in 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues, despite averaging 12.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.8 blocks and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s good for one dud game per week, but has generally been solid in three out of every four he’s played this season.

Matt Barnes LAC – I’ve been pimping Barnes for some time now, but he hadn’t really lived up to the hype. That changed recently, as he’s averaging 19.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 4.5 3-pointers over his last two games. While he looks like a guy to pick up right now, that could all change in a hurry if the Clippers end up landing Danny Granger, as he could steal his job. But for now Barnes looks like a nice add.

Markieff Morris PHX – Morris is suddenly hot again and perhaps no player has been as randomly hot and cold this season. After failing to score on Saturday, Feb. 8, Morris has been rolling, averaging 16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.75 steals and 1.25 blocks over his last four games. And over his last two, he’s hit 15-of-22 shots. He’ll cool off again at some point, but for now, he’s feeling it.

Mike Scott ATL – Paul Millsap is dealing with a knee injury and Scott got hot on Friday and Saturday, scoring 20 and 30 points on 20-of-30 shooting. He also hit eight 3-pointers and averaged 6.5 rebounds in those two games. Of course, all bets are off when Millsap is back, but even when it happens, Scott has played well enough this season to be held in most leagues.

Chase Budinger MIN – Budinger’s run will likely come to an end once Kevin Martin is back, but he’s averaging 12.8 points, 3.8 boards, 1.0 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five games. Kev-Mart will be re-evaluated on Monday, so Bud’s trip back to the bench could be happening soon.

Dante Cunningham MIN – Nikola Pekovic still isn’t back from his Achilles injury, while Ronny Turiaf is out indefinitely with an ankle injury. Enter Cunningham, the last stop at center for the Wolves, not counting Kevin Love. Cunningham is averaging 10.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks over his last two games. Pekovic could return any day now, but with Turiaf out, Cunningham should continue to see solid minutes for the next few weeks.

Carl Landry SAC – This is another speculative add, as it sounds like the Kings may be ready to have Landry start over Jason Thompson. Over his last two games he’s averaging 23 minutes, 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds, hitting 8-of-13 shots. And even if he simply joins a timeshare with Thompson, it’s worth noting that Thompson’s value is about to take a fairly serious hit.

Danny Granger Free Agent – I still think Granger is going to be bought out and become a free agent, and he will then be free to sign with a contender. And if he lands in the right spot, like with the Clippers, he could finish the season on a high note. Just keep an eye on the situation to see where he ends up. And if he stays in Philly, he could put up some nice numbers there, as well.

Centers

Enes Kanter UTA – Derrick Favors double-hip injury has been a disaster, and Kanter has taken full advantage, racking up 17.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks over his last five games. And I am still holding out hope that the Jazz will bench Marvin Williams, slide Favors over to PF and let Kanter start at C.

Jonas Valanciunas TOR – If a frustrated owner dumped him, Valanciunas still has a chance to finish up strong. After going for two points and two rebounds on Wednesday, he had 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks on Friday.  Yep, that’s JV in a nutshell.

Byron Mullens PHI – We have yet to see Mullens play, but he looks like the best big man left standing in Philly. He can score, board and hit threes, and is good for the occasional block and steal. If you’re desperate for a big man, he’s worth a speculative add.

Samuel Dalembert DAL – Sammy D went off for 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks on Saturday night, but he’s not all that trustworthy. But as far as centers go in Dallas, he’s the best of the bunch. He’s averaging 6.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks over his last five.

Kelly Olynyk BOS – Jared Sullinger is the center to own in Boston, but he’s dealing with a concussion. Olynyk has had some big double-doubles recently, but has cooled off over his last three games. He’s averaging 8.8 points and 7.6 rebounds over his last five games. Kris Humphries is also getting some run at center with Sullinger out, and had 19 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals on Saturday, but I don’t really trust him.

Elton Brand ATL - Brand is averaging a whopping 34 minutes per game over his last four games and played a season-high 43 of them on Saturday. How he managed just one points, six rebounds and three blocks in that kind of run is beyond me, but as long as Pero Antic remains out, Brand is going to be worth a look. He’s averaging 8.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in his last five.

Kyle O’Quinn ORL – O’Quinn’s another speculative add since he’ll get more run after the Glen Davis buyout, and is averaging 4.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his last five games. Those numbers could be going up, but I’m staying away, as I just don’t see O’Quinn scoring more than four to six points on any given night. 

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