By Matt Rochinski
February 19, 2013
With the NBA trade deadline approaching on February 21, decisions also need to be made in fantasy basketball leagues, as many leagues will allow until the end of the week to make final decisions on your roster. So who should you be targeting here in Charlotte? Well, getting Kemba Walker, Ramon Sessions or Byron Mullens would be solid additions, but you’re probably going to have to pay a hefty price to get one of these guys as they’re no longer fantasy sleepers with the Cats.
My advice – try to get your hands on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Why? MKG’s fantasy value has dropped significantly in many leagues after not hitting in double digits in 13 games before the break. But his value isn’t only as a scorer in fantasy leagues. MKG gets it done all over the court with averages of 9.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.00 block and 0.80 steals. He’s coming off an eight-point, four-rebound and three-assist performance at the Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star weekend and looked comfortable on the court with some of the league’s top rookies and sophomores. This could be your chance to buy low on MKG in your fantasy league and get a nice addition to your squad coming out of the break.
The Magic have re-built their squad in 2012-13, and while most of the attention has been on the impressive play of Arron Afflalo and Nikola Vucevic in their new uniforms, rookie Andrew Nicholson could be available much cheaper in your fantasy league. The Magic’s rookie big man averaged 12.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists while shooting 60.0 percent from the field in his last five games heading into the All-Star break, including four starts. Nicholson should continue to get his share of playing time in Orlando, and could be a solid piece to building your fantasy squad.
With the Pistons in town, have your eye on one of their most recent additions, point guard Jose Calderon, who came to Detroit via the Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors deal that sent Rudy Gay to Toronto. Since joining the Pistons, Calderon has put up impressive numbers in the Motor City, averaging 15.0 points, 7.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.70 steals in five games while shooting 56.9 percent from the field and 55.2 percent from long range. If you’re looking to add a point guard and don’t want to lose one of your stars, you should be able to put together a deal for Calderon and hope his string of hot play continues with the Pistons.
Who could be available on the Bulls for you? With Derrick Rose’s return in question in Chicago, trying to land Nate Robinson isn’t a bad idea if you don’t have to give up a lot to get him. Robinson has filled in nicely for the Bulls and is quietly having an impressive fantasy season with averages of 12.0 points, 4.2 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.10 steals in 52 games, including 12 starts, for the Bulls. He’s playing his best basketball in February, posting 15.6 points, 8.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.70 steals through seven starts.
Finally, test the waters on obtaining JaVale McGee in Denver. He’s had a disappointing season by many fantasy owners’ standards with just 10.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.00 blocks with the Nuggets this season. But look at his last five games before the break, and it could be a sign things are turning around for McGee. He scored in double-digits in three of the Nuggets last five games, and had a 16-rebound game on February 10 in Boston. Many owners might be ready to throw the towel in on McGee’s fantasy season, but it may benefit your squad to be there to catch it.