Fantasy Forecast: Time To Javelin Javale McGee?
The first round of the fantasy basketball playoffs are now behind us, and while some have moved on, others did not. For those who were able to get to the second round, you need to continue to add/drop players if and when it is needed. One such move comes with Denver Nuggets center, JaVale McGee.
There have been concerns with McGee for some time now, and now it is being said that he was traded from the Wizards to the Nuggets because he is going to demand a salary in the $14 million dollar range in free agency. To put it in perspective, Marc Gasol's deal with Memphis averages out to $14.3 million per season while Nene's deal is worth a flat $13 million per season through 2015-16. And, to top it all off, McGee’s minutes have been on a steady nightly decline since March 23. Sunday night he finished with 2 points and 7 rebounds in just 11 minutes, and the Nuggets were playing a Magic team that was without Dwight Howard.
This is not the time for loyalty, and McGee saw his minutes drop from 27.2 MPG in week 13 to 20.0 in week 14. The trend is there and owners should give some serious consideration to cutting McGee loose for a hot FA like PG Charles Jenkins, or PF/C Tristan Thompson.
Charles Jenkins: Right now Jenkins is getting all the minutes he can handle as the Warriors are without Stephen Curry and Nate Robinson is a sparkplug off the bench. Not only that, the Warriors should be looking to either develop Jenkins or play him in order to pad their draft status. Either way, Jenkins should see 30-plus minutes a night going forward and makes for a sexy FA addition in the playoffs.
Gordon Hayward: In his last three games, Hayward is averaging 17.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks a night. The bad news is that he is flying off waiver wire shelves fast because he is averaging 35.2 MPG over the last 15 days. The good news is that he qualifies at both SG and SF, and was still available in a few of my standard leagues at the time of this article being written, so go check your FA list and snatch him while you can!
Alonzo Gee: Gee is a sneaky waiver wire add (owned in about 36 percent of leagues) because he has played 294 total minutes the last two weeks, and is averaging 11.4 points and 7.6 rebounds a night over that span. He doesn’t shoot well (40.2 percent from the field and 70.0 percent from the free-throw line), but the points and boards are solid for someone on the wire in week 15 of this NBA season.
Kevin Seraphin: Another waiver wire pick, Seraphin is filling in for Trevor Booker, and he is averaging 12.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a night over the last week. The Wizards are already eliminated from the playoffs, so look for the 22-year-old to get minutes down the stretch as development for the future.
Jason Thompson: Thompson is a PF, but he also qualifies at center in fantasy leagues. The reason he is so valuable this week is because the Kings play 5-games and he is sure to see about 30 minutes in each of them. He is a bit of a rollercoaster with his stats, but he is capable of putting up double-doubles and center is such a thin position that he is worth the risk.
Baron Davis: Jeremy Lin is out for the rest of the regular season, which means Baron Davis should see as many minutes as he can handle. The problem is that Davis is at the very end of his playing career and he looks like he is running with two flat tires these days. Let someone else deal with the headache that comes with the Knicks offense, and you go grab Jenkins or even Avery Bradley from the Celtics.
Rodney Stuckey: Despite being owned in some 89 percent of leagues, Stuckey has a Player Rating of -3.50 according to ESPN’s fantasy format. Forgoing all the statistics involved in the player rating system, the higher the number the better, and Stuckey has the 5th lowest rating over the last month for all NBA players! There are far better options on the waiver wire; hamstring injuries have a way of lingering; and, the Pistons are going to be eliminated from the playoffs shortly.
Michael Beasley: Sorry Timberwolves fans, but this is a case where fantasy doesn’t mesh with reality. In the NBA, Beasley is a somewhat important piece of the puzzle for the Wolves and their offensive gameplan. But, in fantasy terms, his 37.0 percent shooting from the field over the last two weeks (largely due to a toe injury that has him missing time and is sure to linger) and lack of scoring (39 total points in two weeks) is killing your chances at taking home a fantasy title. It is time to cut him loose and grab a FA like Hayward or Gee.
Antawn Jamison: Jamison is owned in virtually all fantasy leagues, yet he is in the middle of a slump that has him averaging 12.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and shooting 33.8 percent from the field and 70.0 percent from the free-throw line over the last two weeks. The Cavaliers don’t have a lot of options, so Jamison is going to be on the floor to finish out the season. The problem is, it won’t be time well spent for fantasy owners.
JaVale McGee: Just in case you didn’t understand how I feel about McGee from the information above, let me make it clear here: I would cut him if I were you. His minutes are declining, he isn’t impressing the coaching staff, and his role is almost been reduced to a shot blocking rebounder. If you just want him as a one-trick pony for blocks, then he will do that… just don’t expect much more than that from him.
For more Fantasy advice, follow James Morris on Twitter or on Facebook and tune into SiriusXM channel 87 and Sirius channel 210 every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. CT when he talks NBA fantasy hoops.