With fantasy basketball playoffs in full swing, deals are a bit difficult to pull off – which is a bummer for fantasy owners who are trying to compete for a championship with a less-than-ideal roster. However, that doesn’t mean owners with slipshod rosters in the playoffs have to sit and watch with their hands tied behind their backs. The waiver wires in most leagues are still filled with valuable players who can give you a small boost should you need one.
There are seven NBA teams that each has a league-best 14 games remaining in the regular season: the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. Below is a quick list of one player from each of those squads that should warrant some consideration if you’re looking to shore up your roster during this most-important stretch of your fantasy basketball season.
Celtics: Nenad Krstic has been a surprisingly productive player since he landed with the Celtics. In his 10 games with his new team, Krstic has averaged 12.5 points and 7.1 rebounds, along with 56.1 percent shooting from the field and 73.3 percent shooting from the free-throw line. While these numbers aren’t anything to write home about, they are sufficient to plug in a utility spot should your frontline be ravaged by injuries. He’ll help you with points and rebounds and won’t really hurt you anywhere else. While the ghost of Shaquille O’Neal looms, Krstic should remain a steady big man for owners in need of that kind of help.
Nets: Sasha Vujacic was off to a hot start in March but fell off a bit in his last three games. While he’s not the most appealing option on this list, Vujacic maintains some value in deep leagues thanks to his ability to hit threes. Despite playing 27:18 a night in his 39 games as a member of the Nets, Vujacic was averaging 1.6 threes per game heading into Thursday night. He’s a roller coaster, for sure, but if you’re desperate for threes in a deep league, he might chip in six or seven of them in a week’s time.
Suns: Jared Dudley is fresh off his huge 25-point performance on Wednesday, which included five threes and eight rebounds. This is by no means the norm for Dudley, who remains a backup to Grant Hill and Vince Carter for the Suns. Nevertheless, Dudley’s averages are solid enough to be worth owning in deeper leagues. He’ll average around 10+ points, 1+ threes and nearly a steal a game. However, should Carter or Hill miss any time during this last stretch of the season, it’s worth noting that in four starts this season, Dudley is averaging 17 points, 5.8 rebounds, two assists, 1.5 steals and 2.5 threes. Remember this if a starting gig opens up for Dudley during your playoff period.
Kings: Francisco Garcia is having a nice month so far, averaging 13 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.7 threes, while also shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and 93.8 percent from the free-throw line in seven games. The starting small-forward job looks to be safely his. If Tyreke Evans returns late next week, he’ll take some touches and shots away from Garcia, but not to a detrimental extent. Garcia’s only limited by his own health. If you have dead weight on your roster, this guy should be on your short list of replacement candidates.
Wizards: Jordan Crawford has made some noise in his last four games, during which he’s averaged 19.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and a three-pointer. With the Wizards’ season a lost cause, Nick Young struggling with a sore knee and Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis’ questionable to return at all this season, the opportunity for Crawford to assert himself in his team’s offense is wide open. Scoop him up if you can.
Bulls: Kyle Korver is a bit of a one-trick pony – a well-known one at that. Since the beginning of February, Korver is averaging 1.9 threes per game. He also shoots well from the free-throw line, but averages just 1.1 attempts per game this season. To keep a short story short, give Korver a look if your squad needs some help with threes, but don’t expect much else.
Cavaliers: Samardo Samuels has come out of nowhere lately. Heading into Thursday night, Samuels was averaging 14 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in seven games this month. His Achilles heel is his free-throw shooting, where he struggles to shoot with anything above 60 percent accuracy, but if you need a meat-and-potatoes big man who doesn’t need to do much besides score and rebound, Samuels and his strong schedule are worth a look.
Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.
Follow Jason on Twitter at @fbasketballblog.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.