The NBA All-Star break is fast approaching and the NBA trade deadline arrives this week, February 10th. The All-Star Game is on the 20th and games resume on the 23rd. Who knows what trades will transpire this week, if any? The Blazers and the Clippers traded some players, but nada else has happened.
With that in mind let’s look at seven players who are top 100 in fantasy value this season, as well as one rookie who’s been top 50 over the past month. These eight players should retain their fantasy value for the foreseeable future, so they’re worth adding for the rest of the season, as well as for dynasty purposes.
All of these players are available in over 60% of ESPN leagues. All stats and numbers are courtesy of NBA.com, Basketball-Reference.com, and ESPN.com. Thank you!
HERB JONES, NOP, SF/PF, 19% ROSTERED, #54 PLAYER RATER FOR THE SEASON
Young Herb has maintained his fantasy value all season. Since December 1st Jones has averaged 12+ points per game, 4+ rebounds per game, 2+ assists per game, with 1+ steals per game, 1+ blocks per game, 1+ 3-pointer made per game, and 50% shooting from the floor. That’s a delicious combination of counting stats and efficiency. The only players to average 1+ SPG, 1+ BPG, 1+ 3PM, and a 50+ FG% on the season are LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Karl-Anthony Towns. Jones is a top 60 player over the past month, and there’s no reason to think the rookie can’t improve. He’s a must add for this season and for dynasty leagues.
PATTY MILLS, BK, PG, 28% ROSTERED, #77 PR SEASON
And, now James Harden is missing games? Patty Mills continues his career season due to the ongoing absences afflicting Brooklyn’s basketballers. Kyrie Irving didn’t play most of the season, and now only plays on the road. Kevin Durant’s out for awhile, and Joe Harris might be out for the season. Mills has been the one constant for the Nets this year, which was unthinkable before the season began. He’s delivered the fourth most value in 3PM in fantasy, making him an elite specialist, and a must-roster player. He’s averaged 16-2-2 with 1+ SPG and 4 3PM the past two weeks. He’s been a top 75 player for the past month, and he may retain that for the next little while if these Nets don’t get healthy. Adding Mills’s superb 3PM volume stats should allow you to focus on shoring up some other counting stats if you’re planning for the playoffs in your fantasy league.
JARRED VANDERBILT, MIN, PF, 26% ROSTERED, #79 PR SEASON
The Minnesota TimberKATs play four games this week, by the way, making V8 an even better addition. He’s averaged 10-8-1 with 2+ 3PM the past two weeks, which doesn’t seem like much, but! Consider his stats in context: Vanderbilt’s one of only ten players this season to average 9+ RPG and 1+ SPG, and he plays the fewest minutes per game of players on that list. Since January 1st he’s played a few more minutes per game and he’s delivered 9.5 PPG and 9.9 RPG. He’s right goddamn there for double-doubles. He played 36 minutes against Portland recently and recorded 13-13-6 with 2 steals and a block. THAT is what you want on a consistent basis from this player, and if he can start to play 30+ MPG, then I do think that’s the sort of line (perhaps minus the dimes lol) that we can expect from V8. If he starts averaging a double-double WITH defensive stats, do you think his roster rates will go up pretty quickly? Me, too. Invest in him now while he’s cheap, because he could be twice his roster rate sooner than you think. He’s been the 52nd best player in fantasy the past month. Will he end the season as a top 75 player? He’s 22 years old, by the way.
KEVIN LOVE, CLE, PF, 36% ROSTERED, #84 PR SEASON
KLove is NOT 22 years old, not for a nice long spell. However, I don’t know anyone who thought Love could turn back the clock like he has this season. He’s averaged 14-7-2 this season (!) while taking 6+ 3-point attempts per game. Only SEVEN players are doing that this season (!!): LEBRON, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Paul George (who may be done for the year), James Harden, LaMelo Ball, and Kevin Gasp Love! Also, KLove plays the fewest minutes per game of those seven players by ten full minutes: Love plays 22+ MPG, LaMelo plays 32+ MPG. The Renaissanced Man has averaged 17-9-2 with 3 3PM the past two weeks. I mean, I know he comes off the bench, but he’s been an integral player for the astounding Cleveland Cavaliers this season, and I don’t see that stopping anytime soon. If he’s on the wire, add him and roll with him as far as you can. It’s tough to trade for an older player who comes off the bench, but again: look at that list of seven guys above and it’s pretty tempting. If there’s a team in your fantasy league who’s out of the playoffs, and rosters Love, maybe check in and see if you can trade for him on the cheap?
LU DORT, OKC, SG/SF, 32% ROSTERED, #91 PR SEASON
Dort’s running the Thunder until Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returns after the All-Star break, and he’s been a top 75 player the past month. He’s averaged 20-5-2 the past 15 days, with 1+ SPG and 3+ 3PM. Plus, the Thunder play four games this week, making him even more attractive as a player add in fantasy. Lu’s delivered top 100 value all season, and he’s getting more opportunities while SGA is out. No need to overthink this, pick him up if you can and enjoy the counting stats. Good Player + Bad Team = Valuable Fantasy Situation.
CAMERON JOHNSON, PHX, SF, 13% ROSTERED, #93 PR SEASON
Since January 1st 56 players are averaging 6+ 3PA per game. Cam Johnson has the second best field goal percentage of those 56 players (LeBron’s first, which is extraordinary). I will indeed roster that kind of efficiency on my fantasy basketball team. Cam’s got the third best 3PT% in that group of high volume outside shooters, too, just to be clear about his overall scoring efficiency. He’s averaged 14-5-1 with 1 SPG, 3 3PM, and a tidy 50 FG% the past two weeks. Whether he’s coming off the bench or starting, Cam Johnson is getting the minutes in Phoenix. He’s fourth in total minutes played this season for the Suns, and it’s no accident: Johnson’s their best outside shooter, no doubt. He’s been a top 50 player the past two weeks, and if he earned a consistent starter’s role by supplanting Jae Crowder, then Cam’s value could stay top 50 for the rest of the season, he’s been that good. Of all the players in the NBA who average at least 9 shot attempts per game, Johnson has the SIXTH BEST TRUE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE. That kind of efficiency is just sitting there on the wire in most leagues. If he’s available, add him immediately, and consider him a keeper in dynasty leagues. The Suns have four games this week.
MALIK MONK, LAL, SG/SF, 21% ROSTERED, #99 PR SEASON
I’m loving this season for the Mad Monk. He was a player I liked but never found his role in Charlotte. Now as an outside threat on the Lakers the Monk’s meshed with LeBron. Since the start of the new year Monk has the second best 3PT% of players who take 6+ 3PA per game (as mentioned above for Cam). He’s averaged 18-4-3 with 3+ 3PM the past two weeks, and he should have a secure role on this poorly-spaced Lakers team. LeBron needs shooters around him, Sergeant Russell Westbrook needs shooters around him, and Anthony Davis needs shooters around him, ergo: the Lakers best shooter this year, aside from LBJ himself, shall remain in the lineup. That’s Monk. He’s been a top 75 player the past 30 days. He could be a victim of the trade deadline, I suppose, but the last thing the Lakers need is less shooting, yknow? Unless the Lakers get a true 3-D star upgrade, I think Monk’s role is fairly safe.
AYO DOSUNMU, CHI, PG/SG, 21.5% ROSTERED, #35 PR LAST 30 DAYS
The Bulls have four games this week, meaning Ayo has four games worth of assists to accumulate for fantasy teams. Over the past 10 games Dosunmu is dishing as many dimes per game as Ja Morant! He’s averaging 11-3-7 the past two weeks with a steal per game and 1+ 3PM, on 50 FG%! Ayo isn’t looking to score, he’s looking to get the rest of the team going. He’s now listed as the Bulls starting point guard, and with multiple Bulls day to day, or out for months, the rookie’s been tasked with running the offense for the second place team in the East. (Or, at least help DeMar DeChozan run it, natch.) Dosunmu keeps delivering, too: he dished 11 dimes versus the Blazers and 14 against the Pacers. The PPG aren’t there, but he’s providing good ratios, so he’s not hurting your field goal percentage. I’ve added Ayo everywhere I can. Until Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso return, Chicago has to play Dosunmu. That’s a perfect situation for fantasy owners.