Jonas Nader

Basketball Daily Dose

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Mirotic to NOP, Monroe next?

Friday, February 2, 2018


Nikola Mirotic escaped from the clutches of Bobby Portis and joined the Pelicans, Greg Monroe could follow him to New Orleans and Blake Griffin looked like a superstar in his Detroit debut. We did get some bad news on Thursday though, as Malcolm Brogdon picked up a potentially serious quad injury and Giannis Antetokounmpo tweaked his ankle. For NBA news and fantasy advice, find me on Twitter here!


Pelicans frontrunners for Greg Monroe?

 

The Suns agreed to a buyout with Greg Monroe on Wednesday night, but didn’t officially waive him until Thursday night — that means he’ll clear waivers 48 hours later (on Saturday night). Assuming nobody absorbs his bloated expiring contract, Monroe will become a free agent and can sign with any team of his choice. So far, we’ve heard of interest from the Pelicans, Celtics, Wizards and Spurs, but I’d expect to hear about a few more potential teams on Friday morning. As of right now, the Pelicans are the favorites with Boston close behind, but it’s clear that he only has interest in joining a playoff-bound team. 

 

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has already talked with Monroe and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported they have gathered "significant momentum in pursuit” of the impending free agent. In terms of fantasy value, it seems like the community is split as to whether or not he can be an impact player, but I think the answer hinges on where he lands. For now, it sure seems like the Pelicans are the likely landing spot and that makes a ton of sense — he could immediately step in as the starting center in place of the injured DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) and it’s worth noting that he’s actually from New Orleans. 

 

Monroe has career per-36 minute averages of 17.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks on 51.4% shooting from the field and 70.4% from the line, and while it’s not reasonable to expect him to play 36 minutes in New Orleans or anywhere, this just goes to show that he does have some nice upside. If he can carve out a role of about 25 minutes per game, Monroe will offer mid-round upside and at least we know he’ll play every single night unlike his tenure with the Suns. I’m adding him everywhere while we see how this plays out. 

 

Editor's Note: The NBA Season Pass is up and running. Get weekly projections, rankings, the popular Pickups of the Day column, exclusive columns and customizable stat options. It's the extra tool that can take your fantasy basketball teams to the next level.

 

 

Bulls finally trade Nikola Mirotic

 

The Bulls and Pelicans were close to a deal for Nikola Mirotic back on Tuesday, but finally finalized the deal on Thursday afternoon. The Pelicans sent Chicago a 2018 first-round pick with "minimal" protections in addition to Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson and Omer Asik, while Chicago sent Mirotic the other way. The Pelicans also guaranteed Mirotic’s $12.5M option for 2018-19, meaning this trade isn’t simply a one-season rental. 

 

Even with the Pelicans expected to bring in Greg Monroe, I love the fit for Mirotic. Mirotic hasn’t played any small forward in his last two seasons, but I could still see him carving out a role in the 24-30 minute range even if you include Monroe. Here’s my best guess as to how the Pelicans will divide the frontcourt minutes:

 

Center: Monroe 28, Davis 20

 

PF: Davis 16, Mirotic 26, Dante Cunningham 6

 

It’s also possible the Pelicans run with a 3-man rotation in the frontcourt, but we all know how much Alvin Gentry loves him some Cunningham (he has the worst offensive rating on the team and has scored in double digits four times in 49 appearances). Mirotic was the 44th best player in standard 9-category leagues in just 24.9 minutes per game with the Bulls, averaging 16.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.8 triples per game. I still think he’ll be a top-75 player in New Orleans with similar upside, so make sure he’s not sitting on your waiver wire because there’s a good chance his owner dumped him since he was supposed to sit out this whole week until the Bulls moved him. 

 

As for the rest of the guys involved in the deal, Omer Asik is about as appealing as warm milk on a hot summer day, Jameer Nelson will be buried on the depth chart and Tony Allen is being held together by duct tape at the moment and is expected to be waived. 

 

 

Blake Griffin makes Detroit debut

 

Blake Griffin made his first appearance as a Detroit Piston in front of 23 home fans on Thursday and had instant chemistry with his teammates, scoring 24 points with 10 rebounds, two blocks, no turnovers and one 3-pointer in 35 minutes. As expected, he was the go-to option on offense and there are better things to come because Griffin admitted that they only ran four plays on the offensive end since he literally just arrived. The Pistons are two losses behind the No. 8 seed in Philly and own a top-4 protected first-round pick, meaning they basically have no choice but to make an all-out push for the playoffs. This is great news for his fantasy outlook, as he could’ve been a shut-down candidate if he remained in Los Angeles because it’s clear they are looking to rebuild. As long as BG stays healthy, he could be an early-round guy the rest of the way. 

 

 

Injuries from Thursday

 

Malcolm Brogdon was the unlucky one on Thursday, leaving the game with what the Bucks are calling a left quad tendon strain. He was helped off the floor and the Bucks wasted no time ruling him out. After the game, he left the locker room on crutches and had his left leg in a stabilizing cast. According to Matt Velazquez of the Journal Sentinel, Brogdon will undergo tests on Friday. If the tests reveal that his tendon is partially or completely torn (or something more severe), Velazquez added that he “could miss significant time.” With Eric Bledsoe still nursing an ankle injury, Matthew Dellavedova could become relevant in deeper leagues for his assists, steals and 3-point shooting. I’d hold off on adding him, though. 

 

 

Just when you thought Milwaukee’s luck couldn’t get any worse, Giannis Antetokounmpo turned his left ankle in the fourth quarter and said after the game that he had trouble putting weight on it. He said he’ll see how he feels in the morning, but consider him questionable for Friday’s game vs. the Knicks. For what it’s worth, I didn’t think it looked too bad. At least the Bucks are getting Jabari Parker back on Friday, but he'll only play about 15 minutes. 

 

 

On The Radar:

 

*These are players that you should consider adding/watching, depending on your league size

 

Andrew Harrison- I was watching this game like a hawk, mainly because of Wayne Selden, but Harrison really caught my eye and is someone to consider if you need a point guard. Mario Chalmers is currently injured and could be traded or bought out, Mike Conley (Achilles) isn’t playing again this season and it sounds like Tyreke Evans has played his last game in Memphis. Maybe Kobi Simmons emerges at some point, but right now Harrison is running away with the job. He had 18 points with four rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes on Thursday and is putting up a solid 12.6 points, 3.2 boards, 5.8 assists, 0.4 steals and 0.8 treys over his last five outings. 

 

Wayne Selden- He had nowhere to go but down after his 24-point effort on Wednesday with six triples. The Pistons limited him to seven points on Thursday with two rebounds, three assists and one 3-pointer in 31 minutes, but there were still some positives to take away from the game — he got some point guard minutes again and played 31 minutes which means he’s now played 30+ minutes in four straight games. The Grizzlies are going to take a long look at him down the stretch and he looks like a nice pickup in addition to Harrison.

 

Dillon Brooks- I like Selden a bit more, but Brooks is another interesting name to watch in Memphis. Chandler Parsons makes Derrick Rose look durable and doesn’t have a timetable to return, so Brooks is looking at heavy minutes in Memphis. He had 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and two triples in 32 minutes vs. the Pistons and is now averaging 12.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.8 triples in 32.6 minutes over his last five games. He’s more of a deep-league asset and I’d rather take a flier on the two guys above. 

 

Deyonta Davis- He’s still purely a stash, but made some noise on Thursday with 12 points, eight rebounds, one assist and one block in just 15 minutes. There’s a really good chance that Marc Gasol follows Tyreke Evans out of Memphis at the Feb. 8 trade deadline, meaning Davis would be the next man up at center. He has per-36 minute averages of 14.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.9 blocks. 

 

Reggie Bullock- He’s a little more valuable than Wayne Selden right now, but maybe that changes if the Grizzlies blow their roster up at the deadline. Bullock is starting these days for the Pistons and has been sneaky good. He had 15 points on Thursday with a pair of rebounds and triples in 35 minutes, and he has seventh-round value in standard leagues over the past two weeks with 13.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 3.0 triples. 

 

Stanley Johnson- He was coming off a monster game on Tuesday with a career-high 26 points with 10 rebounds, four dimes, two steals, one triple and a block in 40 minutes, but obviously saw a dip in value with Blake Griffin in the starting lineup on Thursday. He still started and played 36 minutes, finishing with 14 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal and two 3-pointers. I’ll take that line every day of the week and it’s worth noting that Stan Van Gundy said one of the reasons why he made the trade was to open things up for Johnson and Bullock. 

 

Dejounte Murray- If you’re in a competitive league, he was plucked off the wire weeks ago. He’s the best fantasy asset on this list and had another solid game on Thursday with six points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three triples, his 9th game of the season with 10+ rebounds. 

 

Gerald Green- He stepped up for an injured Eric Gordon, scoring 15 points on 4-of-13 shooting with five boards, one steal and three triples in 30 minutes. He basically slid right into Gordon’s role, but he could fall completely out of the rotation as soon as Gordon is back — he’s considered day-to-day. 

 

Tomas Satoransky- He had 10 points with three rebounds, four assists, two steals and three turnovers in 28 minutes against the Raptors on Thursday and has been filling in admirably for John Wall (knee). Wall is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, Tim Frazier has been a ghost and the Wizards are expected to stand pat at the deadline instead of pursuing a guard like a Lou Williams or a Tyreke Evans. That means this is Satoransky’s job to lose. In his last three games without Wall, he’s averaging 8.3 points, 4.7 boards, 5.7 dimes, 1.3 steals and 1.0 treys.




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