By Gabe Allen, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports
With only two and a half weeks remaining in the NBA regular season, fantasy leagues are in their final stages. At no other point in the campaign is there such little competition for player pickups on the waiver wire. For one reason or another (injuries, late-season tanking, etc.), there are also plenty of intriguing options at this time of the year. As such, someone I’ve endorsed should be available in most formats.
Continuing my recent format, I’ve split my suggested adds into two categories. The first category highlights players who should be available in shallow leagues, while the second category features widely available players for standard or deep leagues.
Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons (40% rostered)
Duren missed Tuesday’s matchup versus Atlanta after suffering a head injury during Sunday’s game against Miami. Before that, he had recorded a double-double in three of his last four outings despite modest minute totals. With four games on the schedule next week, the rookie big man makes for a compelling add in most formats and could deliver impressive stats over the final weeks, especially if he’s afforded a few more minutes.
Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors (36% rostered)
Through the first nine games of March, Kuminga boasts well-rounded averages of 16.1 points (59.6% FG, 50.0% 3PT, 73.7% FT), 4.8 boards, 2.0 dimes, 1.4 treys, 1.2 steals and 0.7 blocks in 25.8 minutes. Moreover, he has scored over 20 points in three of the last six contests. While Kuminga’s shooting percentages are due for some regression soon, and his rebounding leaves a lot to be desired considering his combination of size and athleticism, he has seemingly earned a significant role for the Warriors during the absence of Andrew Wiggins (personal).
Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards (24% rostered)
Kyle Kuzma (ankle) will miss his third straight showing on Friday. Meanwhile, Avdija has stepped up and stuffed the stat sheet in a starting role over the last two games, totaling 31 points, 18 boards, nine dimes, four treys and two steals across 66 minutes. Although he has also been a turnover machine during this recent stretch, coughing up the rock eight times, Avdija is a good bet to keep providing well-rounded production and copious counting stats for as long as Kuzma is sidelined. With the Wizards free-falling out of the playoff picture (2.5 games back of 10th), it’s possible Kuzma won’t be rushed back.
Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers (18% rostered)
Sharpe is coming off a career night in which he went off for 24 points, nine boards, four treys, four swipes and three assists in 40 minutes against the Jazz. With no clear timetable for the returns of Anfernee Simons (foot) and Jerami Grant (quadriceps) and Portland’s playoff hopes dwindling (3.5 games back of 10th), Sharpe could be in store for some more big nights down the stretch. Plus, the Trail Blazers have four games on the schedule next week.
Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves (14% rostered)
It’s rare that a player who just posted 26 points, eight rebounds, two treys and two steals in 26 minutes sees their rostered percentage drop over the next couple of days. But that’s what has happened with Reid (-1% Last Day). Given that Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) rejoined the rotation on Wednesday, it makes sense on the surface. However, Reid has been on a tear for a while, scoring in double figures in 11 of his 12 appearances following the All-Star break.
Theoretically, there shouldn’t be many minutes left over for him on nights when Towns and Rudy Gobert are healthy, but Reid earned his highest minute total in a month on the same night that Towns returned to the lineup. As such, Reid may continue to make an offensive impact off the bench. With four games on Minnesota’s schedule next week, Reid shouldn’t be overlooked, particularly in deep leagues.
Sandro Mamukelashvili, San Antonio Spurs (10% rostered)
Across the last five games, Mamukelashvili has averaged 11.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.2 threes, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks in 25.6 minutes. His underwhelming field-goal percentage may limit his upside outside of points leagues, but Mamukelashvili can contribute across several categories and merits consideration, especially in deep leagues.
Jaden Hardy, Dallas Mavericks (10% rostered)
Hardy has poured in at least 20 points in five of the last six games. Dallas has been without at least one of Luka Doncic or Kyrie Irving (foot) for every game during this recent stretch, and Irving is listed as questionable for Friday’s matchup versus the Hornets. Hardy loses his appeal if both Mavericks’ stars are at full strength for next week’s three-game slate. However, if Irving remains hobbled, Hardy has upside. At least keep an eye on the team’s injury report and put Hardy on your watchlist.
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