Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Patience with Tyler Herro? Deal Ricky Rubio for Robert Covington?

We are still less than a month into the NBA season, but there have been no shortage of injuries. Not just minor injuries, either. We've already seen several instances in which early-round Fantasy picks are slated to miss weeks, if not months.

As Fantasy managers scramble to adjust their squads, help can be found either on the waiver wire or via trades. Let's dive into some of the questions you sent in this week, with several focused around potential deals.

As always, if you have a question that you'd like answered in next week's column, reach out to me on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

Would you trade Wendell Carter Jr. for Montrezl Harrell or Tristan Thompson? - @vznarry

If you want to look at the bright side to all of the Bulls losing the last few seasons, it's that they've been able to build a young core using their high draft picks. Carter was selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 draft with the hopes that he'd be able to lock down the center position for them for years to come. Unfortunately, he only played 44 games during his rookie campaign due to injuries. He showed promise when healthy, averaging 10.3 points, seven rebounds and 1.3 blocks across 25 minutes per game.

Carter has come on strong out of the gate, averaging 13.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks a night. He's also shooting a stellar 58.8 percent from the field, although his 63.8 percent shooting from the charity stripe leaves a lot to be desired. If you need rebounds, I'd hold onto him over Harrell. Harrell is averaging 19.8 points per game, but he might not be able to sustain his 23.8 percent usage rate once Paul George returns.

To me, this comes down to Carter or Thompson. Carter might be the shiny new toy, but I'll give the edge to Thompson. He's basically a walking double-double who consistently shoots for a high percentage. He's even averaging what would be a career-high 1.4 blocks a night. The Cavaliers don't seem inclined to give Larry Nance Jr. extended run, which has enabled Thompson to average 34 minutes a night.

Would you trade Malcolm Brogdon and Tobias Harris for Pascal Siakam and Montrezl Harrell? - @WESYAP

No shortage of big names here. In general, I think Brogdon is a good sell-high candidate. His numbers are off the charts, including his 27.4 percent usage rate. However, the Pacers have played most of the season without Victor Oladipo (knee) and Myles Turner (ankle), while Jeremy Lamb (ankle) has also missed some time. Once Oladipo and Lamb are both back on board, expect Brogdon to at least see somewhat of a decline in production.

Looking at the four players involved here, this really comes down to which statistical areas your team is lacking. If you need assists and 3-pointers, I would not make the trade. If you need rebounds, acquiring both Siakam and Harrell is a reasonable return. Siakam has really taken his game to the next level with Kawhi Leonard gone, averaging 26.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.1 3-pointers per contest. Not only that, but he's shooting a stellar 85.2 percent from the free-throw line.

Should I be patient with Tyler Herro and Robert Covington? - @pedroreydoleo

I'm much more inclined to be patient with Covington than I am Herro. While he might not provide a ton of points or rebounds, Covington has averaged at least two 3-pointers and 1.4 steals in five straight seasons. Last year he was particularly effective on the defensive end with averages of 2.1 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. The problem is that he's only averaging 26 minutes per game out of the gate. Still, he's managed to record 1.9 3's, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks a night.

The cause for concern with Herro is that as the Heat get healthy, he may start to lose playing time -- or at least see a decline in usage rate. He doesn't have the defensive-stats upside that Covington does, either. I'd hold onto him, too, if you can, but if you're forced to make a difficult roster decision based on injuries, dropping Herro isn't a crazy idea.

Would you trade Ricky Rubio for Robert Covington? Can I trust Rubio's strong season will continue? I have a lot of point guards on my team. - @ajalonzo9

Not a chance I'd make that trade. I'm a big proponent of Rubio and love that he joined the Suns this offseason. While his scoring numbers weren't bad during his two seasons with the Jazz, his assists dropped off significantly to 5.3 and 6.1 per game, respectively. Before coming to Utah, he'd averaged at least 7.3 assists in every season of his career. 

Part of the reason for Rubio's decline in assists was that the Jazz played at a slower pace, but it's also because he experienced a reduction in playing time. With the Suns in desperate need of a point guard, he's averaged 33 minutes per game through nine contests. As a result, his assists have jumped back up to 8.8 per game. That not only ranks third in the league, but he's also one of only six players to average at least eight dimes a night.

Another benefit of Rubio's increased playing time is that he's averaging 1.6 steals per game. On the flip side, he does generate a lot of turnovers and has never shot higher than 41.8 percent from the field. If you are deep at point guard, then it's not a bad idea to explore trade options. However, you should shoot for a higher return than Covington.

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