Fantasy Basketball Week 12 Mailbag: Getting Luka Doncic for this? Drop Kyrie Irving? Deal Domantas Sabonis?
Mike Barner delivers his Fantasy Basketball mailbag to help with lineup decisions and close trade calls.
From big names to guys most people would have never expected to be viable Fantasy options at this point in the season, this week's mailbag column has a little bit of everything.
If you have a question that you'd like answered in next week's column, reach out to me on Twitter @rotomikebarner. Without further ado, let's get to the submissions that came in this week.
In a head-to-head league, should I trade Chris Paul, LaMarcus Aldridge and Victor Oladipo for Luka Doncic and John Collins? -- @adenicola21
I couldn't hit the accept button on this one fast enough. Yes, Paul has played well for the Thunder, averaging 16.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.5 steals. He's even shooting 47 percent from the field, although he has taken nearly two fewer shots per game from behind the arc compared to last season. Aldridge is also an asset with his percentages and has provided reliable production with his averages of 19.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and what would be a career-high 1.9 blocks per contest.
As good as those two have been, Oladipo has still yet to see the floor for the Pacers. He won't be back until the end of January, and I would expect the Pacers to be very cautious with him once he does return. Not only will he likely be on a minutes restriction at first, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him sit out one game of back-to-back sets and have a soft minutes limit for several weeks. The Pacers have plenty of depth at guard and are basically a lock to make the playoffs, so there is no need to rush him.
The key here is getting Doncic, who is threatening to average a triple-double for the season. Not only that, but he's been one of the best offensive players in the league, averaging 29.7 points and 3.1 3-pointers while shooting 47.4 percent from the field. I'd rather have Collins over Aldridge, who has provided similar production with his averages of 18 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. No need to overthink this one. Make the deal.
On a scale of 1-10, how droppable is Kyrie Irving? -- @esveeone
The fact that this is even a question is shocking. Irving seemed poised for a monster season with the Nets, especially with Kevin Durant (Achilles) out. He couldn't have started out much better, averaging 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 2.8 3-pointers across his first 11 games. His usage rate was a whopping 34.1 percent, which was on pace to be the highest mark of his career.
However, things have come crashing down because of his shoulder injury.
He hasn't played a game since the middle of November and there is still no timetable for his return. He recently received a cortisone shot in an effort to avoid surgery, which is reportedly still on the table. If he does, indeed, have surgery, that would likely end his season. I'm not sure I can put a number on it, but if you need production now, I would be OK with dropping Irving in 10- or 12-team leagues.
I just picked up Sekou Doumbouya. If Blake Griffin has surgery and Andre Drummond is traded, does he see at least 30 minutes a night? -- @masonmccaffery
This question was sent in before the news came across that Griffin (knee) has opted for surgery, but I think that makes it worth discussing even more. First of all, who is Doumbouya? He was selected 15th overall in the 2019 draft after playing 39 games for Limoges in France last year. He didn't receive a ton of playing time, averaging 7.2 points and three rebounds across 18 minutes a night. He just turned 19 in December and wasn't expected to play a key role in the Pistons' rotation this season.
With that being said, everything has changed because of injuries. Griffin only playing 18 games has been the big blow. With their 14-24 record, it made sense for him to get himself healthy and have the surgery. Markieff Morris (foot) is also currently injured and there are rumors that Drummond could be dealt. At the very least, I'd expect the Pistons to try and trade Morris. There is no need to have him on a losing team like this.
If they do trade Drummond, they very well could receive a player or two up front who could soak up some minutes. Still, Doumbouya is worth adding in most leagues. Right now, he's only battling Drummond and Christian Wood for playing time, which has enabled him to average 13 points, seven rebounds and 1.3 3-pointers across 33 minutes a night in his last four games.
In a 16-team dynasty league, should I trade Domantas Sabonis for Christian Wood and a 2020 late first-round pick? -- @HunterTenpenny
I think this is a great example of not overreacting to a trade in a dynasty format in which you receive a first-round pick. Even if your team is out of it this season, there is no way I would make this deal. Wood has shown flashes of promise, but he is with his fifth team in the past four seasons. There is no guarantee that he is going to be in a significant role moving forward.
Meanwhile, Sabonis is actually a year younger than Wood. He's proven to be an excellent source for production and is on pace to set career-highs in points (17.8), rebounds (13) and assists (4.2) per game. He's much more of a sure thing than Wood and a late first-round pick isn't all that appealing, in the first place. Keep Sabonis and enjoy him for years to come.
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