Fantasy Basketball Week 6 Mailbag: Too freaky to trade Giannis for this? Drop Draymond?
Mike Barner delivers his Fantasy Basketball mailbag to help with tough lineup decisions and close trade calls.
We have an interesting mix of questions for the mailbag column this week. One of them centers on a potentially big trade involving Giannis Antetokounmpo. If you're in a deep league, I'll also address some potential options that might be worth considering.
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, here are this week's submissions.
Should I trade Giannis Antetokounmpo, Derrick Favors and Willie Cauley-Stein for Jimmy Butler, Domantas Sabonis and Mitchell Robinson? - @skhaann
Let's get right to it with the big Giannis trade. He's been amazing out of the gate with averages of 31.1 points, 13.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.4 3-pointers per game. His usage rate checks in at 36.5 percent, which is the fifth-highest mark in the league. The jump in 3-pointers is big, especially since his field goal percentage hasn't suffered at 56.3 percent. If there is a fly in the ointment, it's that he's shooting only 60.1 percent from the free-throw line. That's a killer considering he is averaging a whopping 11.6 attempts a night.
He's clearly the best player in this trade. Cauley-Stein might become waiver-wide fodder soon with the impending return of Kevon Looney (hamstring) and Favors (back) hasn't been able to stay healthy -- although he has played well when on the floor. As good as Butler and Sabonis have been, I'd still hold onto Giannis. He just provides so much production across multiple areas that it's a huge plus to get all of that out of just one player. I also think he'll improve from the charity stripe based on his career mark of 71.7 percent.
Sabonis' numbers have also been inflated due to all of the injuries on the Pacers. With the team starting to get healthy, it wouldn't be a surprise to see his scoring production decline. Case in point: he's scored 16 points or fewer in three of four games since Myles Turner returned from injury. Victor Oldaipo (knee) could be back within the next month or so, as well.
I can't get anyone to take a trade for Draymond Green. I feel ridiculous just dropping him. What are your suggestions? - @esveeone
There have been few players as disappointing as Green. He was expected to be provide increased production with Kevin Durant gone and Klay Thompson (knee) out for the season, but he's only averaged 8.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. He's shot a dreadful 37.9 percent from the field and has only played in 10 games due to injuries.
I wouldn't drop Green unless you are in the shallowest of leagues. However, this is not the time to try and find a trade partner for him, either. His value is probably at the lowest point that it will be at all season, so keep him on your bench for the time being. If he gets healthy and strings together a few juicy all-around stat lines, starting sending out offers.
What are your thoughts on Dwight Howard's performance to start the season? Do you feel it is sustainable for the entire season with the Lakers having Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee, as well? - @DagelsBagles
The Lakers have made the best of a bad situation at center after DeMarcus Cousins (knee) went down. They took a chance on Howard, who only played nine games in an injury-riddled campaign last season. We weren't sure what to expect from him out of the gate, although with Davis' reported desire not to spend a lot of time at center, there were minutes ripe for the picking.
Howard has basically been in a timeshare with McGee, with the two averaging 20 and 17 minutes per game. While that limits both of their upsides, Howard has still been a viable Fantasy asset with averages of 6.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks a night. If you are only rostering him for rebounds and blocks, I think he can keep this up for the rest of the season. The only concern would be if the Lakers make a trade for a center at the deadline, which is certainly within the realm of possibility.
Who do you like between Joe Ingles, Justin Holiday, Dennis Smith Jr. and Jordan Poole? - @WESYAP
Based on these options, I'm assuming this is a pretty deep league. If you play in 10 or 12 team formats, I'd leave all four of these players on the waiver wire. However, if I'm picking one to take a chance on, it comes down to Ingles or Smith in my eyes.
Right off the bat, I'd rule out Holiday. With the Pacers getting healthy, his playing time and usage will likely be sporadic. Poole is a bit intriguing based on the Warriors' lack of depth, but he's only averaged 7.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists across his last 10 games. He's also been brutal from the field by shooting 27.6 percent during that stretch.
Smith is in a strange spot with the Knicks. He was the headlining player they received in the deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks last year. The initial results were encouraging with him averaging 14.7 points, 5.4 assists and 1.3 steals across 21 games. The key was that he was playing 29 minutes a night. That number has cratered this season to 15 minutes per contest. The team has shifted to Frank Ntilikina as its starting point guard, and the Knicks also have Elfrid Payton (hamstring) as an option when he's healthy. It might take a coaching change for Smith to get more minutes, which is an awfully risky thing to count on. Still, in deep leagues, he's an Ntilikina injury away from playing around 25 minutes a night.
It's crazy to think that Ingles is even in this conversation based on how well he played last season, but a move to the bench has done major damage to his upside. He's only averaging 6.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 3-pointers a night. It will likely take an injury to one of the Jazz's starters for him to see an increase in production, but if that happens, the all-around contributions that he would have the potential to provide could be significant.
SportsLine simulated every NBA game this week 10,000 times to produce Fantasy basketball rankings.
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