The mailbag column has been dominated by trade questions in recent weeks and we have a couple more to discuss this time around. Also, I'll dive into what to do with a veteran player who now finds himself in a new role off the bench.
As always, if you have a question that you'd like answered in next week's column, reach out to me on Twitter @rotomikebarner.
The fact that this is even a question speaks to how unexpectedly awesome Graham has been. He went undrafted in most Fantasy leagues and really didn't have a set role with the Hornets heading into the season. He came off the bench to start out and opened some eyes by averaging 17.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 3.1 3-pointers across the first 10 games. He's been a starter ever since, averaging 20.2 points, four rebounds, 7.3 assists and four 3-pointers in that role. If there is a downside with him, it's that he is shooting only 39.7 percent from the field. Oddly enough, he is actually shooting 40.9 percent from behind the arc.
Holiday has adjusted well to all of the changes that the Pelicans made over the summer. He's remained a vital part of the team, averaging 19.5 points, five rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.8 3-pointers. He hasn't lost any playing time, either, with his average of 36 minutes a game. However, with the Pelicans in a freefall, it's not crazy to think that he could be rested some down the stretch as they continue to fall out of the playoff hunt. And, of course, there's a decent chance he could be moved if New Orleans' current free-fall continues.
Even with those concerns at the end of the season, Holiday is still a very valuable Fantasy option. This trade comes down to need in my eyes. If you need 3-pointers, then trading Holiday for Graham is not a bad idea. However, if you can't afford to take the hit infield goal percentage, I'm more inclined to stick with Holiday since he is on pace to shoot at least 44.6 percent from the field for the fourth straight season.
One of the more surprising developments of the season has been Teague's move to the bench. After the Timberwolves let Tyus Jones and Derrick Rose go, he seemed ticketed for plenty of minutes as the starting point guard. He was just that to start the season, but an injury that forced him to miss four straight games and opened up an opportunity for Wiggins to be their primary ball handler. He couldn't have played much better in the role, averaging 32 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, a steal, 1.5 blocks and 2.3 3-pointers.
With Wiggins now looking more like a vital part of the Timberwolves's future, and Teague in the final year of his contract, it made sense for the team to start Wiggins at point guard moving forward and bring Teague off the bench. They need to see if that was just a flash in the pan or if Wiggins can actually thrive in that role moving forward. Even though Teague is coming off the bench, he's averaged 14.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists across nine games. His usage has only dropped slightly from 20.3 percent to 19.1 percent and his playing time has only decreased by an average of one minute a night. I'd definitely hang onto him in most leagues. He could also be traded at some point and regain a starting job with his new squad.
I'm punting field goal percentage and turnovers. I've been offered Brook Lopez for Marvin Bagley III. Should I take it? I feel like Bagley has a higher ceiling but am scared of his free-throw percentage. - @RoyShimron
Lopez has been as cold as ice, shooting 28.8 percent from the field across his last seven games. That tough stretch has dropped him down to 38.2 percent for the season, overall. However, that's of no concern here since Roy already stated he's punting field goal percentage. In terms of Bagley's free-throw shooting, he shot 69.1 percent from the charity stripe last season. However, he only averaged 4.2 attempts per game, so he wasn't killing you in that regard. Granted, he was only playing 25 minutes a game, but this Kings roster is so deep that it's highly unlikely that he is going to play more much more than 30 minutes a night this season, best case scenario.
The strange part about Bagley is that since returning from injury, he's come off the bench in all four games. Not only that, but he didn't log more than 23 minutes in any of those contests. It's likely that he does step back into a starting role at some point, so his value could be at its low point right now. I think you'll be able to get a better player than Lopez for him down the road, so I'd pass on the deal.
An important note here is that Diallo is still out with an elbow injury. He might not be back for a couple more weeks, which puts him behind the eight ball when ranking these 3. However, he's shown an ability to rack up steals in bunches, averaging 1.5 of them across only 21 minutes a game. When healthy, I'd actually rank him first among this trio if you need steals.
As things currently stand today, I'd rank these three Wright, Grant and Diallo. Wright is in line for adding playing time with Luka Doncic (ankle) out and produced four steals across 19 minutes with him sidelined Monday. I'd add him now and feel confident about getting a lot of steals from him until Doncic returns. If Diallo is healthy by the time Doncic is back, I'd then consider dropping Wright for him.
Grant doesn't move the needle enough for me since he averaged only 0.8 steals and 1.3 blocks despite playing 33 minutes a night with the Thunder last season. He's not going to play anywhere near that on a much deeper Nuggets team, unless Paul Millsap (quadriceps) were to remain out for an extended period of time.