This Kid Is Special
Zion Williamson was excellent in his second NBA game, netting 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting (1-of-4 from the stripe) to go with six rebounds, one steal, one block and one turnover in 21 minutes of play. He’s now compiled a total of 37 points and 13 rebounds through his first two NBA games, and over the past 30 years, only two other players have met such totals within their first two games: LeBron James and Karl-Anthony Towns. Additionally, he’s only missed a total of five shots while he’s been out there, and his 75% shooting percentage is the best of any player through the first two games during the shot-clock era. Simply put, the kid is a superstar in the making, and I think he could play difference-maker down the stretch.
The Warriors agreed to send Willie Cauley-Stein to the Mavericks on Friday in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick. WCS will help fill the five-man minutes with Maxi Kleber in Dallas with Dwight Powell (Achilles) done for the year, so he’ll likely be confined to minutes in the mid-20s. I don’t expect him to be much more than a late-round guy with the Mavericks if that, but his arrival will result in Maxi Kleber taking a minor hit.
Marquese Chriss started in the Warriors’ first post-trade game on Friday and didn’t miss any of his shots, going 5-of-5 from the field and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe on his way to 13 points, three rebounds, one assist, one 3-pointer, two steals, two blocks and two turnovers in 21 minutes. Chriss always seems to play well while he’s wasting away on the waiver wire and usually turns in a series of duds once you grab him, but he has played well over the past three games and is looking at a ton of opportunity in Golden State. He might be worth a speculative add in deep leagues if you’ve got some dead weight on your roster.
Editor's Note: If you're on the hunt for rankings, projections, strategy and advice on how to dominate your drafts, check out the all-new Rotoworld NBA Draft Guide. Now mobile-optimized with a new look and feel, it's never been easier to take our award-winning advice with you to your drafts for that extra competitive edge! Click here to learn more!
Omari Spellman only saw 16 minutes off the bench and finished with nine points, two 3-pointers, two rebounds and one turnover. Steve Kerr may use a matchup-based approach in determining who starts at the five-spot for Golden State, but Spellman should see an expanded role down the stretch. He did have a nice three-game run as a starter earlier this year and posted averages of 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 triples, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.3 turnovers per game on 46.4% shooting, so you could still make a case for grabbing him despite Friday’s lame showing.
Derrick White went 2-of-5 from the field and 9-of-11 from the charity stripe on his way to 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals, four swats and two turnovers in 28 minutes off the bench on Friday. White has been quiet most of the year, but he’s starting to come alive over the past seven games with averages of 13.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.0 triple, 1.3 steals, 1.3 blocks and just 1.0 turnover per game on 49.2% shooting from the field and 83.9% from the stripe. Gregg Popovich could pull out the rug from him at any moment, but as long as he’s playing like this, you simply can’t leave him on the waiver wire.
Daniel Theis logged 32 minutes on Friday with Enes Kanter (hip) joining Robert Williams (hip) on the sidelines, and he finished with 16 points (7-of-12 FG, 2-of-2 FT), six rebounds, four assists, one block and two turnovers. Kanter will remain on the sidelines for Sunday’s game in New Orleans, so Theis could be someone to consider streaming.
Grant Williams got the spot-start on Friday with both Jaylen Brown (ankle) and Jayson Tatum (groin) unavailable and he hit 3-of-5 shots on his way to nine points, three 3-pointers, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks and two turnovers in 23 minutes. If Tatum and Brown are out again on Sunday, Williams could make for a solid deep league streamer.
Thaddeus Young moved into the starting lineup on Friday with Lauri Markkanen (hip, out 4-6 weeks) hitting the sidelines, and produced 10 points (4-of-8 FG, 2-of-2 FT), eight rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and one turnover across 29 minutes. Assuming he doesn’t get Boylen’d (a big assumption), he should be able to flirt with 30 minutes as a starter for at least the next few weeks while Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle) and Daniel Gafford (thumb) are out, so he’s worth a look if you’ve got someone to cut. Per-36-minutes this season, Young is averaging 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.8 triples, 1.8 steals, 0.5 swats and 2.3 turnovers per game.
Christian Wood played well in 28 minutes off the bench, scoring 20 points on 5-of-8 shooting (7-of-9 from the line) to go with six rebounds, three 3-pointers, one assist and one block. Andre Drummond (tooth) joined Blake Griffin (knee) on the sidelines for Friday’s game, which helped Wood see reasonable minutes, but he tends to produce whenever Dwane Casey decides to use him. I’ve had a lot of frustrated readers ask me if he’s still a solid stash, and my answer remains yes. Drummond is very likely going to be traded, and if Detroit doesn’t bring any other bigs back, Casey would almost have no choice but to give quality minutes to Wood. Stay patient.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk hit another two triples on his way to 14 points (5-of-12 FG, 2-of-2 FT), one rebound and one steal through 32 turnover-less minutes. He’s been decent with the starting unit, posting averages of 11.3 points, 2.7 triples, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals and just 1.2 turnovers per game on 40.6% shooting, so give him a look if those numbers are appealing. Swapping out Sekou Doumbouya (five points, one 3-pointer, three rebounds, one steal, one assist) for Svi would make sense to me.
Reggie Jackson scored 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting (5-of-7 from the stripe) to go with one 3-pointer, six assists, two steals, three rebounds and one turnover through 23 minutes as a starter. He’s been pretty good since he’s been back with averages of 18.0 points, 5.0 assists, 2.0 triples, 2.0 steals, 3.0 rebounds and 1.0 turnover per game on 44.4% shooting, although those steals certainly aren’t sustainable for a guy who hasn’t averaged a steal per game since 2013. Still, he’s playing well enough to warrant a pickup in most leagues, just don’t expect much more than late-round value; although he’s a much more attractive target in points leagues.
Malik Monk went off for a career-high 31 points in Paris, adding three triples, five rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block and three turnovers in 34 minutes off the bench. He’s been hot over the past two, although history would suggest his next dud is right around the corner. Just keep your eye on him.
Aaron Holiday saw 30 minutes off the bench with Malcolm Brogdon (concussion) unavailable and hit 4-of-8 shots on his way to 12 points, four 3-pointers, two rebounds, seven assists, one steal, one block and zero turnovers. He looks like he could be a legit starting point guard in the league, and he’s worth owning pretty much everywhere while Brogdon is sidelined.
T.J. McConnell got the start and recorded 12 points (5-of-9 FG, 2-of-2 FT), one rebound, eight assists, one steal, one block and one turnover in 30 minutes. If Brogdon is out again on Sunday in Portland, McConnell will be someone to consider streaming if you need some help with the dimes.
Josh Hart registered his fifth double-double of the season, netting 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with 13 rebounds, two assists, one 3-pointer, two steals, one block and one turnover. He’s been hit-or-miss this season, but over the past few weeks he’s been flirting with mid-round value behind averages of 10.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.7 treys, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.7 turnovers per game on 42.6% shooting. It’s possible he’ll lose some value once Zion Williamson is fully up to speed, but he’s doing enough at the moment to at least warrant ownership in deep leagues.
De’Anthony Melton scored 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go with one 3-pointer, four rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes off the bench. He’s been a sneaky top-80 player over the past month with averages of 10.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.6 swats and 1.4 turnovers per game on 52.5% shooting in 20.2 minutes a night. He gives you a little bit of everything without hurting you anywhere, and he could be really good if he were able to flirt with minutes in the 30s, so he’s worth stashing ahead of the trade deadline. Jae Crowder’s name has come up in some rumors, and if he’s dealt, that could open up some minutes for Melton.
Elfrid Payton posted a 13-point, 11-dime double-double to go with four rebounds, one 3-pointer, two steals and three turnovers in 35 minutes. He’s been trending up over the past few weeks with averages of 8.6 points, 7.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 0.7 blocks and 2.1 turnovers per game on 42.4% shooting, so he’s worth a look if you need some cheap PG help.
Damyean Dotson drilled another four triples in 27 minutes off the bench, finishing with 21 points (7-of-10 FG, 3-of-5 FT), one rebound, one steal and two turnovers. He’s been hot over the past three with averages of 25.2 points, 3.7 trey-bombs, 2.7 boards, 1.0 steal and 1.0 turnover per game on 58.1% shooting, so if RJ Barrett (ankle) is out again on Sunday, Dotson will be a guy to consider streaming.
Jerami Grant had another solid showing as a starter, tallying 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block and two turnovers across 38 minutes. He’s going to get heavy run while Paul Millsap (knee) and Mason Plumlee (foot) are out, so he’s worth owning in most leagues at the moment. As a starter this season, Grant has contributed averages of 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 turnover per game on 47.9% shooting from the field and 79.2% from the stripe.
Torrey Craig double-doubled in another start on Friday with 15 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, three 3-pointers, one block over 35 minutes. Craig is as inconsistent as they come, but he’s on a two-game heater right now and will get another uptempo matchup against the Rockets on Sunday, so he’ll be on the radar as a potential streamer.
Landry Shamet netted 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting to go with six triples, two rebounds six assists and two turnovers through 43 minutes as a starter. He’s been forced into heavy minutes over the past three games with both Patrick Beverley (groin) and Paul George (hamstring) on the sidelines and has come through with averages of 17.7 points, 4.3 treys, 2.3 dimes and 1.3 turnovers per game on 51.5% shooting. He’s worth a look if you’ve got someone to cut.
Duncan Robinson netted 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go with five treys, three rebounds, five assists, two steals and one turnover in 34 minutes. Despite flirting with top-100 value on the year behind averages of 11.9 points, 3.3 triples and 0.7 turnovers per game on 46% shooting, he’s owned in less than 40% of Yahoo! Leagues, which feels low to me.
Tyler Herro moved into the starting lineup with Kendrick Nunn (Achilles) and Goran Dragic (calf) unavailable and scored 19 points on 8-of-19 shooting to go with two 3-pointers and four rebounds over 40 minutes. Jimmy Butler exited Friday’s game with an ankle tweak, and if Nunn, Dragic and Butler are all unavailable for Monday’s game, Herro will get all the run he can handle. Give him a look if you need some help in points and triples.
Kelly Olynyk stayed hot on Friday, scoring 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting (5-of-5 from the stripe), to go with two 3-pointers, nine rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes off the bench. He’s been in a nice groove over the past two, although given his history of inconsistency, I’d like to see him do this one more time before recommending him as an add in most settings.
Josh Okogie replaced the struggling Jarrett Culver in the starting lineup on Friday and he made the most of the increased opportunity with 17 points (6-of-9 FG, 5-of-5 FT), six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two turnovers in 32 minutes. The Wolves play again on Saturday, so Okogie might be someone to consider streaming if he starts again.