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Buy Low, Sell High

Nikola Jokic is in a funk again

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: March 10, 2020, 5:11 pm ET

Buy Low 

Nikola Jokic Nuggets – Jokic’s March is off to a disastrous start as he’s scored between eight and 16 points in each of his last four games, averaging just 12 points, 10.3 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 0.8 blocks, 1.0 steals and 0.3 3-pointers on 41 percent shooting in those four games. I’m not sure why he’s not being aggressive offensively but that has to change with the Nuggets seeing the Mavericks, Spurs, Lakers, Clippers, Thunder and Raptors in their next six games. Now is the ultimate time to buy low on Jokic and the Nuggets finish up the season with a 3-3-4-3-2 schedule. 

Otto Porter Jr. Bulls – Maybe Porter should be on the sell-high list after his 23-point explosion on Sunday, but he had scored a total of 10 points in his previous two games. I get the sense he wants to finish the season on a high note and prove that he’s ready for next season, and would not be surprised to see him start putting up lines like his 23 points, three rebounds, two assists, four steals and three 3-pointers on Sunday. He’ll have to stay healthy to do it, but with Zach LaVine banged up and already ruled out on Tuesday, and the Bulls out of the playoff race (although not officially), Porter could be ready to finish with a flurry. The only downside is that the Bulls are out of four-game weeks for the season and he’s still a bit of an injury risk given that he’s only appeared in 13 games this season.

 

Bojan Bogdanovic Jazz – Bogdanovic was awful on Monday with five points, one rebound, two assists and a 3-pointer on 2-of-8 shooting and also had a dreadful performance on Friday with eight points, four rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer on 2-of-9 shooting against the Celtics. Of course, he sandwiched a 32-point gem with five rebounds, two assists and three 3-pointers on 12-of-18 shooting in between those two on Saturday, but his owners might be stuck on the two bad games in his last three. He won’t stay in this funk for long so the time to act is now. 

Zach LaVine Bulls – I don’t feel great as a LaVine owner right now, especially since he’s already been ruled out for Tuesday with his knee injury and I’m sitting on him in a league where I’m not a lock to qualify for the playoffs this week. Hopefully he can play on Thursday and finish out the season. He’s clearly the Bulls’ best offensive player (I see you, Coby) and I could see them wanting to play spoiler down the stretch. There’s certainly risks that come along with owning LaVine, he could also play on Thursday and help carry teams down the stretch. And his owners may be willing to let him go for a song right now. 

Derrick White Spurs – Dejounte Murray suffered a strained right calf on Sunday and is now without a timetable to return. Several players will pick up his slack, including Patty Mills, Bryn Forbes and Derrick White. White was already playing at a pretty high level and he’s the guy I think Gregg Popovich is going to turn to if Murray’s going to see an extended absence. And the best news is that the Spurs finish up 4-4-3-4-2, making all three guards I mentioned worth a look. Additionally, with that schedule and the playoffs now looking like a lost cause, Trey Lyles and Rudy Gay also become interesting with LaMarcus Aldridge (shoulder) listed as doubtful for Tuesday. In short, go pick up Spurs.

Sell High 

Joe Ingles Jazz – As I mentioned in the Dose, I’m trying to make the playoffs in the Rotoworld Live Draft league and Dalton Del Don picked up Ingles on Monday, along with Paul Millsap, and both of them went off, while I was sitting on a DNP from Donte DiVincenzo. Ingles had his best game of the season off the bench with 20 points, five rebounds, six assists, two steals and four 3-pointers on 8-of-12 shooting. I’m feeling doomed in that league, especially if Luka doesn’t play on Tuesday, but I’m not going to give up. Meanwhile, no one should expect for Ingles to play that well again this season.

DeMar DeRozan Spurs – With the Spurs now sitting a full 5.0 games behind the Grizzlies (with the Blazers, Kings and Pelicans all sitting in between) the playoffs now look like a pipe dream for Gregg Popovich, especially with LaMarcus Aldridge nowhere in sight with his shoulder injury. DeRozan got off to a rough start this month with 10 and 12 points in his first two games but has bounced back with 24 and 25 in his last two. The Spurs incredible playoff schedule (4-4-3-4-2) adds to his trade value but there is clearly risk in moving him, for the same reason. But at some point, I think Pop is going to throw in the towel and turn the kids loose and DeRozan is an obvious candidate to sit out some games down the stretch. He’s not a must-sell player, but other owners may pay dearly for that schedule and he plays for a pretty unpredictable coach for a team that’s about to miss the playoffs for the first time in 22 seasons.

Kevin Love Cavs – Love has been ballin’, averaging 22.3 points, 11.8 boards, 3.3 assists and 4.3 3-pointers in his four March games, shooting 46 percent from the floor. But he’s also averaging just 0.3 steals and 0.3 blocks in those games and the Cavaliers have nothing to play for. Maybe this will be the one season where Love finishes out the season on a high note, but I really don’t think that’s going to happen. He’s been one of the best bets for a shutdown all season and the Cavaliers only have 18 more games to get it done. I can’t guarantee that Love will be shut down, but I still think the odds are very much in favor of it happening. And he’s coming off a nice four-game stretch. I still think the end is near for him. 

Anthony Davis – The Lakers still have five back-to-backs coming and Davis has been on the injury report for just about every game this season. The only caveat here is that due to a meltdown by the Bucks, featuring a Giannis knee injury, the Lakers are just 2.5 games behind them for the best record in the league. While that’s good incentive for L.A. to keep rolling Davis out there, I’m guessing they’re more interested in getting him rest down the stretch than trying to catch the Bucks at all costs. The five back-to-backs should mean at least five more missed games for Davis, which puts him at a maximum of 15 games played in their last 25. And my guess is that number may end up being closer to 10 before it’s all said and done. 

Ricky Rubio Suns – Rubio is killing it right now and isn’t exactly a sell-high player with just two games this week. Rubio is a second-half player, but the Suns aren’t going to make the playoffs and Rubio could be a casualty once they finally give up. He’s averaging a gaudy 18 points, 7.0 rebounds, 11.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 48.6 percent shooting in his three March games, but that could also he’s due for a dud in one of his two games this week. He’s a risky sell-high but the fact the Suns should be ready to throw in the towel in the next couple weeks could end up working in your favor. 

Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-20 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.