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Experts Analysis

3 Things: Oubre, Whiteside & Cleveland

by Jared Johnson
Updated On: December 28, 2020, 9:37 am ET
  1. Don’t Panic – Wait for Dray


Kelly Oubre had another rough night on Sunday, bricking another six 3-pointers and finishing 3-of-16 from the field on his way to eight points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three turnovers in 30 minutes. It hasn’t been a great start for Oubre, but I do think once Draymond Green (foot) gets back to the court – which could come as soon as Tuesday vs. Detroit – that will unlock a lot of things in the Warriors offense by creating a lot more off-ball scoring opportunities for both Oubre and Stephen Curry. Oubre isn’t a guy who needs the rock to produce, in fact, he’s best suited as a third option in the offense – getting his buckets on back cuts and open 3s – and that should open up for him when Dray is given the rock and allowed to create while Stephen Curry takes most of the opposing teams' attention weaving through sets of screens. While Oubre’s offense hasn’t come around just yet (he’s gone 0-of-17 from distance through these first three games), he’s still been averaging 2.0 steals, 7.7 boards and 0.7 blocks per game, so once his shot starts falling he shouldn’t have much trouble working his way back into the top-50 conversation. It may be a slow start as he attempts to learn a completely new system in Golden State, but I’m not particularly worried about him and would view this as a solid buy-low opportunity for Oubre managers who may be panicking.

"Great shots, they haven't been falling though,” said Oubre in a recent interview. “Will continue to be myself and just attack. Not worried about that. But the media has to have headlines."


  1. What’s up with Whiteside?


Hassan Whiteside is a guy who only needs minutes in the mid-20s to flirt with top-40 value, but the problem is, he’s only averaging ** a night through his first three games with Sacramento. Luke Walton has Richaun Holmes locked in as his starter, and with Marvin Bagley logging a significant amount of his minutes at the five-spot, there’s not an obvious path to playing time for Whiteside. There’s also not an obvious place for him to be traded if things were to come to that point, considering he was just a free agent and this was the team he landed with – and it’s fair to speculate that he didn’t receive much attention on the open market with how long it took him to find that contract. It was particularly concerning to see him log just 10 minutes on Sunday night in a matchup against Deandre Ayton and the Suns because that is a good matchup for him. In four games against Phoenix last year, Whiteside put in averages of 13.0 points, 17.5 rebounds and 3.0 swats in 36 minutes a night. Hassan hasn’t really shared the floor with Richaun or Marvin at all, so at this point, it’s starting to look like he might need an injury to one of the guys ahead of him to meet his fantasy potential. I would never root for an injury but given Holmes’ and Bagley’s checkered history with being able to stay on the court, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Whiteside eventually get solid minutes in SacTown. That said, if you could find someone in your league willing to give you a player with top-50 upside, I would definitely take that deal, but I think in most competitive leagues all you can do right now is sit tight and hope for a situational change.

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  1. The Cleveland Cavaliers are… fun?


After blowing out a Joel Embiid-less (back) 76ers squad on Sunday, the Cavs notched their third straight win of the 2020-21 season, and they’ve surprisingly been a pretty fun team to watch this year. Darius Garland, who I had on all my teams last year – and unfortunately none of my teams this year – is in the process of having a post-hype, All-Star fantasy season, churning out averages of 19.0 points, 8.3 dimes, 2.3 triples, 1.7 steals and just 2.0 turnovers per game on 54.8% shooting. His backcourt running mate, Collin Sexton, is setting himself up for a breakout season in Year-3 with averages of 27.0 points, 3.7 assists, 2.0 triples, 1.3 steals and 2.3 turnovers per game; and Andre Drummond’s gaudy stat lines are finally correlating with wins.

Garland only played five games in college and he never really found his rhythm his rookie year, but he’s looked like a completely different player in this season’s small sample size and his growth as a playmaker is what impresses me the most. He’s always had a wet jumper, but the question was how successful he could be operating in a traditional point guard role, and he’s done that quite well so far this year.

On another note, Kevin Love exited Sunday’s game with a re-occurrence of the calf issue, which allowed Larry Nance Jr. to log 35 minutes and he finished with 13 points, four boards, five dimes, three triples, two steals and four turnovers in the 118-94 win. Love again figures to be a headache to have on your roster this year with how often he misses games, but Nance could be in for a big year as a consequence of all those Love-less matchups.

Jared Johnson

A hoops fanatic, Jared Johnson has been a member of the NBC Sports Edge team since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Jae_Tha_Truth, and feel free to send him your questions regarding trades, draft strategies and all things fantasy basketball.