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NBA Fantasy Mailbag

Mailbag: Kemba For Klay?

by Ethan Norof
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Question 1: What’s your rest of season outlook for Jonas Valanciunas?


There was talk and borderline promise during the offseason that Valanciunas would be handed a bigger role, but we’re right back in an all too familiar place and even the coaching staff is admitting it. JV’s role and subsequent opportunities to produce are very much dependent on the opposition any given night, and he remains a very frustrating fantasy contributor to try and rely upon in the process.


Someone has to help shoulder the enormous load that DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are forced to carry, but it doesn’t appear as if that player is going to be Valanciunas. It’s hard to believe that some magical breakout is about to be coming, and his stat-stuffing performances are few and far between. JV is what he is until he shows otherwise and there is no evidence that a change in usage is coming.


Question 2: Should I trade Kemba Walker for Klay Thompson?


Let’s start here: I wouldn’t.


Don’t get it twisted—Thompson is a phenomenal talent capable of sizzling swishes like we saw with his remarkable 60-point performance; I’m taking nothing away from. But Walker is the unquestioned focal point of his team while Thompson is “merely” a powerful member of this omnipotent brigade. 


Entering Friday’s slate of games, did you know that Klay and Kemba were both in the top 10 for 3-pointers made? Walker is elite in the steals department, and although he’s shown improved efficiency this season, there has been some regression to begin December and it’s a trend that bears watching given his history. Thompson should shoot it at a better clip than Walker, but his best asset is his 3-point shot and there’s little current separation between he and the Charlotte point guard.


At the end of the day, Walker simply does more for my squad. It’s a pretty good straight-up offer, but it’s not enough for me to execute the deal.


Question 3: When is the best time to stash Ben Simmons?


Obviously much of this depends on whether or not you have an IR spot in your league. First of all—it’s something that is strongly recommended. It allows for another layer of strategy to unfold and is a solid strategy to help prevent artificial inflation on the waiver wire. Secondly, Simmons isn’t currently worth a stash in any format unless you can designate him accordingly.


There is very little available information and absolutely no guarantees regarding the No. 1 pick’s potential return date and it would be nice to receive something—anything—before considering a stash for the stake of stashing. Given how the Sixers treat their injured players and the importance of Simmons to the future of this franchise, it’s awfully hard to believe he’s capable of making a legitimate fantasy impact in 2017.


Question 4: What are your thoughts on Kent Bazemore?


I’ll spare you and me the 2,000-word breakdown.


It’s been a frustrating season for Bazemore, those with fantasy investments in his services and his Atlanta Hawks team. Maybe his knee soreness has prevented him from operating at 100 percent, but his extreme inconsistency makes him an unpredictable part of your team when he was drafted to fulfill a very specific role.


I’ve got multiple shares of Bazemore’s stock but now is not the time to sell at a loss simply to cut ties. The upside is there, the Hawks paid him to play an integral role and Atlanta needs him to be a big part of whatever is accomplished.


If his health becomes an ongoing concern, there’s reason to reevaluate this question.


Question 5: Please clarify once and for all what a “standard league” is in blurbs and doses.


This is a nine-category, 12-team head-to-head format in which the following statistics are tracked: Field Goal Percentage, Free Throw Percentage, 3PM, Points, Rebounds, Assists, Steals, Blocks and Turnovers.


From my view, standard leagues are most enjoyable when there is a deep bench to add some real depth on draft day. 

Ethan Norof
Follow Ethan Norof on Twitter @Ethan_Norof for more fantasy basketball analysis, advice and all things Los Angeles Lakers.