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Waiver Wired

Wired: NBA's Top Pickups

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

It’s time for the first Waiver Wired of the year! Here are 25 guys who might be available in your league and deserve attention if you have some dead weight on your roster.


Games Played for Week 2




2 Games: BOS


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Point Guards


Jerian Grant Knicks 26% owned in Yahoo! leagues – The clock is ticking on Jose Calderon’s NBA career and he simply looks old and slow. Grant is young and quick, and could easily replace Collison as the Knicks’ starting point guard at any moment. He’s averaging 7.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game, but don’t expect him to be a great source of threes (0.3 per game). He’s an excellent stash right now in hopes that he’ll get the starting job soon. Langston Galloway is another Knick guard you’ll want to take a look at.


Ish Smith Pelicans 10% owned – Jrue Holiday isn’t exactly operating at full strength and Smith has been getting good run early in the season. He’s averaging 9.3 points, 2.7 boards, 6.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.7 3-pointers, but is shooting just 36 percent from the floor. If Holiday suffers a setback, or continues to labor, Smith should continue to see solid minutes in the Pel’s backcourt.


Isaiah Canaan Sixers 20% owned – Canaan hit just 1-of-9 shots on Friday, hurting his season stats, but he’s getting 30-plus minutes a night and is the only viable option at PG for the Sixers right now. Despite Friday’s disaster he’s still averaging 14 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.5 3-pointers in his two games.


Raymond Felton Mavs 6% owned – Deron Williams is already banged up and Felton is averaging 11 points, 2.5 boards, 5.0 assists, 0.5 steals and a 3-pointer per game. He’s shooting just 39 percent from the floor thus far, but will continue to get solid minutes and possibly start as long as Williams is struggling with his healthy. J.J. Barea is also worth a look in many leagues, as he’s getting minutes at both guard spots for the Mavs.


Toney Douglas Pelicans 1% - In his only game this season Douglas played 23 minutes and hit 7-of-12 shots and a 3-pointer for 17 points, three boards, four assists and a steal. It would likely take an injury to Jrue Holiday to make Douglas worth owning in most leagues, but he’s at least worth keeping an eye on after his stellar debut.


Shooting Guards


Rodney Hood Jazz 51% owned – Somewhat surprisingly, Hood was named a Jazz starter over Alec Burks and he has responded by averaging 15.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 3-pointers in 27 minutes per game. He should simply be owned in more leagues than he currently is. 


C.J. Miles Pacers 29% owned – Miles has been starting at small forward for the Pacers and, according to today’s theme, hit just 1-of-9 shots on Saturday in a blowout loss to the Jazz. He’s getting 28 minutes a game and averaging 13.7 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.7 3-pointers on 42 percent shooting. The steals and threes make him worth a flier.


Gerald Green Heat 44% owned – Green blew up for 19 points in his opener and then hit just 1-of-9 shots for five points in Game 2. He’s averaging 12 points, 3.0 3-pointers and not much else thus far, but with Dwyane Wade’s body being held together with duct tape, Green could explode onto the scene at any moment. Just expect plenty of inconsistency if you decide to take a flier on him. 


John Jenkins Mavs 1% owned – Jenkins played just four minutes in the opener, causing me to drop him in the deep leagues where I owned him. But he bounced back with 17 points, six boards and three assists on Thursday, missing four 3-pointers along the way. With Wesley Matthews recovering from an Achilles injury, Jenkins and J.J. Barea are both going to get some meaningful minutes this season.


Will Barton Nuggets 3% owned – Barton is a deep-league special and is averaging 12.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and a 3-pointer per game in 25 minutes off the bench. He’s shooting just 38 percent thus far, but the minutes are encouraging.


Small Forwards


Aaron Gordon Magic 61% owned – Gordon is getting limited minutes early as he recovers from a broken jaw and a sore foot, but more minutes and a starting gig should come in the near future. Evan Fournier has been starting over him, but I doubt that lasts much longer. He’s not an every day fantasy starter right now, nor is he a great daily play, but once he starts getting more than 18 minutes a night, he should so vast improvement on his already solid averages of 13.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and a block per game. He’s also shooting a nifty 68 percent from the floor thus far, making him an excellent stash.


Kent Bazemore Hawks 6% owned – Bazemore’s another guy I was into as the season started, but he hit just 2-of-6 shots for five points in Thursday’s opener. But he has bounced back in a big way, racking up 19 and 20 points in his next two games, along with 13 rebounds, three steals, a block and six 3-pointers while getting close to 30 minutes a game. Go get him. 


Nick Young Lakers 25% owned – Despite getting just 19 and 22 minutes in his first two games, Young has scored 14 and 17 points with seven 3-pointers and three steals. He’s hit 10-of-19 shots thus far, which won’t last, but if Kobe Bryant goes down, Young’s minutes should balloon. Just expect him to be inconsistent, as his shot selection is about as good as Peyton Manning’s old arm right now.


Mario Hezonja Magic 15% owned – Hezonja is another stash guy, as he could soon be starting at either wing position for the Magic. He’s getting 20 minutes a game right now and averaging 7.0 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 42 percent shooting. His playing time should ramp up with time and he’s worth keeping an eye on, even if you don’t have room to roster him right now.


Lance Thomas Knicks 0% owned – Thomas is another deep-league special for the Knicks. He’s getting just 19 minutes a game but is averaging 11 points, 2.3 rebounds and is shooting 68 percent from the floor. Thomas, along with Derrick Williams, is a Knicks' injury away from getting meaningful minutes. Thomas has been really efficient thus far as well, scoring in double figures in two of his three games.


Power Forwards


Marvin Williams Hornets 33% owned – Marvin has somehow been going off this season for the Hornets, averaging 12.6 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and has hit eight 3-pointers in three games. He had his best scoring game with 15 points against the Hawks (his former team) on Sunday, and hit double digits in rebounds in his two games prior. He’s getting a massive 37 minutes per game right now and looks like one of the top pickups in fantasy hoops. Yeah, it was as weird for me to write that as it was for you to read it.


Kristaps Porzingis Knicks 61% owned – Porzingis started off hot with 16 points, but hit just 3-of-11 of his shots in the opener. His shot has improved since then, but his scoring numbers have declined in each of his games. The best part of his game thus far has been his free throw shooting and he’s drained 13-of-16 so far. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals, but is also shooting just 37 percent from the floor and has hit just 1-of-6 3-pointers on the season. He’s going to get better with time and now is a great time to target him if he’s owned in your league.


Kyle O’Quinn Knicks 31% owned – O’Quinn is more center than power forward, but he qualifies in both on Yahoo! so I put him here. O’Quinn got off to a hot start but fizzled on Saturday, when Carmelo Anthony went crazy and KOQ got just 15 minutes and two rebounds. He’s still averaging 9.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals and 1.3 blocks while shooting 50 percent from the floor. Robin Lopez is locked in as the starting center in New York, but O’Quinn should see close to 22 minutes a night, making him worth a flier if you need a big man.


Jerami Grant Sixers 2% owned – Grant is averaging 10.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, a steal and a block in 26 minutes a game for the Sixers thus far. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues, but consistency has always been an issue for him, while it’s also worth noting that Robert Covington is due back on Monday from his knee injury, while Nik Stauskas is now playing for the Sixers. Grant may need an injury to one of them to become a reliable fantasy option, so only give him a look if you’re in a very deep league.


Montrezl Harrell Rockets 2% owned - Harrell probably qualifies as the most no-name player in this column, but he’s been playing well for the Rockets. We don’t know how he did on Sunday, but prior to that he was averaging 12.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and shooting 85 percent from the floor in 18.5 minutes a night. Some of his production has come in garbage time, but if you’re in a real deep league without much available on waivers, Harrell could fill a need. Terrence Jones sat out on Sunday with an eye injury, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll miss much time.




Willie Cauley-Stein (35% owned) & Kosta Koufos (31%) Kings – DeMarcus Cousins, sadly, has a strained Achilles and will undergo an MRI. If he’s going to miss time, both of these guys should start for the Kings and will be must-own players, while both are arguably worth owning and deploying, even if Cousins is OK. WCS is averaging 9.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks on 73 percent shooting in 20 minutes a game. Koufos is at 7.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24 minutes a game, but both of their numbers will increase if Cousins is out.


Ian Mahinmi Pacers 26% owned – Mahinmi is starting for the Pacers over Myles Turner and it could stay that way for some time. He’s averaging 9.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks on 59 percent shooting. He’s hit one of his two free throw attempts on the year, but isn’t shooting enough of them to hurt you. Turner is also worth stashing, but if you want consistent production right now, Mahinmi is probably a better bet.


Joffrey Lauvergne Nuggets 8% owned – Lauvergne is averaging 10.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and just 0.5 blocks in his two games, getting 19 minutes a night. He’s also hit a 3-pointer and made all four of his free throws, giving him a subtle boost in fantasy. Jusuf Nurkic doesn’t sound close to a return from his knee injury, so Lauvergne should continue to roll for now.


Clint Capela Rockets 5% owned – Capela’s averaging 8.0 points, 7.5 boards, a steal and 2.5 blocks through two games. Those are better numbers than Harrell’s putting up, so I think Capela’s a little better of a pickup right now. He’s getting 22 minutes a game thus far and is having a decent day on Sunday, as well. Terrence Jones is out with an eye injury on Sunday, but Capela’s played well even when Jones is out there. He might be the most capable big man available on the wire in your league right now.


Festus Ezeli Warriors 6% owned – Ezeli has been starting for the concussed Andrew Bogut and given Bogut’s history with injuries, could get a number of starts this season. He’s not killing it, but is averaging 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Don’t pick him up if you care about free throws, as he’s hit just 3-of-12 from the stripe thus far. Marreese Speights is also worth a look whenever Bogut’s out.



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.