We're up to Christmas Day in the NBA season, we're past the small sample size factor here. Making trades can be tricky. You're not dealing with a computer, so it all depends on the owner's thought process for how much you can give up.
Usually, I say it's better to target an owner than a player. If you see an owner with one point guard and another with five, the owner with one PG will be more likely to pay a higher price. Just keep that idea in mind here for the sell-high players along with buying low, too.
Jonas Nader and I will be alternating the buys and sells. I'm up first with the buys. This will be a weekly column for Season Pass. Here we go!
Rodney Hood - He always seems to have something wrong with him, but he finally seems to be healthy. Hood is coming off a 37-minute game against Golden State on Wednesday and he’s played in 33 minutes and 35 minutes in his previous two, as well.
The Jazz are softening their stance on Alec Burks getting minutes at the one, which means there will be major minutes for Hood on the wing. He’s cleared the 1.0 steals threshold, his efficiency has a nice increase after an horrific run from Thanksgiving to Dec. 14, so he should be ready to be a mid-round guy going forward. You can probably get him for a throw-in guy and he might even be available on the wire.
Jeff Teague - He’s not playing well at all. This month, he’s averaging just 12.8 points, 2.7 boards, 5.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.7 treys on 40.0 percent.
Teague is in a slump from 3 and hasn’t hit one since Dec. 16. He also had a couple minor injuries this month, but he’s fine. While Dennis Schroder has capitalized on garbage time, it makes Teague look really bad.
He can be had for dimes on the dollar right now. Teague is going to rest here and there, so sending an offer right after a rest day could get him on your roster for next to nothing.
Nikola Mirotic - He’s not this bad and his value is a low as it’s been all season. The Bulls having Bobby Portis does hurt Mirotic quite a bit, and he probably won’t be very successful as a SF.
His December has been a disaster. This month, he averaged just 7.5 points, 5.2 boards, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.5 treys on 36.5 percent from the field. He is being dropped, so you can get him for probably someone like Ish Smith.
Gary Harris - He was hanging around on a lot of wires earlier this week, but he was picked up in a lot of places after a big 21-point Tuesday effort. Harris is all set for massive minutes in the starting lineup and his steals and 3-point attempts are on the rise.
Coach Mike Malone seems to like Harris’ defense and has put his second-year guard on the top offensive option quite a bit since his return from an injury.
Victor Oladipo - He’s an obvious buy-low guy. Since the rotation change, Oladipo has just eighth-round value.
While his minutes are down only about five minutes, his scoring output has really dropped. Oladipo has really stopped going to the line and has five free throw-less games in his last eight.
Oladipo is at just 38.9 percent from the field and playing on the ball a bit more with several multiple-dribble shots is hurting his efficiency. You can probably pick him up for like a sixth-round guy and he could be a top-30 player going forward.
Injury buy-low guys
DeMarre Carroll - He should be back soon and his knee contusion probably won’t be a lingering issue. He only has eight-round value per game.
Bradley Beal - He is going to have a minutes cap and his fantasy owners have to be freaking out about his troublesome leg injury. The Wizards won’t be playing him big minutes and he still should be a top-40 player going forward.
Rudy Gobert - He’s a semi-obvious player to target. Gobert should be back next month and he was really coming on before his injury. You can get him pretty cheap due to his perceived value being so low after a slow start.
Michael Carter-Williams- Don’t let his recent play fool you, as MCW still has a long way to go before I could trust him over the course of a season. In fact, I believe he is one of the few players who has never touched a single one of my rosters. All bias aside, he is showing a lot of improvement with averages of 19.6 points, 6.0 boards, 5.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 3.4 turnovers over his past five games, and he has also been a top-35 player in standard leagues over the last two weeks. He still plays for the shady Bucks and Jerryd Bayless (ankle) could steal his thunder when he returns, so I’m not buying into the hype. There may not be a better time to sell high this season.
Jae Crowder- His five-year, $35 million contract looks like a pretty good deal for the Celtics, but I still believe that the physical wing will come back down to earth at some point. Incredibly, Crowder has top-40 value on the season with averages of 13.2 points, 5.2 boards, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.7 3-pointers on 44.6 percent shooting from the field, and he has posted three massive double-doubles in his last few games. He was shooting an unsustainable 57.1 percent from the field in that three-game span, and it’s important to note that the Celtics have also been shorthanded recently. Float some trade offers around your league and see if you can get a top-40 guy in return.
Bismack Biyombo- This one is too easy. Biyombo is coming off a 20-rebound performance against the Mavericks on Tuesday and he is rolling right now with averages of 6.6 points, 15.8 boards and 2.6 blocks in 33.8 minutes per game over his last five. He is shooting just 32.1 percent from the floor in that span, but his owners obviously didn’t pick him up for his scoring prowess. However, Jonas Valanciunas (hand) has been cleared to return to practice and will return to action any day now, so the window to trade Biyombo is nearly shut.
Paul George- After a blistering start to the season, PG-13 is starting to slow down and he recently said that he is being "forced to do too much right now.” After returning top-12 value all the way through November, George has been a sixth-round value over his past 10 games with averages of 22.3 points, 7.3 boards, 3.7 assists, 1.9 steals, 2.8 3-pointers and 4.2 turnovers on 37.2 percent shooting from the field, and his efficiency is really trailing off. His biggest dud came against the Spurs on Monday in which he was held to seven points on 1-of-14 shooting thanks to the smothering defense of Kawhi Leonard, and he failed to bounce back vs. the Kings on Wednesday with 12 points on 5-of-19 shooting. Some people in your league probably still have the Paul George fever, so a trade makes sense to see if you can get a top-15 player in return.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope- He has been on fire over his last 10 games, averaging 17.1 points, 3.6 boards, 2.4 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.8 3-pointers on 44.3 percent shooting from the field, returning second-round value in that span. There is absolutely no way he can keep up this pace and he is known for going on cold streaks, and it also doesn’t help that he picked up a lower leg strain in Wednesday’s game vs. the Hawks. Additionally, the Pistons will want to work Brandon Jennings back into the rotation in the very near future, while rookie Stanley Johnson has earned a few more minutes as well. Jodie Meeks (foot) isn’t a real threat because he likely won’t return until February, but KCP’s value may never be higher than it is right now.
Jared Dudley- Believe it or not, Dudley has been a top-45 player over his last 10 games with averages of 10.8 points, 4.6 boards, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.9 3-pointers per game. That’s pretty impressive for a 30-year-old forward coming off back surgery. The Wizards have been devastated by injuries and Dudley has been logging heavy minutes as their stretch four, but his playing time will eventually dip when Otto Porter (thigh), Bradley Beal (leg) and Nene (body) can return. His name doesn’t hold much value, so don’t expect to get a big haul in return.
Thaddeus Young- He is tied for fourth place with DeAndre Jordan and Zaza Pachulia with 15 double-doubles on the season, even placing ahead of guys like DeMarcus Cousins (14), Pau Gasol (14) and Kevin Love (12). Young is averaging 16.0 points, 9.2 boards, 1.6 assists and 1.5 steals in 32.6 minutes per game, returning top-40 value to his owners in the process. The Nets don’t have any first-round draft picks and are sitting in 14th place in the East with a 8-21 record, so you have to wonder if they will decide to blow things up at the trade deadline. I would try to get a top-50 player in return for Young if possible.