Ersan Ilyasova, F Philadelphia 76ers (20%)
The Sixers acquired Ilyasova to provide something Philadelphia didn’t have much of in its frontcourt prior: The ability to stretch the floor. And although Dario Saric has shown the ability to connect from behind the arc, his overall shooting has been a major struggle in his inaugural NBA season. I wouldn’t be expecting anything except points and triples from Ghostface Ilya with Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor around to grab rebounds, but his new situation presents a reality in which he can help the right fantasy roster. Just don’t be afraid to cut him if he strings together a few stinkers in a row.
Jon Leuer, F/C Detroit Pistons (14%)
Leuer is more on my “watch list” than in the category of warranting a pickup but there is certainly some intrigue here. He’s a more established Mike Muscala who has a steady role in the rotation and his head coach—the same Stan Van Gundy who shelled out more than $40M to bring Leuer in this summer—is publicly lobbying for Leuer to shoot the ball more frequently. The Pistons do have a crowded frontcourt, but Leuer’s role looks safe.
Iman Shumpert, G/F Cleveland Cavaliers (6%)
You have to be in a really deep league to currently be considering Shumpert, but it is worth noting that he’s played 25-plus minutes in three straight contests. During that stretch of time, the Georgia Tech product is averaging 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.7 3PM on 9-of-15 (60%) shooting.
Nick Young, G/F Los Angeles Lakers (24%)
I was as wrong as anyone else could have been about Young before the season, and it’s become very apparent that he used everyone who wrote him off—and there were a lot of us for good reason—as motivation to turn his career around. Swaggy P had become a caricature of himself by the time last season ended, and even the most diehard of Lakers fans doubted his use to any NBA team.
Maybe it’s Luke Walton’s arrival; perhaps it’s the fact that he’s no longer in a very public relationship; maybe it’s even the fact that he felt like this was his last chance. Whatever the case might be, Young has looked like a completely different player this season and has earned every minute he’s been on the court. It doesn’t look like Walton is going to remove the swag out of LA’s starting lineup in the near future, so give him a look if you need points and 3-pointers.
Larry Nance, F Los Angeles Lakers (23%)
While Nance did just enter the NBA’s concussion protocol, there is no denying how effective the sophomore forward was playing before sustaining the injury. In his last three games prior to Sunday’s win, Nance averaged 12.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 steals and a block on 17-of-25 (68%) shooting from the field. Luke Walton is growing very fond of the small-ball lineup featuring a four-five combination of Nance and Julius Randle and we can expect to see more of it when the high-flying athlete returns from injury.
Moe Harkless, SF Portland Trail Blazers (12%)
Harkless is best suited to leagues with at least 14 teams due to his inconsistency between performances, but the versatile forward has a game that can be fantasy friendly because of his potential contributions in steals (0.7), blocks (0.7) and 3-pointers (1.1). He’s played over 30 minutes in five of Portland’s first seven games, so the $145M men in Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe haven’t had a major impact on Harkless thus far.