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Thursday's Pickups of the Day

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

Avery Bradley Pistons – If he was somehow cut in your league after his struggles on Tuesday, or his slow start to the season, he should be picked up immediately. His rebounding numbers have dried out, but he still has a ton of talent and capability. He’s not going to be available in many leagues, but just in case he was dumped in yours, I’m throwing him on this list.


John Collins Hawks – Collins finally returned from a six-game absence with a shoulder injury and went off, hitting 7-of-10 shots for 15 points, seven rebounds, a steal and a block. The Hawks are vying for the No. 1 pick in the draft and don’t care to win many more games this season. And while Collins is good enough to help them win a few by accident, they need to get him ready for the future and turn him loose the rest of the way. He’s as must-own as they come in my book.


Ersan Ilyasova Hawks – Ilyasova was bad on Tuesday, hitting just 3-of-11 shots for seven points, which might have landed him on waivers in some leagues. He bounced back on Thursday by hitting 10-of-14 shots and two 3-pointers for 23 points, four boards and an assist. He’s scored at least 20 points in three of his last four games and is going to get plenty of run for the banged up Hawks. In fact, I have a waiver request in for him as I write this (dropping Marco Belinelli, who’s struggled in his last couple games).


George Hill Kings – The starting point guard is playing well and had 16 points, two rebounds, three assists and four 3-pointers in 30 minutes last night. He had 18 points, seven boards, three assists, three steals and two 3-pointers on Tuesday, appearing to be rejuvenated after taking Sunday off for personal reasons. And most importantly, De’Aaron Fox went down with a quad injury last night, and Hill could take off if he misses time. I think Hill is worth a flier in all leagues where he’s available right now.


Caris LeVert Nets – LeVert hit 4-of-10 shots and three 3-pointers off the bench for 15 points, five boards, five assists and three steals in 28 minutes last night. LeVert is rolling right now, averaging 16.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.6 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting. He should be scooped up in most leagues, but would be a lot more enticing if he were actually starting for the Nets. It could still happen, as starter Allen Crabbe has struggled with his shot in five straight games.


Buddy Hield Kings – Hield had just 10 points and two 3-pointers on 4-of-9 shooting in 22 minutes last night, but is still worth grabbing in many leagues. He’s averaging 15.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 2.6 3-pointers on 51 percent shooting over his last five.


Willie Cauley-Stein Kings – The center has come off the bench in his two games since returning from a back injury and hasn’t blown any minds. But he was playing well before he went down and the Kings have no choice but to play him heavy minutes in hopes of prepping him for the future. Kosta Koufos was better last night, but I’d rather own WCS.


Michael Beasley Knicks – Kristaps Porzingis went down with a knee injury last night and we still don’t know much about it. If he’s going to miss time, Beasley is going to step up and he hit 7-of-16 shots for 15 points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal in just 20 minutes last night. Beasley’s not going to do much besides score, grab some boards and hit the occasional 3-pointer, but he’ll get a lot of minutes if the Unicorn is out, so think about stashing him in case the news on Porzingis is bad. Doug McDermott, who has been playing well, is someone else to consider if Porzingis is going to miss time.


J.J. Barea Mavericks – He had 14 points, six assists and two 3-pointers last night and is averaging 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five. With Seth Curry (leg) and Dennis Smith Jr. (hip) both out, Barea, Yogi Ferrell and Devin Harris, who had 13 points, six assists, four steals and a 3-pointer last night, are all worth at least a DFS punt, as well as possible streaming options in standard leagues.


Frank Ntilikina Knicks – Frankie Smokes hit 3-of-9 shots for seven points, five boards, eight assists, two steals and a 3-pointer last night. He’s now averaging 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.4 3-pointers on 42 percent shooting over his last five games. He could be a second-half boom and now is the time for the grab-and-stash.


Jeff Green Cavaliers – He’s worth a look on four-game weeks and is averaging 12.4 points and 4.6 rebounds on 55 percent shooting over his last five. He’s a nice role player off the bench in Cleveland.


Jose Calderon Cavaliers – I can’t believe he’s making this list, but he had season highs in points (17), assists (6) and 3-pointers (5) last night and also had two steals last night. He had 14 points, four assists and four steals in his previous game and might be ready to stay hot until Isaiah Thomas is finally ready to roll through his hip injury. I’m using Calderon in my 30-team league and it’s paying off, but he’s still a long shot to stay this hot.


Jordan Bell Warriors – He started for Draymond Green (shoulder) and hit 4-of-5 shots for eight points, six rebounds, eight assists and two steals in 24 minutes. He’s useless once Green is healthy and the Warriors are off until Monday, giving him time to heal. But anytime any of the starters are out for the Warriors, Bell is at least worth a glance, especially as a DFS punt. Omri Casspi, who had season highs of 17 points and 11 boards with two blocks and a 3-pointer, is also worth a look any time he’s in the starting five for the Warriors.


Kyle O’Quinn Knicks – O’Quinn is another guy who could see a boost with the Porzingis injury and he had nine points, 10 boards, two assists, a steal and two blocks last night. He hasn’t been doing much lately, but looked great last night, meaning he should at least be on your radar. 

Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for NBC Sports Edge and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-21 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for NBC Sports. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.