Basketball Pickups: New faces shine in new places
Saturday featured 11 NBA games, including a pair of matinee matchups. The league loaded up on games ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday so they wouldn’t interfere. There are only two games on Sunday, with the Celtics and Heat facing off at 2pm ET, and the Kings and Thunder playing at 3pm ET. Make sure to set your lineups early, and feel free to stream anybody from those four teams to give yourself an extra boost to close out the week.
Saturday’s games featured a lot of players making debuts for new teams. While a couple players were available to play on Friday after being traded on Thursday, the vast majority had to wait until Saturday. Two notable ones were Tre Mann (6% rostered in Yahoo leagues) and Vasilije Micic (1%). Mann received a lot of post-deadline hype, and he ended up starting his first game with the Hornets. He scored the first five points of the game, but he only ended up scoring four more for the rest of the night and played 27 minutes. He finished with nine points, four rebounds, nine assists and two steals. It wasn’t a flawless debut, but he didn’t start, which bodes well for how they feel about him. Micic ended up finishing with career-highs of 18 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes. He played better than Mann in this one, and both are deserving of a pickup, since it is entirely unclear when LaMelo Ball will be back.
Here are the other players that are worth adding after Saturday night:
Simone Fontecchio- 9%
In his first game with Detroit, Fontecchio logged 32 minutes and finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and three triples. Quentin Grimes wasn’t available to make his debut and Marcus Sasser dealt with early foul trouble, but he ended up playing more minutes than Ausar Thompson and Mike Muscala who both started. He won’t stay at this large of a role, but he should see somewhere between 20-25 minutes moving forward, which is enough time for him to supply some triples.
Ayo Dosunmu- 36%
Dosunmu has started six of their last seven games, and he was benched for Andre Drummond to match up with Minnesota in the one game he came off the bench. He knocked down a career-high five triples on Saturday and has been a top-100 player in 9-cat leagues over the last two weeks.
Brandin Podziemski- 47%
Podz may be coming off the bench, but he has been the sixth man that moves into the starting lineup when they have an injury. He also played 35 minutes to Klay Thompson’s 24 in this one. Podziemski is averaging 11.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists over the last two weeks, and while the other numbers haven’t been ideal, he has been contributing at a high level in those categories.
Grant Williams- 9%
Williams played 32 minutes as a reserve in his debut for his hometown team. However, he played 32 minutes and finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and three triples. He didn’t play well in Dallas, but he is more than capable of providing value in deeper leagues if he continues to see big minutes like this.
Precious Achiuwa- 42%
New York is dealing with a ton of injuries, and Achiuwa played 43 minutes on Saturday. The opportunity is enough to justify adding him, and he was able to contribute 15 points, six rebounds, two steals, three blocks and a triple in those minutes.
Kelly Olynyk- 27%
Another player that is now playing in his hometown, Olynyk had 11 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals, one block and one triple in 22 minutes in his first game with his new squad. He has been able to shine for tanking teams before, and Toronto now sits five games out of the Play-In Tournament.
Ricky Council IV- less than 1%
Council may be more of a watchlist guy than an add at this point, but he had 19 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes on Saturday. With Mo Bamba out, Nick Nurse indicated before the game that he intended to give Kenny Lofton Jr. minutes behind Paul Reed, but Council ended up stealing those minutes with his play. We’ll see if he is able to earn minutes after this performance.