Wire to Wire aims to be your waiver wire resource for all of your fantasy basketball needs. It will dive into playing time trends, injury replacements, and even an occasional category specialist -- all of which can be found on a typical waiver wire within your fantasy league at any given time.
Due to scheduling, the NBA didn't exactly give us a large sample size to choose from over the last few games. Thankfully (depending on how you look at it), players in the Association do not need a lot of time to injure themselves, providing opportunities for the average fantasy basketball fan. While a few of these names may ring a bell, we've had a few new additions this week. The first men you should thank? Start with Marcus Camby and Baron Davis, as their annual injuries pave the way for the future stars of the NBA. On to this week's recommendations.
(Statistics as of Feb. 15)
Nené, PF/C, Denver Nuggets 34 G; 22.1 MPG; 10.8 PPG; 5.9 RPG; 1.0 APG; 0 3PM; 51.9 FG%; 65.0 FT%; 1.0 BPG; 0.8 SPG; 1.9 TO Now this is the Nené that we've all been waiting for. He's shed a few pounds and has managed to take advantage of it by putting up solid scoring, rebounding and shot blocking figures. While Marcus Camby's return will crimp his style, the Brazilian should be just fine in the power forward role -- as seen by his field-goal attempts over the last few games. And as owners all know, even Camby's health is no guarantee. Add his center eligibility as a cherry on top, and I think that Nené is worth a roster spot in all league types.
Desmond Mason, SG/SF, New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets 53 G; 35.2 MPG; 14.3 PPG; 5.2 RPG; 1.7 APG; 0 3PM; 56.2 FG%; 65.3 FT%; 0.3 BPG; 0.8 SPG; 2.9 TO I had high hopes for Mason last season but was left high and dry. This season, I thought he'd be horrible, as New Orleans signed Peja Stojakovic to run with Chris Paul and David West. The moral of this story? Pick up Mason. He's been a scoring machine over the last several weeks -- and as long as Peja remains on the shelf, I do not see him slowing down. His rebound totals have even been even creeping back to the days of 2003. Obviously, he'll have his rough nights, but if you can stomach the percentages, Mason may be the way to go.
Darko Milicic, PF/C, Orlando Magic 53 G; 23.1 MPG; 8.1 PPG; 5.3 RPG; 1.1 APG; 0 3PM; 43.7 FG%; 61.3 FT%; 1.7 BPG; 0.6 SPG; 1.8 TO More of the same from Milicic since the last time I mentioned him. Tony Battie's injury has opened up a lot more minutes for Darko, and he's been a quasi-stud ever since. The last two games have seen the former second pick go for 18.5 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks a contest. What's even better is that he hasn't missed a free throw since Feb. 6, going 13 for his last 13. Maybe he should give LeBron James a call.
Kelenna Azubuike, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors 19 G; 22.0 MPG; 10.3 PPG; 3.4 RPG; 1.1 APG; 1.4 3PM; 46.3 FG%; 79.3 FT%; 0.4 BPG; 0.8 SPG; 1.2 TO If you're like me, you ran out and scooped up Sarunas Jasikevicius once the news broke about Baron Davis' surgery. However, this also means you watched the box scores over the last two games and realized that it in fact is not Jasikevicius that's getting the burn in the backcourt -- it's former All-NBDL guard Kelenna Azubuike. Sarunas' fate may depend on if Monta Ellis can stay healthy, while Azubuike's logging in time at Jason Richardson's spot. Near 40 minutes per game and seven threes since getting the starting nod shows me that this is a good place to be.
Marcus Williams, PG/SG, New Jersey Nets 51 G; 17.5 MPG; 7.7 PPG; 2.2 RPG; 3.2 APG; 0.7 3PM; 41.8 FG%; 85.3 FT%; 0 BPG; 0.5 SPG; 1.8 TO I targeted Williams in every deep league I was in a few weeks back, and have been rewarded handsomely, especially considering the cost. While he's excelled due to a Jason Kidd injury, I find it hard to believe that the rookie won't get his playing time once he returns. Be cognizant of trade rumors as well. If Kidd would go to the Lakers (one of the teams in the mix), would they be able to deal back a guard better than Williams? Sasha Vujacic? Smush Parker? I think not.
Andray Blatche, SF/PF, Washington Wizards 32 G; 9.0 MPG; 2.9 PPG; 2.8 RPG; 0.5 APG; 0.1 3PM; 40.9 FG%; 58.3 FT%; 0.5 BPG; 0.3 SPG; 0.6 TO Andray Who? Blatche's time catapulted upon the injury to Antawn Jamison, and so did his production. He's coming off of a double-double which also saw him block an amazing four shots in 22 minutes. Interestingly enough, he only has 13 less blocks than Jamsion for the season, despite only getting an average of nine minutes a game. Jamison still has a couple weeks before he returns, so owners that could use some rebounds and blocks should surely clear room for Blatche.
Eddie House, SG, New Jersey Nets 39 G; 16.2 MPG; 7.8 PPG; 1.5 RPG; 1.2 APG; 1.2 3PM; 40.6 FG%; 92.0 FT%; 0.1 BPG; 0.5 SPG; 0.5 TO This is the second week in a row that I'm mentioning House. I've still seen him on waiver wires in leagues that either have large rosters or even 16 teams. Oddly enough, these same leagues have guys like James Jones and Rasual Butler on rosters, which is simply unacceptable at this point. House has still received solid minutes, and can contribute more than both of the aforementioned in the same categories, if not better. While injuries and trade rumors surround Jason Kidd, go with House as your deep threat.
Linas Kleiza, SG/SF/PF, Denver Nuggets 48 G; 15.5 MPG; 5.5 PPG; 3.0 RPG; 0.5 APG; 0.5 3PM; 39.7 FG%; 81.6 FT%; 0.1 BPG; 0.4 SPG; 1.0 TO While the Nuggets have recently experienced injuries to Marcus Camby and Allen Iverson, J.R. Smith has only started twice in the last month. The main beneficiary of the Iverson injury has been Kleiza, who has put up very solid numbers over the last several games. Couple this with his multiple position eligibility, and deep league owners may have a solid short-term stop gap to fill their roster for the time being. No promise that Linas keeps logging the minutes when The Answer returns, but if you have the room, take the shot.
Joel Przybilla, C, Portland Trailblazers 41 G; 16.2 MPG; 2.0 PPG; 4.0 RPG; 0.3 APG; 0 3PM; 47.4 FG%; 36.0 FT%; 1.6 BPG; 0.2 SPG; 1.0 TO Talk about a one-trick pony. Przybilla has been a huge disappointment in fantasy circles across the world, especially in those that anticipated big things over the last two years. While the majority of JP's lack of production is not his fault (due to the rotation of three centers), if you're in desperate need of blocks, he's your man. 1.6 blocks a game while getting barely over 15 minutes is mind-blowing. I know that I've touted LaMarcus Aldridge as a beneficiary if Jamaal Magloire gets traded, but Przybilla could be the one who gets a huge boost. He's a one-category specialist who can put you over the top if you have the help elsewhere.