Each week, we'll gather the RotoExperts team of fantasy basketball analysts together to ask them a relevant fantasy basketball question. On to this week ...
Question: Who are the top 3 sell-high candidates right now?
Welcome back to the Basketball Roundtable. Last week I asked about trading strategies, and quite a few of our experts talked about getting the best value possible for their players. In order to maximize the value you get in a trade you have to sell high. Of course, the tricky part is knowing exactly when a player has reached his peak.
I asked our experts to pick out three players they think are good sell-high candidates, and here is who they came up with.
Vince Carter, Nets
When Carter is performing like he has been lately -- he's averaged 27.2 points, 5.2 assists and 2.4 threes in his last five games -- he's a bona fide roto superstar. Peddle him to unsuspecting owners while showing off his numbers as if you were Scott Boras selling a client. When Carter's inevitable ankle injury strikes you'll be thrilled not to have to put up with that headache. Meanwhile, Carter will miss so much time that the guy you traded him to will wonder if he had open-heart surgery instead of a mild sprain.
John Salmons, Kings
Salmons dropped 31 points on San Antonio, so there's no better time than the present to get him out there on the trading block. When Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia eventually return to the lineup, Salmons will lose shots and court time.
Kenyon Martin, Nuggets
You hate to predict injuries, but Martin gets hurt so much he makes hypochondriacs blush. His numbers are excellent for a forward, especially the 2.1 steals and 1.3 blocks, so you can justify moving him for solid value. If you hold on to him expecting 80 games of this production, however, you are hoping against hope.-- Jeff Andreisse
Nenê, with his 15 ppg and 8 rpg averages, is the first name to pop in my head. It's not that he doesn't have the talent to sustain those averages; he simply doesn't have the track record of durability. One game in 2005-06 and just 16 games last season scare me enough to deal him away. ... I like Andris Biedrins, but it is definitely worth your time to float trade offers for him. His averages of 16.8 ppg and 14.9 rpg make him seem All-NBA-worthy. He's a valuable player, but selling high is all about maximizing a player's peak value. ... Raymond Felton is producing solid stats with 13 ppg and 5 apg, but coach Larry Brown might turn to rookie D.J. Augustin if the Bobcats continue to suck the life out of the Charlotte basketball scene.-- Kyle Stack
The first guy I'm looking to sell high on is Jason Kidd. I think the Mavs are going to struggle this year, as we've already seen. Kidd does not have history on his side now that he's got 35 birthdays under his belt and a lot of mileage on his oft-sore knees. He cannot keep up this pace and a top-10 ranking is unlikely for Kidd. So, I am looking to upgrade on a guy I know can play at this level for 82 games. ... Another guy I am selling high on is Tracy McGrady who has exceeded my early expectations but has already shown that he can be very inconsistent. In back-to-back games against the two Los Angeles teams, he scored two and three points, respectively. He's no longer the focal point of his team and I have already put a 60-game cap on his season. Sell on McGrady. The third guy I am selling on is O.J. Mayo. I like Mayo, but 82 games is a long season and I see him hitting a wall this season and tiring. He's a top-25 talent right now, but I see him finishing somewhere between 70 and 80 in the rankings when all is said and done. I'd deal him for a veteran and proven talent and then target Mayo next year when he has a full season under his belt.-- Tom Lorenzo
Marquis Daniels, Pacers
Sure, he is filling in for Mike Dunleavy, who has been out since preseason with a mystery knee ailment that has led to bone spurs. The easy reason to say "sell high" is in case Dunleavy manages to actually play this season, which is no lock for sure. But here's another cause for concern -- the team has a high-ceiling rookie in Brandon Rush sitting on the bench awaiting his turn. Even if neither of the above were to happen, you have to expect regression in his rebounding, free-throw accuracy, shot-blocking and probably even three-pointers. His career stats don't support his current production, so he's truly a sell high.
Nick Young, Wizards
I'm a big Young fan, and I was actually surprised he didn't have a bigger impact last year as a rookie. He has looked simply electric in some of his games, but there's no way he finishes this season averaging 15 points. He's a pure scorer folks, that's for sure. But you're getting his best now, and it's still long enough until Gilbert Arenas attempts his comeback (again) that you might get premier value for Young right now. His minutes will go down, and we're looking at a 10-11 point scoring average come playoff time.
I like this kid a lot, really ... I do. Why sell high on him? First, he's an injury waiting to happen. Of course, you can't predict the future, and even Baron Davis made it through 82 games last year, so let's assume Nenê makes it through the year. Nenê is setting career highs in field-goal shooting (65.7 percent), free-throw shooting (74.4 percent), rebounding (8.0 per game), steals (1.8 per game) and blocks (1.8 per game). Maybe he's a better rebounder with more playing time, and he was always a good pickpocket, but those percentages are due for at least a 10 percentage point fall across the board. That'll bring down his scoring to the right range. And doubling his career best in blocks? That, my friends, is an early season anomaly. Don't count on seeing him among the top 12 fantasy producers (per-game average) for much longer either way.-- Tommy Landry
Four different experts and four completely different answers. That just goes to show how chaotic the fantasy landscape can be at the beginning of the season. It's tough to figure out who the studs are and who the pretenders are, but I actually agree with every pick that our experts made ... and just for the record Tom submitted his T-Mac pick one day prior to McGrady's knee injury.
The one who is really tough for me to accept is Biedrins, since I own him in a couple of leagues and have been seriously reaping the benefits. That's the tough part about selling high; you are trading a guy who has been playing well for you because you don't believe he will do any better (and may get worse).
I tend to be more optimistic and hope that guys will continue to improve, but that's not reality. As hard as it is to deal a player who you have grown attached to, the goal is to win, and oftentimes that means making tough choices in order to maximize the value you get for your players.