Good players on non-playoff bound teams are the prime shutdown candidates, almost always due to an injury they suffered sometime during the year. Identifying these players and then possibly dealing them away before your league's trade deadline could mean the difference between finishing with the trophy or finishing in the losers bracket. Now with the NBA trade deadline behind us, it's easier to identify which teams are going after it and who's putting their season in the tank, pun heavily intended. We can use this information to figure out how things might go with some borderline playoff contenders. After that, we delve into the injury situation and see who is still fighting through an injury. Put two and two together, sprinkle in some analysis and boom, here's this week's Fantasy Lab.
The shutdown candidates, in no particular order:
If there ever was a perfect shutdown candidate, it's this guy. Harris has suffered through a myriad of injuries and it' has affected him all season long. The team is just awful; they could challenge the NBA record for fewest wins in a season, so it's not like he's playing for anything. If it was just one injury bothering him, Harris might want to fight through it, but considering he's already played fewer than 70 games each of the last two years, maybe he'll be smarter and shut it down before one of the nagging injuries turns into something serious. If that's the case
While every CP3 owner is enraged with the mere mention of an early shutdown, you have to prepare for the idea that Paul might not be back for your fantasy playoffs, if at all. He's rehabbing from surgery on his knee, not a minor injury by any stretch of the imagination, and the Hornets aren't exactly title contenders. Still, Paul is a warrior who desperately wants to be back on the court, especially since the team is just two games out of a playoff spot. The fear with Paul is that he's going to rush back or overexert himself because of how competitive he is. He might need to be protected from himself by the New Orleans brass. If he has any kind of setback on his return to action, or if the Hornets spiral out of playoff contention, the team might not want to see him risk further injury by playing in a few meaningless games to end the season.
The good news is that Ellis survived a scare to his surgically repaired knee last week and is already playing again. The bad news is that his knee and his ankle are problematic, the Warriors aren't in the playoffs and he's leading the league in 48-minute games by a wide margin. Oh, and
Unlike Ellis dealing with two past injuries, Maggette is dealing with two injuries currently and he's missing games as you read this. In fact, of everyone on this list, Maggette is the most likely to call it a season early. He's dealing with a finger that keeps dislocating, but the real culprit is his strained left hamstring. It has been reported in the
A perennial candidate for a late-season shutdown, Davis isn't just poised for another disappearing act in April -- no, the wheels have already been set in motion. Think about it:
No one in South Beach wants to admit it, but this could easily be Wade's final season with the Heat. With the team hovering around .500 but still barely hanging onto the No. 7 seed in the East, Wade may actually look out for his own best interests and shut things down in the middle of a playoff race -- if his calf is still hurting him. And who can really blame him? The Heat clearly have no chance of winning the championship and since he's one of just a fingerful of players due to sign a max contract this summer, he shouldn't jeopardize it by playing through injuries. Remember what happened to
While the Lab has mentioned many times that T-Mac would never grace our roster, he's surely been scooped up in most standard leagues. After having not really played all year, T-Mac's getting as many minutes as his legs can handle, and they've already given out before the final buzzer twice in as many games played. That doesn't bode well for the future, especially coming off of microfracture surgery on his knee. What's even worse for T-Mac is all these minutes are going to disappear as quickly as they arrived. It's
While he's currently dealing with a personal issue that his coach described as a "serious situation," the fact that
Big Al admitted in an interview with the
The Lab started thinking about this list before the NBA trade deadline, way back when Duhon was still the league's worst starting PG and not yet a DNP-Coach's Decision casualty, as he was for the last couple games. Even if he gets back into the rotation, he burned out late last year and the embers are barely glowing right now. Time to look elsewhere for assist help.
Let's face it, any of the veterans on this pathetic excuse for a Detroit basketball team could be going fishing a few weeks early, save for Wallace. He's just a rock that doesn't get hurt. But for the first time in his career, that's not the case for
If the season plays out so these teams aren't in playoff contention anymore, you might see some DNPs during your fantasy playoffs, particularly the Finals.
Here's hoping your season isn't shut down early. Fantasy Ball Above All.