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Buy, Sell or Hold: Markieff Morris and Serge Ibaka?


By Keith Allison (Flickr: Serge Ibaka) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The trade deadline is behind us and there's been some activity on the market, but not too much. The biggest news, of course, was the DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans trade. And I was going to use Cousins as a buy low target, especially since a guy in my league just gave him up for Blake Griffin straight up. But he prevented that from happening with his great fantasy performance in his debut. The Pelicans were obliterated by the Rockets though, but that's off topic.

Other trades impacted some players' values more or less, and today we will be looking at a player who's price is higher due to his great performances as of late, and at a guy who switched teams and to the untrained eye it can seem like he will be losing some value, but that might not be the case.

Below are my Week 18 fantasy basketball buy low and sell high candidates. There's no better time to go shopping than the Trade Deadline Weekend Sale!

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Buy Low, Sell High Advice for Week 18

Are You for Real, Markieff Morris?

So Markieff Morris is finally back to his usual self after a drama that lasted for the bigger part of last season. He was great in Phoenix two years ago. Then they let Detroit have his twin brother Marcus Morris. He wasn't happy about it and didn't hide it either. His actions led to him being traded to the Wizzards. He didn't start off hot in Wahsington, but he's up to his 2015 standards now.

We'll keep this one simple. First let's take a look at his season averages. His 14.9 PTS with 1.0 3PM on 45.5 FG% and 81.6 FT%, 6.8 REB, 1.8 AST, 1.2 STL, 0.6 BLK and 1.9 TO in 32 minutes a game are good enough to have him ranked at around the top-60. Those stats are something we could see from him the rest of the way.

But recently, he's been on a tear with 23.3 points and 3.0 made threes on 61.4% from the field and 77.8% from the line, 7.7 boards, 2.0 assists, 1.7 steals, no blocks and 1.7 turnovers in his last three games. You can't expect him to continue playing like that, can you? Especially now that Washington has signed Bojan Bogdanovic. Although, Bojan isn't likely to take too much time away from Markieff since they don't play the same position, Bojan will be finishing more offensive possessions with a shot compared to other players who were coming in from the bench in Washington prior to his arrival. That might cost Markieff a field goal attempt or two.

But what you can do, is use this huge momentum he is on to try to swap him for a fantasy player who might be more likely to produce. If you can get a top-40 asset in return for the red-hot Morris twin I wouldn't judge you for accepting the offer. Paul Millsap, Mike Conley and even ice-cold Kristaps Porzingis are all players you could consider trading him for, depending on your league's settings and your team's needs. But it must be mentioned here that Washington has four games in each of the three default NBA Fantasy Playoff weeks (Weeks 20-22), so it's something to think about before pulling the trigger on any deal.

Baller Move: Sell high

Time to Panic on Serge Ibaka?

Serge Ibaka was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Toronto Raptors on Valentine's Day. A lot of fantasy owners are looking at this like Ibaka's lost a lot of his value. But I just don't see it. Yes, he was one of the primary scoring options in Orlando and he will not be at the top of the pecking order in Toronto with DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry in town.

On the other hand, he will certainly get a lot of open looks with those two running the show on offense. That might help his field goal efficiency, and if Toronto plays him as a strech-four or -five, he might get more threes for his fantasy owners, too. Furthermore, he just moved from a team that's 29th in the NBA in offensive rating to a team that is fourth. That difference alone will make up for some drop in his usage, which is bound to take a hit. I don't think his defensive stats will change much, and his rebound rate shouldn't suffer, since he was sharing minutes and the court in Orlando with great rebounders, Nikola Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo.

Ibaka was averaging 15.1 PTS with 1.5 3PM on 48.8 FG% and 84.6 FT%, 6.8 REB, 1.1 AST, 0.6 STL, 1.6 BLK and 1.2 TO in 31 minutes a game with the Magic, and I believe he will be given about the same minutes in Toronto. His shot attempts may drop from 12.6 a game next to such potent scorers, but if his efficiency increases enough, he might just keep his points in check. His assists might also rise with his passes going to long range shooters like Lowry, DeMarre Carroll or Patrick Patterson.

If you can get Ibaka at a discount, that could prove to be the right move for your team. You might be able to persuade his owner to part with Serge with an offer of around a top-50 to top-70 player, depending on what that owner's perception of Ibaka's situation is, and what his needs are. If you could pass off Jrue Holiday, who I believe is in for a drop in fantasy value next to Boogie, as trade bait you would be a genius in my book, but that's too hard to pull off in most cases. An offer of Tobias Harris or even our previous Sell high candidate Markieff Morris could do the trick if you're lucky. And then just sit back and enjoy the threes and the blocks and lovely efficiency that Serge brings to the table.

Baller Move: Hold or buy low