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Buy, Sell or Hold: Nicolas Batum and Aaron Gordon?

By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Aaron Gordon) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

All aboard the NBA fantasy value roller coaster! Getting a good player currently undervalued in a trade for an overpriced guy who is going to drop in performance in the near future can make a world of a difference come fantasy playoffs.

Below are my Week 10 fantasy basketball buy low and sell high candidates. Let's take a look at a good player who is too hot to handle at the moment, but is also too hot not to burn up a bit, and at a talented prospect who is likely to get even more room to improve if everything falls into place, and there are more and more indications that it will.

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Buy Low, Sell High Advice for Week 9

Are You for Real, Nicolas Batum?

Nicolas Batum is a well-rounded, do it all player. You can always count on him for multicat contribution without hurting you much in any particular category. So far this season he is averaging 14.8 PTS with 1.8 3PM, on 40.3 FG% and 81.7 FT%, 7.7 REB, 5.9 AST, 1.3 STL, 0.4 BLK and 2.4 TO in 34 minutes per game. Apart from a spike in rebounds and steals and a slight dip in percentages those stats are similar to his last year's averages. And that is pretty much what his owners can expect from him on a normal day.

But Nic hasn't been "normal" lately. He is a top-10 player in the last 7 days with averages of 20.0 points with 1.5 triples on 48.3% from the field and 88.9% from the line, 9.5 boards, 7.8 dimes, 2.0 steals, 0.5 blocks and just 2.3 turnovers in 36 minutes a night. Whoaaa!!! Those are some Russell Westbrook counting stats, just with fewer TO and better percentages and defensive stats! Furthermore, in his 15 games in the month of December Batum has double-doubled in eight of them, triple-doubled once and has scored in single digits (seven and nine points) in just two of those games.

Now that we have established that Batum is a great player whose game is very fantasy friendly, lets take a look at why it's unlikely for him to keep this torrid pace up. Before December Nic had just two double-doubles in 17 games and his averages were 13.4 PTS with 1.8 3PM on 38.6 FG% and 81.0 FT%, 6.7 REB, 5.2 AST, 1.0 STL, 0.5 BLK and 2.3 TO in 34 minutes per game. Nice stats, but not top-10 nice are they?

If you own Batum, and agree that he isn't going to fly this high the rest of the way, now is a good time to test the market in your league. What you should be looking to get in return is definitely a top-15 or top-20 player. Kyle Lowry, Paul GeorgeDraymond Green or even Hassan Whiteside with his recent slump could be obtainable depending on what type of league you're in.

Baller Move: Sell high


Time to Panic on Aaron Gordon?

The Orlando Magic have made some contradictory moves in the past year. First they ship Tobias Harris off for next to nothing in February 2016 to clear some room for Aaron Gordon to develop. Then they trade for Serge Ibaka and acquire Bismack Biyombo in free agency to crowd the front court up again. Those moves saw Gordon shift to play more minutes at the small forward, even though in the 2015-16 season his best games came when he was playing at the power forward spot.

Now it seems that the Magic are again looking to free up some minutes in the frontcourt. Nikola Vucevic has had his name dragged through a bunch of trade rumors in the last couple of days. And although all of the players in the frontcourt rotation consisting of Ibaka, Vucevic, Biyombo and Gordon have played pretty well, the minute sharing surely takes away some fantasy appeal from all of them, so if Vooch is traded, fantasy owners should expect all of them to get a rise in playing time and value.

Gordon's stats this season aren't too flashy with him averaging 10.6 PTS with 1.0 3PM on 43.2 FG% and 61.8 FT%, 4.3 REB, 1.6 AST, 0.7 STL, 0.5 BLK and 1.0 TO in 26 minutes per game. But he has been much better in his last three games with 13.7 PTS with 1.7 3PM on 50.0% from the field and 85.7% from the line, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks and just 0.3 turnovers in 28 minutes per outing. So Gordon is proving he has potential. Moreover, so far this season he has managed a double-double, hit four three-pointers in a game twice, turned the ball over more than twice in just two games (three TO in both) and most importantly hit 30 or more points in two games. Not everyone can accomplish that, especially when averaging minutes in the mid 20s. If Vucevic does get moved, Gordon should be looking at minutes in the early 30s with more time in his more natural PF spot which would increase his value for sure.

You don't want to overpay though, since Gordon is currently ranked outside of the top-100 on the season. A player around that value should be good enough for you to obtain him. Again depending on your league settings, your team's needs and the wishes and views of Gordon's owner you should be looking to offer someone like T.J. Warren, Mason Plumlee or Taj Gibson for Gordon. You can go even higher than that if you have faith in him and in Orlando giving him more time, touches and responsibilities going forward. And you should expect that since the Magic have been showing signs of trust in Gordon.

Baller Move: Hold or buy low

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