If you're in a deep league, there is probably at least one player on your fantasy roster you can live without. A hot pickup from the wire or just a streamer for that weeks matchup can improve you chances of victory. But the deeper the league is, less talent is available.
Here are my Week 11 deeper league waiver wire pickups for your fantasy basketball teams. In the lights of the trade pending that will send Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers, we will be addressing the implications on some of Atlanta's players who are probably still on your league's wire. So, after "The Miami Heat Holiday Special" on Tuesday with my Waiver Wire Wings article (you can find it here: NBA Waiver Wire: Wings (SG/SF, SF, SF/PF) for Week 11) we will have "The Atlanta Hawks Christmas Special" since I'm from Serbia and it's Christmas here today.
Marry Christmas everybody! Now let's get to it.
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Deep League Waiver Wire Add
Thabo Sefolosha, SG/SF, ATL (28% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
First of all, the deal sending Korver to Cleveland has not been finalized yet and the details are not known so there is a big "IF" in everything written below. We will assume Korver is moved as per reports, and that Cleveland sends a draft pick and Mike Dunleavy to Atlanta as is most commonly rumored and reported, so IF that was to happen you could be the first to act, even before it's official.
Thabo Sefolosha is currently the best fantasy player of the bunch we will be discussing today and as such is owned in 28% of the leagues. The immediate impact Korver's departure has on Thabo is increase in minutes, especially until the deal is final and the new addition in Atlanta (probably Dunleavy) is able to take the court for his new team.
Sefolosha is filling it up in almost all categories this season with averages of 7.8 PTS with 0.6 3PM on 46.8 FG% and 75.6 FT%, 4.8 REB, 1.7 AST, 1.8 STL, 0.6 BLK and 1.1 TO in 26 minutes per game. He doesn't contribute too much in points, threes and assists for a wing, and his free throws aren't spectacular, but with just 1.2 attempts per game he doesn't hurt your team. And those steals are tied for seventh spot atop the NBA leaderboard. Not bad from a player off the wire. Furthermore, if he gets even more run with Korver gone, he could get even more of those nice stats for his owners to smile about.
But one thing owners should be worried about is that Sefolosha is 32 years old. By moving Jeff Teague this summer and now Korver, Atlanta seems to be in rebuild mode. They will probably be looking to move all of their "older" valuable assets for draft picks or young talent. Sefolosha is definitely in the "older" valuable asset category.
Rumors of him being moved before the deadline have already started and while he will probably get a boost in the short term with Korver on the move, his value after his own potential trade will depend on where he lands. He will probably be courted by teams in win now mode fighting for either the playoff berth or the Championship this season, so there is a possibility his situation doesn't improve after the trade. But wherever he lands, if Sefolosha gets 25+ minutes a game, you can count on him for the defensive stats and across the board production.
Super Deep League Waiver Wire Add
Tim Hardaway Jr., SG/SF, ATL (14% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Tim Hardaway Jr. has been pretty inconsistent this season. Actually, he has been like that his whole career. But he never was in a stable environment with secure minutes like he is likely to get in Atlanta now that Korver's minutes have to be filled. He could be the primary beneficiary of the Korver trade. Furthermore, any player who can torch San Antonio with 29 points on 11 of 13 from the field and 6 of 7 from beyond the arc definitely has talent.
Hardaway has been especially good in his last three, including the insane game vs. the Spurs, with averages of 18.3 PTS with 4.0 3PM on surreal 61.8 FG% and 50.0 FT%, 4.3 REB, 1.0 AST, 0.3 STL, no blocks and 1.0 TO in 26 minutes a night. That shooting barrage with such efficiency is not sustainable of course, but with more minutes Tim could see himself improve and keep the points and threes on decent percentages coming for his owners, adding a few rebounds and assists with low turnovers to the mix. And if the rumors of Sefolosha being moved also come true, Hardaway may just get all the run he can handle. Who's to say what a 24-year-old son of Tim Hardaway is still capable of achieving?
Insanely Deep League Waiver Wire Add
Mike Muscala, PF/C, ATL (7% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Mike Muscala is a backup frontcourt player averaging 20 minutes per game for the Atlanta Hawks this season. His averages of 7.9 PTS with 0.8 3PM on 52.6% from the field and 75.0% from the line, 3.8 boards, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 swats and 1.0 turnovers have him owned in only 7% of the leagues. But keep in mind, that is while he is getting 20 minutes per game. That could change very soon!
Paul Millsap can opt out of his contract to become a free agent at the end of the season. Atlanta Hawks already lost Al Horford to free agency for nothing last season and they're unlikely to do the same with Millsap this season. Talk is all over town that a trade is imminent. Millsap is too valuable an asset: a) for the Hawks not to try and get at least some draft picks in return; b) for teams looking to make that extra leap to become legitimate contenders (hello Toronto) not to offer some value back for him.
No Millsap would mean more minutes for 25-year-old Muscala to show the Hawks he is a worthy piece of their rebuilding process. If Muscala can get his minutes at the high 20s to low 30s and his per minute production stays roughly the same, Mike will seem like a steal off the waiver wire when his owner's rivals look back and scratch their heads.
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By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.