Sunday, December 10, 2023

Basketball Pickups: Santi Aldama shines in shift to starting unit

Must read

Sunday in the NBA was certainly a strange one. There were some close, exciting games, such as the Celtics beating the Grizzlies by two because of a clutch block by Kristaps Porzingis, the Suns escaping Utah with a win in double overtime, and the Lakers edging out the Rockets. However, the rest were pretty much all blowouts. The Nuggets and Pacers used garbage time to make their losses closer, but the Cavs and Magic won handily. The 76ers beat the Nets by 22, The Raptors beat the Pistons by 29, and the Thunder embarrassed the Blazers in Portland by 43. The only “normal” game was the Kings beating the Mavs by 16, though the starters were pulled early.

What’s the point of all of that? Well, a lot of rotations were very different from normal. Some players had performances that they have almost zero chance of repeating, and they’re simply not worth picking up off of the waiver wire. With that filter applied here, there are still a few players worth adding to your squad.

Santi Aldama- 29% rostered in Yahoo leagues

Aldama literally had the best game of his career on Sunday. He set career-highs in points, assists, threes and field goals made while finishing with his second-most rebounds in a game. He moved into the starting lineup in place of Jacob Gilyard (who played just 15 minutes), and it would be surprising if he relinquished the job. The Grizzlies don’t play again until Wednesday when they travel to Houston.

Lonnie Walker- 30%

Walker has had a stellar season for the Nets and set a season-high for scoring on Sunday with 26 points and six triples. That was his third 20-point game in their last five games, and he has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, when he was held to 14 minutes because of an injury. The majority of his value comes from scoring, but he has been a top-100 player in 9-cat leagues this season. There’s no reason for him to remain on the waiver wire. Their next game is in Atlanta on Wednesday.

Chris Duarte- 2%

With Kevin Huerter sidelined due to a finger sprain on his left hand, Duarte moved into the starting unit. He played 33 minutes and delivered a 13/8/4/2 line with three triples. The Kings play again on Monday in New Orleans, and if Huerter isn’t back in the lineup, Duarte should be streamed everywhere that he’s available.

Cam Reddish- 32%

In 39 minutes on Sunday, Reddish posted a 7/3/3/3 line with a triple. Only LeBron played more minutes than Cam. Over his last seven games, Reddish has five games with three steals, one game with five steals and one outlier performance with no swipes. His next game is against the Jazz on Tuesday, and there aren’t many better sources of steals in the NBA right now.

Craig Porter Jr.- less than 1%

After scoring a career-high 12 points in his last game, Porter Jr. played 25 minutes on Sunday and posted a 21/4/4/2/1 line. He doesn’t take threes, which has resulted in a high field goal percentage, and he has shot 9-of-9 from the line over his last two games. He has played a larger role with Donovan Mitchell, Caris LeVert and Isaac Okoro all sidelined, and a return from any of those guys would limit his value. However, if the stars align from him against the 76ers on Tuesday, he will be worth streaming.

Sam Hauser- 17%

Looking for 3-pointers? Hauser is currently 18th in the league in triples per game and has provided top-100 value because of his production from beyond the arc. Even though he comes off the bench, he has still been reliable from deep. He won’t give you much else, but he’s worth the boost if you need it.

Latest article