By Gabe Allen, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports
Several of last week’s suggested pickups have since seen their rostered percentage rise, including Gary Trent Jr. (48% rostered), Danny Green (47% rostered), Chuma Okeke (46% rostered), and Jae’Sean Tate (44% rostered).
As such, this week’s column will focus on players who weren’t touched on in last week’s piece, which prioritized those who were affected in one way or another by the activity leading up to the March 26 trade deadline.
PICKING UP PELICANS
Josh Hart (44% rostered)
With Zion Williamson (thumb) and Brandon Ingram (toe) hampered, Hart has been red-hot over the last two games. After posting 15 points, 15 boards, three dimes, three treys, and one block in 32 minutes during Monday’s matchup versus the Celtics, Hart followed up with 14 points, 17 rebounds, and five assists in Thursday’s game against the Magic.
Though neither Williamson nor Ingram is expected to miss an extended period of time, Hart is a superb short-term option with long-term upside, especially for those in need of boards. Across the last five games, Hart has pulled down 13.0 rebounds per game.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Pelicans (43% rostered)
Alexander-Walker has been on a tear in the absence of Lonzo Ball (hip), who has missed six consecutive contests. Alexander-Walker has scored at least 20 points in four of the last eight games and has reached double figures in six straight. Moreover, he’s averaging 20.0 points across the last six outings to go along with 5.8 boards, 3.8 threes, 2.7 dimes, 1.0 block and 0.8 steals in 34.7 minutes. Alexander-Walker appears to be in the process of earning a more substantial role going forward, even once Ball is back.
YOUNG PLAYERS TO MONITOR
Hamidou Diallo, Pistons (42% rostered)
Diallo was having a breakout campaign in Oklahoma City prior to being dealt to Detroit. While he’s still dealing with the effects of a groin injury that forced him to sit out Thursday’s second half of a back-to-back, he’s excelled in his last two appearances. Diallo turned in 19 points (6-10 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 6-7 FT), 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and one steal in 27 minutes during Monday’s matchup versus the Raptors, and he followed up with 19 points (7-8 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT), seven boards, three dimes, one steal and one block in 26 minutes during Wednesday’s matchup with the Trail Blazers.
The select few who didn’t move on from Diallo — despite the fact injuries forced him to miss a month of action — are now reaping the benefits.
Jaden McDaniels, Timberwolves (37% rostered)
McDaniels has scored at least 13 points in four straight games, a stretch in which he’s averaging 14.8 points (59.0% FG, 55.0% 3PT, 100.0% FT), 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 treys, 2.0 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 0.3 steals across 35.8 minutes. His shooting percentages will regress toward the mean, but McDaniels is one of Minnesota’s most intriguing young players. Based on his considerable upside and his Wolves’ position in the standings, the rookie forward may remain heavily involved for the rest of the season.
Isaiah Roby, Thunder (26% rostered)
Roby continues to benefit from the absence of starting power forward Darius Bazley (shoulder), who remains without a timetable to return. Roby is also among those benefiting from the shutdown of Al Horford, who will remain inactive the rest of the way. Roby posts the occasional dud, but he has been especially solid over the last two games. After turning in 12 points, nine boards, three dimes, three steals, and two blocks in 34 minutes during Monday’s matchup versus the Mavericks, Roby went for 17 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists across 32 minutes in Wednesday’s game against the Raptors.
Shake Milton, 76ers (22% rostered)
Milton has managed double-digit points in eight straight showings. Furthermore, he has poured in 20-plus three times and has averaged 17.8 points during that same stretch of games. While the imminent return of Joel Embiid (calf) will almost certainly result in less reliance on Milton from a scoring perspective, he accumulated 27 points, five boards, five treys, four dimes, and one steal in 27 minutes during Thursday’s contest against the Cavaliers. If Milton keeps earning 20-plus minutes per night, he may continue to contribute ample scoring numbers.
Theo Maledon, Thunder (20% rostered)
Maledon has been taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the absence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (foot), reaching double figures in scoring in six of the last seven tilts. Maledon’s shooting percentages and turnover troubles likely limit his appeal to deeper formats, the rookie point guard may be worth a look for those in need of fairly well-rounded counting stats while Gilgeous-Alexander is on the shelf.
Jalen Brunson, Mavericks (15% rostered)
Brunson might be the most slept-on player from a rostered percentage standpoint. Sure, there are nights when he sees less than 20 minutes, and a four-game stretch of subpar performances (from March 15-21) probably played its part in scaring away those in shallower leagues. Still, Brunson has scored in double figures in four of the last five games while going for 20-plus in two of the last three. Bottom line: With per-game averages of 12.7 points (53.6% FG, 39.7% 3PT, 80.2% FT), 3.5 boards, 3.3 dimes, 1.2 threes, and 0.5 steals across 25.2 minutes, Brunson shouldn’t be so widely available.
Mo Bamba, Magic (13% rostered)
Bamba has stepped up following Orlando’s decision to trade two-time All-Star Nikola Vucevic. Though Wendell Carter is ahead of him on the center depth chart, and more versatile on both ends of the court, Bamba has scored in double figures in four straight matchups while showcasing noteworthy improvement in multiple areas. Having slowly but surely filled out his frame over the last few years, Bamba isn’t being pushed around as much, as evidenced by his solid rebounding and block totals of late. Across the last four games, he’s averaging 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 blocks, 1.0 three and 0.3 steals in 18.5 minutes.
Terance Mann, Clippers (11% rostered)
Mann has managed double-digit point totals in six of the last eight contests while making respectable contributions in the rebounding and assists departments. With averages of 15.1 points, 6.9 boards, and 2.6 assists in 28.5 minutes across this recent eight-game stretch, Mann seems to be solidifying his status as a regular rotation player along the wing.
WIDELY AVAILABLE VETERAN PGs
Cory Joseph, Pistons (7% rostered)
Joseph is holding down the fort as Detroit’s starting point guard, at least while Dennis Smith (neck) is out. Across the last three games, Joseph has cobbled together averages of 12.7 points, 7.0 assists, 2.7 boards, 2.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 25.3 minutes. Those desperate for assists and steals in leagues in which T.J. McConnell (49% rostered) and Tomas Satoransky (21% rostered) have already been scooped up could do much worse than Joseph.
D.J. Augustin, Rockets (3% rostered)
Like Joseph, Augustin is not a splashy add by any stretch of the imagination. Nevertheless, after struggling to find his form for the Bucks earlier this season, Augustin has looked more like the player who has carved out a lengthy career for himself. During the last four tilts, he’s averaging 14.3 points (61.3% FG, 56.3% 3PT, 90.9% FT), 4.3 dimes, 3.0 boards, and 2.3 threes in 20.5 minutes.