It seems impossible, but we’ve almost reached the halfway point of the 2022-23 season. Teams are hovering around 40 games played. The trade deadline is just five weeks away. All-Star Game ballot returns came out yesterday, people! We’re in the thick of things now.
But allow me to zoom in and just focus on tonight’s 11-game slate. Let’s find some values.
C Montrezl Harrell, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Chicago Bulls, $4,500
With Joel Embiid (foot) sidelined on Wednesday, the 76ers went super small in their starting lineup, essentially using P.J. Tucker ($3,200) as a center. Considering the Pacers basically start four guards, it was an understandable decision by Doc Rivers. Still, despite the advantageous matchup, it was Harrell who eventually logged more action and had a much bigger impact than his teammate. In 27.6 minutes, Harrell registered 19 points, five rebounds, four blocks and 36.25 DKFP. It hasn’t been an incredibly consistent campaign from the veteran big man, yet he’s averaging a respectable 0.94 DKFP per minute across 33 contests. With the Bulls in possession of a more physically imposing frontcourt, there’s a chance Harrell might draw his sixth start of 2022-23 on Friday. Either way, as long as he plays at least 25 minutes, Harrell should be able to do some damage against a Chicago squad that owns the fourth-worst defensive rating in the league over its past 10 games (119.0).
SG/SF Landry Shamet, Phoenix Suns vs. Miami Heat, $4,500
It’s like it’s 2022 all over again. Heading into tonight’s tilt with the Heat, the Suns are without Devin Booker (groin), Cameron Johnson (knee) and, after re-aggravating an injury during Wednesday’s loss, Cam Payne (foot). Fortunately, Shamet is healthy and he’s back to logging insane minutes with an eye-popping usage share. To wit, the veteran guard played 36.2 minutes against the Cavaliers, taking 12 field goal attempts and finishing with 26.5 DKFP. Shamet’s now been on the floor for at least 30 minutes in four of his last five appearances, with an overall usage rate of 23.2% within that span. He’s also managed to exceed 45.0 DKFP twice since Dec. 20. In the simplest terms, there’s a reason Shamet’s price point had risen well-above $5K prior to suffering an ailment of his own on Christmas. Take advantage of the savings.
PG Raul Neto, Cleveland Cavaliers at Denver Nuggets, $3,400
Here’s what we know so far: Donovan Mitchell (rest) has been ruled out for Friday’s contest in Denver, while Darius Garland ($8,000; thumb) is questionable. It’s probably also worth noting that Dean Wade (shoulder) is sidelined, as well. Why? Well, in the one game where both Mitchell and Garland were unavailable this season, Wade was in the starting lineup. That was back on Nov. 4 against the Pistons, and the Cavaliers sort of decided to not even start a point guard — depending on your personal definition of Caris LeVert ($5,800), anyway. This time around? I think we might see Neto draw a start if Garland is unable to give it a go. Neto logged 24.4 minutes in that victory over Detroit in November and logged 21.0 minutes in the team’s win over Phoenix on Wednesday with Garland in street clothes. With options very thin and a microscopic price tag, there’s some potential value with the 30-year-old.
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