Not only do we have a small slate on Monday, but it skews heavily towards the east coast, as five of the six games will tip-off in the seven o’clock hour. So, there’s really no time to waste.
Let’s dive in and find some values.
PF/C Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hakws vs. Los Angeles Clippers, $5,100
On Sunday, an MRI revealed that Clint Capela (hip) had suffered a left adductor strain in Saturday’s overtime win over the Warriors. The veteran big man is now set to miss at least a week or two, which opens up an incredible opportunity for Okongwu to shine. Against Golden State, with Capela limited to just 25.2 minutes, Okongwu logged a season-high 36.1 minutes, registering 22 points, 16 rebounds and 48.5 DKFP in the process. The former lottery pick likely won’t be quite as efficient in a matchup with the Clippers — who own the league’s eighth-lowest defensive rating across their last 10 contests — yet Okongwu is averaging a respectable 0.92 DKFP per minute for the season as a whole. At this price, Okongwu doesn’t have to do much to bring back value, especially considering he’s played at least 32 minutes in every start he’s made in 2023-24.
SG/SF Lonnie Walker IV, Brooklyn Nets vs. Golden State Warriors, $4,000
It had been a rough two months for Walker. After a quick and productive start to the season, Walker suffered an injury at the end of November, which caused him to miss all of December. Understandably, the veteran wing then returned rusty and out of sorts, struggling his way to just 8.4 points per game in January. However, I’m here to say that Walker is officially out of his funk. In his last three contests, a stretch where Walker is averaging 29.3 minutes, the 25-year-old is managing 19.3 points and 34.6 DKFP. That includes a season-high 41.75 DKFP against Phoenix last Wednesday. With Dorian Finney-Smith (ankle) and Ben Simmons (back) already ruled out for Monday’s tilt, I wouldn’t expect any changes to Walker’s recent role. Meanwhile, his production should also carry over in a matchup against the Warriors, the team with the league’s worst defensive rating across their last 15 games (123.0).
PG Ish Smith, Charlotte Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers, $3,600
This is a tough one. On the one hand, the Hornets are incredibly banged up at the moment. LaMelo Ball (ankle), Mark Williams (back) and Gordon Hayward (calf) are all dealing with long-term injuries, while Cody Martin ($4,800; knee) was forced to miss Sunday’s loss to the Pacers due to his own ailment. I have my doubts he’ll be able to play on the second night of a back-to-back. Add in Kyle Lowry, who is basically sitting around until he’s bought out, and there’s not a lot of active players left for Charlotte. On the other hand, all of this has basically turned the team’s pecking order into a three-headed monster. Miles Bridges ($8,200), Brandon Miller ($6,800) and P.J. Washington ($6,000) sort of just eat up all the shots and usage on the roster, no matter how many minutes are available elsewhere. That’s why we’re somehow questioning the viability of a starting point guard at less that $4K. Smith logged 25.5 minutes on Sunday. I have to believe he can reach 5x value if given that type of opportunity once again this evening.
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