We are just a couple of days away from the NBA All-Star break, with several teams playing their final game of the first-half on Wednesday evening. How might a pending vacation and a slew of injuries effect the presence of value on the 11-game slate?
Let’s dive in and sort it all out.
SF/PF Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets at New York Knicks, $4,000
Brown has been frustratingly inconsistent for the whole of 2021-22, so you obviously can’t put too much stock into his 52.0 DKFP performance from this past Monday. Still, finding value on an NBA slate is essentially buying into the amount of potential a particular asset has, and few can touch as many categories as Brown on his best night. To wit, the forward racked up six rebounds, six assists, five steals and three blocks against Sacramento, to go along with 19 points. He also started and logged a team-high 37.9 minutes, which gives the 25-year-old an incredibly sturdy floor.
I think it’s also important to note that Brooklyn ran at a pace of 103.0 possessions per 48 minutes in the lopsided victory, which is interesting considering all the talent it currently finds itself without. There’s no Kevin Durant (knee). There’s no Kyrie Irving (personal). There’s no Ben Simmons (personal). Yet, instead of milking the clock and limiting opponent opportunities, the Nets shoved it down the Kings’ throat. That’s an environment I’m tempted to get a piece off.
SG Quentin Grimes, New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets, $4,100
Let’s double-dip, shall we? I think we all know the book on Tom Thibodeau by now. The man likes the players he likes, and he will run those players into the ground if need be. Well, RJ Barrett (ankle) was one of Thibs’ guys. In fact, the former lottery pick was averaging a cool 41.4 minutes per game through the Knicks’ first four contests in February. Then Barrett got hurt and someone had to step in and fill the void. That someone was Grimes.
Grimes has started his last three games, logging 31.0 minutes, 36.8 minutes and 40.0 minutes, respectively, within that span of time. In the two most recent contests, Grimes has used the ample opportunity to surpass 35.0 DKFP, while also hoisting up a team-high 14 three-point attempts in Monday’s overtime loss to Oklahoma City. That’s some pretty serious volume for an asset priced just above $4K. Grimes taking advantage of his situation isn’t an entirely new thing, either. Back on Dec. 12 against the Bucks — the only other game where Grimes has seen in excess of 35 minutes this season — the 21-year-old registered an eye-popping 42.25 DKFP.
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PG Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers, $3,100
It’s sort of funny how no matter what he does, Jones always seems to be significantly less expensive than De’Anthony Melton ($4,900). Despite the fact the two average roughly the same minutes per game, despite the fact that the two both basically produce around 1.00 DKFP per minute, despite the fact that Jones has been the one to start in every single time Ja Morant ($10,200; ankle) is sidelined. It’s Jones who finds himself near the minimum.
Well, I’m not complaining. While there’s no guarantees that Morant will miss both ends of the Grizzlies’ current back-to-back, it would make sense for the team to use extreme caution with the guard heading into the All-Star break. Such a scenario would give Jones his 15th start of 2021-22, and the diminutive guard has tended to take advantage of those opportunities. Jones has averaged 28.1 DKFP in his 14 prior starts, exceeding 30.0 DKFP six times, which includes Tuesday’s 44.25 DKFP showing in a victory over New Orleans. If Morant sits, it’s just difficult to envision Jones not bringing back at least 7x value at this price tag.
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