This week is the final full week of action before the NBA All-Star break which starts Friday, Feb. 15. As teams push to the break, we have a full slate of action with a fairly balanced schedule. There are at least six games every night this week Monday through Saturday, with Tuesday and Friday bringing us the most action with eight games scheduled for each night.
Most teams are lined up for three games this week, and the only team that plays fewer contests is the Jazz, who have just a pair of contests. The Hawks, Pacers, Bucks, Pelicans, Magic, Suns, Kings, Wizards and Spurs all have four-game slates, which make pickups from those squads even stronger plays if your league limits acquisitions.
As you pick which players to add to your roster for the coming week, check out these four pickups who are widely available and trending in the right direction. There are also some other options at the bottom of the page who make nice pickups depending on your league’s situation. If you have specific questions about your roster or league format, I’d be happy to answer them on Twitter @ZT_Sports.
PG MONTE MORRIS, DEN (AT DET, AT BKN, AT PHI)The Nuggets have been without starting PG Jamal Murray for the past five games, as the third-year player has battled a serious ankle injury. Murray could return later this week, but even when he does there could still be work for Morris, especially if Gary Harris (groin) continues missing games as well. Morris has proven he can contribute coming off the bench as the primary backup PG and has been even better lately as a starter.
In the five games Murray has missed, Morris has averaged 14.8 points, 5.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 33.9 minutes per contest. He has started each of Denver’s past three games and played almost 49 minutes per contest. The Nuggets have good matchups this week, and Morris should be very involved especially if Denver tries to get their starting guards more rest through the break.
SG/SF MIKAL BRIDGES, PHO (VS. HOU, AT UTA, VS. GSW, AT SAC)The Suns traded for Bridges on draft night after he was picked 10th overall by the 76ers. They’ve given the rookie from Villanova a heavy workload and have started him in 37 straight games. He has contributed solid counting stats, but has struggled to find consistent scoring until this past week.
He has played over 35 minutes in four straight games and scored at least 15 points in three straight contests. In those three games, he has shot a combined 19-for-28 (68%) and averaged 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.0 assists in those contests as well. Bridges is so established that he should get heavy workloads in all four of the Suns’ games this week regardless of the game situation. He will at least be able to give you a few rebounds, steals and assists every game, and also brings a high ceiling as he grows into a larger scoring role.
PF/C MAXI KLEBER, DAL (VS. CHA, VS. MIL, VS. POR)Another young player with a potential boost coming his way is Kleber, who should be a regular in the Mavericks’ new-look lineup after they traded Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan to the Knicks. They did get Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee in return, but will need some extra help in the frontcourt the rest of the way since Kristaps Porzingis (knee) will probably not play the rest of the season.
Kleber started Saturday against the Cavaliers and played 27 minutes, scoring 10 points to go with nine rebounds, two blocked shots, two assists and a steal. He should have a chance to grow into his new role with three home games this week and offers solid contributions across the board with lots of room to grow in what is clearly now Luka Doncic’s offense.
PG/SG SHELVIN MACK, MEM (VS. MIN, AT OKC, VS. NOP)The Grizzlies are expected to be one of the most active teams at the trade deadline, and how their roster shakes out could create a huge opportunity for Mack to step up. He showed he has upside with 19 points, nine assists, a rebound and two steals in a spot start Friday against the Hornets when Mike Conley (knee) was sidelined. Conley returned Sunday, but Mack still logged 28 minutes off the bench.
If the Grizzlies move Conley at the deadline and don’t get a starting PG in return, Mack could be a great play down the stretch as the Grizzlies play out their lost season. Memphis does have some nice pieces to work with Mack if he ends up getting regular minutes at PG or even on the wing, where he also has flashed upside. He is worth a speculative add at this point and would be a must-add if the situation breaks in his favor.
Other options worth watching
- SF/PF Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic
- SG/SF Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks
- SG/SF Caris LeVert, Brooklyn Nets
- PG/SG Reggie Jackson, Detroit Pistons
- PG/SG Malik Beasley, Denver Nuggets
- SF Kenrich Williams, New Orleans Pelicans
- PF/C Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat
- SF/PF, Bruno Caboclo, Memphis Grizzlies
- PF/C Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks
- PG/SG Tyreke Evans, Indiana Pacers
- C Joakim Noah, Memphis Grizzlies
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.