The midway point has already passed in the NBA season, and that means there’s less opportunity to make a splash via free agency in your fantasy basketball leagues. While some hidden gems will emerge from waiver wire, making a trade will most likely be the best way to improve your team. Understanding a player’s value and perceived value are two much different things. Players are ranked according to overall production, but that doesn’t always mean they are assisting you much in your quest for a league title. A particular fantasy player — like the Atlanta Hawks’ Kyle Korver — could be perfect trade bait to a team in desperate need of the stats he provides – which are mainly three-pointers. Finding the right team to target based on your needs and theirs, is the first step to making a trade and ultimately improving your team.
There’s no question Korver is having arguably his best season ever. His 11.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.7 three-pointers and 1.1 steals are all the second-highest averages of his 10-year career — and his 3.0 assists and 91.9 percent free throw shooting are currently career-bests. Right now he’s ranked 30th for the season on Basketball Monster.com’s player rater. So why am I telling you to trade him?
If your team is in dire need of his three-pointers, then you’d be one of the few owners this article wouldn’t apply to, but for the rest of you, listen up when I say “trade Kyle Korver now, before it’s too late.” While all those aforementioned stats are pretty good, none of them – aside from the treys and free throw percentage – are noteworthy. The free throw percentage is nice on the surface, but factor in that he’s only attempting one per game, and he really has a miniscule overall contribution to your team in that category. The rebounds and assists are fair numbers for a SG/SF, but when you look at your team, the question you need to ask is: are his 4.2 boards and 3.0 dimes putting you over the top in any of those categories? The answer, in most cases, would probably be “no”. Korver definitely isn’t hurting you in any stats, but realistically, three-pointers is the only one he’s providing a matchup-changing effect in. You need to decide whether he’s worth keeping for his threes, or if you can trade him to a less-informed owner who is only looking at his stats and rankings as a whole.
Three-pointers can be the easiest stat to find among players on the waiver wire. This makes it even easier to trade Korver in order to help your team in other areas of need. Take a look at the following players and their stats from the last 15 days. All these three-point specialists are readily available in ESPN.com leagues:
- Randy Foye – 3.7 3-pointers (50 percent available)
- Mirza Teletovic – 2.4 3-pointers (100 percent available)
- DeMarre Carroll – 2.6 3-pointers (98 percent available)
- Luke Ridnour – 2.1 3-pointers (99 percent available)
- Martell Webster – 2.1 3-pointers (79 percent available)
- Mike Dunleavy – 2.0 3-pointers (90 percent available)
Those are just a small sample of some players who can replace Korver in your lineup if you choose to trade him. In fact, take Dunleavy for example. He’s available in 90 percent of leagues, but look at his last nine games compared to Korver’s:
» Dunleavy: 13.4 Pts, 3.1 Reb, 2.2 Ast, 1.0 Stl, 2.0 3PT, 45.2 FG%
» Korver: 10.1 Pts, 4.7 Reb, 3.9 Ast, 1.3 Stl, 2.0 3PT, 39.5 FG%
In general, Korver and Dunleavy are putting up similar numbers over the past three weeks. So why is Korver owned in 98 percent of leagues and Dunleavy in only 10? Korver’s hot start has a lot has to do with it, as well as the fact that he’s been on SportsCenter every night for making a three-pointer in an NBA record 111 consecutive games.
If you want to make the second half of your season worthwhile, assessing the your players’ value will be a key to success. Letting Korver just sit there on your roster when you can pawn him off on a three-point needy opponent (and easily replace him with someone off waivers) would be a huge mistake. Complacency never won anyone anything. Stop sitting on your hands and start sending out some trade offers!