Not many top five NBA draft picks playing on their third team in four years, suddenly become a fantasy darling the way Wesley Johnson has for the Los Angeles Lakers.
In today’s edition of “All Wired Up”, I’ll delve into the fantasy strengths of potential waiver wire gold like Johnson and the Memphis Grizzlies’ Tayshaun Prince for deeper leagues.
» Wesley Johnson, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers (25.2 percent owned on ESPN.com)
14 points (7-11 FG, 0-0 FT), 0 three-pointers, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers vs Trail Blazers.
Is Mike D’Antoni really a wizard? Surely there must be some sort of other-worldly powers spewing forth when D’Antoni addresses his troops. Because he has done the remarkable job of making previously considered-to-be-busts players into insane fantasy producers. And all of this is happening in the confines of a horrible team that is positioning itself perfectly for a high draft pick.
The Lakers’ brass must secretly be loving what they are seeing — exciting, high scoring basketball, ending in a loss more often than not.
Wesley Johnson is one of the poster boys for the D’Antoni effect. Unbelievably, Johnson is the 22nd-ranked player on Basketball Monster.com over the last month. In that time frame, Johnson is averaging 13.8 points, 1.7 three-pointers, 5.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocks as well as shooting 52.1 percent from the field.
How is he only owned in 25 percent of leagues? Come on, people, lift your game!
When I wrote about Johnson in an article back on February 6th, he was the only player in the NBA averaging at least a steal, a block and a made three-pointer per game. He has since been joined in that group by Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks, but it’s definitely Johnson who has been the standard-bearer for this sort of statistical performance.
Johnson isn’t just a must-own player; he is the must-own player at the moment. There’s no reason he can’t keep up this sort of form for the rest of the season — maybe not top 30, but definitely top 70.