Hoops Heist: Chasing Devin Harris
One buy-low candidate I'm approaching this week is Devin Harris, point guard of the 0-18 New Jersey Nets -- in case that wasn't said enough this week. Harris is shooting a woeful 36.1-percent from the floor this season, which is the main factor that is driving his stock down. It's not so much that he's not finishing at the basket (40-percent at the rim, on 5.1 attempts per game), but he's once again attempting more then 3.0 treys per game while shooting just 29.1-percent from downtown. He might want to take a page from Josh Smith's playbook and stop jacking up shots from beyond the arc. Considering that the Nets are a Yi Jianlian away from getting healthy and have nothing but their own dignity left to play for, I think Harris is a go-get candidate. He's much better than what we've seen early on, especially when it comes to finishing in the paint. Now if he can only stop shooting long-balls he could right his FG% and actually add more value to your team than those lousy 0.5 treys per game can.
Al Jefferson, F/C, Timberwolves -- It's easy to see why owners might be adverse to trading for Jefferson. Not only does he not look to be 100-percent healthy, but the fact that he has no front-line help makes life much more difficult as he's had to face an additional body in the paint. Well, he's got some help on the way. Everyone's favorite nephew of a Beach Boy, Kevin Love, is on his way back. As early as this weekend, in fact. Over the 19 game span prior to Jefferson's season-ending surgery last season, Love averaged 10.1 rebounds per game and Jefferson pulled down 12.1 in that span. Yes, they can co-exist in the paint. Opposing bigs will now have to body both Love and Jefferson. Really, Damien Wilkins just isn't cutting it. Jefferson's health is gradually improving, and I do think he's going to start showing his All-Star form in time. However, I wouldn't offer any of your three best players for Jefferson, but I would maybe try and package someone like LaMarcus Aldridge or even Elton Brand. They may not be enough all by their lonesome, but adding in another low-level player might get the deal done.
David West, PF, Hornets -- I think there's something to the fact that West scored in double-figures in the 10 games with Chris Paul as the starting point guard this season, yet only managed to hit double-digits in five of the eight games since Darren Collison took over. West has become one of those 'quiet stars' in the league and a lot of the credit has to go to Paul, who makes life a lot easier for him. West has been known to get some easy buckets when Paul penetrates the paint, forcing the defense to collapse. Right now West doesn't look like his former All-Start self. I think he'll revert back once Paul returns in a week. While you may not be able to go out and grab Paul, you should try and make the move for West before he gets his superstar point guard back.
Derrick Rose, PG, Bulls-- Rose is a tough get mainly because of his name. Many fantasy owners tend to think his fantasy value is much higher than it actually is. Sure, in reality Rose is a star in the making. In just his second year he's quickly become one of the more skillful scoring point guards. He does have a few drawbacks, though. This season he's hit just one three-pointer and stolen 16 balls through the first 16 games. As of Friday there are 30 point guard eligible players ahead of Rose in steals. And you'll love to know that on the season he has as many threes made as Serge Ibaka does. So why trade for him? Because he's better than his early play indicates. He's better than 15.8 points and 5.3 assists per game. Over his last five he's averaging 19.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, a steal and 53.2-percent shooting from the floor. I would if go in with a low offer and see if you can get a bite -- as long as you're no trading away any more steals or threes than you need. It's quite possible that the team you're trading with might need some steals or threes. Make sure you point that out when making your plea.
Tyrus Thomas, PF, Bulls -- He's the "other" Bull in this week's edition of Hoops Heist. We know one thing for sure -- Thomas is an exceptional shot blocker. He alone could easily help you catch your competitors in the blocks category. It's true that he's still about two weeks away from returning, but that should give you a little extra leverage by offering a player they can plug in for the next 14 days. There's no shame in being desperate for blocks. And there's no better swat value out there than Ty Thomas.