Rick’s Tips: Waiver Watching

It’s time to hit up the waiver wire during the best part of the fantasy season as the playoffs are upon us. I haven’t been with y’all for a couple weeks, so I’m doubling your pleasure with 10 names that could come to the rescue for your team.

Ramon Sessions

In separate moves on deadline day, the Lakers shipped Derek Fisher to Houston and brought in Ramon Sessions from the Cavaliers to solidify the point guard position.

Ramon isn’t starting yet, but he averaged 8.5 points and 5.5 assists in 22 minutes in his first two games in Purple and Gold. Lakers coach Mike Brown recently told reporters Steve Blake may keep the starting job for the remainder of the season, but I’m not buying it. You don’t ship out Five-Ring Fisher and then not start his replacement. It may take another week or two, but when Sessions gets promoted, he’ll flirt with double-doubles on a nightly basis.

Klay Thompson

As soon as the Warriors selected this sharp-shooting two-guard with the 11th pick in the 2011 draft, the writing was on the wall regarding Monta Ellis’ future in Oakland. It was only a matter of time before Monta was dealt, which happened last Tuesday, opening the starting gig for Thompson.

In five games as a starter, Thompson is averaging 18.6 points, 3.2 assists and 2.2 3s in 36.2 minutes. The rookie is light on rebounds and steals, and he’s shooting just 40 percent since the promotion, but the points and 3s are a nice boost this late in the season.

Nate Robinson

Lil Nate didn’t get his opportunity via trade, rather, the re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-injuries to Stephen Curry’s poor foot. (BTW, Curry is the NUMBER ONE shutdown candidate this season. I highly doubt we see him in uniform before 2012-13.)

In the last five games, Robinson has been delivering the fantasy goodies, averaging 16.4 points, 6.2 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1.4 3s in 34.6 minutes. The fans love him at Oracle and there is no reason to anticipate a drop-off in numbers — unless Curry goes Willis Reed on the last couple weeks of the season.

Jared Dudley

In 11 games since the All-Star break, Dudley has been good for 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.7 3s , 52 percent FG shooting, and 79 percent from the line in 35.7 minutes per game.

Steve Nash and Marcin Gortat have been racking up the double-doubles all season, but their fine play wasn’t good enough to contend in the West until Dudley joined the party with 25 points in a win against the Lakers on Feb. 19. Starting with that turning-point win, the Suns have won 11 of their last 14 games, due in large part to Dudley’s inspirational play.

Wesley Matthews

When the Blazers fired Nate McMillan last week, my first thought was, “Wow, Nate is a great coach who won’t be out of work for long.” My second thought was, “Wow, I better check the waiver wire for Matthews, because he’ll probably go back into the starting lineup under interim coach Kaleb Canales.

Unfortunately, Matthews was owned in all four of my leagues, but fortunately for Wesley, he got his starting job back. And in two starts under Canales, who had been a Blazers assistant since 2009, Matthews is averaging 17 points, 2.0 steals, and 3.5 3s in 34 minutes.

Look for Matthews, Raymond Felton and Nicolas Batum to be consistently productive players down the stretch, as the 34-year-old Canales sticks with the younger guys to accelerate the rebuilding process.

Wilson Chandler

The Nuggets re-signed Chandler just in time because Danilo Gallinari is out perhaps as long as a month, or longer, with his newly broken thumb. Chandler figures to take over the starting small forward spot as soon as he’s ready, and based on the fact he averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds in the Chinese Basketball Association, it shouldn’t take long.

Chandler got off to a good start on Monday against the Mavericks, with 13 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, and one 3 in 28 minutes. Chandler is a must-add RIGHT NOW regardless of format.

Jason Thompson

With J.J. Hickson waived and Chuck Hayes in and out of the lineup due to injuries, and with Thompson in a contract push, the 6-11, 250-pound PF/C is suddenly a double-double machine for the Kings.

In the last three games, Thompson has a double-double in each of them, including back-to-back 21-15 games against the Pistons and Celtics. Hayes had 12 and 8 in 27 minutes on Sunday against the Wolves, but Thompson still managed 13 and 10 in 27 minutes, which makes Thompson an attractive PF add for the moment.

Devin Harris

It took a lot longer than anyone wanted, but Harris is finally starting to play like himself again. He’s been mired in a timeshare all season with backup PG Earl Watson, but Watson has been out of the lineup recently with an ankle injury and Harris has taken full advantage.

Over his last five games, Harris is averaging 13.6 points, 5.6 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.6 3s in 28.6 minutes. John Stockton’s assist and steal records are still safe, but those numbers represent a marked improvement over Harris’ season averages of 10.1 points, 4.5 assists, 1.0 steal, and 0.9 3s in 25.9 minutes.

The hope is that Harris can hover around 30 minutes for the Jazz during their push for the playoffs. As long as Harris is playing 28+ minutes, he is a viable player, especially in larger leagues.

Tristan Thompson

Thompson has been the Cavs’ starting center for exactly two games, and the results have the fantasy world buzzing — well, sort of.

In his first NBA start at center Sunday against the Hawks, Thompson posted an underwhelming 7 points and 6 rebounds in 35 minutes. But he quickly turned that frown upside down with 27 and 12 in 37 minutes in Monday’s win over the Nets.

Anderson Varejao (fractured right wrist) still has not been cleared for contact and has not resumed practicing with the team, so Thompson should be the Cavs’ starting 5 for at least the next two weeks.

Gilbert Arenas

First of all, I’m happy for Gilbert that he is getting a chance to reclaim his NBA career, and I applaud the Grizzlies for having the guts to sign him. Yes, Gilbert has made more than his fair share of mistakes, but after three surgeries on the same knee, I can’t help but pull for him.

Mike Conley owners just gasped, but they don’t have that much to worry about, as Grizzlies analyst Brevin Knight just told me Conley is THE player Lionel Hollins cannot afford to lose. I look for Arenas to play 12-13 minutes off the bench behind Conley and then get another 5-10 minutes at the 2, where Tony Allen and O.J. Mayo now find themselves in a very crowded position.

Bottom line: Leave Arenas on waivers for now, but keep your eye on him because you never know when the Hibachi may heat up.


  1. maam says:

    heat already added Turiaf .. why Hickson?

  2. lakermig says:

    i hope he is right about sessions

  3. prix says:

    Heat will rise in the East and OKC in the west…L.A needs D´will to stand a chance but need 2 seasons to rebuild…Boston needs Chandler and McGee and make 2 of their small 3 a 2nd unit to be back on track..Mavs need Nash and a strong Big man to win again and maybe the championship…Spurs needed a deep bench and a good center like Hibbert to be a contender…

  4. tc says:

    heat should look to add jj hickson

  5. charles says:

    Portland is a solid team. Perzybella, Aldrich, Batum, Matthews and Felton are all good players. A solid draft should help them a great deal next year.