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Typically when looking at second half sleepers/targets there are a few things to look for. Players who are trending upwards, players who could fall into new situations because of trades, and teams that have favorable H2H schedules.
Players who could fall into new situations are probably the hardest to predict and then making correlating moves to take advantage are sometimes even harder. Mostly because we don’t know how much fire there is in relation to smoke and then sometimes the ancillary pieces that get thrown in at the end take on minor roles that mess up playing time projections.
Isaiah Thomas seems like the most likely guy to gain some decent value and while trading for him at this point isn’t likely, if you own him, definitely don’t sell high. Dragic being moved has been swirling for a bit and I picked IT2 as a new situation guy about a week ago and of course now the Dragic rumors are all but certain it seems. Just depends on where he lands now. But back to IT2. Last season he put up right around top 35 value in 9 cat and played 34.7 mpg. His per 36 from last season was actually a little bit worse, which is why we saw him slip so much in drafts this season. Without clear minutes in quantities what would his value be? The answer: top 65 per game in 25.7 minutes and a per 36 rank in the top 25. So clearly an additional 5-10 minutes is going to push him into the top 50 and better on a Phoenix team that still moves at a fast pace.
Andrea Bargnani I wouldn’t target heavily, but would definitely keep an eye on. For one, Amare already got bought out and the Knicks are already a borderline D-League team (and will be even more so once Carmelo shuts it down). For two, Bargs is also rumored to be on the trade block, which kind of allows you to double dip. Maybe a change of venue helps him and he solidifies a bench role, or maybe the Knicks just let him showcase a bit this season in hopes of unloading him at some point. I’d also like to point out that I see Bargs as a positional player who brings off category stats. So if you’re a small ball team that needs threes, FT%, and decent boards from a center then he’s a good fit.
Shane Larkin is the third guy I’d take a look at. Again someone on a terrible team that is waiving players (Amare), shutting them down (Caremlo), or trading them (Calderon and Pablo). I personally wouldn’t be surprised to see who ever fails to get Dragic to go after Calderon (I actually think he’d be a great fit for Houston). What this leaves behind then is a ton of minutes for a few guys to play and while the efficiency won’t be there, there’s always a chance the counting stats are there. Larkin has also shown himself to be fairly strong steals as the season progresses and his assist/TO ratio is surprisingly good for a young combo guard.
With the volatility in trade rumors it’s hard to predict new situations, but these three seem all but destined to have different roles moving forward with the trade deadline only a day away.