In this week’s DraftStreet Scouting Report, we take a look at the smart plays and bad plays so that you can build the best team possible. Each week, we’ll go over the best bargains as well as the most overpriced players to help you win cash prizes from DraftStreet.
Here are this week’s smart plays and bad plays, followed by their DraftStreet salary and statistics from their last five games:
Carmelo Anthony – $15,034 – 30.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, .514 FG%, .563 3P% – No player in the NBA has been hotter than Anthony over the last five games. He’s dropping nearly 30 points every night and he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down since he gets so many touches in the Knicks’ offense. Anthony is bargain at $15,034, cheaper than 16 other players this week despite being one of the most productive and consistent players in the league in recent weeks. It’s much easier to justify spending $15,034 on Anthony than, say, spending $22,774 on Kevin Durant.
Rajon Rondo – $18,386 – 12.2 points, 15.4 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals – Rondo has the third highest salary of any player this week, but he’s worth splurging on because he has been the most consistent player in the NBA this season. He has 10 or more assists in 37 straight games, which is the second-longest streak of all-time, trailing only Magic Johnson’s 46-game streak in 1983. Rondo fills the stat sheet and he’s extremely reliable, which can’t be said for some other players in his price range.
Andrea Bargnani – $11,442 – 21.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, .477 FG%, .435 3P% – Bargnani’s numbers are on the rise and he’s coming off of a very strong week that included a 34-point performance against the Detroit Pistons. Bargnani has benefitted from the return of Kyle Lowry, and his numbers should continue to increase as Lowry gets back to 100 percent. At $11,442, Bargnani is significantly cheaper than many other forwards so he’ll allow you to spend big on other positions.
Wesley Matthews – $12,208 – 20.6 points, 2.6 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 2.8 steals, .521 FG%, .483 3P% – In the last five games, Matthews has played well for the Portland Trail Blazers. He’s scoring the ball more now that he’s gaining chemistry with rookie Damian Lillard and his minutes have been on the rise, which bodes well for his stats. Matthews is a smart play at $12,208 because he’s coming off a number of solid performances and because he gives you starter minutes yet is cheaper than reserves such as Ramon Sessions, J.R. Smith and Jose Calderon.
Kyle Singler – $6,684 – 10.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, .588 FG%, .500 3P% – Singler’s stats don’t jump off of the page like some of the other players on this list, but he’s dirt cheap for a starter. He’s someone who can fill out your team if you’re looking for a guard or utility player. Singler moved ahead of Rodney Stuckey in the Detroit Pistons’ starting lineup and he has been producing recently. The Pistons have been winning since making the change so Singler will likely continue to receive big minutes. It’s scary to rely on a rookie, but he’s an amazing bargain. He’s not going to be the star of your team, but considering he’s cheaper than little-used reserves such as Earl Watson and Kwame Brown, he’s a very smart play.
Pau Gasol – $13,733 –12.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, .453 FG%, .545 FT% – Gasol is still trying to get comfortable with the new-look Lakers. He thrives when he’s working from the post, but he hasn’t been getting many opportunities to post-up and he doesn’t seem like a good fit for Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo offense. The Lakers have said that they’ll try to get Gasol more involved, but it’s unlikely that they’ll change the offense for Gasol, especially when giving touches to Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard seems to be the priority. Last week against the Memphis Grizzlies, Gasol was benched for the fourth quarter because he wasn’t producing when he was on the court. Gasol isn’t playing well, but he’s a notable player so he’s still priced high at $13,733. Don’t waste your money. Wait until Gasol starts to fit in and adjust to his new role in Los Angeles before spending that kind of money on him.
John Henson – $13,163 – 7.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0 assists, 0.4 blocks, 13 minutes – If you’re going to spend $13,163 on a player, it should be someone who plays big minutes and produces on a consistent basis. If you need a forward, it’d be much wiser to spend your money on cheaper options like Andrea Bargnani, Glen Davis or Thaddeus Young. Henson is extremely overpriced. He had a 17-point, 18-rebound performance against the Miami Heat last week, but that hasn’t been the norm for Henson. That was the only time this season that the rookie has received more than 17 minutes and he has started just one game. Spend your money elsewhere!
Jose Calderon – $12,214 – 9.2 points, 7.0 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 0.2 steals, .349 FG% – Kyle Lowry is back from injury so Calderon returns to the bench. He played extremely well in Lowry’s absence, passing for 18 assists against the Orlando Magic, dishing out 17 assists against the Utah Jazz and recording a triple-double against the Indiana Pacers. However, he’s a bad play this week because his minutes and production are on the decline, yet he’s still priced like a starter at $12,214. Stay away from Calderon at that price unless he gets traded to a team that will start him.
Roy Hibbert – $13,329 – 12.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.2 blocks, .369 FG% – Hibbert’s disappointing season continues. He hasn’t been as bad over his last five games, as his numbers show, but he has still been extremely inconsistent for the Pacers. One night he’ll have a triple-double (10 points, 11 rebounds, 11 blocks against the New Orleans Hornets), one night he’ll have a mediocre game (6 points, 8 rebounds against the New York Knicks). Hibbert has been getting more touches as of late, but he’s not producing on a consistent basis. Until he does, he’s overpriced - in real life and on DraftStreet.
Andrei Kirilenko –$14,117 – 9.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, .385 FG%, .273 3P% – Kirilenko’s numbers increased when the Timberwolves were down to nine healthy players, but his stats have slowly come back down to earth, especially since Kevin Love returned from injury. Kirilenko isn’t going to receive as many touches or be the focal point of the offense going forward. He’s still someone who contributes in a number of categories, but he’s not worth $14,117 with his diminished role. Rather than overpaying for Kirilenko, spend a thousand bucks more and make Carmelo Anthony your top forward.