We’re more than halfway through the NBA season, and if you’re a contending team you should start thinking about making a deal or two to strengthen your roster to make a run at the title. Whether that means giving up young talent to get established veterans, make sure to keep an eye on this week’s risers to see if you can swing a deal.
Goran Dragic, PG, Phoenix Suns
Perhaps fueled in part by an All-Star snub, Dragic has been a man on a mission lately. Taking home last week’s Western Conference Player of the Week award was no doubt a weak consolation prize, but fantasy owners could care less. Stellar games against Philadelphia (24 points, seven assists, four rebounds), Milwaukee (30, 6 and 4), Indiana (28, 7 and 3) and Charlotte (25, 4 and 5) have Dragic playing at an insanely high level. Over the past four games, he’s averaging 26.8 points and six assists per game while shooting a marksman-like 64 percent from the field.
Andrew Bogut, C, Golden State Warriors
Finally, the big Aussie is playing like the player fantasy owners envisioned before drafted him. Bogut looked healthy and light on his feet while scoring 30 points on 15-of-26 shooting with 34 rebounds, five assists, six blocked shots and three steals in back-to-back efforts Thursday and Friday. Although he had just eight combined points the previous two games, he did pull down a combined 20 rebounds. That was coming off a seven-block game the week before. There might be hope for the big guy finding some consistency in his game this year.
Tim Duncan, C, San Antonio Spurs
Earlier this year Duncan was looking like he was tiring out a bit. But lately he looks like the Duncan of last season, recording double-doubles in six of his last seven games. Great games against Houston (12 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks), Chicago (17, 12 and 1) and Sacramento (23, 17 and 2) has got to give owners faith that Timmy still has something left in the tank.
Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, New York Knicks
He may not have the killer crossover move that made his daddy famous, but this Junior can score the basketball with the best of them. Finally getting some playing time with the Knicks has given the Michigan alum a huge boost lately. He poured in a career high 29 last week against Cleveland, and also had solid games against Miami (17 points) and Boston (16). While it remains to be seen if he can do more than just score the basketball and light it up from deep, his play of late is encouraging.
Reggie Jackson, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Soon after Russell Westbrook took a seat to recover from knee surgery, Jackson seized the reigns of the Thunder offense — even looking confident in doing so. But he has hit a rough patch lately, shooting poorly from the field and turning the ball over in bunches — including a four-assist, eight-turnover outing last week in a loss to the Wizards. He’s still averaging 13 points and 4.1 assists per game, but I have to imagine Thunder faithful — and fantasy owners— can’t wait for Westbrook to get back.
Marco Belinelli, SG, San Antonio Spurs
You’d think that with all the injuries that have ravaged the Spurs lately, Belinelli would look at it as an opportunity to step up his game. That hasn’t been the case. He failed to score more than 12 points in a game last week, and he isn’t even a factor when it comes to rebounds and assists. He also shot a combined 4-of-18 from deep last week in three games.
Spencer Hawes, C, Philadelphia 76ers
On the plus side, Hawes hits 3-pointers on a pretty regular basis — a huge bonus from a guy who plays center. On the down side, lately he’s struggled to stay in the game, getting into early foul trouble. He also hasn’t hit double digits in rebounds in a game in nearly two weeks, and he hasn’t blocked more than two shots in a game in more than a month.
Andre Iguodala, SF/SG, Golden State Warriors
Maybe it’s the different role Iggy has embraced with the Warriors or maybe it’s the slow decline of his skills. Whatever the case, Igoudala had games scoring five, eight and four points last week. He also didn’t grab more than eight rebounds or dish out more than three assists. This obviously isn’t the same AI we saw when he was with Denver.