NBA

5 down candidates including Malcolm Brogdon

5 down candidates including Malcolm Brogdon

Special to Yahoo Sports

Injuries continue to pile up in the NBA, some of which have left fantasy basketball coaches scrambling for reinforcements. To add the active waiver wire option, you sometimes have to make a tough decision about which players to let go. We highlight five established players for fantasy managers who need an open roster spot to consider leaving.

The Celtics acquired Brogdon in an exchange of the pacers to make him a member of his second unit. After putting up some juicy fantasy stats as a starter during his tenure with the Pacers, analysts expected him to take a step back with his new team. That has come true, averaging 13.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 23 minutes per game.

One of the reasons the Celtics want to keep Brogdon playing limited minutes off the bench is that he has a checkered injury history. He has missed six games this season and hasn’t played more than 56 games since 2018-19. Expect the Celtics to take every opportunity to give Brogdon extra rest, including keeping him on the bench in games where they’ve blown a big lead. They’ve been involved in some hitting lately, holding Brogdon to less than 10 points in four of his last five games. There will be nights where he goes based on his talent, but with his uneven production, it’s not a crazy idea to drop him if you need a more reliable option.

A foot injury limited Hardaway to just 42 games last season. An extended absence was rare for him, having played at least 70 games in each of the previous two seasons. He struggled with his efficiency when he was on the floor, shooting just 39.4% from the field. That left him averaging 14.2 points per game, which was his lowest mark since the 2015-16 season.

Hardaway typically doesn’t offer many rebounds, assists or defensive stats, making him difficult to sign in most formats when he’s not shooting for a high percentage. He’s down to 38.4% from the field this season, leaving him averaging 13.8 points per game. Unless you’re desperate for his 2.8 3-pointers per game, he’s hurting fantasy managers enough in most categories to be worth dropping.

It’s time to consider moving on from the Mavericks’ vanguard Tim Hardaway Jr. in fantasy basketball. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Clarke has missed the last two games with a hip injury, but that’s not why he’s on this list. The problem for him has again been a lack of playing time this season. He’s only averaging 20 minutes per game, which is exactly what he averaged last season when he posted 10.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

In the same amount of playing time this season, Clarke has averaged nearly identical 10.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He’s very talented and only 26 years old, but the Grizzlies haven’t indicated they intend to play him any longer. In fact, they started Santi Aldama on him earlier this season when Years Jackson Jr. I was hurt. It would probably take multiple injuries up front for Clarke to see a significant increase in playing time.

The reconstruction rockets put Wall in a tough spot last season when they decided not to play him at all even though he was healthy. His monstrous contract made him virtually unstoppable, so he was forced to wait and look for a new opportunity as a free agent in the offseason. When he finally hit the open market, he joined the Clippers on a two-year deal in which the second year was a club option. He signed a demo deal to show if he could still contribute significantly to a contending team.

Because Wall missed all of last season and has had injury issues in the past, the Clippers have taken a very cautious approach with his playing time. He has sat out at least one game of back-to-back games and is averaging just 22 minutes per game. The Clippers have great depth, including at point guard, where Reggie Jackson he played exceptionally well as a starter last season. Wall is shooting 41.4 percent from the field and 67.9 percent from the charity stripe, averaging 11.5 points and 5.2 assists in his limited role. While his assists are useful for fantasy managers who need them, the rest of his contributions no longer make him a must-play player.

The Jazz embarked on a rebuild last offseason, trading away two star players Donovan Mitchell i Rudy Gobert. O’Neale isn’t at the level of either of those two, but he was a critical player for them, providing defense and 3-point shooting. His move to the Nets put him back on a contending team and put him in the starting lineup along with two other stars in Kevin Durant i Kyrie Irving.

Playing time hasn’t been an issue for O’Neale, who is averaging 35 minutes per game. He has been an asset from behind the arc, making 2.3 3-pointers per game. He is also averaging a career-high 4.2 assists. However, his contributions in other areas leave much to be desired. His averages of 9.3 points and 4.8 rebounds won’t move the needle in most leagues, and he’s been a detriment in league percentages shooting 40.0% from the field and 64.0% from from the free throw line. The Nets won’t be changing his role anytime soon, so he’s not a must-have player.



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