Dr. A’s weekly risers and fallers: Cam Thomas, Zach Collins make the list

In the Rising and Falling columns this week, I’ll look at some of the winners and losers of trades on time. Mark Williams is getting a huge boost for the Hornets, Saddiq Bay may be struggling in Atlanta, and the Nets don’t have superstars but too many wings to even know where (or who) to start.


Mark Williams, C, Charlotte Hornets – Mason Plumley was transferred to the Clippers, clearing the way for Williams to get all the center minutes he can use at Charlotte the rest of the way. Sure, Nick Richards is going to run a bit too, but the Hornets seem just as happy to let Williams go as we are.

The Duke rookie hadn’t broken out yet, but he was showing signs of it. He’s blocked eight shots in the last six games and the rest of his numbers should be up now that he’s playing 25-30 minutes a night. And that will do wonders for his numbers after he currently only averages 13.8 minutes per game per season. Points, rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage will soon be on your way. And he throws free throws well (75%).

Kenyon Martin Jr, SF, Houston Rockets – Eric Gordon was sent back to where he came from (Clippers), clearing the way for Martin to blow up for the Rockets the rest of the way. They have a great fantasy playoff schedule, Martin was already averaging 15 points, 6.2 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 1.0 threes on 66 percent shooting in February, and Gordon was no longer on top of him. way. Now he is an indispensable player, like his teammate Tari Eason.

Zach Collins, center, San Antonio Spurs – Jakob Poeltle was traded to the Raptors (who drafted him) on Thursday and will be in contention for a spot in the starting lineup depending on how the Raptors choose to proceed. And that would leave Collins as the only starting center in San Antonio, short of Khem Birch, who was traded for Poeltl. Collins was already playing well before the trade and averaging 10.7 points and 6.1 rebounds in just 20.6 minutes per night in January, and the minutes and numbers are about to take a big step forward. If he starts blocking shots (0.7 so far) and stealing the ball (0.4), he will be an important addition to fantasy in the future.

Malachi Branham, SG, San Antonio Spurs — Devin Vassell (knee) still expects to return to action at some point after the All-Star break, but until that happens, Branham should be able to go on a tear for Spurs. Especially now that Josh Richardson has been traded to the Pelicans. He averaged 21 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.7 3-pointers over three games before missing on Wednesday and should leave without Richardson. And since the Spurs are losing, they are not going to return Vassell to his former role anytime soon. Jeremy Sochan’s back injury is also helping, as is Tre Jones’ foot injury and Romeo Langford’s hip injury that kept him out for eight straight games.

Cam Thomas, SG, Brooklyn Nets “I was hoping Thomas would be first on this list, but the Nets have gone through a monumental change over the past few days and are now loaded on the wing. Spencer Dinwiddie, Ben Simmons, Edmond Sumner, Seth Curry, Joe Harris, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neill will take minutes, but last time I checked, none of these guys hit 40 points. points in three games in a row. That is exactly what Thomas did.

The Nets’ championship hopes have been shattered, and they have no reason not to keep releasing Thomas to see how long he can keep going. But Wing overcrowding in Brooklyn is a concern. Thomas is taking a vision test and there really is no reason for the Nets to try to slow him down now, although most of the aforementioned players will need minutes for the Nets. Thomas is not foolproof and doesn’t have the same road to minutes and productivity that he had before Thursday’s deadline, but I’m not leaving him until he hits the ground. It remains to be hoped that he can continue.

Editor’s note: Thomas was fined $40,000 for speaking out against gay people after Thursday’s game.


Nasir Little, SF/PF, Portland Trail Blazers – The Blazers lost Josh Hart and Gary Payton on Thursday, and Little should easily fill the starting small forward position at Portland. He started just one game this season, but as a starter last year, Little averaged nearly 30 minutes, 11.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 1.1 blocks and 1.4 three-pointers in 23 games. If it is connected to the starting unit, as I suspect, it can be a good helper in all fantasy formats.


Saddik Bay, SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks Bay is a good player and could be a good addition to the Hawks, but it’s hard to see him on his way to big minutes when the likes of Dejonte Murray, Bogdan Bogdanovich, DeAndre Hunter, John Collins and AJ Griffin stand in his way. Bey will likely have some good games the rest of the way for his new team, but he won’t be in the spotlight as long as his teammates are healthy, which won’t do him any fancy favors.

Mason Plumley, C, Los Angeles Clippers “Plumlee is with the Clippers now and his best bet on the road to value is a timeshare with Ivica Zubac or an injury to Zubac. He may be able to defeat Zubak and steal his starting role, but that’s not all. Plumlee averaged 12.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 0.8 blocks on 64% shooting in his four games in February with the Hornets, but those numbers will almost certainly come as a blow to the LAC.

Cameron Johnson, SF/PF, Brooklyn Nets – As mentioned above, the Nets are full of talented wings and it’s not hard to see CJ taking a backseat to his new team. He averaged 15.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.8 3-pointers on 48% shooting for the Suns in January and played well in February, but now he’s mired. in a Brooklyn outbuilding that features Ben Simmons. Spencer Dinwiddie, Edmond Sumner, Seth Curry, Joe Harris, Mikal Bridges, Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neill. It’s just hard to see a path to big minutes and production for Johnson to play a big part in his new team. He’s a dropout candidate if you’re looking for the hottest free agent in your league.

Eric Gordon, SG/SF, Los Angeles Clippers – Gordon is coming home to the Clippers and while he’s a good addition to a team looking to win a title, he’ll just be a backup to his new-old team. Terence Mann, Bones Hyland, Paul George, Norman Powell, Kawhi Leonard and Nicholas Batum are all going to gobble up his minutes, and it looks like Gordon will go from semi-valuable starter for the Rockets to a three-point offside specialist. bench for the Clippers. I think you can ditch him for a hot free agent if you’re willing to do so.

Jarred Vanderbilt, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers Wando was traded to the Lakers and things got better when Thomas Bryant was traded to the Nuggets to replace Nikole Jokic. Wando had a chance to take on Rui Hachimura for the starting power forward spot, and was also going to spend a few minutes at the center of his new team. But then on Thursday, the Lakers added Mo Bamba to the roster, and it looks like Vanderbilt will transition from a part-time Jazz starter to a Lakers role player. If he does manage to win the starting power forward spot over Hachimura, things could work out, but with LeBron James, Hachimura, Troy Brown, Venien Gabriel, Anthony Davis and Bamba needing minutes for the Lakers’ new look, Vanderbilt could be on top. outside looking in. It’s a shame, considering he averaged 9.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 0.7 steals on 53% shooting for the Jazz in January.


Russell Westbrook, PG, Utah Jazz (potential free agent if bought) Westbrook will no longer play a significant role for the Lakers and may not even have a team if he is bought out. I think I’ll hang on to him until we see where he lands, but Westbrook is likely to miss a week or two while the buyout and waiver process is underway.


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