NBA Waiver Wire: Nunn, Tate Among Top Adds for Week 9

NBA Waiver Wire: Nunn, Tate Among Top Adds for Week 9

This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.

As always, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team.

Adds For All Leagues

Kendrick Nunn, Heat (46% rostered)

We talked about Nunn in this space a few weeks ago. He rewarded my confidence in him by immediately posting three straight DNP-CDs. Thanks, buddy. But after those three DNPs, Avery Bradley (calf) returned to the sidelines with an injury likely to last at least the next two weeks. Though Bradley's injury was what got Nunn back in the rotation, his performance has kept him there and earned him increased minutes.

Over the last four games, Nunn is averaging 17.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 threes and 2.5 assists in a massive 34.3 minutes. As was the case when I last recommended Nunn, he could completely disappear (again) when the roster gets healthy. But Nunn has a proven track record of putting up high-value fantasy numbers when given the opportunity. I don't know how long this will last, but right now he's a high priority pickup.

Dwayne Bacon, Magic (7% rostered)

Bacon, a 6-6 small forward, appears to be the Magic's... starting point guard? It looks as though Cole Anthony (shoulder) and/or Michael Carter-Williams (foot) and/or Frank Mason (groin) are close to returning. However, until at least one of them comes back, Bacon and Terrence Ross – also a 6'6" small forward

As always, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team.

Adds For All Leagues

Kendrick Nunn, Heat (46% rostered)

We talked about Nunn in this space a few weeks ago. He rewarded my confidence in him by immediately posting three straight DNP-CDs. Thanks, buddy. But after those three DNPs, Avery Bradley (calf) returned to the sidelines with an injury likely to last at least the next two weeks. Though Bradley's injury was what got Nunn back in the rotation, his performance has kept him there and earned him increased minutes.

Over the last four games, Nunn is averaging 17.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 threes and 2.5 assists in a massive 34.3 minutes. As was the case when I last recommended Nunn, he could completely disappear (again) when the roster gets healthy. But Nunn has a proven track record of putting up high-value fantasy numbers when given the opportunity. I don't know how long this will last, but right now he's a high priority pickup.

Dwayne Bacon, Magic (7% rostered)

Bacon, a 6-6 small forward, appears to be the Magic's... starting point guard? It looks as though Cole Anthony (shoulder) and/or Michael Carter-Williams (foot) and/or Frank Mason (groin) are close to returning. However, until at least one of them comes back, Bacon and Terrence Ross – also a 6'6" small forward – will have to function as the team's primary ball-handlers.

I'm not a huge believer in Bacon's underlying talent, but his current situation demands attention and is likely to yield fantasy value. As long as he keeps playing big minutes, he's likely to provide a solid amount of points and threes, some rebounds and steals, and not much else. If Mason (2% rostered) is the first actual point guard to return, then he'd be an interesting add, too.

Jae'Sean Tate, Rockets (30% rostered)

CBS roster rates are usually pretty reflective of what I think players' actual values are (good job, CBS community). But every now and again a player slips through, posting value far beyond their current rostership. That's Tate right now. He's playing 28.3 minutes per game over his last eight outings, putting up 12-6-2 with 1.5 "stocks" (steals + blocks) and off-the-charts shooting efficiency. His workload is likely to stay high for at least the next few weeks while Christian Wood (ankle) is out. 

Wood could theoretically return sooner than that, but the available info seems to point to a longer absence. It's also possible Tate's workload increases in the short-term, as P.J. Tucker (thigh) had to leave the Rockets' last game early and we don't yet know if he'll miss any more time. The scoring numbers aren't remarkable, but Tate does more than enough elsewhere to make up for it.

Hamidou Diallo, Thunder (58% rostered)

Unfortunately, the timing of this article is such that we've probably missed most of this ride, which is why Diallo isn't listed higher. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (knee) and Theo Maledon (health and safety protocols) appear close to returning, and that will likely lead to a reduction in minutes for Diallo. But the one-time-combine-freak finally started converting his raw abilities into production over the last week, taking advantage of his extended playing time (36.0 minutes) to put up a 16-8-4 line with 2.2 threes and 2.0 stocks.

While that's likely to trail off as the team gets healthier, those numbers are roughly in line with his per-36 production this season. That implies that if he's earned more minutes for himself going forward, Diallo might be able to stick on standard rosters.

Other recommendations: Patrick Williams, Bulls (54% rostered); T.J. McConnell, Pacers (32% rostered); Tristan Thompson, Celtics (52% rostered); Danuel House, Rockets (16% rostered); Doug McDermott, Pacers (38% rostered); Payton Pritchard, Celtics (14% rostered)

Roster X until Y returns

This week, there are several players who meet all three of the following criteria:

  1. They are high-value short-term adds,
  2. But only so long as the injured starter above them stays sidelined
  3. That starter above them looks like they could return soon, though it's also possible they miss many more games.

So, instead of spending a ton of time on all of those guys, we're adding this simplified segment. The way it works is simple: Jakob Poeltl (Player X) is a good add until LaMarcus Aldridge (Player Y) returns, at which point I have no interest in holding Poeltl. 

The list:

Deep League Special

Taurean Prince, Cavaliers (23% rostered)

With Larry Nance (finger) set to miss more than a month, Prince seems to be a primary beneficiary. He's averaging 28.4 minutes over the last five Nance-less games, compared to 21.0 over the last five with Nance. In 2019-20, Prince averaged 29.0 minutes for the whole season, so his numbers there can provide a good clue for what we might expect over the next month: 12.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 threes with disappointing shooting efficiency. He's not good enough for most standard leagues, but deeper managers should target him if he's still available.

Gary Clark, Magic (1% rostered)

Look, I'm not ashamed of it, I have my favorites. So when I get the chance to write about Gary Clark, I'm gonna write about Gary Clark. I'm not gonna let pesky little things like "1.6 points per game" deter me. Aaron Gordon is out for at least the next three-to-five weeks, and Clark has taken over his starting job. His play over the last five games has been undeniably rough, but Clark has shown that he can put up some fun numbers when given minutes in the past.

Last season, in games in which he played at least 26 minutes, he averaged 8.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.3 threes, and just shy of one assist, steal, and block per game. That's basically the exact same as his production when he played at least 25 minutes in 2018-19. Gordon is going to be out for a bit, and I expect the 26-year-old Clark's productivity to get closer to what he's shown in the past as he works through this slump.

Chuma Okeke, Magic (6% rostered)

Fine, I hear you. You don't believe in my Clark optimism and are willing to let yourself get deterred by silly distractions like "Clark only has eight total rebounds in five starts". If you're out on Clark, then you should add Okeke. His workload has steadily increased during Gordon's absence, starting with two games of 18 minutes before outings of 22, 27, and finally 35 minutes on Thursday.

He's done very little scoring during that stretch, but he's contributing a ton elsewhere with 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 threes. And that output is in 24.0 minutes per game. If the steady increase in minutes is indicative of growing trust from the coaching staff, the 2019 first-rounder could settle out closer to 28 or even 30 minutes per game until Gordon comes back. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Rikleen
Rikleen writes the NBA column "Numbers Game," which decodes the math that underpins fantasy basketball and was a nominee for the 2016 FSWA Newcomer of the Year Award. A certified math teacher, Rikleen decided the field of education pays too well, so he left it for writing. He is a Boston College graduate living outside Boston.
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