NBA Waiver Wire: Top Adds for Week 7

NBA Waiver Wire: Top Adds for Week 7

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

Gary Trent, Trail Blazers (36% rostered)

CBS fantasy community, I'm disappointed in you. You never make me repeat the top add two weeks in a row! I get it – Trent's first two games after CJ McCollum (foot) went out were bad. But Trent is good! After Robert Covington (concussion) joined McCollum on the sidelines, Trent entered the starting lineup and put up 22.5 points and 5.5 threes. Covington's eventual return will probably hurt Trent's prospects, but I still think Trent is likely to remain rosterable as long as McCollum is out.

Wayne Ellington, Pistons (34% rostered)

If you've read this column in previous seasons, you'll know that I've been in the tank for Ellington for years. Typically, he profiles as an add-him-while-he's-hot three point shooter, but on this bizarro Pistons roster he's actually filling a much larger role. He missed five of the first six games, and then it took another six games for the team to figure out which role he best fit in. Much to my delight, it seems that they've settled on "No. 2 scoring option". He's been a starter all season, and over the last seven games he's averaging 18.9 points and 5.3 threes in 30.9 minutes. Those numbers are buoyed

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

Gary Trent, Trail Blazers (36% rostered)

CBS fantasy community, I'm disappointed in you. You never make me repeat the top add two weeks in a row! I get it – Trent's first two games after CJ McCollum (foot) went out were bad. But Trent is good! After Robert Covington (concussion) joined McCollum on the sidelines, Trent entered the starting lineup and put up 22.5 points and 5.5 threes. Covington's eventual return will probably hurt Trent's prospects, but I still think Trent is likely to remain rosterable as long as McCollum is out.

Wayne Ellington, Pistons (34% rostered)

If you've read this column in previous seasons, you'll know that I've been in the tank for Ellington for years. Typically, he profiles as an add-him-while-he's-hot three point shooter, but on this bizarro Pistons roster he's actually filling a much larger role. He missed five of the first six games, and then it took another six games for the team to figure out which role he best fit in. Much to my delight, it seems that they've settled on "No. 2 scoring option". He's been a starter all season, and over the last seven games he's averaging 18.9 points and 5.3 threes in 30.9 minutes. Those numbers are buoyed by unsustainably efficient shooting, 58% from the field and 60% behind the arc, but he's attempting enough shots that he should stay rosterable even as that efficiency normalizes.

Kendrick Nunn, Heat (55% rostered)

We have to acknowledge up front: there is a pretty high chance that Nunn gets dropped quickly back to waivers. But I still see him as a high-priority add. 

First, the downside: His recent surge has come with Jimmy Butler (COVID-1 protocols) and Tyler Herro (neck) out, and at least one of Goran Dragic or Avery Bradley also sidelined each game. Butler might return as soon as Saturday and Herro returned Thursday (Dragic's and Bradley's availability going forward remains uncertain). An active Butler and Herro alone might be enough to knock Nunn back to a small bench role, and if Dragic and Bradley get healthy (a big "if") Nunn's value would almost certainly plummet. 

So why Nunn a high-priority add, despite that risk? Because we already know Nunn can produce when given a chance. He was a top-130 player – the roster/drop boundary for a 10-team league – when the 2019-20 season went on hiatus. As a rookie starter on a playoff team, he averaged 15-3-3 with 2.0 threes in 29.3 minutes. Herro's strong play in the bubble made many forget about how great Nunn was last season, but it was Nunn who came in second for Rookie of the Year.

He's put up 17.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 35.3 minutes over the last seven games, and we already know those numbers are sustainable if his minutes can sustain. The Heat have more guards capable of playing 30+ minutes than they have minutes to give, but Nunn is definitely one of those capable guards. It's completely possible his recent play will lead to more minutes even as the rest of the depth chart gets healthy.

Norman Powell, Raptors (57% rostered)

This is a very similar situation to that of Nunn. After an incredibly disappointing first month of the season, Powell's been great over the last four games, averaging 23-4-4 in 37.5 minutes. But at least one of Toronto Bay's core players has been out for each of those games. Powell is probably a little more likely than Nunn to maintain rosterable value moving forward, but Powell's ceiling on a fully healthy Raptors' squad is probably lower.

Doug McDermott, Pacers (39% rostered)

This continues to be weird. McDermott entered the starting lineup when Myles Turner broke his hand, but stayed there after Turner returned, and has mostly maintained his workload even after moving back to the bench and as Jeremy Lamb has returned to action. I'm not going to pretend any of it makes sense. But the guy is averaging 15.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.9 threes on efficient shooting in 29.1 minutes over the last seven games, and that's including a real stinker from last Monday. Who knows why this is happening or how long it will last? Right now, he's rosterable in almost all settings. 

Cody Zeller, Hornets (27% rostered)

Moritz Wagner, Wizards (17% rostered)

I've talked about these two a bunch already this season, so no need to continue to hammer the same points. Zeller came back last week, and after being limited for a few games, he rejoined the starting lineup to post a 10-point, 14-rebound double-double on Wednesday. Wagner is set to return to action Friday.

Other recommendations: Jeremy Lamb, Pacers (64% rostered); Luguentz Dort, Thunder (54% rostered); Naz Reid, Timberwolves (51% rostered)

Deep League Special

Anfernee Simons, Trail Blazers (6% rostered)

We've been waiting for a Simons breakout for what feels like forever, but he's actually just 21 years old and in the middle of his third season. With McCollum sidelined, he's put up 18.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 26.7 minutes over the last three games. I'm still skeptical enough that I'm keeping him down here, in the deep leagues section. But this recent stretch – on top of years of hype from the Portland front office – warrants attention. McCollum is set to miss at least another month and a half. Simons is the only point guard on the roster other than Damian Lillard, so he probably has roughly a 15-minutes-per-game floor right now, and that's before any Simons-Lillard minutes. Before McCollum's injury, 38% of Simons' minutes were alongside Lillard.

David Nwaba, Rockets (10% rostered)

Another longtime favorite of mine, perhaps Nwaba's most attractive feature is his unusual statistical profile. He's a great rebounder and defender, but he doesn't do much scoring. He has the effect of a low-scoring, solid-efficiency big, but he does so from the SF spot, instead of the PF or C. If you're in a deep league and punting points or assists (or, even better, both), he can be a quality addition. He's not a good fit for most rosters, but he can be a perfect fit for others. Nwaba barely played Thursday, but before that his minutes load had ticked up over the Rockets' last seven games.

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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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