As we return from the All-Star break, we turn our full focus back to the impending fantasy basketball postseason, for which you are hopefully still in the hunt. Assuming you are, you need every competitive edge you can get over your opponents, and that starts with which players are trending up, and who is heading in the wrong direction. Right off the bat, we can say that Mac McClung’s stock is on the rise after a historic performance in the NBA dunk contest, but that isn’t going to help you much for fantasy basketball purposes. So, let’s focus on those who likely will make a difference along your late-season push, as we dive into another weekly stock report.
Fantasy Basketball Stock Report
Stock on the Rise
Russell Westbrook, PG, Los Angeles Clippers
At 34 years old, Russell Westbrook is a far cry from the MVP-caliber player he once was. But he is still an athletic point guard more than capable of racking up counting stats in a big way for your fantasy basketball team. And now he has fallen into a perfect situation with the Clippers, who severely lack depth at the point guard position. Whether he ends up being the starter or a key rotation player off the bench, the minutes will be there for Westbrook, and he should get right back to delivering his typical blend of inefficient counting stats across the board. regardless of the poor shooting and high turnover rate, this is a great situation for the veteran, and his stock is on the rise as a result.
Kevin Love, PF/C, Miami Heat
Similarly to Westbrook, Kevin Love’s increasing value comes from his jump to a new roster. Now with a Miami Heat team currently slotted into the 7 seed in the East, Love should become an important rotation player, seeing plenty of minutes to have a major impact in points, rebounds, and threes. Also 34 years old, he’s no spring chicken, but he is more than capable of providing enough stats to be a difference-maker down the stretch, and his stock is clearly pointing up from this.
R.J. Hampton, PG/SG, Detroit Pistons
R.J. Hampton is a former first-round draft pick who is still just 22 years old with a world of potential. Now being signed by the Detroit Pistons after clearing waivers, he once again has new life with a team clearly set up to tank the rest of the season in hopes of another top draft pick. Owning the worst record in the Eastern Conference, the Pistons have very little reason to give the 31-year-old Alec Burks 30 minutes a night down the stretch, and all the reason to give those minutes to Hampton to see if they can possibly uncover a gem who could help them for years to come. Nothing is guaranteed, but he’s certainly in a much better position now than he has been in Orlando, so his fantasy basketball stock is indeed on the rise.
Stock on the Decline
Lonzo Ball, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls
After likely months of stashing Lonzo Ball on your injured reserve in hopes that he could come back and be a difference-maker down the stretch, the Bulls appear ready to shut down the point guard for the rest of the season. From an NBA perspective, the move makes a ton of sense, as the Bulls are currently the 11 seed in the East, and Ball can now look to be fully healthy in time for the start of next season, but the move is obviously a disappointment from a fantasy perspective. Hopefully, you weren’t relying too much on his return to the floor this season.