Fantasy Basketball 2010-11: Tim Duncan and 10 Trade Deadline Buy-Low Candidates
A successful fantasy championship team can be manufactured in numerous ways.
A fantastic draft, waiver-wire pick ups and the development of sleeper picks can all lead you toward that elusive title.
What might be the greatest weapon of all is pulling off a trade for a buy-low prospect with breakout potential come playoff time.
Timing is everything and snagging a slumping player who is just about to take off is what separates the men from the boys.
10. Lou Williams PG, Philadelphia 76ers
The big names in Philadelphia like Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala overshadow some of the players on the 76ers who have played well this season.
Lou Williams was looked at as a sleeper coming into 2011 and came out with a bang averaging nearly 16 points and five assists in the first month of the season.
He has since seen his minutes slide and his production has suffered.
He has turned it around come January and February, as the Sixers have as well.
His field goal percentage is quite streaky as you will get games were he will shoot around .500 and others where he will slump horribly and post a 3-13 night.
This month, Williams has scored 17 PPG and dished out 3.2 APG, all coming off the bench.
He has the skill set to really bring the heat this second half of the season and is definitely someone to look at as a cheap deal with some real upside.
9. Aaron Brooks PG, Houston Rockets
Brooks has taken a back seat to Kyle Lowry this season due to his ankle injury that kept him sidelined for quite a stretch early in the year.
His numbers have taken a real hit as he can't seem to produce at the same level he did in 2010.
Don't let his 2011 numbers fool you, this guy can ball.
His 11.9 PPG is down almost a full eight points from last season, but that is largely due to his minutes taking a hit.
If Brooks is traded or finds a way to start alongside Lowry, this dynamic duo can really inflict some damage.
A fed up owner would love to make a deal for Brooks at this stage in the season and this is a deal worth some serious consideration.
8. J.R. Smith SG, Denver Nuggets
If Carmelo Anthony really does end up in New Jersey or New York, which he just might by the time I finish writing this article, Smith will need to step up to fill the massive void left for the Nuggets.
Smith is by far, one of, if not the, streakiest shooter in the NBA.
When he is on, he is white-hot, but when he is off, he is ice cold.
He can put up 30 points like he did against Phoenix back in November, or he can go 4-14 from the field and score nine.
It all depends on how he feels that day.
With starter-type minutes, Smith could make some noise as he is one of the most athletically gifted players that the NBA has to offer.
Take a shot and trade for Smith. It will cost very little and if the Anthony trade finally comes to fruition, you will have already nabbed the player who could take his place.
7. Marc Gasol C, Memphis Grizzlies
Marc Gasol seems to live in his brother's shadow, but his talent is nearly on the same level.
Gasol is averaging 11.8 PPG and 7.0 RPG this year which is slightly down from his career numbers.
With the recent shoulder injury to stud Rudy Gay, Gasol will be called on more to make an impact if the Grizzlies want to continue their run at the playoffs.
Gay was an integral part of their success after signing a mega-deal this offseason, but his injury could keep him off the hardwood for a month.
Gasol only averages around nine shots per game and takes a backseat to the play of Zach Randolph at times.
Marc's opportunity to put his team on his shoulders comes right now. Mike Conley will be looking to feature the 7'1" Spaniard early and often after the All-Star break.
With Gasol slightly slumping this year, but with this recent window of opportunity, it is time to make a quick move for him and watch his numbers soar.
6. Roy Hibbert C, Indiana Pacers
The window to buy-low on this player is rapidly closing as he has stepped his game up for his new coach, Frank Vogel.
Roy Hibbert made a statement in the first game of the season, scoring 28 points to go along with nine rebounds and three blocks.
Then he started to think too much and his play suffered. He was your typical head-case with potential coming out of his ears.
He found himself in the doghouse and his minutes took a major hit as he couldn't seem to figure his struggles out.
Recently, Hibbert looks like a new man on the court and is being featured by Vogel.
After averaging only 9.5 PPG in January, Hibbert has averaged 17.1 PPG and is shooting .504 from the field after shooting a dismal .388 in the previous month.
Strike quick, before his value goes through the roof as some mangers might be hesitant to believe that Hibbert has put his mental issues in the past.
5. Jameer Nelson PG, Orlando Magic
Jameer Nelson has had some spotty play as of late.
After averaging nearly 14 PPG in the first two months of the season, Nelson has only been averaging around 10 PPG over January and February.
When on his game, he can be deadly from deep, hitting nearly two three-balls per game, but too often does Nelson come up short.
His assists have also faded recently, averaging only five APG this month.
If the Magic want to keep Dwight Howard in Orlando, since the rumors of him leaving via free agency are skyrocketing, Nelson will have to step his game up and prove to Howard that this team can bring home a title.
Nelson has been frustrating his owners as of late—I can personally say I have contemplated cutting ties with him each day—which will make him worth a look as a nice buy-low candidate with upside.
4. Chris Kaman C, Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Kaman was an All-Star in 2010, but has been bitten hard by the injury bug this year.
A severely sprained ankle has hampered Kaman and kept him off court.
With the All-Star break to recuperate, now is the time to strike for Kaman.
With his minutes being limited while he comes back and the possibly of this injury being re-aggravated, owners might want to tamper their expectations and sell this player for cheap.
Kaman's 2010 numbers were not a fluke as he averaged 18.5 PPG and 9.2 RBG.
DeAndre Jordan has sputtered as of late, opening the door for Blake Griffin and Kaman to make a lethal low-post threat.
Kaman is worth a shot as he won't cost you much and will pay dividends over the course of the second half of the season.
3. Brandon Roy SG, Portland Trailblazers
Who wants to take a chance on a guy with such a rich injury history and the knees of a 75-year-old man? You do.
This is a perfect buy-low situation.
No one, outside of Brandon Roy himself, sees much of a future for him in the NBA. Why not take a chance on him with career numbers of 19.9 PPG, 4.9 APG and 4.5 RPG?
The price tag is cheap for this player who could gut it out for the rest of the season and really make a splash.
With LaMarcus Aldridge playing at such an elite level and Wesley Matthews emerging as a star, the pressure on Roy to carry the team are slim.
He will have his minutes cut and his numbers will be decreased, but he still will show flashes of the first-round selection he once was.
Making a move for Roy is a risk well worth taking.
2. Joakim Noah C, Chicago Bulls
Joakim Noah was supposed to be a breakout star in 2011. A thumb injury put him on the sideline since December 18, but he is looking to make his return after the All-Star break.
Noah is a double-double machine, but a thumb injury could leave his owner skeptical, putting Noah on the block. If so, strike fast.
Before going down, Noah averaged 15.5 PPG and 12.5 RPG. He can easily get right back to that sort of production.
Carlos Boozer had yet to make his Bulls debut when Noah was producing at such a high level, but having both of these stars on the floor will only enhance their value.
Teams keying on one will leave the other open to make an impact.
Noah contributes in all facets of the game.
He can corral boards, block shots and shoot a high percentage from the field. At all costs, pull the trigger on this buy-low candidate.
1. Tim Duncan C, San Antonio Spurs
Who would have guessed that Tim Duncan, arguably one of the best centers in the game, would have a buy-low caliber season?
What can you expect out of a 13-year veteran?
A down-year was bound to happen. His 13.4 PPG, 9.2 RPG and .486 FG percentage are all career-lows, but Duncan knows how to get it done.
With the Spurs having one of the best seasons in recent memory, Duncan will be looking to step it up to make sure his team accomplishes their goal of winning a title.
Duncan's owners will be tired of his lackluster season and will be willing to make a deal to move the future Hall of Famer.
He will turn his season around after the All-Star break and making a move for him is crucial as he will lead both the Spurs and your squad to a championship.