Whether you have a season long NBA fantasy team, play daily fantasy, or enjoy both there is no better feeling than picking up a player who many have never heard of and watching them flourish. With the trade deadline sending players of all times to different teams, there will be major changes in roles for many players. Here are some players who will benefit from their change of scenery.
by Mike Sinclair – Wannamakeabet Staff Writer
Larry Nance Jr. (CLE)- The son of former NBA star Larry Nance, the former Laker undoubtedly has the pedigree to be a major force, although he is relatively unknown coming out of the University of Wyoming. Nance is very versatile and is exactly the type of player the Cavs needed to pick up if they want to stay in the championship mix. At 6’9″ his ability to play either Center or Power Forward will quickly help Lebron and the Cavaliers, as the only true center they have is Tristan Thompson, who is injury prone and an unreliable player. Also, the departures of Crowder and Frye behoove him even more.
Nance is extremely athletic with a 7’1.5″ wingspan and a 9′ standing reach, making him seem as tall as almost any other PF. Coupling this with his ability to jump out of the gym (his Vertical Jump at the 2015 NBA Combine was the second best since 2009) he is really one of the most athletic big man in the NBA. He runs the floor very well making it harder for heavier big men to keep up with and is a very deft defender who is always disruptive, and his stats show this, as this year he is averaging close to 1.5 steals and .5 blocks per game. So why hasn’t he been a big factor in fantasy? To the average fan this may seem like the case, but the overload of talent in the Laker’s frontcourt, especially this year, (Randle, Lopez, Kuzma, Zubac, Deng) meant he only played 30 minutes or more 6 times this season out of 42 games.
The Lakers’ front office had more invested in Randle and the emergence of Kuzma really cut into Nance’s playing time. Yet even with his limited opportunity, he has been a fairly valuable fantasy asset all season and a cheap sneaky daily fantasy option who in his last game with the Lakers grabbed 10 rebounds in 17 minutes! Put that along with 6 points and a steal, he only needs 20 minutes a night to be a major contributor. This season his per 48 minute stat line is ridiculous, 18.7 points, 14.8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3.1 steals, and 1 block. With plenty of minutes available in Cleveland, Nance is now in a situation where his playing time won’t be stunted because of front office favoritism, and playing with Lebron will only help him. Don’t be surprised if Nance becomes a major part of the Cavs rotation and blossoms into one of the top young players in the NBA soon.
Jarret Allen (BKN)- The rookie out of Texas definitely is not in the ideal situation in Brooklyn, but lately he has been a catalyst lately that has developed into the starting Center for the dreadful Nets. In his last five games, Allen has put up an impressive stat line of 16 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block per game. He has played 20 minutes or more in 8 of the last 9 games and the 6’11”, 22nd overall pick seems to be the answer for Brooklyn at Center. With the Nets starting the season with hopes for big men such as Zeller, Mozgov, and Booker to hold down the 5 spot, then also acquiring Jahlil Okafor,
Allen certainly was not planned on being a major contributor this year. But Brooklyn is a volatile team right now and failure after failure at Center has led to Allen starting. The Nets are a more cohesive team when he’s been on the court recently, he provides a consistent force down low which Brooklyn has lacked all season which has allowed others such as Dinwiddie and Crabbe to play better. Only playing in 13 games during October and November while averaging 15 minutes per game, he has now started the last 6 games and in 4 games so far in February he is averaging 27 minutes, which have only been trending up. With no foreseeable competition (Mozgov and Okafor have looked terrible) Allen has a chance to settle in and really grow for the rest of the season