By Adam McGill
The shortened 2011-12 season is almost reaching its halfway point, making waiver wires more important than ever. This is my weekly compilation of free agents to pick up before your competition:
Small Leagues: 8-10 man leagues
PG Leandro Barbosa, TOR – The Brazilian is averaging 16.7 points and 1.5 3-pointers a game in the last ten games off the bench. He adds a spark to a flat Raptors’ offense and is still one of the fastest guys in the NBA.
SG O.J. Mayo, MEM – The “Miracle Whip Man” is averaging 14.7 points in the last four games and also added 10 3-pointers, 5 assists, and a perfect 5 of 5 from the charity stripe.
SF Richard Hamilton, CHI – Rip finally put the mask back on and started his Bulls’ career off with a bang. He has started five straight games for an injury riddled Bulls’ team, averaging 16.6 points, 4.6 assists, and 2 rebounds per contest.
PF Thaddeus Young, PHI – Young will be a steady source of minutes from off the bench, as he is averaging 12.5 points and 4.5 boards a game. He can do a little bit of everything and is a roto-league steal at this point in the year.
C Tiago Splitter, SA – Splitter has looked strong with 53 points, 24 rebounds, 6 assists, and 21 field goals made in the last three games alone.
Large Leagues: 10-14 man leagues
PG Earl Watson, UTA – Watson will scavenge dimes from Harris all year, as he has totaled 26 assists in the last six games.
SG Ronnie Brewer, CHI – Brewer will be back in the starting lineup on a daily basis with Loul Deng likely to miss at least a month. Brewer is a very dangerous shooter from the outside and will get plenty of minutes with the majority of the Bulls’ lineup hurt already.
SF James Johnson, TOR – The former first round pick is finally getting quality minutes in Toronto; putting up 32 points, 10 blocks, 5 steals, and 2 3-pointers in the last three games.
PF Carl Landry, NO – The former Wisconsin Badger has scored 52 points in the last three games off the bench and is very close to stealing current starter Jason Smith’s job.
C Zaza Pachulia, ATL – Pachulia has got five starts in the last two weeks, and is the best interior defender left on the roster with Al Horford out for extended period of time.