Another aisle to shop in is full of injured stars. You don’t own John Wall or Dirk Nowitzki, because you wisely discounted their playing time. Let their current owner get off to a slow start for a week or two, then consider an offer that is still below-market. You won’t carry them through as many weeks with no production, and they pay big dividends when healthy.
Ricky Rubio is a special case. First, his return date has been vague. Second, we don’t really know how good he is. That rookie season was full of spectacular highlights, but his 35.7 FG% does a lot of damage in that category. If you think his shooting will improve, and your bench is deep enough to stash him until Christmas, send his owner a note.
Perhaps not as much in competitive keeper leagues, Kevin Love was autodrafted at #4 overall in thousands of leagues. If his owner is making any sounds that resemble whining, pounce.
Nobody is more disappointed that the guy who drafted a hot rookie, only to see his playing time severely limited. Sometimes the hype is justified talent-wise, but the opportunity isn’t there right away on a team full of veterans. Certain coaches believe that it takes half a season just to learn the routine of being an NBA player, let alone the defensive schemes.
Andre Drummond owners are full of optimism right now. They watched him jump out of the gym in exhibition games and put up nice numbers. He might play his way into big minutes right away. But he’s 19, and it’s a tough league. He may not be an overnight success. Early in the season, trying to win games, the Pistons might rely heavily on their veterans. Assuming that they focus more on developing their kids by January or February, that’s when I want to own Drummond.
Anyone who reached for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is already concerned. Offensively, he may not be NBA-ready just yet. If he starts a few games, then is reduced to a bench role, some of his owners may panic. Bide your time until you see signs of improvement, then test the trade waters. It may still be hard to pry him away in a keeper league; it’s mostly in redraft leagues that rookies tend to disappoint in the first half and become available.
Another youngster drafted fairly high in many leagues is Harrison Barnes. There was little to choose between the Tar Heels rookie and Brandon Rush during camp, but Rush has experience on his side and is better defensively. Unless you already own Barnes, hope that he comes off the bench and has a few quiet games. My guess is that he’ll be starting before the all-star break and never look back.