Special to Yahoo Sports
A buyer's market is emerging in fantasy, with the league's parity beginning to settle down. That being said, this article also features my favorite type of sells — handcrafted value. If you've been stashing Jaren Jackson Jr., hear me out on why you should consider dealing him.
Sell: Jaren Jackson Jr., Grizzlies
Jackson participated in 5-on-5 action last week and is expected to return Tuesday night as a central piece to Memphis’ title hopes. JJJ averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 78 games in 2021-22 while shooting 41.5% from the field and 31.9% from beyond the arc.
This is a pivotal season for gauging Jackson’s output. The following factors are worth taking into account:
Jackson easily led the league in total blocks last season (2.3 blocks per game, 177 total). That's impressive, but...
2.3 BPG is a jump from his 1.6 BPG average from 2019-2021. His 4.1 block percentage ranked in the 98th percentile last season. He could be in that tier of shot blockers, but it’s a high bar to maintain.
He averaged 3.5 fouls committed per game last season (committed the second-most fouls in the NBA) and will spend some nights in foul trouble, especially as he acclimates to game speed.
Shooting just 31.5% from three on 5.2 attempts per game across his last 89 contests is concerning. That being said, I’m optimistic for 3-point growth, as I imagine Jackson has done a lot of shooting during his rehab, but it’s a tough pillar to bank on.
He’s a limited rebounder (career 5.1 RPG).
Memphis’ rotation is deep. Santi Aldama was not a factor last season, and he won't simply be subtracted upon JJJ's return.
Jackson has never approached 30 minutes per game in a season.
Last season marked his first campaign in which he started over 57 games. Already absent for approximately 15 this year, Jackson will be cared for cautiously throughout the season.
Hyping up Jackson’s rare combination of two-way stat compiling and flipping him for assets could be more valuable than the production he would bring himself. Put him on the market with confidence and leverage his looming return.
Sell: Jae Crowder, Suns (sort of)
Crowder’s name is heating up in trade talks and he won’t return for Phoenix even amid injuries for the Suns. For that reason, the Suns have added incentive to make a deal happen. If he's available in your league, scoop him up. He's a solid veteran and he's also immediately flippable. He's rostered in just 3% of leagues.
Cameron Johnson tearing his meniscus on Nov. 4 is a substantial loss for Phoenix. Before his injury, Johnson was raining in 43.1% of his triples en route to 13.0 points per game.
Crowder has averaged 9.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 127 games for the Suns across the past two seasons while recording a 40.2/36.9/77.6% shooting slash. Speculatively, Crowder would head to another championship-caliber squad. Crowder replicating the aforementioned averages is a realistic expectation. He’s best viewed as relevant only in deeper leagues, though he could have streaming value in standard formats.
Buy low: Jalen Brunson, Knicks
Brunson is averaging career-best marks with 19.5 points and 6.8 assists per game for the Knicks thus far, but that is occurring amid a massive 3-point shooting slump. A career 36.8% shooter from beyond the arc, Brunson is connecting on just 29.4% of 3.9 attempted threes per game through 13 contests.
The 26-year-old has shot 3-for-12 from deep over his last three games while being held to sub-18 points twice. Even with inferior spacing compared to his time in Dallas, Brunson isn’t playing his best basketball of 2022-23 yet. He’s attainable and it’s a worthwhile pursuit. Brunson's 4.3 AST/TO ratio is stellar, his midrange and finishing excellence has translated to New York and the Knicks are running at a top-10 pace in the league.
Buy: Mike Conley, Jazz
Buying on trade candidates from squads that will embrace tanking/load management is against my typical strategies, but I’m cautiously acquiring Conley. He’s been a reliable part of Utah’s early-season success, averaging 10.8 points, 8.1 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 14 games this season. With Conley shooting 4-for-21 across his last three games, now is a great buy-low window.
He’s seventh in the league in total passes per game (60.5) and ninth in potential assists (14.4). Conley is enabling everyone around him. That’s productive for player development. Also, he’s on track to shoot over 40.0% from three for the third straight season.
With this in mind, I doubt lead executive Danny Ainge and brass would pawn off Conley. The likelihood of Utah receiving coveted assets for a 35-year-old on an expensive, non-expiring contract is low. Furthermore, culture is essential, and Conley is a leader. This will be a fascinating franchise direction to monitor.
The Jazz are 10-5 and a shameless tank feels unlikely. I’d consider Malik Beasley (replaceable), Jordan Clarkson (more valuable) and Kelly Olynyk (more/uniquely valuable) as more likely trade candidates. A fire sale would be a painful blow to this ragtag bunch. My guess is a partial offloading to add to Utah’s treasure chest of future capital.
Buy: Alperen Sengun, Rockets
Sengun still isn’t carrying credence as a household name, but his production is ascending to new heights. Averaging 16.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, only 11 players in the NBA are hitting those thresholds in 2022-23. However, he isn’t being fully utilized as an offensive hub, and I expect his role to continue growing.
Per CleaningTheGlass, Houston is 12.9 points per possession better on offense when Sengun is on the court. While his performance isn’t as bullish defensively, Sengun isn’t a liability and grades as a plus-seven-win player for the Rockets. Generating wins earns usage. His usage rate of 22.2% — climbing throughout the season — ranks in the 87th percentile for bigs and trails only Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green among his teammates.
I expect his assist numbers to ascend. He’s been one of Houston’s best players, which warrants more time with the ball in his hands. After fouling out in 19 minutes on Saturday and logging a pedestrian line Monday against the Clippers, now is a plausible buy-low window on Sengun. See if the 20-year-old is being underappreciated.