NBA Mailbag: Expectations for Curry
NBA Mailbag: Expectations for Curry

The NBA trade deadline is firmly in our rear-view mirror and the All-Star break is almost upon us. While we are getting ready for the players to have some time off, there are still plenty of questions to address for fantasy basketball. If you have a question that you would like answered in next week's column, reach out to me on Twitter @rotomikebarner. Without further ado, here are some of this week's submissions.

What are your thoughts on Stephen Curry this season? - @RoyShimron

It looks like Curry (hand) will be back this season, despite the Warriors being all but officially out of the race for a playoff spot. He said during Saturday's ABC broadcast that the plan is for him to return in early March, possibly even in the first week of the month. For those who have hung onto him all season with the hopes that he can contribute during the fantasy playoffs, you might actually be about to get your wish.

The real question now is: how much will Curry actually play? While this is a hand injury that should not have impacted his conditioning, it seems highly unlikely that the Warriors will throw him right back into heavy playing time. Not only could he see limited minutes to start, but he could also sit out at least one game of back-to-back sets for the rest of the season. That's noteworthy since the Warriors have two back-to-back sets in March and two in April. His usage rate could be off the charts with so little talent around him, but you might need to temper your expectations with regards to his playing time and production.

Who should I drop: Bogdan Bogdanovic or Josh Richardson (9-cat, 10-team league)? - @PoloHT

The trade deadline didn't prove to be of any help for either Bogdanovic or Richardson with regards to their fantasy value. The Kings did alleviate some of the log jam in their front court by trading away Dewayne Dedmon, but they didn't deal away any of their guard depth. That will continue to leave Bogdanovic as an inconsistent source for production. His last seven games provide a perfect example of what we should expect from him the rest of the season. He scored at least 23 points in three of those games, while scoring a total of 44 points across the other four contests. He also hasn't dished out more than three assists in any of the nine games since he moved into the starting five.

The Sixers desperately needed to add some three-point shooting and did just that by bringing in Alec Burks. With that being said, he probably won't eat into Richardson's playing time, so don't expect him to all of a sudden see a significant decline in production. Any shot attempts that Richardson losses could be tough, though, since his usage rate of 21.8 percent already isn't that impressive. I'd drop him between these two simply because he has so much high-end talent around him. Bogdanovic at least has the opportunity to be among the Kings' leading scorers every night, although you'll have to live with some less than stellar stat lines.

Who do you like most for the rest of the season: Jae Crowder, PJ Washington or Terrence Ross? - @jtory79

Ross is the first player that I'd eliminate from this list. He really only helps in two categories, which are points and three-pointers. Still, it's not like his average of 13.5 points per game is anything to write home about. It also doesn't help that he's shooting a dreadful 39.1 percent from the field. He's an option if you are desperate for scoring, but I'd otherwise avoid him.

Washington is an interesting option because the Hornets have already started the process of ridding themselves of some of their veterans. They recently bought out Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, which sets up Washington with an expanded role. It was certainly encouraging to see him log 36 minutes against the Pistons on Monday. The problem was, he only provided eight points and three rebounds. He's shown that he is prone to off scoring performances, logging eight points or fewer in seven of his last 11 contests.

The player that stands out here is Crowder. His first two games with the Heat couldn't have gone any better. With Jimmy Butler on the sidelines Sunday against the Blazers, Crowder recorded 18 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block and five three-pointers across 35 minutes. Even with Butler back in the fold Monday against the Warriors, Crowder provided 21 points, eight rebounds, three steals and four three-pointers over 31 minutes. Granted, those are two bad defensive teams, but it's the playing time that is encouraging. It wouldn't be a big surprise if he hovered around 30 minutes a night moving forward, either.

Who is the starting point guard in Washington next year? - @KenCrites

A question from the K-Train, himself – what an honor! The point guard spot for the Wizards this season certainly hasn't been very exciting with most of the minutes going to Isaiah Thomas and Ish Smith. The Wizards did move on from Thomas at the deadline, bringing in Shabazz Napier to split playing time with Smith. Napier is an unrestricted free agent next season, but Smith has one more year on his deal.

If Smith is starting at point guard again for the Wizards next season, things have gone horribly wrong. The player who should be starting is none other than John Wall (Achilles), who is owed nearly $133 million across the next three seasons. Even if the Wizards wanted to trade him, coming off of a significant injury with that kind of money involved makes him almost impossible to deal. With a full year off and a summer to prepare, look for Wall to be running the point next season, forming what they hope will be a deadly back court duo between him and Bradley Beal. Now, it's time for my old man rant……just kidding.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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