Kris Dunn (CHI): The No. 5 pick of the 2016 NBA draft has simply been a new player in Chicago. After the Minnesota Timberwolves drafted him, Dunn averaged only 17 minutes per game as a rookie and barely played a part in the offense. Now in the Windy City, Dunn has emerged as a steal in the blockbuster trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Midwest. Despite being owned in only 67 percent of Yahoo leagues, the combo guard averaged close to 15 points, eight dimes and five boards over his past seven contests. He has yet to figure out how to finish at the rim at the professional level, but his stroke from mid-range is unquestionably improving. As Dunn flirts with 30 minutes of action for Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg and earns an increasing usage rate, Dunn is certainly a must-own in all leagues.
Buddy Hield (SAC): The sharpshooting swingman has been on a tear for a Kings’ bench that is among the top-scoring in the entire league. The streaky shooter has been lighting teams up as of late with the most recent victims being the Raptors, Pelicans, Cavaliers and Bucks. As with any streaky shooter, it’s fun to insert him in your lineup when the buckets are coming at rapid rates, but it’s painful to watch when he has questionable shot selection and low efficiency. In his past four matches, Hield posted 17, 18, 17 and 19 points, respectively, while shooting above 50 percent. Additionally, he averaged over three makes from downtown and has not missed a free throw in approximately a month. With the Kings relying on their young core of Hield, Willie Cauley-Stein and De’Aaron Fox to fuel the offense, Hield has substantial value with his hot hand.
Allen Crabbe (BKN): Similar to Hield, Crabbe has been succeeding recently largely due to his streaking shooting. The once bench-riding spot-up shooter expanded his repertoire since arriving in Brooklyn, adding the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket as well as creating off the dribble. He may not stuff the stat sheet by any means, but Crabbe is worth consideration for owners struggling in their 3-pointers made category. He has hit more than one 3-pointer made in every single game since Nov. 10 and has hit four or more long balls a surprising nine times over that stretch. In a campaign where he is averaging career bests in PPG, assists, rebounds, 3PM and 3PA, Crabbe serves as a decent option in deeper leagues.
Al-Farouq Aminu (POR): Even though he struggled with an ankle injury early in the year, Aminu appears to have returned to his normal role for the Trail Blazers. The slightly undersized power forward does an adequate job ripping down mid-level rebounds and cashing in on corner threes. Over his last four contests, Aminu averaged 11 points, five boards and three makes from beyond the arc. The defensive statistics, however, have not been there yet for Aminu despite the fact that he has always been a solid perimeter defender. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues if the shooting from long range remains consistent and if the defensive stats pick up.
Jahlil Okafor (BKN): On Thursday, Nov. 7, Okafor’s wish to be traded was granted by the 76ers. Philadelphia traded Okafor, Nik Stauskas and a 2019 second-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Trevor Booker. Although the Nets comprise one of the fastest NBA squads this season, it can be assumed that Okafor will serve the low-post role once held by former Nets player Brook Lopez. Owners may be skeptical as to how well Okafor will fit into a fast-moving Nets team, but he’s irrefutably a player to have on one’s watch list. Disregarding his mere two games this season, Okafor was a lone bright spot for the 76ers during his first year as a pro baller. He averaged almost 18 points, one rejection and seven rebounds in 30 minutes. He may have taken a dip in production last year, mainly as a result of an injury, but Okafor has a strong chance to turn his career around in Brooklyn.