Pickups of the Day

Is it time to pick up Rui Hachimura?

by Raphielle Johnson
Updated On: January 26, 2023, 5:26 pm ET

Wednesday was a big day in Tinseltown as Anthony Davis returned to the basketball court. But he didn't do so as a starter, playing 24 minutes off the bench in the Lakers' win over the Spurs. And that wasn't the only noteworthy change to the Lakers' rotation, as the team's newest acquisition made his debut. And that's who we'll kick things off with in Wednesday's Pickups of the Day. 

Rui Hachimura (38%) 

Hachimura saw his first action as a Laker Wednesday night, playing 22 minutes off the bench in the 113-104 win over the Spurs. And he had a good night, recording a line of 12 points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one 3-pointer in 22 minutes. With Hachimura in the fold, the Lakers effectively went nine deep, and that's with Lonnie Walker and Austin Reaves out due to injury. As for as the newest Laker is concerned, his responsibilities could expand as he gets more comfortable, as Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported following the trade that Hachimura is expected to start alongside Davis and LeBron James in the frontcourt eventually. Even if that did not happen, Hachimura's skill set and ability to play either forward position fits in well within the Lakers rotation. 

Precious Achiuwa (33%) and Chris Boucher (20%) 

While Achiuwa's production during the Raptors' five-game Week 14 was solid, Boucher missed a game and was underwhelming in three of the four he appeared in. Both offered welcome contributions during Wednesday's win over the Kings, with Nick Nurse trimming his rotation down to eight. Achiuwa scored 19 points to go along with five rebounds and one 3-pointer in 28 minutes, while Boucher tallied 16 points, six rebounds, one steal, three blocks, and two 3-pointers in 22 minutes. While Achiuwa was more productive during Week 14, Boucher remains the higher-ranked fantasy player over the last two weeks. Toronto only playing two more games this week may give some fantasy managers pause regarding adding either, but they'll play four in Week 16. 

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Seth Curry (27%) 

Figuring out which Nets supplementary player will step up with Kevin Durant sidelined can be frustrating for fantasy managers. But Curry has been the best of the bunch recently, providing 9th-round value in 9-cat formats over the last two weeks. And he went off in the Nets' loss to the 76ers on Wednesday, scoring 32 points with four assists, one steal, and seven 3-pointers. Is Curry going to get 20 shots (making 11) on a consistent basis? Probably not. But, with Durant out and T.J. Warren dealing with a right knee contusion, Curry appears to be the best "add." And the Pistons hosting Detroit on Thursday should not be a concern, as Curry played both ends of the Nets' two most recent back-to-backs. 

Deni Avdija (27%) 

Avdija was already on fantasy radars before Wednesday's game, as he produced a solid all-around performance in Tuesday's win over the Mavericks. He had another good night Wednesday, finishing the Wizards' win over the Rockets with 10 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and one 3-pointer in 30 minutes. He may not be a direct replacement for the injured Kristaps Porzingis, but the skill set makes Avdija an intriguing fantasy option. Even though Corey Kispert has been the starter, Avdija has proven to be the better target. 

KJ Martin (25%) 

We will keep banging this drum until Kevin Porter Jr. (foot) is cleared to return, and we don't know when that will be. So Martin will remain in the starting lineup, making him a player worth holding onto if you've got him. His recent production hasn't been great (15th-round in 9-cat over the last two weeks), but he did finish Wednesday's loss to the Wizards with a line of 16 points, 13 rebounds, one assist, and one blocked shot in 34 minutes. Houston is one of the teams with two games remaining in Week 15, which also helps Martin's case. 

Jonathan Kuminga (15%) 

With Andrew Wiggins (illness) ruled out, Kuminga started the Warriors' two-point win over the Grizzlies. And he played well, accounting for 13 points, two rebounds, four assists, one block, and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes. While he made for a solid pickup for Wednesday's game, fantasy managers would be wise to leave Kuminga alone, as the Warriors only play one more game this week. Add in Wiggins' return, and Kuminga isn't worth the trouble as a steamer in the aftermath of his performance Tuesday night. 

Zach Collins (13%) 

This is the time of year when some fantasy managers will want to identify players who could be of increased value after the trade deadline. Collins is one of those options, as he's backing up Jakob Poeltl and could be thrust into the starting job if the Spurs decide to trade their starter. What also helps is that Collins is providing solid value right now, as he's been a 9th-round player in 9-cat formats over the last week. Collins played 24 minutes off the bench in Wednesday's loss to the Lakers, accounting for 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

Pat Connaughton (9%) 

With Khris Middleton still on a minutes restriction, Connaughton has started both of the Bucks' games this week. And it was Grayson Allen who took the hit in playing time during Wednesday's win over the Nuggets, playing 28 minutes to Connaughton's 38. Pat shot 7-of-8 from the field, recording a line of 19 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and five 3-pointers. With the Bucks playing two more games in Week 15 and there not being any word as to when Middleton's restriction will be lifted, Connaughton still has some value for the time being. 

Drew Eubanks (7%) and Nassir Little (2%) 

Neither Eubanks nor Little was on the radar of most fantasy managers before Wednesday's game against the Jazz. But that changed due to injuries, as Jusuf Nurkić (calf) and Josh Hart (hamstring) departed prematurely. Eubanks has been a top-100 player over the last two weeks, and he came off the bench on Wednesday to provide eight points, 10 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Even if Nurkic is fine, Eubanks has played well enough recently to provide decent value in 20 minutes per game. As for Little, he'd likely be the option to start if Hart misses additional time. He started the second half of Wednesday's game, accounting for eight points, three rebounds, one assist, and two 3-pointers in 32 minutes, while Gary Payton II (six points, four rebounds, one assist, and two 3-pointers) only played 12. 

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Raphielle Johnson
Raphielle has been writing about college sports for more than a decade for multiple outlets, including NBC Sports. Focuses have included game recaps, columns, features and recruiting stories. A native of the Northeast, he now calls Pac-12 country home. Raphielle can be followed on Twitter @raphiellej.