Phil's Fantasy Basketball: Should fantasy owners waive Kawhi Leonard?

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Pounding the Rock's Fantasy Basketball fanatic and host of the Phil Naessens Show answers a listener's question about Kawhi Leonard and gives three replacement options.

We are heading into Week Fourteen of the Fantasy Basketball season. That means there are just six weeks left until most leagues hold their playoffs. There are injuries to deal with, rosters to tweak, and decisions need to be made for teams on the bubble. The following question came into the show but since it deals with a Spur I thought I'd answer it in this week's column.

My team (a standard 10 team ESPN league) is currently in sixth place and I think I have a chance of making the playoffs. I have Kawhi Leonard on my team and I don't know what to do with him. Should I keep him on the roster and eat the empty space, trade him or take my chances and waive him? Please help!

Leonard has had a very consistent fantasy basketball season. He's currently ranked at #15 on ESPN's Fantasy Player Rater for his position and #53 overall making him a great mid- to late-round value. If you took him prior to the 5th round, you didn't get very good value for your money, but that isn't answering your question, is it? (Stats)

If it were me, I would look to move him, but this close to the end of the season trading him might prove to be difficult. With six weeks to go, you might want to consider releasing him and hopefully re-acquiring him when he returns. I know that sounds drastic, but if you want to make the playoffs and possibly even win your league, sometimes you have to take your chances. I know I would.

If cutting bait is what you've decided here, I do have some options for you. Normally, I would recommend Leonard's replacement, but this is the Spurs. Normal isn't in Coach Popovich's vocabulary, so I'll give you three names that hopefully will provide you some relief.

Shawn Marion, SF/PF, Dallas: Marion has had a very consistent season for the Mavericks. He's also had a consistent Fantasy Basketball season. Look at his numbers and you'll see they're quite similar to Leonard's. He'll lay the occasional scoring dud, but that shouldn't deter you from grabbing Marion if you can, and his dual eligibility should bring owners much greater value than an empty roster spot. (Stats)

Iman Shumpert, PG/SG/SF, New York: Triple eligibility is a beautiful thing. It's too darn bad it's wasted on Shumpert, but he does provide value. He hits the trey, grabs a few rebounds and generally scores across the board. Not big numbers but good enough to replace Leonard, at least in the short term. (Stats)

DeMarre Carroll, SF, Atlanta: Someone had to step up in Al Horford's absence and Carroll has done so. He scores straight across the board and, like Marion, his numbers are comparable to Leonard's. Also like Marion, he's healthy and available, so maybe Carroll can fill the void left by Leonard's injury? (Stats)

PtR Fantasy League

This past week saw quite a battle between league leaders Kawhisenberg Level and Duncan Donuts with the Donuts coming out on top making it a three way tie for first place. This is going to be an exciting final six weeks!

http://basketball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/nba/35869

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