The NBA season is now well and truly in full swing. Players are accustomed to their roles and beginning to find consistency.
Like every season, it feels like there have been a lot of injuries so far. Some of these injuries have come to the elite fantasy options such as Anthony Davis, Steph Curry, Karl-Anthony Towns and, more recently, Devin Booker.
You have to play the waiting game with these players and stash them somewhere on your roster. This can prove problematic in head-to-head leagues, especially if you are battling for a playoff position.
With this in mind, I will discuss some players whose managers might consider trading. Many players currently rostered in most leagues are frustrating managers to the point of questioning their decision to draft them in the first place.
Let's look at some underperforming players who should still be given time before managers attempt to offload them.
Terry Rozier, Hornets
It's certainly been a roller-coaster of a season thus far for Rozier. Unfortunately, the lows have far outweighed the highs, especially regarding fantasy value. On the surface, his production has been close to where we projected it. He is averaging a career-high 5.5 assists per game to go with 20.4 points and 2.5 triples. However, when we dig a little deeper, we find a couple of glaring flaws, notably his efficiency and lack of defensive contributions. His steal numbers have almost halved compared to last season, falling from 1.3 to 0.7. His field goal percentage has also taken a significant hit, falling to below 40 percent.
When attempting to decipher the reason for his decline, one major factor that must be considered is LeMelo Ball's absence. Ball has missed most of the season with two ankle injuries. While Ball's presence on the floor is likely to cut into Rozier's assist numbers, it should also allow him to get more open looks on offense. An increase in efficiency could be around the corner, and with it could come more energy on the defensive end. It seems he will fall short on his preseason ADP, likely to be more of a top 70 player. If you are becoming frustrated and looking to offload him, I wouldn't give him up for anything less than another player in that range.
Scottie Barnes, Raptors
Coming off an emphatic rookie season in which he ended as the 67th-ranked player, hopes were high that Barnes would at least be able to replicate those numbers. That has not been the case. His production has basically fallen across the board, with the only notable increase coming in his assist numbers. Granted, his playing time has also been scaled back by almost two minutes per game. When we look back at his college numbers and his projected translation into the NBA, it's fair to say that last season was a surprise.
For those rostering Barnes, the real issue is that the preseason hype sent his ADP inside the top 50. Looking back, that was too generous and has now come back to bite anyone who snapped him up in the fourth or fifth round. While his current production should be viewed as his floor, the question remains, how much better can he be moving forward? I'm confident he will crack the top 100 when all is said and done, given he needs only slight increases in a couple of areas -- efficiency and defense. If managers can temper their expectations, he should be back on track in no time.
Khris Middleton, Bucks
When it comes to unpacking Middleton's season thus far, his injury certainly needs to be the key talking point. After missing the first six weeks of the season, he returned in early December, delivering modest yet underwhelming production. His playing time fluctuated from one game to the next, partly due to a knee injury that has now seen him miss the past five games. During his time on the court this season, his efficiency has been disastrous, sitting at 32.5 percent. His defensive production hasn't been much better, combining for just 0.7 steals and blocks.
Of course, we know what he is capable of when healthy, having been one of the most consistent players over the past four to five years. He will be able to increase his numbers once he gets his body right. Given the disrupted start to the season, it is unlikely his final season numbers will return to where they have been in the past. With that said, he should still comfortably fall inside the top 80 come April. The uncertainty is sure to be frustrating for many managers, especially those fighting hard for a playoff spot. Should that be the case, I wouldn't be offloading him for just anyone, especially with his upside.