Some days you just laugh at what can happen in the magical world of social media. If you haven't been following the news closely, there's been some madness in the stock market thanks to an army of individuals on Reddit. That's about as much as I'm going to go into detail about that chaotic storm. Google is an incredible tool if you want to travel deeper down that rabbit hole in order to get an idea of what is exactly going on when it comes to Gamestop and all that shenanigans.
But with the Stock market being the hot topic of discussion as of late, it got me thinking...what NBA players would I be buying stock in as of now? The list below involves numerous individuals in the NBA world that I believe would be worthy investments if they were considered potential assets on the stock market. To keep it simple, let's evaluate these players on a "Buy or Sell" basis.
DE'ANDRE HUNTER, ATLANTA HAWKS
Not enough people are giving the love that second-year forward De'Andre Hunter deserves. If you're an Atlanta Hawks fan, you should be thrilled with the development of Hunter, who is quickly becoming one of the more important pieces to the puzzle in Atlanta moving forward. Hunter's development is right on track, as he's seen an increase in his numbers across the board. After averaging 12.3 PTS and 4.5 REB as a rookie, Hunter is currently averaging 17.9 PTS and 5.6 REB. He's also seen his 3P% jump from 35.5% as a rookie to 37.5%. Maybe one of the biggest jumps has been his eFG% which has gone from 48.9% to 59.1%. Hunter still has plenty of room to grow, especially on the offensive side of the ball, which would make him a fantastic buy as he trends upwards.
Pretty blown away by the leap from De’Andre Hunter. Wasn't one of the people who thought he was bad last year, and I had him clearly No. 4 on my board in 2019. But I didn’t see this coming. He’s just a straight up polished scorer already w/ poise and handle. 33 pts vs. MIL today pic.twitter.com/C8uhU4wXKC— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) January 25, 2021
MIKAL BRIDGES, PHOENIX SUNS
We all should have seen this one coming after the NBA Bubble experience in Orlando. Mikal Bridges was a preseason favorite to take another step forward in his development as one of the most promising young wings we have in the NBA. Much like De'Andre Hunter (above) Bridges has made his calling with his ability as a two-way player. The best part about Bridges' game though, is that there is still plenty to be unlocked when it comes to his offensive game. Many hoped Bridges would take the next leap forward as a player and so far he hasn't disappointed. The third-year wing has seen his PPG jump from 9.1 last year to currently 14.6. He's also shooting 44.0% from downtown compared to 36.1% last year. The bottom line when it comes to Bridges is that there's still plenty of upside that is waiting to be unlocked. Imagine a stock that is slowly rising and gaining respect on the market. That's basically Mikal Bridges. Also, I feel like we don't talk enough about the idea of Mikal Bridges being nicknamed "Warden" because he locks people up. Deandre Ayton started to give him that nickname during the bubble and we need to revisit the idea of that becoming a marketing campaign somehow. Get the state of Arizona on the phone, please.
The Bright Future Suns are the Bright Present Suns!@KevinOConnorNBA talks to Mikal Bridges about what makes his game fit so well in Phoenix. #TheVoidNBA— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) January 28, 2021
📺: https://t.co/sISKLl5VHO pic.twitter.com/M4AfJqoNK6
JAMES WISEMAN, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
YOU BETTER DAMN BELIEVE I'M BUYING JAMES WISEMAN STOCK. Hey Steve Kerr, your starting lineup shenanigans don't scare me. If you haven't been following the basketball news religiously as of late, Steve Kerr recently decided to move the 2nd pick in the NBA draft to the bench for Kevon Looney. Now some were discouraged by this move, but it's not scaring me at all. Consider this the rumor mill which leads to a stock starting to fall and then BOOM you attack and double down. That's what we'd be doing here folks. On a serious note, Wiseman was going to have plenty of learning curves in the NBA with the combination of limited collegiate experience and having to play alongside Draymond Green. That's not a knock at Draymond, that's a harsh reality that Wiseman is going to have to be a quick learner playing alongside such an intelligent defensive mind as Draymond. Still, Wiseman has impressed plenty throughout the year and the Warriors know exactly what they are doing with him. The rookie is averaging 12.6 PPG and 5.9 RPG while shooting 52.3% from the field and 42.9% from 3. Buy the stock early and play for the longterm.
COLLIN SEXTON & DARIUS GARLAND aka "SEXLAND", CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
This is where we start to have some fun. If I could buy stock just based on the nickname "Sexland" I would. Seriously, has there ever been a better nickname for a backcourt duo? If you have been living in a barn as of late with limited to no connection with other forms of human life...Collin Sexton and Darius Garland have been turning heads throughout this young 2020-21 season with their impressive play for the Cavaliers. They were given the nickname "Sexland" and it's been one of the best developing storylines throughout this year. The play of Sexton and Garland has been a huge reason why the Cleveland Cavaliers have become a pleasant surprise in the Eastern Conference. Heading into this season, it was crucial that the Cavaliers find out what they have in their young backcourt. If you don't remember, the Cavaliers decided to spend back-to-back early lottery selections on Sexton and Garland. As of now, the investment by the Cavs front office looks to be paying off. Sexton is finally showing some consistent confidence and has begun to turn heads around the league with impressive play. After averaging 20.8 PPG for the Cavaliers in 2019-20, the 22-year-old is currently averaging 25.2 PPG while shooting 47.2% from 3. Sexton would shoot 38.0% from 3 last year...Darius Garland has also started to take strides forward as well. Garland struggled with an injury bug throughout his rookie year, which caused him to have a bit of a rollercoaster first year in the NBA. Garland recently missed a number of games with a shoulder strain, but he's back in the mix and should start to hit his stride again. Garland is currently averaging 14.3 PPG while shooting 40.9% from 3. Both of these guards are on the rise and it'd be a smart decision to get in on the fun immediately.
DOMANTAS SABONIS, INDIANA PACERS
This would be like paying for an elite stock that just no matter what happens it keeps seeming to get better and better and better...Domantas Sabonis continues to rise to new levels of his game each and every year. This year, he's been fantastic. Sabonis finally finds himself in the 20s when it comes to PPG (20.4). But the rest of his production has been eye-opening as well. Sabonis is averaging 12.3 REB, 5.8 AST, and is shooting 55.1% from the field. While this one might be obvious, Sabonis continues to improve, and with Victor Oladipo now in Houston, there's plenty of offense left to be unleashed. Sabonis looks as if he's only got one direction to go...which is up in case you didn't realize the direction I was going there. Also an amazing fun fact that was brought to the attention of the internet as of late...when Domantas was growing up, his favorite player was Rasheed Wallace. That's enough reason to literally buy as much Domantas stock as you can get your hands on.
Domantas Sabonis with an impressive triple-double last night including 22 PTS (9/10 FG), 11 REB, and 10 AST.— Backcourt Violation (@backcourtv) January 28, 2021
Sabonis is currently averaging 20.4 PTS, 12.3 REB, and 5.8 AST for the Pacers this year. pic.twitter.com/7yLxpHf7Sr
RJ BARRETT, NEW YORK KNICKS
It's amazing what happens when you give young talent time to finally gain some confidence in the NBA. Tom Thibodeau has the New York Knicks overachieving this year, thanks to their impressive play on the defensive side of the ball, but RJ Barrett has been fantastic. The former 2019 3rd overall selection had himself a solid rookie season, but many were wondering if Barrett could take the next step forward in his development. Barrett has shown some great strides of improvement in his game this year, and he'd be a stock that you would want to buy right now as it continues to trend upwards. Barrett still needs to get some consistency with his outside shooting, but there's plenty of time for the 20-year-old lefty to figure that out. One of the most notable developments for the "Maple Mamba" (still such an underrated nickname) has been his ability on the glass. Barrett has seen his RPG jump from 5.0 to 6.8 and he's had multiple double-digit rebounding performances this year. Barrett is right on track during his development. Buy while you still can.
RJ Barrett dropped a career-high 28 PTS in the Knicks' win last night 🔥 pic.twitter.com/e83go3LWac— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 22, 2021
NICKEIL ALEXANDER-WALKER/ KIRA LEWIS JR, NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
TRADE RUMOR SEASON. Consider this buying stock on two players based purely on speculation. Previously the Pelicans were forced to give some extended run to Nickeil Alexander-Walker and even this year's 13th overall selection Kira Lewis Jr. Both players impressed...which means that some people have begun to connect some dots. It's been reported as of late that the Pelicans are willing to listen to offers for Lonzo Ball, JJ Redick, or even Eric Bledsoe. If you'd like me to translate all of that for you, that means that the Pelicans realize they have a logjam in their backcourt and they are looking to get some assets to clear up some playing time for the young talent waiting in the wing. Both of these players look to have serious upside and it'd be smart of the Pelicans to open up some minutes moving forward for NAW and Kira. Remember, Lonzo Ball is also expected to become a restricted free agent at the end of the year.
TYRESE HALIBURTON, SACRAMENTO KINGS
There were serious questions as to why Tyrese Haliburton slipped on draft night, but the Sacramento Kings won't complain. As of now, Haliburton has been one of the most impressive rookies from the 2020 Draft class. He's done a fantastic job contributing right from the start and the Kings look to have themselves a building block moving forward. But there's still plenty of upside for Haliburton and he'd be a fantastic "stock" to invest in for the longterm. Haliburton has been sharing the court with a variety of lineups, some that include Buddy Hield at the three. Translation...the Kings realize what a special, and important, player Haliburton is and they realize he needs to be on the court as much as possible. This is just the beginning for Tyrese and his production should only continue to go up.
After a mini-slump the last few games, Tyrese Haliburton was back to his Rookie of the Year caliber ways last night in a win over the Knicks: 16 PTS, 4 BLK, 2 STL in 31 MIN. Impacts the game all over the floor. Elite basketball instincts. Shooting 47% from 3 through 14 games. pic.twitter.com/sZz8ZE3lFp— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) January 23, 2021
JAYLEN BROWN, BOSTON CELTICS
I think there's going to be a number of people who are scared about Jaylen Brown's numbers falling off seeing that Jayson Tatum is back in the mix. I am not one of those people. If you have watched Brown play this year, you understand that his game has taken off and his confidence on the basketball court is at an all-time high. Brown could be a risky "buy" as of now, just because his stock is so ridiculously high with his impressive performance as of late. Brown looks destined to make his 1st NBA All-Star team and he's playing at a level right now that should find him HOPEFULLY on one of the All-NBA teams. Pencil this one in as stock in which if you don't buy now...you might not ever be able to get it again.
Jaylen Brown continues his impressive 2020-21 campaign. Last night Brown would finish with 26 PTS on 10/21 shooting against the Bulls.— Backcourt Violation (@backcourtv) January 26, 2021
Brown is now averaging 27.3 PPG on the season while shooting 52.8% from the field and 43.8% from 3. #Celtics pic.twitter.com/lYiyQwraoJ
KELDON JOHNSON, SAN ANTONIO SPURS
Not a lot of people have been talking about the performance of the San Antonio Spurs second-year forward. Johnson has taken a sizeable leap forward in his development from his rookie year. The 21-year-old is currently averaging 14.4 PPG and 7.4 RPG for the Spurs. Johnson still has plenty of upside left in his game, especially as a consistent offensive force, but it would be wise to get in on this stock while you still can. You can call this one a "roll of the dice" that could pay off big down the road.
NBA TV showing Keldon Johnson and the San Antonio Spurs some love: pic.twitter.com/ddhwFDcuaZ— Noah Magaro-George (@N_Magaro) January 28, 2021
ANDRE DRUMMOND, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
Have you seriously watched this guy as of late? Andre Drummond is on an absolute terror in the NBA right now. Now look, I'm not selling Drummond stock based on his performance in a negative way. But if this is the stock market, there's money to be made...and Drummond's stock is DANGEROUSLY high. It's one of those stocks in which you laugh and sweat at the same time because you're asking yourself..."how greedy can I be?!" As of now, Andre Drummond is averaging 18.9 PPG (career-high) and 14.7 REB. With the logjam that the Cleveland Cavaliers have at center, especially with the acquisition of the promising young talent Jarrett Allen, it would seem possible that the Cavs could trade Drummond...which could limit his production if he goes to a contender. Sell the stock, laugh all the way to the bank.
RUSSELL WESTBROOK, WASHINGTON WIZARDS
I have found myself the CEO of the Russell Westbrook fan club for a number of years. Westbrook plays with a passion and desire that you love to watch as a basketball fan. Unfortunately, it looks as if things are starting to go downhill for "The Brodie." Now look, I hope I'm wrong and Westbrook comes back from his injury bug and starts averaging a triple-double again (especially for Bradley Beal's sake). But if we look at the numbers in front of us, it looks as if Westbrook would be a stock that you'd want to get out while you still can. Westbrook is averaging 18.1 PPG while shooting 37.4% from the field. He hasn't averaged less than 21 PPG since 2009-10.
LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE, SAN ANTONIO SPURS
If you've been holding onto LaMarcus Aldridge stock for this long...then bless your heart. Aldridge has had himself a heck of a career. Did you even realize that Alridge has been in the league for 14 years? The San Antonio Spurs are slowly getting a lot of mouths to feed on the offensive side of the ball and it looks as if Alridge could slowly be trending downhill. He's averaging just 27.5 MIN and has seen his PPG drop from 18.9 to 14.9 this year. Aldridge is still a heck of a player for this Spurs organization, but if we were talking "stocks" it'd be smart to get out while you could. Alridge as a hypothetical "stock" over his career would be one of the best investments of all-time. 14 years of grit and stability...all good things come to an end sometime.
BUDDY HIELD, SACRAMENTO KINGS
Now, this one is a bit of a curveball and I will admit it's a bit of a wildcard. I think that Buddy Hield could be a "surprise" trade piece during the deadline. The reason why is definitely because of the impressive play of rookie Tyrese Haliburton. But Hield has struggled this year. There's some intriguing upside in Sacramento for the Kings to give a serious look at playing franchise cornerstone De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton extended minutes together. Both of the players complement each other beautifully, especially as potential transition monsters. Haliburton has been so impressive this year that it's forced the Kings to play small-ball at times, with Hield seeing some minutes at the 3. The problem is the production is down. Hield has seen his PPG drop from 19.2 to 15.8 and he's shooting just 38.6% from the field. It's a situation to monitor moving forward, but the Kings could realize that it's finally time to move on.