Moving Forward

Those who took a chance on Nene Hilario have been rewarded in a big way.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We all know the names of the great forwards, the ones who we see on Sportscenter highlight reels every night. But they are hard to get at this time of year and trading for them will likely cost you an "arm and a leg."

Perhaps you should try one of these five guys I have listed below. None were a top draft pick, in fact, none have an ADP (average draft position) better than 97, meaning they were picked in the 10th or later rounds of your draft. They should therefore be a bit less expensive to obtain than a Dirk Nowitzki or Chris Bosh.

Each one of these players is eligible at forward and has far outperformed preseason expectations.

1) Nene Hilario, Denver - After having a malignant tumor removed, no one knew what to expect of Hilario. He played 16 games in 2007-08, averaging 5.3 ppg and 5.4 rpg in less than 17 minutes of action. Because of this, his ADP was 97. Those who took a chance have been rewarded in a big way. His current season statistics are 32.5 minutes-per-game and he is scoring 14.3 points and pulling down 7.2 rebounds. He has even doubled his career blocks-per-game average to 1.7.

2) Paul Millsap, Utah - Millsap (ADP 133) has picked up the slack left by Carlos Boozer's injury (strained left quadriceps/bone bruise). He has seen an increase in playing time by about 10 minutes and has clearly produced in the extra time on the floor. His numbers - 14.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.0 spg, 1.2 bpg, make him a viable starter...at least until Boozer recovers.

3) Spencer Hawes, Sacramento - It was a common thought that Hawes' fast start would come to a quick end when center Brad Miller returned to the Kings lineup. But Hawes (ADP 137) has continued to play well, so well, that rumors have Sacramento shopping Miller. Hawes' minutes have climbed from 13.1 in 2007-08 to 29.4 this season and he has made good use of the time, posting career high averages in points (12.2), rebounds (7.4), assists (1.7), steals (.8) and blocks (1.7).

4) Wilson Chandler, New York Knicks - Chandler is a forward-eligible guard who is thriving in Coach Mike D'Antoni's high-powered offense. Since being installed in the starting lineup, Chandler (ADP 125) is averaging 14.6 ppg with 5.9 rpg. He is only owned in about 75% of the leagues, so he might not even cost you anything to get him.

5) Jeff Green, Oklahoma City - Green (ADP 121) had just an okay rookie season, but has improved markedly in his second year. His points are up from 10.5 ppg to 15.6 and he is pulling down 5.5 rebounds too. Like Chandler, he might still be a free agent and cost you nothing to pickup.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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