Eighteen teams are in action on NBA Thursday, with the biggest clash seeing the Lakers, still absent LeBron James, hosting the Thunder and on fire star Paul George.

In the East, the two worst defenses in the NBA collide when the Hawks face the Wizards, as part of a slate that really does not have much to offer in terms of big games, but there is plenty of interesting players available for Draftstars.

There is $15,000 up for grabs in the Thursday jackpot tournament.


Bradley Beal – SG/SF – $16,530

Beal is logging big minutes, with a huge usage rate, which comes as no surprise at all with John Wall out of the lineup. Beal, who became an all-star for the first time last year, is now easily the best player on the Wizards with Wall gone, and in a team devoid of talent Washington will need to feed Beal as much as possible. Only one team is conceding a higher PPG than the Wizards that season, that team is Atlanta, who the Wizards match up with here. Beal has feasted on them in both prior meetings this year, putting up 36 and 29 points. The Hawks are also giving up 12.5 triples a game and Beal is a genuine sniper from beyond the arc.

Thomas Bryant – C/PF – $10,790

Another beneficiary of Wall’s absence has been big man Thomas Bryant who has logged 35 and 29 in his last two outings. He posted a 21/20 double double in his last outing, his second of the season after the monster 31/13 he put up shortly before Christmas where he made a historic 14/14 from the field. His minutes have been sporadic at times, but he has repeatedly shown that when he gets enough time on the court, he is capable of being a strong contributor and it looks like he has now found himself as a much bigger part of the rotation. As with everyone who plays them, Atlanta is a great match up for Bryant also.

Kevin Huerter – SG – $7,330

Huerter scored a career high 22 points in his last outing, on the road against the best defense in the NBA Indiana, including a career high six from deep. He also logged a career high 40 minutes and has logged over 30 minutes in six of his last seven games. The Hawks were already without Taurean Prince, whose minutes Huerter has been gobbling up,, but they were also without Kent Bazemore for this game which led to even more opportunities for Huerter. Bazemore is expected to be out for another couple of weeks so Huerter should continue to benefit. The Wizards concede the second most points per game in the NBA and the fourth most treys, the rookie Hawks guard has proven already to be a threat from deep, including three from range last time he played the Wizards.

Lauri Markkanen – PF – $12,350

Markkanen has logged over 30 minutes in five of his last six games, including 39 in his last game against the Raptors where he posted 18/10 including four triples. This was also his second straight double double. The Finnish forward came up against Orlando just two weeks ago and scorched them for 32 points, another outing where he made four from behind the arc. With the Bulls front court still depleted, there is little reason why Lauri won’t continue to play heavy minutes with a green light to shoot from anywhere.

Malik Monk – PG/SF – $7,180

Jeremy Lamb left the Hornets last game through injury, and that opened up the door for Monk who put up 21 points on 7/14 shooting. Lamb is listed as a game time decision coming into this game, if he is out, then we should see Monk putting up a lot of shots as the number two option behind Kemba Walker. The 21 from Monk was no fluke, we have seen him showcase many times his ability to put up points, he has gone over 20 points four times this year and comes in at a bargain price if Lamb is unavailable.

Enter the NBA $15,000 Thursday tournament.


Point Scored = 1 point

Missed Field Goal = -0.25 points

Missed Free Throw = -0.25 points

Assist = 1.5 points

Rebound = 1.25 points

Turnover = -0.5 points

Steal = 2 points

Block = 2 points

3 Point Made Bonus = 1 point

Double-Double = 2 points

Triple-Double = 2 points