Fans of Where’s Waldo have probably noticed Tim Frazier’s latest plight.
Since Christmas Day, the New Orleans Pelicans starting-day point guard has appeared in a total of five games and a scant 29 minutes, of which the majority have come during garbage time.
The reasoning is understandable: Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans are available, the schedule has been friendly in terms of rest, and the roster is loaded with players who can handle the shooting guard position.
Interestingly though, Alvin Gentry may be sitting his most productive offensive point guard to date.
Frazier’s size limits him on the defensive end, but his offense is of NBA quality. Hence, the allure of Frazier is understandable and the reason why Kevin Pelton of ESPN named him one of the six best bargain trade targets earlier today.
While Holiday and Evans remain injury risks, the Pelicans have enough depth in the backcourt that they might be able to spare Frazier, and he could certainly help several contenders as a backup point guard -- a role more appropriate for him than starting, where he was stretched despite the impressive box-score stats.
Frazier is a valuable player, certainly not your regular run-of-the-mill bench fodder. I made mention of this in the video of the trade deadline primer when I listed Frazier as a trade asset. He could help the two teams Pelton mentioned, but don’t be surprised if other teams show interest — in particular, watch for injury-riddled teams. For instance, with Chris Paul slated to be out for almost the next 6-8 weeks, Doc Rivers would probably love to add another point guard next to Raymond Felton. Frazier’s distributing ability, to go along with a jump shot that can keep defenses somewhat honest, can play on a lot of teams, especially alongside all those weapons in Los Angeles.