PredictionStrike's Blue Chips and Penny Stocks: Ben Simmons! Corey Kispert! Kendall Blanton!
Happy Thursday PredictionStrike family, and welcome to another exciting BCPS article! Sorry I missed you all last week, but this coming weekend is busy enough for the two weekends combined. Let’s go over the sports calendar. We have your standard NHL and NBA action happening on a nightly basis, we have the much-anticipated NBA trade deadline later today. We have the infamous Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, Arizona with the PGA starting today too. If you aren’t familiar with the 16th hole at the Waste Management, do yourself a favor and watch some golf coverage this weekend. Continuing on, we have all the incredible Olympic sports happening in Beijing, and UFC 271 happening in Houston Saturday night. I think that pretty much covers everything happening sports wise this weekend.
Oh wait there's one more thing! Super Bowl Sunday! Believe it or not, we aren’t going to talk about football today. You all are going to get a ton of content between now and Sunday about the game, so I want to talk about something going under the radar, especially in the PS community. The NBA trade deadline is happening today, and the rumors are a buzzin’! Before I jump in with the athletes, a couple of upcoming things everyone should be made aware of. The Daily Dividend boys are having a Super Bowl extravaganza, so make sure to check the podcast listings! We also can’t forget the UFC PPV Saturday, headlined by the Israel Adesanya (+2.6%, $5.63) vs. Robert Whittaker (+.3%, $4.78) rematch for the belt. We will be back with an Insider Trading Saturday morning to get you prepared for everything you need to know. But for now, let’s talk some NBA trade deadline!
Ben Simmons | +3.2%, $2.34 | PG/F/C/? Philadelphia 76ers
By the time I am writing this on Wednesday evening, Ben Simmons is still comfortably a 76er. Well, not comfortably, but you know what I mean. It is risky to write about Simmons right now considering publication isn’t for another twelve hours, and he could be traded any minute, but here goes nothing! Ben Simmons has been linked to a trade between the Brooklyn Nets and the 76ers for quite some time now, and we might actually see it come to fruition today. The package is still being discussed, but at its crux, it's Ben Simmons and pieces for James Harden (-.35%, $7.27) and pieces. We obviously know Ben Simmons has issues with the 76ers, but not everyone knows about the drama happening on the Nets. Harden is crying to get out of Brooklyn, in typical Harden fashion. It’s getting so bad that on a recent interview on ESPN, Brian Windhorst was quoted, speculating Harden’s intentions: “I can’t tell you how much James Harden wants this. You’ve got to be very careful using the q-word or saying whatever, but his actions over the last 10 days are basically a threat to the Nets.” Brian goes on to talk about how Harden undermined everything and everyone in Houston when he decided it was time to exit, and referenced a recent game against the Kings where Harden scored four points in 37 minutes, basically threatening what would happen if he didn’t get his way. I am not making these speculations, Brian Windhorst is, but he is clearly more knowledgeable of the situation, so I believe what he is saying. I believe this deal will get done, it's just a matter of time.
So the other side of the trade is our guy Ben Simmons. Last we saw Simmons was the infamous playoff game where he elected not to take a layup for fear of getting fouled in the last seconds of the game. That led to his coach and star teammate calling him out, and basically severing the relationship forever. Fans are so short minded, and will remember the last thing that happened, and ignore all the good that comes before it. Before the infamous no-layup, Simmons was averaging 14 PTs, 7 REBs, 7 ASTs. Considering the circumstances, Simmons’ projections should be relatively low the first couple games he plays with the Nets, so this could be a great stock to invest in now, and hold for the inevitably long playoff run. Simmons might not have the killer instinct to make the last second shot and throw the team on his back, but he will have two other superstars to balance him out. KD (+0%, $8.85) will be back from injury in no time, and Kyrie Irving (+1.2%, $4.32) is playing like old Kyrie Irving. The Nets have the pieces to make it deep in the playoffs, and if Simmons finds his way on the squad, watch out. At $2.34 a share, it’s a great stock to hold in case there are a ton of volume buys when the trade gets announced, and a potentially massive investment opportunity if his skillsets gel with Kyrie and Durant. I am going all in on Ben Simmons, and just hoping all those Instagram training sessions are paying off.
Corey Kispert | -5%, $1.80 | PF, Washington Wizards
So we haven’t talked about basketball in a while, but if I remember correctly, I was beaming with excitement because my beloved Wizards were one of the hottest teams in the NBA. Oh, how the times have changed. If losing 8 out of the last 9 wasn’t bad enough, the Wizards received a nail in the coffin with news that Brad Beal (-3%, $2.74) will be going to have season ending surgery on his wrist. This is absolutely brutal timing for the Wizards. National pundits and local fans alike agreed that the Wizards had two distinctly different options at the trade deadline. Either trade Beal to a contender for a king's ransom in return, or sell off some of the depth and young prospects to pair with Beal and make a playoff run. Well, with Beal out of the equation, it looks like the Wizards are in full-on panic mode. They do not have assets that can entice a big name to fill the Beal vacancy, nor do they have them to stockpile picks and prospects. It looks like they are in a classic “Lame Duck” situation. My guess is that GM Tommy Sheppard and Coach Wes Unseld will look to pawn off a couple nice pieces for parts, and cobble together a team of young prospects to finish out the uninspiring season. That most likely means sayonara to players like Spencer Dinwiddie (-12%, $1.32) and new fan favorite Montrezl Harrell (-6%, $0.99). If the Wizards were smart, they would do everything they could to get Davis Bertans off this roster, but more on that in a second. Now is the time for the Wizards to build up its young core, and just practice team basketball. Set yourself up to be a potential threat next season when Beal comes back healthy. The last three drafts have been relatively disappointing for the Wizards selecting Rui Hachimura (-4%, $1.46) in 2019, Deni Avdija (-1%, $0.62) in 2020, and most recently, you guessed it… Corey Kispert in 2021. Unfortunately, none of these three have panned out to be “superstars,” but all have the potential to be fantastic third options on winning basketball teams. If these youngsters can prove to be reliable starters, or even impactful bench pieces for years to come, this season might not all be wasted. So what does that mean for the rest of the season, and more importantly, what does that mean for the portfolio? We have to think about what Unseld is going to want to do, and see the rest of the reason, especially when winning games is no longer pivotal, considering playoff aspirations are dwindling. It is time to see the kids play a lot more minutes. The guy I expect to see the biggest increase in production is Corey Kispert.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s most likely because you remember him shooting that flawless three last season on that dominant Gonzaga Bulldogs team. Kispert was touted coming into the draft this season as the best three point shooter in the draft, and boy do the Wizards need help behind the arc. The Wizards have attempted the second most threes all season, and ranked third-to-last in 3PT% (32.2%). The Wizards thought they solved that problem a couple years ago when they resigned David Bertans (0%, $1.18) to a FIVE YEAR $80M CONTRACT! Bertans is getting paid $16 million dollars to be a 3PT specialist. A specialist that is making 31% of his three pointers. A guy getting paid tons of money to sit on the bench, amassing only 8 points in the last 8 games…. No that isn’t a typo. A guy making $16M a year is projected a mere 7 points a game on PredictionStrike. I don’t know if you can tell, but I am not happy with one Davis Bertans. So what does this all mean? Well it means the Wizards need to find a new three point specialist, and they went out and drafted Kispert. Now, let’s put all the pieces together:
- The Wizards just lost Brad Beal, their best player for the remainder of the season;
- I doubt they make any splashy trades at the deadline to bring anyone of value in, but we expect some key rotational pieces to be leaving via trade today;
- The young guys need some shine, so the front office knows what they have;
- Kispert was incredible from three in college, and needs more reps on the NBA level;
- Davis Bertans is ass.
All five reasons point to an obvious PredictionStrike play. Corey Kispert. He is currently teetering back and forth in the 15 FPT threshold, but he has been playing with the starting five more and more. I expect there to be a trade or two today to free up some usage, and I think Kispert has what it takes to take advantage of low projections and massive potential the rest of the season. He is a three point shooter, so he will have bad nights, but his good nights should balance for a pretty steady stock to hold the remainder of the season, and potentially beyond, depending how the roster shakes out. This Wizards fan hopes this all pans out in the end. Fingers crossed.
Kendall Blanton | -2%, $1.12 | TE, LA Rams
I couldn't resist myself, but can you blame me!? It’s the Super Bowl! I’ll make this quick. Kendall Blanton is a tight end for the LA Rams, but you probably don’t know who he is. He is Tyler Higbees’s backup and could literally be the X Factor on Super Bowl Sunday. If you didn’t already know, Higbee injured himself two weeks ago in the conference round matchup against the 49ers. Blanton came up clutch with five catches on five targets for 57 yards to help propel the Rams to the Super Bowl. The week before that, Blanton caught a touchdown, his first of the season! Considering all the other tight ends are injured, Blanton really stands out to me as someone who could have a breakout game.
First, we know Stafford loves his tight ends, especially in specific coverages. Let me get a little technical. Stafford and the Rams receivers feast in loaded box, heavy pressure defensive formations. Stafford can process his reads quick, and find his favorite receiver Cooper Kupp (+12%, $14.27) every time. Conversely, Stafford hates when teams send three, and drop everyone back, a defensive scheme the Bengals run a ton. Stafford relied heavily on Higbee in these packages, but considering Higbee isn’t going to suit up, enter Kendall Blanton.
If that tidbit wasn’t good enough for you, let's look at the other side of the ball, in the Bengals defense. What are they really good at? Covering receivers. What are they absolutely terrible at? Covering tight ends. The Bengals were vulnerable to tight ends throughout the 2021 NFL season. Per The Football Database, the Bengals’ defense allowed 96 receptions, 1083 yards, and eight touchdowns to opposing tight ends. On a per-game basis, that works out to 5.6 catches per 7.8 targets, 63.7 yards, and 0.5 touchdowns per game. I am calling it now, Blanton scores a touchdown Sunday, and my DM’s are waiting for all the praises Sunday night.
Ok guys, I will see you again Saturday for UFC 271 coverage! We have a big weekend of sports action coming up, so make sure you have those portfolios ready to go! Keep an eye out for the massive Super Bowl coverage on all the platforms, (Daily Dividends, numerous twitter accounts, email newsletters, and the almighty discord). Remember to send me a follow if you haven’t already done so @ChipsStocks, so you can relish in the Blanton touchdown with me in real time. I look forward to seeing you there. Until Saturday…
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