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    Veteran pickups paying off for some NBA teams

    Chris Andersen of the Heat
    Andrew Innerarity/Reuters
    Chris Andersen of the Heat

    Kicking the tires on a veteran role player is what most contenders do in the second half of the season, but the pickups rarely prove beneficial. Here are three scrap-heap gambles that worked out for teams hoping to still be making noise in May.

    Mike James, Dallas

    Pre-JamesPost-James
    Record13-2223-17
    Turnovers/game15.113.0
    Rank turnovers/game18th2nd

    Strengths: Ballhandling, spot-up shooting. After being called up from the D-League, James helped stabilize a revolving door at point guard.

    Chris Andersen, Miami

    Pre-AndersenPost-Andersen
    Record26-1232-3
    Opponents scored:96.692.8
    Opponents scored/rank:13th3d

    Strengths: Interior defense, shot-blocking. The Heat took off after the Birdman signed, as he gave them a legit shot-altering presence to solidify the paint.

    Kenyon Martin, New York

    Pre-MartinPost-Martin
    Record32-1916-7
    Rebounds per game4139.1
    Rebounds per game/rankT-23rd25th

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    Strengths: Rebounding, depth at center. After Tyson Chandler’s injury, Martin stepped in as the 5 in a very small starting lineup.