The trade deadline is only a few days away, and we are pretty much guaranteed a trade or two that will shake up the NBA landscape. Whether you’re at the top of your league or near the bottom, stashing someone right now before it all goes down gives you a jump on the competition. Unless you can sit around all day waiting for the news, you need to have the foresight here to stash some folks and hope for the best.
Here are the top guys who should see their situation get better, in order of importance, with their respective percentages owned across Yahoo! leagues. We’ll be looking at projected 9-category value for this list, so it might be different if you’re playing a different format.
If you’re looking for an add, simply move down the list until you find someone who is available and go snag them and hope for the best, as long as you agree with my reasoning! Quick note: Most of these stats were gathered before the games on 3/21.
1. Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings (76% owned)
While most leagues will have Tyrese Haliburton rostered, he may be even better after the deadline. Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield are on the trading block and, if either guy gets a buyer, it will open up even more minutes for Hali to produce. He’s currently ranked 55th in 9-category leagues based on per-game value, and he can contribute in threes, steals, and assists.
2. Moses Brown, Oklahoma City Thunder (33% owned)
Moses Brown has been a hot commodity lately, and for great reasons. The 21-year-old 7’2″ big man is averaging 11 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game over the last five Oklahoma City Thunder games on 56.1% shooting, including a 75% mark from the line. Those are fantastic numbers, good enough for mid-round value.
Al Horford still has a lot of money left on his contract, but he doesn’t figure into the Thunders’ long term plans, and he has proven in stretches that he can still ball out. If he gets moved, it’s clear that Isaiah Roby isn’t the guy to own here, but Moses Brown is the guy you want instead. Even if Horford doesn’t get dealt, he’s a prime shutdown candidate for a team that has no interest in winning this season.
3. Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets (70% owned)
Victor Oladipo is rumored to be on the block and Kevin Porter Jr. is already ballin out when John Wall and Dipo aren’t in the game. It’s clear that KPJ will struggle here and there as NBA teams figure out his game and how to stop him, but there’s also no chance that John Wall plays every game and the Rockets likely aren’t playing for the playoffs this year as they are terrible. Look for them to turn more and more to the young guard to give their fans some hope for the future. He has 128th 9-cat value on a per-game basis, and he can contribute in assists, steals, and points.
4. Reggie Jackson, Los Angeles Clippers (5% owned)
Lou Williams has served the Clippers organization admirably, and he had a very long run as a yearly candidate for the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award. Lou Williams won’t be winning that award this year. All good things must come to an end and Lou Williams is on an expiring deal. He could be headed out of town as the Clippers look to compete for a title. If they don’t get back a sixth man type, Reggie Jackson easily slots into that role.
Patrick Beverley may also be on his way out as he hasn’t been able to stay healthy and just doesn’t contribute enough when he is healthy. If Pat Bev is heading out of town, Reggie Jackson steps into that starting role where he has been pretty effective all season. That makes Reggie Jackson a nice stash in case either guy gets moved. His contributions won’t be stellar with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in town, but he should return low round value reliably.
5. Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls (16% owned)
While it’s hard for me, as a Bulls fan, to believe that the Chicago Bulls will move on from Thaddeus Young this season, it’s something that constantly gets cycled in the rumor mill. There has to have been some discussions around moving him after his strong play this season with the Bulls unlikely to make waves in the playoffs. But even if Thad doesn’t get moved, Otto Porter Jr. is on a giant expiring deal which should be enticing to a number of teams. OPJ can still play and be a reliable contributor to a contender.
In either event, Patrick Williams sees his situation get better. He can offer a smattering of defense statistics and perhaps most promising is that he has had a 23-point performance and a 14-rebound performance within the last week. Those are both career highs. Don’t sleep on “The Paw.”
6. Derrick White, San Antonio Spurs (64% owned)
I know, I know. We, “the experts,” have been touting Derrick White as a pickup since the preseason. But he hasn’t gotten less than 24 minutes in the last seven games. Over that span, he is averaging 12.7 points, 3.1 assists, and 1.4 three-pointers per game. The key to his fantasy value, though, is that he’s averaging a full block per game during that span as well.
There are rumors that DeMar DeRozan is on the block and LaMarcus Aldridge has already played his last minutes as a Spur. It seems that the Spurs are looking to go younger, so they’ll lean on White even more in that scenario. He should be scooped up in all leagues.
7. Theo Maledon, Oklahoma City Thunder (7% owned)
There is almost no way that George Hill isn’t being shopped by Sam Presti, probably right at this moment. As we all know, he’ll look to get a second-round pick back for the veteran. So what does that mean for the Oklahoma City Thunder? It means their young guys are going to play, and they’re going to play big minutes in games they will likely lose, as the Thunder try to make the most of their plethora of picks.
It’s clear that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is going to sit back-to-backs now, so that boosts Maledon’s value even further. He can contribute in threes and steals, with the steals being at elite levels in stretches.
8. Mo Bamba, Orlando Magic (1% owned)
Mo Bamba’s ability to put up stats in the minutes he is given is impressive. On the season, per-36 minutes, Bamba averages 16.2 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks. Those would be incredible numbers, and he’s even capable of knocking down the three-point shot.
The downside? His value entirely hinges on his ability to play, which is almost not at all right now. The Orlando Magic are sitting on a 14-27 record right now, and there are rumors that Nikola Vucevic and veteran guard Evan Fournier want out. If both or either of those guys is on the move, there will be a TON of opportunity to go around, but Mo Bamba might be the most intriguing of those options with his ability to light it up on a per-minute basis. Vuc is owed a ton of money, but if he can be moved then Bamba is an instant add.
9. Kenyon Martin Jr., Houston Rockets (27% owned)
See above about Victor Oladipo possibly being on the move and the Rockets being bad. Over their last six games (all losses, by the way), Kenyon Martin Jr. has averaged 12.8 points, 7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game. Those are fantastic numbers and adding him now makes a lot of sense. If the Rockets go into tank mode, he should top 30 minutes a night easily, and their 11-29 record indicates they will probably go that direction.
10. Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls (72% owned)
Wendell Carter Jr.’s career trajectory is on the downswing, but the trade deadline could be just what he needs to rejuvenate all the hope in his young career. As mentioned above, the Bulls may be looking to move Thaddeus Young. If that is the case, then Wendell steps back into the starter role most likely UNLESS the Bulls get back a big. The other possibility, that has been rumored, is that Wendell gets traded to another team. We’d have to see where that is before we can make any predictions, but a team trading for him is likely to play him. He is not earning a lot of money, so this kind of move would be about a team believing he is a good player.
11. Luke Kennard, Los Angeles Clippers (7% owned)
As mentioned above, Lou Williams is in a decent spot to get moved. If he is on the move, that means more Luke Kennard, as long as the Clippers don’t get a guard back in the exchange. The Clippers just signed this guy to a three-year deal in the middle of a title run, so they clearly are sold on his ability. In 32.9 minutes per game last season with the Detroit Pistons, Kennard averaged 15.8 points and 4.1 assists per game while sinking 2.6 three-pointers each contest. It’s hard to see him hitting those numbers, but if he can get closer to them he could be a late-round value the rest of the way.
12. Dwayne Bacon, Orlando Magic (2% owned)
Dwayne Bacon is quietly having a career year in Orlando, mostly filling in for the oft-injured Evan Fournier as the team’s backcourt scoring threat. He hasn’t been scoring efficiently, so he’ll need the volume to really have any value in fantasy leagues. If Fournier and Vucevic both head out of town, he’ll have a lot of shots coming his way and will be a fantastic source of points and threes.
13. Isaiah Roby, Oklahoma City Thunder (9% owned)
Isaiah Roby has been a mild disappointment in his fill-in starts for Al Horford, but his rest of the season outlook is still pointing up. In 12 of 14 games that he has received 25 minutes or more, he has scored in double digits and he recorded at least one block in six of those games, with five games with multiple blocks. The key is that he also contributed a steal in 11 of those games as well. He has mid-round upside if he gets the minutes, and he should get the minutes down the stretch here.
14. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, New Orleans Pelicans (5% owned)
Nickeil Alexander-Walker is already doing pretty well in a bigger role for the Pelicans. He can score and put up threes in bunches, and he’ll toss in a steal or two, but his role thus far has been inconsistent. The JJ Redick rumors are hot and heavy right now as the proven shooter is out of the rotation in New Orleans due to an “injury” and has a highly sought-after skill around the league. If Redick is out, NAW is in as the team’s sixth man, and that would likely make him worth a roster spot.
15. Kira Lewis Jr., New Orleans Pelicans (1% owned)
Not only are there rumblings that JJ Redick will be moved at the deadline, but there are whispers that Lonzo Ball may be out of the picture as well. Most notably, Lonzo’s outspoken father LaVar Ball has said that Lonzo doesn’t want to be in New Orleans. If both of those guys are on the move, it would open up some time for Kira Lewis Jr. at the starting guard spot. He’s someone that the Pelicans are high on and he averages 13.9 points, 5 assists, and 1.9 steals per-36 minutes of basketball. He’s still a bit of a question mark, but it’s possible he steps into a much bigger role here.
16. Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs (10% owned)
The future may be now for the San Antonio Spurs as they look to build around their young talent. If they can flip DeMar DeRozan for future assets or another young talent, there’s no reason to think they hang onto the veteran. If DDR is out and the return is picks or young talent, look for Lonnie Walker IV to step into a larger role. The third-year guard has started most games for the Spurs and he’s averaging a career-high 11.8 points per game on the season. He’s good for points and threes, but he doesn’t contribute elsewhere and it’s hard to see that changing, so he’s probably better for points leagues.
17. DeAndre’ Bembry, Toronto Raptors (0% owned)
This is all about Norman Powell, who is on an expiring contract and could command a big and long-term payday in free agency this offseason. Yes, he has a player option, but if he can sign a longer-term deal, he probably bites. He’s 27 years old and having an absolute career year, including a career-high in points against the Pistons just a few days ago. The Raptors may not be interested in paying him what he could earn elsewhere.
If that’s the case, moving him at the deadline makes a lot of sense so they can at least get some kind of value out of losing him. If they do trade Powell and don’t get back a wing player, DeAndre’ Bembry most likely slots into the sixth man/first off the bench role. He isn’t nearly as enticing as Powell, but he can be seen as a “three-and-D” player. In just 23.5 minutes per game in the 2018-19 season with the Atlanta Hawks, Bembry averaged 1.3 steals per game and put up 2.1 three-point attempts per game. He’s shooting it better from deep, which could make him a decent end of roster player in competitive leagues.
18. Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers (1% owned)
Going a bit out on the limb here, but the Cavaliers might not be done making moves. Obviously, they’d probably love to move on from Kevin Love, but they also would love to move on from Cedi Osman as well. Larry Nance Jr. is another name that has popped up in the rumor mill, which makes sense as the Cavaliers look towards the future.
If all those guys are on their way out, the man that will step into a larger role will be Dean Wade. Again, this is if ALL of these guys move, which is possible though improbable. Through a five-game starting stretch when the Cavs were dealing with injuries, Wade averaged 9.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks while shooting 64% from the field. The field goal percentage here is key, but he can provide steady low-end value.
19. Chuma Okeke, Orlando Magic (1% owned)
If the Orlando Magic are bent on doing a fire sale and truly tanking the rest of the season, Chuma Okeke could be in line for a huge role. If Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross, and Nikola Vucevic get moved, there will be a ton of usage up for grabs. There’s a lot of unknowns when it comes to the 22-year-old’s game, but getting a ton of minutes can only help his development. He’s a very risky flyer.
20. Terence Davis, Toronto Raptors (1% owned)
Terence Davis is a bit of a desperation play, but again if the Raptors choose to move on from Norman Powell and not give him a big payday, they’ll be looking to fill that sixth-man role on their team. That’s a pretty big hole to fill, so Terence Davis and Bembry will likely be the two that will cover it mostly, unless the Raptors get back a great wing player in the process. Terence Davis is the more appealing offensive option compared to Bembry, so he would be a good choice for points and threes, as he takes a lot of shots from behind the arc.