We had a wild trade deadline this year with 14 day-of deals and several notable transactions leading up to Thursday. Let’s take a look at some winners and losers from a fantasy basketball perspective:
Rising Fantasy Basketball Stocks
Bobby Portis (Wizards): 30 points is not a bad way to introduce yourself to a new fan base. Yes, it was against the Cavaliers, but Portis looked comfortable in his new environment, tossing up 18 shots and finishing with a 31.8% usage rate in 27 minutes of action. The man who bet on himself appears determined to make the most of his audition for a new contract.
Jabari Parker (Wizards): Parker had 15 DNPs in the 25 games leading up to his trade, making owning him a frustrating task. He saw 23 minutes in his first game with Washington and didn’t commit a single turnover while adding seven points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. He’s a major defensive liability, but it’s easy to envision the Wizards looking past that as they evaluate whether or not he can be a part of the team’s long-term outlook.
Stanley Johnson (Pelicans): Johnson saw 20 minutes in his first contest for New Orleans, including all but a few possessions of the fourth quarter when Anthony Davis sat out. Davis won’t play in back-to-backs the rest of the way and he may be held out toward the end of games like he was on Friday night. That leaves opportunity for the rest of the roster and Johnson is among those in position to take full advantage.
Otto Porter (Bulls): In his Chicago debut, Porter started and saw 34 minutes. As long as coach Jim Boylen doesn’t get crazy with the rotations (not a given), Porter will see more opportunity with the Bulls compared to his days with the Wizards.
Lauri Markkanen (Bulls): With Portis no longer in his way, Markkanen will get all the opportunity he can handle. He has scored at least 30 points in three straight games and is averaging over 12 boards per game over that stretch. The big man is a top-30 player in both points and category leagues the rest of the way.
Jonas Valanciunas (Grizzlies): The center is still hurt, but if the Grizzlies eventually place him in the starting lineup, he’ll be a key fantasy contributor down the stretch. He only saw 18.8 minutes per game this season in Toronto but his per-36 minutes will catch your eye (24.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks).
Ivan Rabb (Grizzlies): Rabb is a must-own right now with Valanciunas sidelined and he should remain a viable contributor even when the center debuts with Memphis. He’s averaging 17 points, 10, rebounds, and three “stocks” over the last two games as a starter.
Tyler Johnson (Suns): Phoenix presents Johnson with a ton of opportunity and even though he had an awful debut (1-for-9 for two points, two assists, two steals, and two turnovers), he’s worth keeping an eye on.
Harrison Barnes (Kings): Barnes sees his stock rise ever so slightly, as he enters a situation with a faster pace. The Kings are top-10 in pace over the last 15 games while the Mavs rank 29th. The small forward saw 37 minutes in his first game with the club and while he wasn’t efficient nor a centerpiece of the offense, he’ll get enough action to justify a fantasy roster spot.
Declining Fantasy Basketball Stocks
Tobias Harris (Sixers): Harris scored just 14 points on 12 attempts in his Philly debut. He was a top-25 fantasy player on the Clippers due to his efficiency and volume. Expect his percentages to look good but his raw numbers to severely decline. Still, he’s in the 50-60 range in category leagues.
Nikola Mirotic (Bucks): Mirotic is still nursing a calf injury but when he finally makes his debut in Milwaukee, he should expect a lesser role than the one had with the Pelicans.
Thomas Bryant (Wizards): Bryant was declining prior to the trade deadline and the arrival of Portis steals touches from him. Dwight Howard returning at some point remains a possibility. In all, Bryant owners should probably be looking for other options on the waivers.
Marc Gasol & Serge Ibaka (Raptors): Gasol and Ibaka will both see a decline in fantasy value. Prior to the deadline, Ibaka’s value was expected to take a hit with Valanciunas eventually returning from an injury and Gasol will likely see more minutes per game than JV did with the Raptors. I expect Pascal Siakam‘s stock to remain relatively steady but all three bigs are less valuable than they were Thursday morning.
Jahlil Okafor (Pelicans): Okafor’s fantasy relevance was a great story while it lasted but with Davis still on the squad, the opportunities won’t be there as often. Okafor is an excellent candidate for daily fantasy consideration on nights Davis doesn’t play but don’t expect Okafor to be consistent enough to be more than a streaming option in season-long leagues unless the Pelicans fully shut down AD.
Fantasy questions? Take to the comment section below or tweet me at @CW_Crouse.
Missed an earlier edition of Fantasy Hoops? Check out the entire series here.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.