Christian Wood, Detroit Pistons
He looks like the big winner at the trade deadline with Andre Drummond getting dealt to Cleveland. It’s possible newcomer John Henson takes some frontcourt minutes, but Wood should be looking at a major opportunity now with Blake Griffin sidelined as well. Over the last month, Wood has been the No. 34 fantasy player per 36 minutes, when he’s averaged 21.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.9 blocks and 1.4 threes, and he’s now the Pistons’ starting center over the rest of the season. Teammate Derrick Rose is another winner at the deadline (although currently dealing with an injury), as his career-high Usage Rate (32.0%) should remain intact with him staying in Detroit, Drummond getting shipped out, and Reggie Jackson a buyout candidate.
Eric Paschall, Damion Lee & Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors
With Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson traded to Philadelphia (both of whom lose a ton of value and can be dropped in most leagues with the move), Paschall and Lee are huge beneficiaries in Golden State. Paschall has averaged 17.9 points when starting this season, while Lee is also looking at a bigger opportunity on an open Warriors roster that currently only has nine players (with Draymond Green the lone point guard option, meaning Ky Bowman could be back soon too).
In other Warriors moves, D’Angelo Russell (who ranks 126th out of 128 shooting guards in DRPM) should retain similar fantasy value, although his Usage Rate will likely fall out of the top-10 like it was in Golden State now that he’s sharing the floor with Karl-Anthony Towns. Andrew Wiggins, meanwhile, gets an upgrade as the new clear alpha on this Warriors team (at least until Stephen Curry returns). His fantasy value gets a clear boost with the move, where Wiggins certainly makes more sense than DLo in Golden State as a wing. It will be interesting to see his defense without his issues with KAT.
Malik Beasley, Minnesota Timberwolves
The addition of D’Angelo Russell complicates things some, but Beasley should emerge as a starter in Minnesota after getting traded from Denver, with the disappointing Jarrett Culver losing fantasy value and becoming a prime drop candidate as a result of the moves. Beasley averaged 15.9 points and 3.0 threes over 18 starts last season, and he now goes from a Nuggets team that ranked second to last in Pace to a Minnesota squad that’s one of the fastest in the league, so Beasley is a strong add if he indeed becomes a starter with the Timberwolves. He’s still available in nearly 80% of Yahoo leagues.
P.J. Tucker, Houston Rockets
The 6-foot-5 Tucker is Houston’s new starting center with Clint Capela traded to Atlanta, as the team is going to explore playing extreme small ball (they’ve won three straight games despite getting outrebounded by double-digits in all). Tucker didn’t see a huge spike in Usage Rate when not sharing the court with Capela this season, and he’s been starting all year anyway, but his minutes should increase after the trade. Tucker is a sneaky fantasy producer, as he’s quietly been a top-65 option in 9-cat leagues over the last two weeks despite an ugly 32.4 FG% that’s sure to regress.
De’Anthony Melton, Memphis Grizzlies
With Memphis trading away Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill and Andre Iguodala for an injured Justise Winslow and company, Melton is hopefully looking at a bigger opportunity down the stretch (he saw a season-high 29 minutes during his last game). He’s been a top-75 player per 36 minutes this year (averaging 2.5 steals) and should see more run moving forward, yet Melton remains available in more than 90% of leagues still.
Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks
It’s tough to consider any change a plus for Capela’s fantasy value considering he ranked second in paint touches per game (12.3) and fourth in rebound chances per game (22.4) in Houston, but his pick-and-roll skills fit much better with Trae Young than the ISO-heavy James Harden these days. Moreover, the Hawks are just one spot behind the Rockets at No. 3 in Pace, so Capela’s fantasy value should mostly stay the same with the move from Houston to Atlanta. John Collins, meanwhile, will be playing more power forward after putting up huge numbers as a center this season, and his future with the Hawks is in question.
Kevin Love, Larry Nance and Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers
Love has gone from possibly landing on a contender to remaining a shutdown candidate on a Cavs team that also (suddenly) added the NBA’s rebound leader in Andre Drummond. Tristan Thompson also wasn’t moved at the deadline, and he’s already been ruled out as a buyout candidate, so Cleveland’s frontcourt is incredibly crowded with the Drummond addition. Larry Nance has averaged a double-double and a three-pointer while starting this season (something just three other players are doing this year), prompting me to recently call him a fantasy upgrade. Now, with the addition instead of the expected subtractions to Cleveland’s frontcourt, Nance suddenly joins Thompson as a drop candidate.
Marcus Morris, Los Angeles Clippers
He could continue to start in Los Angeles after getting traded from New York, but Morris was sporting a career-high in Usage Rate, which should take a significant hit leaving such an ideal situation with the Knicks and now sharing the floor with three new teammates who all rank top-20 in Usage Rate with the Clippers. Morris has been a nice surprise this season, providing unexpected top-75 fantasy value, but he takes a major hit with the trade moving him across the country and to a contender.