Sometimes all a player needs is a change of scenery. The NBA trade deadline came & went Thursday afternoon, leaving a flurry of notable moves that have impacted the fantasy landscape. A typical trade either 1. creates more minutes for a player with his new team or 2. leaves an open rotation spot on his old team, and in some cases, it results in both… correctly identifying which players will be most affected by a trade is the key to finding fantasy value.
Below are several players that deserve your strong consideration as you browse your local Waiver Wire:
1. Klay Thompson, Warriors SG – Thompson has the faith & support of the Warriors and the trade of Monta Ellis & subsequent trade of Stephen Jackson means Thompson is likely to see 35+ minutes a night going forward. Expect solid production in 3 pointers & points with strong shooting percentages, Thompson is currently owned in approximately 25% of leagues, I expect that number will approach 90% within days.
2. Ramon Sessions, Lakers PG – Sessions should immediately see 30+ minutes a night for the Lakers as point guard has been a weakness of theirs all season & former starter Derek Fisher was traded to Houston. Sessions has long been on the fantasy radar, consistently posting strong numbers in limited time. His trade to the Lakers will create more minutes for Sessions and those fantasy owners in need of assists & points will benefit by adding him. Sessions is currently available is 3 out of 4 leagues.
3. Stephen Jackson, Spurs SG/SF – Stephen Jackson has been traded twice in the last 48 hours, first to the Warriors & then to the Spurs. This is Jackson’s second time around with the Spurs & fantasy owners are hoping coach Gregg Popovich remembers which buttons to push with the talented but temperamental wing player. Jackson has the scoring ability to average 18 a game, though the Spurs may not need him to do that. I expect Jackson is eager for a fresh start & will make a nice addition to your roster. Jackson is currently owned in about 45% of leagues but that number should double over the coming days.
4. Jerryd Bayless Raptors PG – Bayless has been playing well all season and the Raptors trade of Leandro Barbosa should further solidify his spot in the Toronto backcourt. Bayless has been effective both off the bench & in a starting role and his fantasy strengths are points, assists, free throw percentage & 3′s. Bayless is owned in less than 25% of leagues.
5. Alonzo Gee, Cavaliers SG – Gee earned the starting nod in early March and has made the most of it, posting elite numbers (2.6 per game) in the steals category. Those numbers alone warrant roster consideration & Gee is doing well enough in other areas to make himself a healthy option for your team. That type of production in the steals category can quickly impact a roto style fantasy team. Gee is available in over 60% of leagues.
6. Trevor Booker, Wizards PF – Booker was mentioned here last week and while his ownership has increased, he is still available in about half of all leagues. Booker is a strong rebounder & will block about 1 shot per game while shooting a solid percentage from the floor. Booker has played well enough to keep Andray Blatche at bay and has recorded double digit rebounds in 5 of his last 9 games.
7. Wesley Matthews, Blazers SG – Mathews’ ownership has dropped to around 75% recently and it probably deserved to be even lower, but now that Gerald Wallace has been traded Mathews is expected to regain his starting spot at the shooting guard position. He is a very strong option for three pointers & points, if you are lucky enough to be in a league where Mathews is available grab him right away.
8. Wilson Chandler, Nuggets SF – The trade of Nene has freed up the money it may take to sign Chandler, who is currently a restricted free agent. Recent reports have Chandler very close to signing however this is not the first time we have heard this song regarding Chandler. Also worth noting is the Nuggets current depth at forward including Danilo Gallinari, Al Harrington & Kenneth Faried. Chandler is a watch-list candidate in 10 team leagues & worth adding in deeper leagues if you can tolerate the uncertainty around him for a few more days. Should he officially sign, he his worth a roster spot in all formats.
Follow Brice Clark on Twitter @ExpertFantasyGM