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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Talen Horton-Tucker still a top add

·6 min read
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By Gabe Allen, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

The dust is still settling from the NBA-record 16 trades that were made before Thursday’s deadline. Countless players will be affected in one way or another, from the league’s most impactful stars to those trying to carve out a career for themselves.

As we scan the waiver wire, this week’s column will focus primarily on players whose fantasy value may be in flux following the trade deadline.

TOP RECOMMENDATIONS

Alec Burks, Knicks (47% rostered)

Burks earned a nod in last week’s column, and he has only bolstered his case for long-term fantasy relevance. New York is still missing some rotation regulars, including Derrick Rose (conditioning). However, it was a quiet trade deadline for the Knicks, and Burks has scored 20-plus in four consecutive games while racking up double-digit points in eight straight. On a team with an impressive defensive identity and a need for consistent offense, Burks’ scoring ability may keep him on the court for significant minutes as New York fights for a playoff berth.

Moses Brown, Thunder (47% rostered)

Al Horford is still in Oklahoma City. But the Thunder seem to be shifting their focus to player development, as evidenced by the fact that Horford has been held out of action four times in the last six games. Brown has managed a double-double in three of the last five contests and has 12 blocked shots across the last six. Most encouraging of all, Brown chipped in 19 points, 12 boards, three blocks, and two steals in 31 minutes during Wednesday’s matchup versus Memphis. Horford played in that game and turned in 13 points, eight boards, six dimes, one steal, and one block in 25 minutes.

The acquisition of center Tony Bradley may put a small dent in Brown’s minutes going forward. Nevertheless, Brown is worth adding in most leagues based on the considerable upside he’s flashed of late. And while we’re talking about the young Thunder, keep an eye on Aleksej Pokusevski (17% rostered), Isaiah Roby (11% rostered), and Kenrich Williams (3% rostered), as well.

Gary Trent Jr., Raptors (42% rostered)

Just as Portland was getting healthier and Trent’s fantasy value was set to decline, the trade to Toronto provides a potential jolt. He will likely take Norman Powell’s place in the starting lineup, and the Raptors run more of an equal opportunity offense than the Trail Blazers. Trent is intriguing for those in need of points and threes, in particular, and his contributions in other categories may also be in line for a small boost.

Danny Green, 76ers (38% rostered)

Green has come on strong over the last several weeks, stuffing the stat sheet with threes, steals, and blocks galore. While that didn’t prevent his name from surfacing in trade rumors, Green responded by providing 28 points, eight treys, five boards, two blocks, and one steal in 33 minutes during Thursday’s victory over the Lakers. The acquisition of George Hill (thumb) adds another sturdy veteran to a roster that was already fairly deep. However, given Green’s level of play lately, it’s unlikely that the eventual presence of Hill will significantly hurt Green’s stock moving forward.

WIDELY AVAILABLE

Talen Horton-Tucker, Lakers (29% rostered)

Los Angeles held firm in refusing to include Horton-Tucker in offers for Toronto’s Kyle Lowry. With LeBron James (ankle) expected to miss about four-to-six weeks and Anthony Davis (calf) still without a timetable to return, Horton-Tucker could be a decent short-term solution. However, he has earned less than 20 minutes in three of the last five games. If you trust him to break out of this recent funk, though, Horton-Tucker has more upside than the other widely available Lakers on the waiver wire, such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (10% rostered) and Alex Caruso (4% rostered).

Los Angeles Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker (5)
Talen Horton-Tucker is a high-upside pickup. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Jae’Sean Tate, Rockets (29% rostered)

Tate has been among the most consistently mentioned players in waiver wire pieces (both mine and others) throughout the season. And Houston finally moved Victor Oladipo yesterday, thus propping open the door of opportunity for Tate, Danuel House Jr. (14% rostered), KJ Martin Jr. (12% rostered), and Sterling Brown (2% rostered). While none of these players may prove consistent enough to hold meaningful value outside of deeper leagues, Tate is probably the most likely of the bunch to establish himself as a reliable cog in 12-team leagues.

Tomas Satoransky, Bulls (19% rostered)

Chicago’s acquisition of Nikola Vucevic may sneakily bode well for Satoransky’s fantasy value. The efficient veteran guard offers a steady source of assists and steals, and Vucevic’s ability to put the ball in the basket from almost anywhere may mean even more easy dimes for Satoransky going forward. Furthermore, Vucevic is also a superb passer, so Satoransky could be in line for more clean looks thanks to the frequent double teams the star center is sure to draw.

Malik Monk, Hornets (19% rostered)

Monk stands to benefit not from trades, but from the recent injury to LaMelo Ball (wrist). With Ball out for at least the next several weeks, Monk’s role off the bench should be a consistent one — this after it looked like he was the odd man out in the backcourt rotation once Devonte’ Graham returned to the lineup following the All-Star break.

Michael Carter-Williams, Magic (11% rostered)

For those in leagues that don’t place much (or any) value on shooting percentages and turnovers, Carter-Williams is an obvious add — at the very least until Cole Anthony (ribs) is healthy. The current situation in Orlando is nearly indistinguishable from that which Carter-Williams found himself in years ago, when he earned Rookie of the Year honors for the 76ers, and his counting stats could be similarly copious this time around. Fellow Magic players Chuma Okeke (5% rostered) and Dwayne Bacon (2% rostered) are worth keeping an eye on, as well.

Rajon Rondo, Clippers (4% rostered)

Rondo has looked more like a rando this season than the Playoff Rondo we saw in the bubble last fall. Still, he fills a major need for the Clippers, who have lacked a traditional point guard who can consistently create good looks for others. Rondo may fail to leapfrog Reggie Jackson and/or Patrick Beverley (knee) in the backcourt rotation. However, Rondo is clearly the superior passer among the three, and with no shortage of offensive talent at his disposal, the former All-Star could have some nights where he tallies double-digit dimes. Rondo won’t be an every-week starter, but he could be worth a speculative add for managers in dire need of assists.

Nemanja Bjelica, Heat (3% rostered)

Though Miami is reportedly the most likely landing spot for LaMarcus Aldridge, it’s possible Aldridge will be employed exclusively as a backup center. Bjelica is more versatile on both ends than recent-departure Kelly Olynyk and could very well earn the nod as the team’s starting power forward. As such, after being buried on Sacramento’s depth chart, Bjelica’s stock is on the rise, by default.