Fantasy Basketball: Trade deadline fallout; these are the players who gained the most value rest of season
The deal deadline came and went, and once again chaos reigned. There have been several player moves, including the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Mason Plumley (yes, I’m including Plumley on this list. Hey, I’m on the bandwagon). However, as fantasy managers know, smaller moves often have the biggest impact on fantasy. Even though it’s only been a few days, let’s see who benefited the most from the move, or from the move of those around them.
Let’s dive in.
Kelly Olynyk, Jazz
Olynyk has been on the brink of the top 100 in standard formats all season, playing a vital role for the Jazz, who surprised many with their level of play. While his outlook was far from bleak, the fact that Jarred Vanderbilt was traded to the Lakers cleared things up a bit. After returning from an ankle injury, Olynyk has slowly integrated into the offense, having missed the top 150 in the last month. However, last week the situation improved and Olynyk returned to his original form. During this period, he was able to make it to the fifth round, averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 three-pointers, shooting 53.8% from the field and 100.0% from the line. After a quick start, the Jazz has recently plateaued. They currently sit 10th in the Western Conference, battling the Trail Blazers and Thunder for a spot to play. Their condition could directly affect what Olynyk can do in the future as to whether they rely more on their youth. This can be said of many players, so using it as an excuse to keep someone off the list is a little risky. There is no reason why Olynyk can’t be in the top 80 by the end of the season.
Josh Hart, Nicks
Despite a decent season with the Trail Blazers, Hart seemed in need of a change of scenery after hitting a wall over the past couple of months. He fell out of the top 100 at the time, primarily due to his refusal to score in basketball and declining defensive scoring. Although Hart only played two games for the Knicks, he is already considered an important part of their playoff game. He came off the bench in both games but closed, giving the team a ton of energy at both ends of the floor. In those two games, he is averaging 19.0 points on 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 3.0 triples. Now there are a couple of glaring exceptions: scoring and steals. However, a lot of what he does is defensively based, so there’s no reason why he can’t average 1.5 steals going forward. It seems it’s only a matter of time before he gets into the starting XI, which will likely lead to more playing time. After being kicked out of many leagues just a few weeks ago, he is clearly a must-have.
Kenyon Martin Jr, Rockets
While the deadline did not affect Martin’s role too much in terms of minutes played, it did secure his said role for the foreseeable future. Although barely in the top 200 this season, he’s been in the top 100 last month thanks to an average of 14.9 points and 7.7 rebounds on 60.8% shooting from the floor. He himself is seen as a potential trade unit entering the season, and he was able to secure a permanent role as a member of the starting division. Since Eric Gordon is no longer on the list, Martin’s path to the minutes is somewhat assured. There is also room to increase his defensive stats given that he currently only averages 0.9 combined interceptions and blocks. In the 2020/21 season, he was above 1.5 in total per game, which is certainly within reach. His ceiling remains relatively limited, but since he plays for over 32 minutes on most nights, he could be a tricky player in the future.
Matisse Tibull, Trail Blazers
Of all the names on this list, Taibule is at the highest risk based on this season and his career to date. Despite playing an important role in Philadelphia, Tybull has never been anything more than an elite source of interceptions and blocks. After making the top 100 last season, he fell out of the top 250 during this campaign and his playing time has been reduced to 12.3 minutes per night. In his first appearance for the Trail Blazers, Tybull played 27 minutes, the most since mid-November. He scored season-high numbers in points, rebounds and three-pointers, as well as four combined steals and blocks. The question is, will he play enough to be standard value in the league? Jerami Grant did not participate in this game, which means there will be some competition for the minutes. However, Cam Reddish was in the starting lineup and, let’s be honest, it shouldn’t continue like this. If Taibull can play more than 25 minutes ahead, he could be a real game-changer thanks to his defensive potential.
Mark Williams, Hornets
Probably the hottest cache target before the trade deadline, Williams has been terrific in two of three games since then. Mason Plumlee was sent to the Clippers, allowing Williams to play as a starting center for the remainder of the season. From what we’ve seen so far, he’ll be given the opportunity to play for at least 30 minutes a night. In two games, he led by 30 minutes, averaging 13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while shooting 60% from the floor. A big beginner is sure to have ups and downs, not the least of which will be nasty troubles. Even if he can average 28 minutes a night, a top 60 is out of the question.