We saw a flurry of moves Thursday ahead of the 2024 NBA trade deadline. With many players changing teams, there are plenty of fantasy basketball implications. Let’s discuss some players to consider adding off the waiver wire because of the trades.
Mark Williams (back) still doesn’t have a timetable for a return. With him out, Richards has been locked in as the Hornets’ starting center. Over 28 games in that role, he has averaged 9.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.
There were rumors that the Hornets could be looking to move Richards at the deadline. Not only did he stay put, but they traded P.J. Washington to the Mavericks. The Hornets received Grant Williams in return, but he’s not likely to press Richards for minutes. With the potential that Richards could be the Hornets’ starting center for several more weeks, if not for the rest of the season, he shouldn’t be available in this many leagues.
Bagley was already traded this season, being shipped from the Pistons to the Wizards. He’s currently battling a back injury that has forced him to miss three straight games, and he will be out again Friday. Before that, he had averaged 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds over eight games. During that span, he logged 24.1 minutes per game.
The Wizards were active at the deadline, trading Daniel Gafford to the Mavericks. They acquired Richaun Holmes in the deal, who should serve as a backup at the five. A clear path to the starting center job has opened up for Bagley once he is healthy. Given that the Wizards have played at the fastest pace in the league, Bagley playing around 30 minutes per game regularly down the stretch leaves him with the potential to be a difference-maker in fantasy basketball.
The Grizzlies continue to struggle their way through the season with a roster that is a shell of what it was entering the season. Aldama is one of the few healthy options that they have left, but even he has battled injuries at times. He has started each of the last nine games that he has played, averaging 11.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 3-pointers during that span.
Even with their depth issues, the Grizzlies sent Xavier Tillman Sr. to the Celtics on Wednesday. They then traded David Roddy to the Suns on Thursday. While Tillman was battling an injury of his own, he averaged 26.0 minutes per game over his last nine appearances. Roddy averaged 26.9 minutes per game over his last 15 outings. Aldama should be locked into around 30 minutes on a nightly basis, leaving him as an appealing waiver-wire option.
Jackson has been a pleasant surprise for the Grizzlies. While he hasn’t played a ton, he has averaged 23.9 minutes per game over his last 14 appearances. He took advantage of his opportunity, averaging 13.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 3-pointers per game. He has played at least 25 minutes in a game eight times. Over those eight games, he’s averaged 18.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 3-pointers.
Like Aldama, Jackson should benefit from Tillman and Roddy no longer being in the picture. Unlike Aldama, Jackson hasn’t battled any injuries lately. If the Grizzlies do decide to rest players down the stretch, Jackson likely wouldn’t be one that they sit out. For those in deeper formats, he is a terrific option to add.
The Pistons made a flurry of moves at the deadline. They entered it with a lot of depth at guard but emerged having traded away Alec Burks and Monte Morris. They also released Killian Hayes, who had been starting and averaged 24.0 minutes per game for most of the season.
With the Pistons having made so many subtractions at guard, Sasser is going to get an opportunity to play. He couldn’t have looked much better against the Trail Blazers on Thursday, recording 17 points, 11 assists, two steals and three 3-pointers over 38 minutes off the bench. He likely won’t play that much on a nightly basis once the newly-acquired Quentin Grimes is in the fold, but he has a clear path to at least 25 minutes a game moving forward.
The Pistons acquired Fontecchio from the Jazz earlier in the week. He started in his last 20 appearances for the Jazz, averaging 9.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.8 3-pointers over 26.6 minutes per game. They had plenty of depth up front, though, including rookie Taylor Hendricks waiting in the wings to take on an expanded role.
Fontecchio could immediately step into a significant role for the Pistons. In addition to moving on from Burks, Morris and Hayes, they traded away Bojan Bogdanovic. Ausar Thompson should also take on a larger role, but given the Pistons’ reluctance to give him heavy minutes, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Fontecchio log at least 25 minutes a night moving forward. That could make him a valuable source for three-pointers.
Mann saw his playing time steadily decline during his tenure with the Thunder. He struggled with his efficiency during his rookie campaign, shooting 39.3% from the field. However, he shot 36.0 percent from behind the arc. In total, he averaged 10.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 3-pointers over 22.8 minutes per game.
He has only appeared in 13 games this season and the Thunder shipped him off to the Hornets in a deal that landed them Gordon Hayward. LaMelo Ball (ankle) is currently out and has a history of injury issues. The Hornets are only playing for a high draft pick at this point, so they aren’t likely to push Ball to play through injuries. With the potential that we see Mann get around 25 minutes per game down the stretch, he’s worth a speculative add in deeper leagues.