With the NBA trade deadline quickly approaching, a number of blockbuster deals are either about to be made or have already taken place over the past few days. This massive shift in several NBA rosters means there will be a lot of new opportunities for players, while others might find themselves in a much worse situation than they were in before the moves were made. As a result, a lot of players will see their stock skyrocket or plummet as new rotations begin to solidify. So let’s take a look at some of these players who, for better or worse, have seen their stock move rapidly due to some of these early deadline deals.
Fantasy Basketball Stock Report
Stock on the Rise
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG/SF, Portland Trailblazers
One of the several blockbuster deals that have already taken place before this year’s trade deadline was CJ McCollum being moved to the Pelicans in a multi-player deal. One player who was moved and will likely benefit greatly from the deal is Nickeil Alexander-Walker. NAW will head to the Trailblazers, where he will seemingly be a focal point of a backcourt that just dealt McCollum and is still without Damian Lillard as he recovers from abdominal surgery. The 23-year-old played sparingly for New Orleans but averaged a solid per-36 minutes line of 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.6 threes per game. Now in Portland, he should see more consistent minutes on a team that is currently lacking offensive firepower. His stock is already on the rise thanks to the trade, and a few strong games to start his Blazers career could send it skyrocketing even higher.
Davion Mitchell, PG/SG, Sacramento Kings
Davion Mitchell has seen 30 or more minutes in each of his last eight games for the Kings, and it looks like Sacramento is ready to unleash their rookie to see what he is capable of doing over the final months of the season. This belief was greatly supported by their decision to trade away Tyrese Haliburton in a deal to acquire Domantas Sabonis from the Pacers yesterday. The Kings have opened the door for Mitchell to play as many minutes as he can handle, and the early results have been promising. Aside from an 8-point dud last night, the 23-year-old had topped double-digits in six straight, averaging 19.0 points and 2.8 threes per game to go along with 5.0 dimes for good measure. With the Kings currently sitting 13th in the Western Conference, Mitchell likely has the green light the rest of the way, and his stock should continue to increase throughout the rest of the season as his skill and confidence continue to develop with time and experience.
Luguentz Dort, SG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
In the absence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort has looked the part of a dominant lead scorer for the Thunder, averaging 24.8 points across his last five games. In addition to the high-scoring performances, Dort has also put up 6.2 boards, 1.6 steals, and 3.6 triples per contest in that span. The 22-year-old is playing as many minutes as he can handle with SGA out of the lineup, currently seeing over 37 minutes per game since their leading scorer sprained his ankle, and there’s no reason why the increased playing time won’t continue. As a result, Dort’s stock is on the rise, as he looks like an elite fantasy option for as long as SGA remains out, and potentially beyond his return as well.
Aaron Holiday, PG, Washington Wizards
While not a blockbuster trade, another major piece of news that came out over the past few days was that Bradley Beal has been ruled out for the rest of the season with the all-star guard set to undergo surgery on his left wrist. As a result, the Wizards backcourt is wide open for minutes the rest of the way, and they could be looking to sell at the deadline. With all of these things considered, Aaron Holiday looks like the beneficiary with the most potential in fantasy hoops, as the talented 25-year-old has shown flashes of relevance in his first NBA seasons with the Pacers. Holiday is more than capable of racking up points, assists, and threes, with some steals, and it looks as though the opportunity has opened up for him to do exactly that. Playing over 20 minutes in each of his past two games, Holiday reached double figures in scoring in both, tacking on 7 assists and 4 steals. If the Wizards do in fact choose to look toward the future over these final couple of months, Holiday could see this already expanded role increase even more, making his stock a strong buy for the remainder of the season.
Stock on the Decline
Marvin Bagley III, PF/C, Sacramento Kings
Marvin Bagley was a serviceable big man in fantasy, tallying solid scoring and rebounding numbers, but his stock took a serious nosedive yesterday with the team trading for Sabonis yesterday. The all-star big man will slot right into Sacramento’s starting power forward slot, and he will soak up nearly all of the minutes that Bagley was previously receiving. Once Bagley returns from his sprained ankle, he will be hard-pressed to find himself on the floor for 20 minutes per game, resulting in him having little to no fantasy value barring another injury or trade. Out of everyone impacted by these initial deadline deals, Bagley’s value seems to have taken the biggest hit.