It’s Week 16 in the NBA and it’s a big one. We’ve got the NBA Trade Deadline coming up on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. ET. The deadline means players could be on the move and we could see some players roles increase as a result. With that in mind — plus a handful of key injuries — we can narrow down who to scoop up off the fantasy basketball waiver wire. Let’s take a look at a handful of pickups to consider.
Caris LeVert, SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets (47.5 percent owned on ESPN)
The Nets announced Super Bowl Sunday that Kyrie Irving has a sprained knee and will be re-evaluated in one week. That means AT LEAST Irving will be sidelined the entire week. Chances are he could miss extended time with Brooklyn not wanting to risk further injury. Caris LeVert may be in line for more minutes as a result. Spencer Dinwiddie will undoubtedly be the No. 1 scoring option, but he’s likely unavailable on the wire. LeVert should be there and is a good source of scoring. He’s averaging 18.4 points per 36 minutes.
Jalen Brunson/Delon Wright, PG, Dallas Mavericks (12.6/13.6 percent)
If in one league you see Brunson has already been scooped up, grab Wright. If it’s Wright who got poached, get Brunson. It’s an easy hedging process. If you have Luka Doncic (ankle), then you know he’s likely going to be out at least up to All-Star Weekend. That means we get plenty of Brunson and Wright in the Mavs backcourt. Brunson is the guy you want to go after first. He started against the Hawks and scored 27 points last game.
Dallas’ schedule the next six games — @ IND, vs. MEM, @ WAS, @ CHA, vs. UTA, vs. SAC. I see four easy matchups and two tough ones. Brunson’s scoring upside is higher, but Wright covers more categories. Both players will have value and see around 25-30 minutes per game while Luka is out.
Tomas Satoransky, PG, Chicago Bulls (46 percent)
The Bulls announced Kris Dunn is out indefinitely with a sprained MCL. An injury like that usually takes at least 2-4 weeks to heal, so chances are Dunn won’t see the court until March. Satoransky has been starting most of the season, but so has Dunn, eating into Satoranky’s usage. Chandler Hutchison (1.7 percent) started Sunday vs. the Raptors and he’s also a deep-league sleeper.
The Bulls only play two games in Week 16, so this is more of a long-term play. Next week here are Chicago’s games, try not to drool: @ WAS, vs. CHA, vs. PHX, vs. WAS. TWO GAMES AGAINST THE WIZARDSSSSS. Sato’s ceiling is a triple-double and we may see him come close to a few in those games against Washington (REVENGE!!).
Rui Hachimura, SF/PF, Washington Wizards (34.8 percent)
Hachimura is close to returning for the Wizards. For some reason fantasy managers tossed Hachimura out like the Wizards toss out the idea of playing defense. Hachimura had been one of the more impressive rookie big men this season, averaging 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He was starting and see close to 30 minutes per game. Defense their defensive shortcomings, the Wizards offense is very potent and Hachimura is the final piece to Washington’s front court puzzle.