Another NBA trade deadline has come and gone and, while not much was initially anticipated from 2020’s incarnation, we ended up seeing more than a couple high-profile players on the move. Andrew Wiggins is now in Golden State, D’Angelo Russell is in Minnesota, and Andre Drummond took his talents to Cleveland. Toss in more than a dozen smaller rotation deals and we’ve got some serious changes when it comes to season-long fantasy basketball values.
Here’s some pickups you should be considering following Thursday’s action.
Luke Kennard, Detroit Pistons (ESPN: 22.3% percent owned)
With everyone justifiably running to their waiver wire to add Christian Wood and Sekou Doumbouya following Drummond’s exit to the Cavaliers, I think it’s important to refresh everyone’s memory on Kennard. Rumors were swirling that the Duke product might also be on his way out of Detroit at the deadline, but the Pistons stood pat with the former lottery pick, who has missed their past 23 games due to a knee issue. He won’t be back on the court till late February at the earliest, yet Kennard was tearing it up prior to his injury, averaging 15.8 points and 4.1 assists per game while shooting a cool 39.9% from 3-point range. With Drummond’s 25.2% usage rate now in Ohio, Kennard will have little competition for the ball when he does make his return and he’s someone worthy of stashing on your bench, especially if you’ve got an open IR spot.
Malik Beasley, Minnesota Timberwolves (ESPN: 7.3%)
Beasley’s little more than a two-category specialist, so you can probably get away with waiting to see how the Timberwolves’ rotation shakes out a little bit in shallower formats; however, there’s no denying that the 23-year-old has some upside. Beasley averaged 15.9 points with an insane .700 true shooting percentage in his 18 starts with the Nuggets in 2018-19, a collection of games where the former first-round pick was seeing 31.6 minutes a night. It remains to be seen if his role will be quite as large in Minnesota, but there are certainly minutes to be had at the wing with the departures of Wiggins and Robert Covington.
Damion Lee, Golden State Warriors (ESPN: 14.8%)
The presence of the always trigger-happy Wiggins will likely fill most of the void left by Russell’s departure in Golden State, yet the former second-overall pick wasn’t the lone piece traded from the Warriors in the past 48 hours. Golden State also parted ways with Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III for a trio of second-round picks, leaving Eric Paschall as the only active player on the roster averaging at least 12.0 points per contest in 2019-20. This all is going to equate out to a lot of run and a lot of shot volume for Lee, who has thrived from a statistical perspective when given the opportunity so far this season. In fact, Lee’s produced 15.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists in the 14 games he’s logged 30-plus minutes. I can’t see who’s holding him back from that threshold on this underwhelming roster.
Terence Davis, Toronto Raptors (ESPN: 3.8%)
Davis is likely limited as deep format option given Nick Nurse’s constant flexibility with his rotation; however, with Norman Powell (finger) out for an indefinite period of time and Toronto not trading for any reinforcements on Thursday, the path to minutes is pretty clear for the undrafted rookie. It’s not like Davis hasn’t performed when given the chance, either. In the 16 games where the Ole Miss product has played more than 20 minutes in 2019-20, he’s put up 15.3 points and 5.3 rebounds all while shooting 52.9% from 3-point range. Considering Davis just played the entire fourth quarter in a playoff-style victory over Indiana on Wednesday, I’d say the 22-year-old has some big moments ahead of him in February.