Fantasy Basketball 2021: Top Pickups After NBA Trade Deadline

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 25, 2021

Fantasy Basketball 2021: Top Pickups After NBA Trade Deadline

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    The Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls went through the two most drastic roster transformations on Thursday. 

    Orlando gutted its roster by shipping Nikola Vucevic to the Bulls, Evan Fournier to the Boston Celtics and Aaron Gordon to the Denver Nuggets. 

    Even though the Magic now have a lesser-talented roster, it is the better one to examine for fantasy basketball purposes. 

    Orlando's shuffled lineup should present young players with more minutes and the chance to put up decent numbers for the rest of the regular season. 

    Vucevic, Fournier and Gordon's fantasy stocks will change based off their new roles, but they were are widely rostered in most leagues before the trades. 

    The Toronto Raptors were not as active as some expected before the trade deadline, but the deal that sent Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers will have a significant impact on which players score for Nick Nurse's ball club.

Wendell Carter Jr., C, Orlando

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    Mark Black/Associated Press

    Wendell Carter Jr. should be the front-runner to replace the minutes earned by Gordon and Vucevic in Orlando's frontcourt. 

    In Chicago, Carter was just a rotation player and he could not put up high scoring totals with Zach LaVine and others commanding the ball.

    In Orlando, Carter should receive time to develop as a big man with the Magic going full send on a rebuild. 

    Carter is currently averaging 10.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Those numbers could increase once he gets settled in central Florida because he and Chuma Okeke will be the primary paint players. 

    Orlando's offense may take some time to gel, but someone has to score points in the paint and Carter is the best option.

    As of Thursday, Carter was rostered in 64 percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros, so he should be available to a good amount of players. 

    Okeke could be the under-the-radar pickup in Orlando's frontcourt, but it may take some time for him to get adjusted to the starting role before he chips in points and rebounds at a volume that puts him in good fantasy standing. He is averaging 4.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game and has three double-digit point performances this season. 

Gary Trent Jr., SF, Toronto

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    Craig Lassig/Associated Press

    Toronto has a perfect replacement for Powell's three-point volume in Gary Trent Jr. 

    Trent should compete for starting minutes at small forward, or he could be the first guy off the bench. Regardless of what role he plays, Trent could be expected to put up a high volume of three-point shots, like he did during his time in Portland. 

    The 22-year-old is a 39.8 percent three-point shooter and he is replacing a 49.8 percent shooter from deep in Powell. 

    Trent has the potential to finish over 40 percent from beyond the arc since he will not be alongside Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum anymore.

    Sure, Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet will still take three-pointers, but they may be more willing to spread the ball to Trent. 

    Trent finished his Portland career with three or more made three-pointers in four of his last six games. He had two 20-point games in the middle of March. 

    If he provides a similar impact on the Toronto lineup, he could be a valuable depth piece at shooting guard or small forward on fantasy rosters. As of Thursday, he was rostered in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues, per Fantasy Pros. 

Danuel House, SF/PF, Houston

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    Carmen Mandato/Associated Press

    The Houston Rockets roster is now comprised of John Wall, Christian Wood and a bunch of players fighting for their spots on next year's squad. 

    Victor Oladipo's trade to the Miami Heat opened up more opportunities for Danuel House and others to fill in the production around Wall and Wood. 

    In the last five games, House reached double figures and knocked down multiple three-point shots. They may not be eye-popping numbers, but at least there is consistency.

    House should receive 25-30 minutes per night from Houston's starting lineup, and if he remains consistent, he could be a solid value add at the forward positions. 

    There may an occasional 20-point showing, but for the most part, House is going to put 10-15 points and hit a few three-point shots. 

    If anything, House can provide stability to a roster in need of depth, and he is widely available since he is on 14 percent of rosters in Yahoo leagues.


    Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

    Statistics obtained from