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Fantasy Winners and Losers of the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

On Thursday, the NBA had one of it's most eventful trade deadlines in recent memory, even though the rumored Kyle Lowry trade never materialized.

Lots of trades did happen, though. The Magic blew everything up. Victor Oladipo wound up as a member of the Heat. A seemingly endless series of small deals happened.

So, now that we've had almost a day to reflect on things, how do these deals impact the fantasy basketball landscape? Let's look at the winners and losers of the trade deadline.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including NBA Writer of the Year, Best NFL Series, MLB Series, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Fantasy Basketball Trade Deadline Winners

Wendell Carter Jr. (C, Orlando Magic)

In Chicago, Wendell Carter Jr. was averaging a career-low 24.8 minutes per game and had lost his starting role. In Orlando, Carter has a clear path to 30-plus minutes as long as his body can stand up to that level of play. He replaces Nikola Vucevic, who averaged 34.1 minutes. Carter might not be a full 10-minute rise in playing time, but increased touches could see him approach 15 points per game, as well as the 9.4 rebounds he averaged last season.

R.J. Hampton (G/F, Orlando Magic)

The rookie was averaging 9.3 minutes per game for the Nuggets this season. But on a Magic team that is, uhh, really lacking depth right now, Hampton could wind up seeing 20-plus minutes pretty quickly. If he can start to find his shot, his potential volume mixed with the talent that the young wing has could make him a deep-league target. At the very least, he's suddenly a strong player to target in dynasty.

Gary Trent Jr. (G/F, Toronto Raptors)

In Portland, Trent was going to see reduced usage with the Blazers approaching full strength. In Toronto, Trent could start over DeAndre' Bemby at the three and be a key scoring threat for the 18-26 Raptors. He'd be in a better position had the Raptors moved Kyle Lowry, but he still seems like someone who'll be in a solid fantasy place going forward.

Austin Rivers (G, Oklahoma City Thunder)

Considering Rivers last played on February 13th and last played double-digit minutes on February 7th, just the possibility he sniffs playing time in OKC makes him a winner by default. Doesn't mean you need to go rush out and add Rivers or anything, but if the Thunder decide to give the veteran guard some run, he can give you 13 points and multiple threes per game.

Rajon Rondo (G, Los Angeles Clippers)

Rondo heads to Los Angeles in a deal that sent Lou Williams to the Hawks. Rondo's passing and defense will get him into the Clippers rotation and makes him a fantasy winner, as he should wind up playing more than 14.5 minutes per game. Expect a huge bump in Rondo's 3.5 assists per game that he's averaged so far this season.

Terrence Ross (G, Orlando Magic)

Three of the top four scorers in points per game for the Magic were traded on Thursday. The other guy? Terrence Ross, who is averaging 16 points per game and suddenly might be Orlando's No. 1 scorer. I'd expect his efficiency to drop, but at the same time, Ross should see an increase in scoring as the ball will be in his hands more often.

Kevin Porter Jr. (G, Houston Rockets)

Trading Victor Oladipo opens things up for Kevin Porter Jr. to get consistent minutes once he's back from a quad injury. As a starter, Porter is averaging 36.8 minutes per game, with 21.3 points, 7.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per contest. The Rockets are bad and seem to officially be waving the white flag, which should mean prospects like Porter get some serious run the rest of the way.

 

Fantasy Basketball Trade Deadline Losers

Nikola Vucevic (C, Chicago Bulls)

Vucevic finds himself on a team where he won't be asked to do as much. Averaging 24.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per game this year, Vucevic has been the one real positive in Orlando, but Chicago has Zach LaVine to take some of Vucevic's usage. He'll still have a strong rest-of-season, but expect his 30 percent usage rate to drop.

JaMychal Green (F, Denver Nuggets)

Green's already seen his role reduced over the last month. Now, the arrival of Aaron Gordon will push Green even further down the rotation. He had some fringe value still before this deal, but now I'd just stay away from him.

Victor Oladipo (G, Miami Heat)

Hard one to figure out here, but Oladipo had a usage rate of 29.9 in his 20 games with Houston vs. a 26.8 usage rate in his first nine games in Indiana. On a Heat team that also has Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, Oladipo looks like he'll be settling into more of a role-player role. Reduced minutes will help keep the two-time All-Star healthy, but also will lead to lower stats.

Kendrick Nunn (G, Miami Heat)

Remember when Nunn opened the year out of the rotation? The Oladipo trade could be the thing that sends Nunn out of the starting unit and back to playing under 20 minutes per game. He probably won't fall all the way out of the rotation, but he's the player who feels most impacted by the Oladipo trade.

Kelly Olynyk (C, Houston Rockets)

Olynyk started 38 games in Miami this year, but now he'll be in Houston, where Christian Wood is already entrenched at the five. Houston's a team lacking in depth...at every spot except center, where they have Wood and where Justin Patton has been giving them some surprisingly decent minutes.

Delon Wright (G, Sacramento Kings)

Never good for a guard to go to a team that already has their starters set in two high-upside young guys like De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. The Kings also brought in Terence Davis on Thursday, further complicating this backcourt. Wright started 31 games in Detroit, but I'd expect a drop in minutes from the 29.2 he averaged this year to the 21.5 he averaged in Dallas last season. The hit he'll take in scoring and assists almost makes it tough to keep rostering him.

Daniel Theis (C, Chicago Bulls)

Another player who goes from a starting role to a bench role. After starting 37 games and averaging 24.5 minutes per game this year for the Celtics, Theis was a surprise trade on Thursday. He'll bring some solid rebounding to the Bulls, but they also traded for Nikola Vucevic and already have Lauri Markkanen and Thaddeus Young up front, plus Patrick Williams can size up to play the four as well.

JaVale McGee (C, Denver Nuggets)

McGee averaged just 15.2 minutes per game for Cleveland and now heads to a Nuggets team that already has a fully formed frontcourt AND just added Aaron Gordon. McGee's an insurance piece for the Nuggets and has no fantasy value.

Lauri Markkanen (F/C, Chicago Bulls)

And finally, Lauri Markkanen. He's averaging 30 minutes per game, with 17.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.8 threes per contest. But the addition of Nikola Vucevic means one of two things for Markkanen: it could mean nothing, as Vucevic's touches will come at the expense of the traded Wendell Carter Jr. and reduced minutes for Thaddeus Young, or it could mean bad things, as Vucevic will command some high usage and Markkanen will cede minutes and touches to the All-Star center. Either way, there's not really a positive here for Markkanen.



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