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Hot Waiver Pickups and Making Sense Of The NBA Trade Deadline

A LOT of "things" happened on Thursday. The most important "thing" is up for debate between two Eastern Conference teams. While Marc Gasol joining the Raptors may not have been seen as a blockbuster deal, I do see it having a drastic impact on the Raptors frontcourt. With Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol anchoring the paint defensively, it literally changes the whole dynamic of the team. Much of their production will come from how well their frontcourt defends. Ibaka and Gasol might not be the most athletic, but when it comes to technical skill and ability to disrupt offenses, it's hard to find three better players than Gasol, Ibaka, and Kawhi Leonard. Toronto isn't set to make the Finals, since their biggest competition just added another stud in Tobias Harris, but this certainly lays a winning foundation.

Other than these two trades, only two other trades really carried fantasy relevance and that's Markelle Fultz being one of the only point guards in Orlando, and Nikola Mirotic being the primary shooter in Milwaukee. Both players have created upside and while Mirotic will see a small decline, that will really depend on the role he carves out for himself. Because he can be SUCH a lethal shooter, it's even hard to rank someone like Khris Middleton over him when it comes to shooting. When Mirotic is on, there are few better players because his incredible play influences his defense and turns him into a tenacious rebounder. While minutes might not be hard to come by at first, do expect a slight learning curve while he finds his spots and learns to mesh with his new teammates.

Make sure to stay updated on injuries and return times, but as far as I'm concerned, these next three players will see the biggest benefit. As a reminder, for standard (10-12 team) league adds, we use a general rule of thumb of an ownership rate of under 50% on Yahoo. All position eligibility based on Yahoo leagues.

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Standard League Adds for Week 18

Andre Iguodala, G  – Golden State Warriors

Ownership: 8%

5.9 PPG / 3.2 APG / .493 FG% / .9 SPG

Andre Iguodala is also averaging close to a block a game as well, so make sure you use him for his defensive stats. Lately there have been few guard options that have been better so at least capitalize on his immediate upside for right now. Over the past week he has been playing at a different level and I love what he's producing in the box score. With only an EIGHT percent ownersip, plenty of standard leagues players are literally asking me who to pick up for defensive stats, when Iguodala is available in 92% of Yahoo leagues.

Iguodala might not have the best track record when it comes to longevity because he is more than capable of posting very medial stat lines in big games. While I do think he will simmer down in a sense, Iguodala is simply playing at a very high level, converting his shots and creating stats any chance he gets. This really isn't nothing that new other than that he is actually hitting from deep and creating relevance for himself. If you are skeptical, atleast add him and benefit from the defensive stats because every team could use a few extra steals and blocks.


Iman Shumpert, SG/SF – Houston Rockets

Ownership 4%

8.9 PPG / 3.1 RPG / 2.2 APG / 1.1 SPG / .382 FG%

This is a result of a trade that should actually make the Rockets better. Iman Shumpert has been more of a locker-room guy for the Sacramento Kings, but in Houston he is filling a massive gap left by off-season moves. The Rockets need someone who is willing to shoot from the outside, and even if they aren't hitting that night, the spacing is invaluable.

James Harden just needs bodies to pass to and convert at even a "bad" rate. The Rockets literally do not have enough options to let Shumpert just slide through the cracks so do expect some type of production on his end. It may not be the scoring and three point shooting we need, but his defensive stats will be there and the outside shooting will be an added bonus.


Mitchell Robinson, C – New York Knicks

Ownership 19%

5.5 PPG / 4.2 RPG / .695 FG% / 2.0 BPG / .7 SPG

There aren't many things that Mitchell Robinson struggles at, but his upside is limited. As a true center, he blocks shots, get's rebounds, plays intense defense, and finishes around the rim. He won't help you win the point category and he might not even help your rebounds out that much, but he saves you in terms of efficient shooting and blocking shots.

Since bigs are so far and few between, seeing someone with as much upside as Robinson on the wire seems too good to be true. Anyone and everyone could use two blocks a game and even if you already have a Myles Turner, Anthony Davis, or any other shot-blocker, Robinson won't hurt you.

More Fantasy Basketball Analysis

By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.