For one last time, here are three players to buy and sell in fantasy hoops this week. The buys are guys who’s stock is down for whatever reason—find themselves in a shooting slump, he still has the stink of the Wizards on him—while the sells are guys whose value might never be higher and nows the time to capitalize on their recent hot streak. (Or maybe they’re just guys you no longer really want on your team anymore and you just wanna package them away before the deadline passes. That’s cool too.)
Let’s be honest, you weren’t likely to pry away Lauri Markkanen from anyone last week but if you managed to pull it off, well, you’ve certainly reaped the rewards. He’s averaging 28.7 points since the All-Star break to go along with 12.7 boards. Trading Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker never felt so good.
Anyway, time to buy and sell for likely the last time this season.
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs
It’s not often you can buy a top 20 fantasy player right at the deadline but now is the perfect time to try and snag Aldridge from a nervous owner. On this season, Aldridge is 18th in ESPN’s player rater yet over the last seven days, Aldridge as fallen all the way to 101. And his slump spans from before the All-Star break.
However, now is the time to buy because the only thing that’s been bringing his numbers down is his shooting percentage. Over his last six games, Aldridge has shot 45% from the field and 75% from the charity strike, averaging 17.3 points per game. Every other stat, including rebounds, assists and blocks have all remained constant with his season averages. Once Aldridge’s shooting returns to form—he’s a career 49% shooter from the field and 80% from the line—his scoring will increase and he’ll return to his top 20 status. Get him on your squad while his value is at its lowest.
Larry Nance Jr., PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers
I’m all in on buying Nance for two reasons. First, with Kevin Love making his return recently—and maybe Tristan Thompson making his return soon as well (though, let’s be honest, he’s got a lot of other things going on right now)—Nance owners might be wanting to sell, worried that Nance’s minutes are about to take a nosedive. To that I laugh and say Nance is the best young player on the Cavs and there’s no way Cleveland is going to torpedo his development or role on the team. So take a collective deep breath.
The second reason is that Nance gives you a very unique stat set: rebounds and steals, two things that don’t often go together. On the season he’s averaging 8.2 rebounds (top 30) and 1.4 steals (top 8). Added bonus, he might be sitting waiting for you on your waiver wire.
Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Phoenix Suns
I approve of this message so much that I have in fact gone and added Oubre to my fantasy team, dumping Dennis Schroder in the process. Oubre unsurprisingly has been a much more productive fantasy and general basketball player since leaving the utter chaos we affectionately call Washington, so much so that he’s worked his way into Phoenix’s starting lineup.
In his 31 games with the Suns, he’s averaging 15.6 points (44%), 1.7 threes (32%), 4.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 1 block on 28.6 minutes. Since joining the starting lineup (3 games), he’s averaging more points, more rebounds, more steals, more field goal attempts and more made threes all on (obviously) more minutes. Get ready for Oubre to continue to shine in Phoenix.
Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers
TRADE JOEL EMBIID, ARE YOU CRAZY PETE????? HE’S THE 10TH BEST PLAYER IN FANTASY BASKETBALL!!!! Yes my all-caps friend, it does sound like a crazy notion but sadly the one thing that could derail Embiid’s fantasy season has reared its ugly head: injuries. While it’s nothing serious, Embiid has been ruled out for at least a week with a sore knee. Given his injury history, and that the Sixers have a playoff position already locked up, I wouldn’t be surprised if Brett Brown and the Sixers give Embiid plenty of time to get healthy for what they hope will be a deep playoff run (spoiler alert: Celtics knock them out in the first round).
Flip Embiid for a big name guy who’s definitely going to be around to give you big time production down the final stretch of the fantasy season.
Jrue Holiday, PG/SG, New Orleans Pelicans
Before I explain why Holiday is here as a sell, I want to say that I love Jrue Holiday, he’s been a vital member of team “I Thought We Were Up” all season long and I really hope I’m ultimately proven wrong on this. But, I can’t help but be worried about Holiday moving forward when the Pelicans interim GM is saying that the team is planning on reducing Anthony Davis’ AND Holiday’s minutes moving forward. I don’t love hearing that. For that reason only, you might want to sell him off for a player on a team that’s not in complete disarray.
Cedi Osman, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Selling Osman is a simple case of statistics and numbers returning to their mean. He’s been a top 100 player on ESPN the last seven days, which might not sound like much except that on the season is well outside the top 200 players (his ranking in 237 for those curious). Over his past four games, Osman has been scoring 17.5 points and shooting 56.5% from three despite being a 34% three point shooter this season. His percentages will fall back into place and so will his scoring.