It’s been an eventful 24 hours in the NBA with a trade and a bit of a bloodbath on Wednesday that will change a lot of rotations. Earlier today, the Hawks traded away Allen Crabbe to land Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham from Minnesota. Let’s go over the fantasy impact there before we dig into the adds and injuries this week.
This is bad news for Teague’s value with Trae Young playing at 37 minutes per game this month, and it’s unlikely Teague will see big minutes next to Young because of how the Hawks have said they want to play so many of their young guys between 30-35 minutes. Perhaps Allen Crabbe can find minutes with the Wolves, but most of their perimeter depth is healthy. Treveon Graham is unlikely to see his role increase with so many of their younger guys in line to fill forward minutes.
For the Hawks, this really shouldn’t affect most of their young guys. Perhaps Cam Reddish won’t have a longer leash when he goes cold, DeAndre Bembry may not be as valuable in the second unit, and Brandon Goodwin goes away after a solid week as a backup and with a spot start on Sunday. Kevin Huerter has seen his assists trend up to 4.3 per game in his seven January games, but a lot of it is more about his minutes at 34.4. He’s actually down per minute on dimes compared to his numbers from the first three months of the season. Huerter’s dimes per 36 only get a 0.7 increase without Trae (5.1) than with him (4.4), so staggering him away from Trae with Teague shouldn't hurt too much. Plus, Teague can play off the ball.
For the Wolves, it’s a clear signal they are going to tank it up and not go for a playoff spot. That’s not good for Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Robert Covington -- RoCo has been on fire lately, too. Covington is a decent bet to be traded and a change to his role could be bad news, especially with his play lately. The biggest winners from this transaction are clearly Shabazz Napier and Jarrett Culver, who both should be owned in most leagues right now. The Wolves also open up a roster spot, so they may convert Kelan Martin’s contract or sign someone else. I’d keep a very close eye on Keita Bates-Diop with a possible RoCo deal. There's also a report they are going after D'Angelo Russell again, so that would obviously cap Napier's upside in a big way.
In other big news, Zion Williamson (knee) also is expected to debut on Jan. 22. He’ll be a big topic on the pod for Friday, so check back for that.
Moving to the injuries, let’s just go over Wednesday first to show just how bad it was yesterday.
Injury news from just Wednesday
Daniel Gafford sprained his thumb and will miss 2-4 weeks. It’s Luke Kornet time after getting a team-high 35 minutes. Cristiano Felicio should be the backup while Thaddeus Young gets a boost. Chandler Hutchison also aggravated his shoulder injury, but it sounds like he's OK.
Kristaps Porzingis (knee) was supposed to return on Wednesday, but he was a late scratch after going through warmups with some stretching. Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell and some perimeter players get a boost until we see KP play consistent minutes.
Tyler Herro (knee) banged his knee in practice and missed Wednesday, but he is traveling for the weekend. Kendrick Nunn went off while James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk rounded out the rotation as the eighth and ninth guys. Derrick Jones Jr. continues to be the first man off the bench (was with Goran Dragic on Wednesday).
Evan Fournier (quad) was kicked in the leg on Monday and didn’t play on Wednesday, and D.J. Augustin (knee) had a visible knot on his knee and is getting an MRI. Markelle Fultz had his first trip-dub of the season while Wes Iwundu had a career-high scoring night with 19.
Kelly Oubre (concussion) took a shot to his head on Tuesday, but it wasn’t announced until Wednesday that he was in the concussion protocol. Mikal Bridges will get more run while Cam Johnson and Dario Saric could see added playing time.
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Injuries from earlier this week
Gary Harris (adductor) and Paul Millsap (knee) could miss time with the Nuggets set to take a “big picture” approach. Michael Porter Jr. has a clear path to minutes now while Jerami Grant is locked in as the starting PF.
The Pelicans have a huge list of injuries. Brandon Ingram (knee), Jahlil Okafor (back) and Derrick Favors (hamstring) should be back with probable tags. J.J. Redick (hamstring) is questionable while Jrue Holiday (elbow) and Kenrich Williams (back) are still out.
Adds from the week
Last week was kind of a dud for adds, but this week the waiver wire is on fire already. We’re gonna have to go quick-hit style this week.
Perhaps people cut Sekou Doumbouya (33% owned in Y! leagues) after a quiet week, but he went off on Wednesday with a career-high 24 points against Boston. Jarrett Culver (40%) was likely added where he needed to be, too. Damion Lee (32%) also saw his ownership take a hit while guys like Derrick Jones Jr. (11%) and De’Anthony Melton (9%) are still way under owned. Christian Wood (34%) should still be stashed if you can help it.
Monte Morris (11%) - He was the “run, don’t walk” add on Wednesday night after Jamal Murray couldn’t put weight on his left ankle due to landing on Terry Rozier’s foot. Morris was excellent last year with his six starts, averaging 15.0 points, 4.2 boards, 5.3 dimes, 1.2 steals and 1.7 treys on a 55/44/80 shooting line in 34.2 minutes per outing. Morris already had some value even before the Murray injury with 18 minutes next to Murray in the two previous games to offset Gary Harris being banged up. Morris has also increased his usage rate this season to 17.6 while he’s also increased his dimes per 36. Coach Mike Malone said the Nuggets are going to ask Morris to take over as the starter, and mentioned that Murray has some swelling. He’s an easy add for anyone needing a point guard.
Shabazz Napier (11%) - While there’s talk of the Wolves looking to add another ball-handler, Napier should be locked in as the starter with a bigger role in the minutes department until they actually make that move. He had tailed off lately, but Napier was rolling back at the turn of the calendar with four straight 20-plus scoring games from Dec. 30 to Jan. 5 with Jeff Teague missing the two games in the middle of that run. Napier is in a contract year with an extremely tradable $1.8 million for this season, so the odds he’s on the roster in a month are slim. Still, you should make hay while the sun shines, so he’s an easy add for those needing a point guard. Monte Morris’ well-rounded fantasy game gives him an edge over ‘Bazz for those in shallower leagues.
Michael Porter Jr. (28%) - The Gary Harris groin injury will keep Porter Jr. locked into the rotation even if Torrey Craig continues to start. He went off in the first half on Wednesday with 17 points including an 11-point scoring run on his own, finishing with 19 points, eight rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes. After the game, coach Mike Malone talked about how he’s excited to open up the Michael Porter Jr. playbook, and now MPJ should be a major factor in the second unit with Morris elevated to the first unit.
Luke Kornet (6%) - He was the other “run, don’t walk” add for owners in deeper leagues on Wednesday when Daniel Gafford’s thumb looked dislocated right after contact in the second minute. Kornet played a team-high 35 minutes, scoring 10 points with four rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks and one 3-pointer. Coach Jim Boylen also praised him today and said he’ll “spread and take his open threes.” The UniKornet has some blocking and 3-pointers upside, so he has a good shot at value in 12-team leagues.
Matisse Thybulle (7%) - It took a week, but NASDAQ cashed in with some STOCKs on Wednesday, blocking four shots with two steals. Prior to the game, coach Brett Brown said the main reason James Ennis was bumped from the rotation was to get Thybulle more minutes. He’s been at 27.5 minutes per game over the last two, and that should continue until Joel Embiid (hand) is back. If he’s even close to putting up 3.0 STOCKs (that’s steals and blocks to the uninitiated) per game, he should have value in most nine-cat leagues.
Keita Bates-Diop (1%) - He’s lurking and could kill it like Norman Bates, but the path isn’t quite there yet. The Wolves basically just announced they’re going to unload some guys as they tank it up, so Robert Covington could be next. KBD was RoCo’s backup with all 17 of his minutes coming behind RoCo’s 31 on Wednesday, but they do have 90 minutes of overlap on the season due to injuries from earlier this year (Andrew Wiggins, etc.). KBD also plays three positions to add several paths to heavier minutes, and his per-36 stats aren’t bad at 15/6/1 with 0.9 steals,1.0 blocks and 2.0 treys. He’s hit the 35-minute mark three times in his career and it’s not crazy to think he’ll step right into RoCo’s minutes, and the Wolves playing at the fourth-highest pace also ups his upside.
Ben McLemore (7%) - He’s got the starting job locked up and the minutes have been there for the most part since taking over. Over those three, McLemore averaged 14.7 points, 2.7 boards, 1.0 dimes, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks and 3.3 treys in 28.3 minutes per game. One of those three is a bit misleading with 38 minutes when Russell Westbrook rested for a B2B, but McLemore just launched 13 treys in 24 minutes on Wednesday. I’d take him over Eric Gordon at this point.
Mike Muscala (3%) - This one is just about the depth in front of him being out. Steven Adams (knee) got hurt and Nerlens Noel (ankle) are going to be re-evaluated on Friday. The Moose saw 31 minutes on Wednesday with 17 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block and three 3-pointers. OKC gets three games in four days (Friday, Saturday, Monday), so he’s an excellent add in deep leagues for the short-term output.
P.J. Dozier (1%) - The Nuggets third-string PG went from off the radar entirely to firmly on it in 14-team leagues, turning in a Nuggets debut of 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointers in 13 minutes. After the game, coach Mike Malone called him “an exceptional pick and roll player” and that he believes in him. Dozier was also a stat-stuffing guy in the G League this year, averaging 21.4 points, 7.8 boards, 7.6 dimes, 1.6 steals and 1.7 treys in 36.9 minutes. You could do worse.
Damian Jones (1%) - The Hawks are currently thin at center with Alex Len (back) hurt again and Bruno Fernando in the G League. Fernando has been a letdown for most of the season, so Jones should find minutes in the 15-30 range depending on matchups until Len is back. John Collins is going to play a lot of five, so Jones is more of a stream.
Cameron Johnson (1%) - He figures to step up after Mikal Bridges to fill the Oubre void. He saw 25 minutes on Tuesday when the Suns went with more of Devin Booker at the point, and Johnson should be close to 20-25 minutes while Oubre is down -- maybe more if the Suns are trailing. He could be a deep-league 3-pointers specialist.
Reggie Jackson (6%) - If you have an open IR spot in a deep league, maybe give R-Jax a look. Coach Dwane Casey said Jackson could be back any day now, but he’ll likely have a ton of minutes restrictions. With the Pistons selling off so many pieces, maybe Jackson can be a big part of the offense.
Wesley Iwundu (1%) - He went off for a career-high 19 on Wednesday and it’s as simple as that. Evan Fournier (quad) and D.J. Augustin (knee) could miss more games, so maybe Jedi Master Iwundu can be an offensive factor. He’s really just a stream, though.
Quinn Cook (1%) - He went off for 22 points on Wednesday because of all the injuries to the Lakers. Chances are they’re going to get some guys back, but Cook could be a stream in the short term.
Kadeem Allen (0%) - Dennis Smith Jr. could be traded and Frank Ntilikina can’t get over his groin injury. Plus, Allen could get a lot of fourth-quarter minutes because of blowouts, and it’s not crazy to think they’ll trade Elfrid Payton either.
Cristiano Felicio (1%) - He’s back on the radar. Fun times in Chicago.