• The NBA’s trade deadline is finally upon us. Rumors and hearsay swirling relentlessly at this time of the season is an annual tradition. James Harden’s name is popping up like the vermin in a whack-a-mole arcade game. Jerami Grant is drawing interest from the entire league. Caris LeVert has already been dealt while Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis are also on the trading block out of Indiana.

    The Sixers are trying to pluck a reportedly disgruntled Harden from the Nets. The Nets are publicly denying these allegations. The Lakers are constantly rumored to be in trade discussions despite not having a particularly attractive trade package. The Kings are discretely shopping De’Aaron Fox. The Sixers are continuing their attempts to fleece other teams in exchange for their disgruntled, vacationing player in Ben Simmons.

    The Clippers and Blazers have already executed a deal. The Blazers sent Robert Covington and Norman Powell to the Clippers in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson and a 2025 second-round pick. One of the fun aspects of trade season is predicting the potential ramifications from such deals. With Powell out of the picture, more shots are available for C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons.

    That’s assuming the Blazers are done making deals. By shipping off two key pieces in their rotation, the Blazers have all but waved the white flag on this season. McCollum and Nurkic remain the team’s most attractive win-now assets. If Portland decides it’s time to move on from the Damian Lillard and McCollum backcourt, Simons will see even more value rest-of-season.

    LeVert was acquired by the Cavs in exchange for a package consisting of Ricky Rubio, who’s sidelined with a torn ACL, and three picks heading to the Pacers. Chris Duarte, Duane Washington Jr. and even Keifer Sykes all become more attractive for the Pacers while Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens all take a hit for the Cavs. This deal indicates that the Pacers are done with this season and could be looking to make at least one other move prior to the deadline to really tank the rest of their season while accumulating future assets. Be on the lookout for Sabonis and Turner deals as that may unleash Goga Bitadze and Isaiah Jackson.

    Separating truth from scuttlebutt during this time of the year is a needless task. Hopefully managers used at least one or two of their week 16 adds to stash a couple of guys in anticipation for week 17’s deadline. With the trade deadline coming, what should managers do with their precious adds this week? Managers that can afford stashing should do so. On the flipside, don’t exhaust your adds prior to the deadline. Be patient with your weekly acquisitions as some players may go from waiver wire fodder to must-adds once the trade deadline has come and gone.

    As for managers fighting for their playoff lives, saving at least a couple adds for after the deadline is still a prudent move. Thursday, Friday and Sunday offer low-volume nights managers can utilize for streaming. Hypothetically speaking, adding Kelly Olynyk after a Grant deal on Thursday night would net you two games in the short-term and an impactful player for the fantasy playoffs who could make a major difference when it matters most.  Several teams offer two games after the deadline and doubleheader opportunities, so keep those adds handy.

    Schedule Breakdown

    Two Games: Rockets, Bucks

    Three Games: Hawks, Celtics, Nets, Cavs, Mavs, Nuggets, Pistons, Pacers, Clippers, Lakers, Grizzlies, Heat, Pelicans, Magic, Sixers, Blazers, Kings, Spurs, Jazz, Wizards

    Four Games: Hornets, Bulls, Warriors, Wolves, Knicks, Thunder, Suns, Raptors


    Monday/Tuesday: Knicks, Suns

    Tuesday/Wednesday: Lakers, Wolves, Blazers, Kings

    Wednesday/Thursday: Warriors, Raptors

    Thursday/Friday: Pistons

    Friday/Saturday: Hornets, Bulls, Cavs, Nuggets, Thunder, Magic, Sixers, Spurs

    Schedule Maximizers

    Eight teams offer four games this week. The Warriors, Raptors, Hornets, Bulls, Thunder and Wolves are the teams with four games who offer three quality streaming nights. If solely looking to add games, a Monday/Tuesday stream out of a Knickerbocker or Suns player could be followed by a Wednesday/Thursday doubleheader from a Warriors or Raptors player. The Pistons are the only team offering a Thursday and Friday back-to-back set while 12 teams offer two games between Friday and Sunday night.

    Best Schedule: Warriors (@ Thunder, @ Jazz, vs. Knicks, vs. Lakers)

    The Warriors could run the slate this week. They take on a tanking Thunder team, the Jazz who may still be without Rudy Gobert, the noxious Knicks at home on the second night of a back-to-back before hosting the Lakers, whose defense leaves a lot to be desired, on Saturday. Otto Porter Jr. (lower back tightness), Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Kevon Looney and Damion Lee could all be streamers at various points this week.

    Worst Schedule: Bucks (@ Lakers, @ Suns)

    Only two teams feature two-game schedules and the Bucks just edged out the Rockets for this week’s worst schedule. Both teams play on Tuesday and Thursday. The Bucks face an exploitable Lakers defense on Tuesday, but it comes during a 10-game slate. Having said that, the Lakers are at full strength heading into week 17 and are trying to turn their season around, so the Bucks will see a motivated Lakers team followed by a familiar foe in the Western Conference champs who are putting together a stronger campaign this season.

    Game of the Week: Bucks @ Suns, Thursday, February 10th, 10:00 pm ET

    In a rematch of last season’s Finals, the Suns host the Bucks for this season’s first meeting between the two squads. The Suns boast the league’s best record and have been on a redemption tour since the campaign kicked off while the Bucks have been cruising along and are sitting within striking distance of the conference’s top seed despite guys being in and out of the lineup and Brook Lopez (back surgery) being sidelined since game number one. Not only is it a grudge match, it’s also a potential Finals preview and fans should be tuned in from tipoff.

    Quick Adds

    Alperen Sengun, C, Houston Rockets

    It’s finally Sengun time. The rookie center has played over 25 minutes in his last two appearances and started the team’s Sunday game alongside Christian Wood, a clear indicator they want to experiment with the two big men sharing the floor. In addition, Wood is a potential trade piece ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. If the Rockets opened up the frontcourt for Sengun, the rook could fly up the ranks across all formats. His well-rounded game makes Sengun a must-stash guy entering week 17.

    Larry Nance Jr., PF/C, Portland Trail Blazers

    Currently dealing with a knee issue, Nance has missed a month’s worth of games. In his absence, Robert Covington, Nassir Little and Norman Powell have all been taken out of the picture this season. Nance is now questionable for the team’s Tuesday game. Whether he plays then or not is irrelevant. His pathway to minutes for the rest of the season is all that matters, and he should be scooped right now.

    Davion Mitchell, PG, Sacramento Kings

    De’Aaron Fox has missed eight consecutive games with soreness in his ankle and something about it doesn’t seem right. The Kings are also not-so-secretly shopping Fox, so a trade deadline deal may be in his future. In Fox’s place, Mitchell has provided some decent streaming value, especially over the past week. In Mitchell’s last four appearances, he’s averaging nearly 20 points, five assists, three triples and a steal in 36 minutes a night. If Fox is moved, Mitchell will move into a more prominent and permanent role ROS.

    Javonte Green, SG, Chicago Bulls

    Green has a favorable four-game schedule lined up for him this week after an appearance on Sunday night. If his schedule isn’t enticing enough, his play will be. Over the past two months, Green is No. 67 in 9-cat formats. He’s top-60 over the past two weeks and No. 32 over his last four appearances. Green’s averaging over two defensive stats per game over the last two months while shooting nearly 58% from the field and 85% from the line. He scores in double-figures on efficient shooting while rounding up over two defensive stats per night and rebounding fairly well for a guard. He’s potentially a ROS add, so don’t snooze on him.

    Injury Report

    James Harden has missed two consecutive contests with tightness in his left hamstring. Kevin Durant remains sidelined with the sprained MCL in his left knee.

    Zach LaVine has missed two consecutive games with back spasms. Alex Caruso (right wrist) and Lonzo Ball (left knee) remain sidelined indefinitely after undergoing surgeries for their respective injuries.

    Darius Garland has been dealing with lower back soreness that has forced him to miss four consecutive games.

    Kristaps Porzingis has missed four straight contests with right knee soreness and should be considered questionable at best moving forward.

    Cade Cunningham has missed his last three opportunities to play with a right hip pointer.

    Draymond Green (left calf tightness, back) will likely stay out until past the All-Star break.

    Myles Turner (left foot stress reaction) remains sidelined with an unclear timetable for a return. Domantas Sabonis made his return from the league’s health and safety protocols on Sunday while Malcolm Brogdon was ruled out with right Achilles soreness.

    Paul George (right elbow) remains sidelined indefinitely alongside Kawhi Leonard (right ACL).

    Jimmy Butler is questionable for Monday’s game with an irritated big left toe.

    D’Angelo Russell returned from a shin contusion on Sunday that kept him out of four contests.

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be sidelined through the All-Star break with a sprained right ankle.

    Damian Lillard remains out indefinitely with a surgically repaired abdomen.

    De’Aaron Fox has missed eight games with left ankle soreness and should be considered questionable moving forward.

    Rudy Gobert was a limited participant in the team’s practice on Sunday after missing six consecutive games with a strained left calf, but will sit out at least Monday’s game.

    Bradley Beal’s sprained left wrist has forced him to miss the team’s last three outings.

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