Fantasy Basketball Trade Analyzer: Deadline approaching, there are plenty of last minute deals to complete

By | March 6, 2024

Ivica Zubac is averaging just shy of a double-double, but is someone who could be available to land in a fantasy trade in most leagues. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Specially for Yahoo Sports

Welcome to a buying-heavy and in-depth edition of the Trade Analyzer – the last of the season. There are a lot of fantasy basketball trade deadlines this week (with the standard deadline for Yahoo Fantasy on Thursday), so be sure to evaluate your team and make some offers before it’s too late.

Trade for: Ivica Zubac, Los Angeles Clippers

Zubac has two quiet performances after being absent for two games due to illness. He has collected just eight points and 13 rebounds in 43 minutes of games since returning to action. In the past, he has established himself as a rotation center for the Clippers. But he has diversified his game and improved defensively to the point where he could be more of an anchor as the team prepares for the long run.

Zubac is averaging career highs with 11.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 65.2% shooting from the field in 48 starts this season. The 26-year-old’s return to his season averages for the remainder of the season is highly likely. He spends a career-high 22.1% of his possessions as the Clippers’ role man, with 1,161 points per possession in the 59th percentile league-wide. He is an efficient and crucial part of the offense.

Mason Plumlee and Daniel Theis will certainly maintain their roles moving forward, especially in the context of the Clippers ranking ninth as a team in transition frequency — not a specialty of the hulking Zubac. Zubac’s specialty is that he is an elite two-way rebounder, ranking in the 85th percentile and 83rd percentile, respectively, for offensive and defensive rebounding numbers league-wide.

Trade away: Jordan Poole, Washington Wizards

Poole is a clear trade candidate at an excellent selling time. He has six games under his belt this season with at least 30 points, three of which have come in the past six games. Poole has had the ultimate green light since the All-Star break, averaging 19.0 shots per game, which is well above the season average of 14.6 shots per game. Michael Winger’s front office staff has its roots in San Antonio and Oklahoma City. Combine their collective past experience with their string of moves for the Wizards over the past year, and the conclusion that this regime will want to make more use of their younger players as opposed to Poole is a logical expectation. Poole’s workload will likely decrease.

Poole buried 39.1% of 9.1 threes in his last seven games and has been good for Washington, but some of his overall shot volume being allocated to Bilal Coulibaly, Corey Kispert and even Jared Butler wouldn’t surprise me.

Moreover, Poole is not showing new success in efficiency, consistency or facilitation. The 24-year-old is shooting a reasonable 43.6% from the field since the All-Star break, which is a step above his season average of 40.6% but in line with his efficiency from a season ago. Compared to last season, his free throw percentage has also decreased, from 5.1 free throws per game to 3.0 this season. His assist-to-turnover ratio has increased from 1.45 to 1.68, but his overall assist percentage has dropped significantly, from 23.3% to 17.7%. He is averaging 3.9 assists and 2.9 turnovers over his last seven games.

Poole wasn’t necessarily a known commodity when Washington acquired him, but he has certainly stagnated this season, with his current success appearing to be a flash in the pan.

Trade for: Grant Williams, Charlotte Hornets

After a double-double Sunday of 18 points and 13 rebounds, Williams is on the rise in Charlotte, though many fantasy managers may not perceive it as such. Williams is certainly worth a roster spot if available.

Williams has only played 300 minutes with the Hornets so far, but 75% of those minutes have come at the center position. Coach Steve Clifford likes to have his physicality in the frontcourt and will utilize his versatility. Nick Richards (foot) is out and Mark Williams (back) is probably done for the year, so there are minutes available.

Despite his strength and bulk, Williams is only 6-foot-4, so his status as a small-ball five comes with some defensive limitations. Although they pale in comparison to his ability to spread the floor and juice pace in a very favorable offensive lineup for the Hornets. Williams’ use in the frontcourt thus far has been extremely conducive to fantasy success.

The 25-year-old may no longer be welcome in Dallas due to an attitude that clashed with his teammates, but Williams is considered a fierce competitor. His tenure in Boston was ended due to a combination of financial constraints and the lack of necessity for Williams’ desire to bomb 3s at times. Charlotte presents itself as a better new home. Williams has a strong reputation as a contributor to a championship-contending team, and he is originally from Charlotte. His attacking firepower is a welcome addition.

Williams is averaging 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 32.3 minutes over his last three games. While his statistical production could decline somewhat, I expect his workload to remain the same, and I foresee him exceeding this production as his ceiling at times.

Trade for: Royce O’Neale, Phoenix Suns

O’Neale is positionless in his utility, standing with the length of a guard, the mobility of a forward and sometimes the strength of a big. With Devin Booker (ankle) out, Phoenix will need quality play from veterans to step up in his absence. O’Neale is already being leaned on, averaging 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks on 11.3 shots in 33.5 minutes in his last four games.

O’Neale is a consistently underrated passer, with his assist-to-usage ratio falling no lower than the 94th percentile at his position in each of the past six seasons, according to CleaningTheGlass. He also continues to bomb functionally from deep, with his 37.2% clip on 5.6 3s per game representing his worst efficiency since his rookie year – a testament to his shooting consistency. The 30-year-old is a rock-solid rotation player for the Suns and deserves a spot at the end of fantasy lineups in most non-standard leagues.

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