By Mike Barner, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports
Not only has COVID-19 continued to force the postponement of multiple games, but injuries to key fantasy basketball players are starting to pile up. Among the names who went down recently are CJ McCollum (foot), Myles Turner (hand), and Jusuf Nurkic (wrist). If you’re looking to make some moves in your league to try and fortify your roster, here are some players to consider trading for, as well as some to potentially trade away.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Young was a first-round pick in most leagues, but he hasn’t lived up to those expectations so far. His rebounding and assists numbers have held steady compared to last season, but his scoring average has dropped from 29.6 points a game last season down to 22.9 this season. The problem has been two-fold. First, he’s shooting just 38.6 percent from the field. Second, his usage rate has dropped three percentage points compared to last season.
This might be a unique opportunity to get a player of Young’s caliber at a bit of a discount. His usage rate is still 31.9 percent, so it’s not as if he’s not getting enough scoring opportunities. Also, he shot at least 41.8 percent from the field in both of his first two seasons in the league, so his efficiency should gradually improve. Really, most of his struggles came during a recent five-game stretch against some of the better defenses in the league in which he averaged only 16.6 points and shot 32.5 percent from the field.
The market: Among some recent trades, Young was traded for a package of De’Aaron Fox, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Jarrett Allen in one fantasy league. Another league saw Rudy Gobert and DeMarcus Cousins traded for Young, Bojan Bogdanovic, and James Wiseman.
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
If you play in a points league, Gobert has been anything but a disappointment with averages of 12.2 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks. However, if you play in a categories league, Gobert hasn’t been at his best. He’s shooting 59.6 percent from the field, which isn’t great for him considering he’s shot at least 62.2 percent in each of the last four seasons. He’s also shooting just 46.7 percent from the charity stripe, making him a drain in that department.
While he’s never been a great free throw shooter, Gobert has shot at least 63 percent from the charity stripe in four straight seasons. The main reason why his numbers are down in that department was a four-game stretch in which he shot 3-for-15 (20%). Across his other 10 games, he’s shot 32-for-60 (53.3%). Now might be the time to reach out to any fantasy managers who have been frustrated with his percentages.
The market: Gobert has been involved in several multi-player trades in Yahoo leagues lately, one of which saw Delon Wright and Michael Porter Jr. traded for him and Terrence Ross. In another league, a fantasy manager shipped John Wall and Jimmy Butler for Gobert and Malcolm Brogdon.
Kelly Oubre Jr., Golden State Warriors
Oubre has been arguably one of the biggest fantasy disappointments in the early going. When the Warriors lost Klay Thompson (Achilles), Oubre was expected to be one of their main offensive weapons behind Stephen Curry. He was coming off of a breakout campaign with the Suns in which he averaged 18.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.9 three-pointers. Unfortunately for fantasy managers who drafted him, he’s stumbled out of the gate to average 12 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 three-pointers.
The main reason for Oubre’s scoring woes is that he’s shooting just 20.3 percent from behind the arc and 36.6 percent from the field, overall. He shot at least 32 percent from deep in each of the last three seasons, so he has room to improve significantly from his current mark. There have been some recent encouraging signs, including him averaging 18 points and shooting 34.8 percent on three-pointers across the last three games. The window to trade for him at a discount could be closing soon.
The market: Oubre hasn’t been involved in a lot of trades lately, but one of them saw him dealt straight up for Bobby Portis.
Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons
This one is fairly straightforward. When Rose is healthy, he’s one of the Pistons’ top scoring options. In fact, his 29.9 percent usage rate is the highest mark on the team. The problem is, he’s very rarely healthy. He’s already missed three games this season, but he did make his return Saturday against the Heat.
In two games since his return, Rose scored 23 and 21 points, respectively. He also added eight total assists and six steals. On top of Rose’s injury history, there is also a chance that he is traded at some point in the season to a contending team, which could limit his scoring upside. If you can find a team that needs a scoring punch in your league, floating out an offer now to deal Rose could be key.
The market: In one recent trade, Rose was moved for Duncan Robinson. In a multi-player move, he was traded along with Myles Turner for Clint Capela.
Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz
Simply put, Clarkson’s role is instant offense off the bench. He’s shown it throughout his career and he’s doing it better than ever this season, averaging 17.6 points and 3.1 three-pointers a night. The problem is not his role, which isn’t going to change anytime soon.
The reason why he might be someone to consider trading away is that he’s shooting 49.2 percent from the field entering Wednesday. He’s never shot higher than 45.4 percent during his career, so a significant decline in that category could be coming soon. Clarkson usually provides very little in the way of assists and defensive stats, so any decline in scoring and efficiency would be impactful to his fantasy value.
The market: One fantasy manager recently cashed in on Clarkson’s hot start by trading him for Coby White. In other one-for-one deals, Clarkson was traded for Deandre Ayton and, in another instance, for Buddy Hield.