With the trade deadline set for 3 p.m. ET, the NBA is sure to be at the center of attention all day with a flurry of activity expected as teams load up for the playoffs, move on from contracts they don’t want or try to amass assets they can use to build in the future. On top of all the player acquisition drama, the NBA has a six-game fantasy basketball slate lined up for Thursday night that provides plenty of good options for you to consider as you build your team.
This is definitely a day to stay locked in to the DK Live app or live.draftkings.com to keep up with all the latest news to see who gets moved, who stays put and who gets increased opportunity as a result of their new situation. Regardless of potential trades, there are some nice matchups to check out including the Celtics hosting the Lakers and LaMarcus Aldridge returning to Portland to face the Trail Blazers. As you work out which players will be in your Thursday lineup, check out these top studs and values at each position.
StudRussell Westbrook, OKC vs. MEM, $11,300 — Westbrook’s triple-double run has been extremely impressive and would be getting much more attention if he hadn’t made the extraordinary feat so commonplace over the past few seasons. Westbrook has put up a triple-double in seven straight games with more than 65 DKFP in five of those contests. He had 63.75 DFKP Tuesday against the Magic in his most recent contest, scoring 16 points to go with 16 assists and 15 rebounds. He actually has struggled with his shooting and turnovers, but those issues haven’t stopped him from being a value even at his oversized salary. The only danger in rolling with Westbrook is the Grizzlies are expected to be active at the deadline and could move some of their best players, leaving a skeleton crew and creating high risk of a blowout. However, if Memphis keeps enough players to keep the game relatively close, look for Westbrook to keep right on rolling.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Marc Gasol, Shelvin Mack, Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green have all been reportedly traded away.
Other Options — Damian Lillard ($8,600), Rajon Rondo ($6,500)
ValueShai Gilgeous-Alexander, LAC at IND, $4,900 — The Clippers will be playing their first game since trading Tobias Harris to the Sixers in a move that should open up plenty of extra usage for Gilgeous-Alexander and the rest of the rotation since most of the pieces acquired were future assets. The rookie already was stepping into a more active role with Danilo Gallinari ($6,000; back, questionable) sidelined and should be locked into more usage even after Gallo returns. Gilgeous-Alexander had a disappointing 11.75 DKFP Tuesday in Charlotte, but he posted more than 35 DKFP in his two games prior to that against the Pistons and Raptors. He’s usually good for solid counting stats and had scored double-digit points in five straight games before his letdown Tuesday. He should be able to bounce back against an injury-depleted Pacers backcourt.
Other Options — Jerryd Bayless ($5,800), Shelvin Mack ($4,400)
StudDeMar DeRozan, SA at POR, $7,600 — The Spurs rested DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,800) for their game in Golden State on Wednesday, but DeRozan should be ready to return against Portland. He lit up the Blazers for 48.25 and 57 DKFP in two meetings earlier this season and looked to be back to full strength Monday in his most recent game. He missed some time with knee soreness in January but was back to a full workload his past few games. He also has a little more playmaking responsibility with Derrick White (heel) sidelined.
Other Options — Lou Williams ($7,400), CJ McCollum ($7,000)
ValueKevin Huerter, ATL vs. TOR, $4,900 — Huerter continues to be a key part of the Hawks’ rotation and contribute nice numbers across the board since returning from a neck injury. He has scored double-digit points with multiple 3-pointers and at least 29 DKFP in four straight contests. He’ll be in a tough matchup against the Raptors, but his regular workload is significant enough to make him a solid option under $5K. He usually gets plenty of opportunities regardless of game situation, so his production should be blowout-proof.
Other Options — Terrence Ross ($5,100), Aaron Holiday ($3,400)
StudKawhi Leonard, TOR at ATL, $9,400 — Leonard led the Raptors past the Sixers on Tuesday despite shooting just 3-for-11 from the field. He still had 24 points, seven boards, three assists, three steals and 42.75 DKFP. He has more than 40 DKFP in eight of his past 10 games and torched the Hawks for 31 points and 60 DKFP when he faced them earlier this season. He thrives in the up-tempo flow the Hawks typically allow, so look for him to put up big numbers again tonight, especially if his shot gets back on track.
Other Options — Paul George ($10,000), Aaron Gordon ($6,600)
ValueBojan Bogdanovic, IND vs. LAC, $5,600 — Without Harris and possible Gallinari, the Clippers will be shorthanded on the wing, which could open up opportunities for Bogdanovic, who has been shooting the ball incredibly well lately. He has picked up more usage since the injury to Victor Oladipo and scored more than 20 points in three of his past four games, highlighted by 31 points and 44.25 DKFP against the Heat on Saturday. Bogdanovic is locked into big minutes and plenty of shot opportunities, which give him a high ceiling against the Clippers.
Other Options — Jonathan Isaac ($5,400), Terrance Ferguson ($3,600)
StudAl Horford, BOS vs. LAL, $6,700 — Horford has continued his steady production for the Celtics and is in a good matchup against the Lakers at home this Thursday. He has produced more than 32 DKFP in seven straight, averaging 15.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.6 blocks, 1.0 steals and 41.0 DKFP. He played just 30 minutes Tuesday as Boston cruised past Cleveland and had 34 DKFP on nine points, eight assists, six boards and three blocks. He usually produces in every category, making him a low-risk play as the Celtics take on the Lakers, who are dealing with plenty of their own drama at the deadline.
Other Options — John Collins ($8,100), Pascal Siakam ($6,200)
ValueIvan Rabb, MEM at OKC, $5,100 — The Grizzlies are expected to be active at the trade deadline and depending on how things shake out, Rabb might end up in a great spot to produce. He started Tuesday against Minnesota with Marc Gasol (rest), JaMychal Green ($4,300; knee, questionable) and Joakim Noah ($3,400; heel, questionable) out. Gasol already has been ruled out for tonight’s game since he did not travel with the team and likely will be traded, so Rabb should be set up for another big workload. He showed what he is capable of with 19 points, 11 boards and 41.75 DKFP against the Timberwolves, and he’ll have another contest with a high ceiling if Green and Noah are out.
Other Options — Jerami Grant ($5,200), Omari Spellman ($3,500)
StudKarl-Anthony Towns, MIN at ORL, $9,900 — Towns also had a good game against Rabb and the Grizzlies on Tuesday, finishing with 26 points, 18 boards and 54.5 DKFP. He had an even better game with 63.5 DKFP against the Nuggets on Saturday and has more than 50 DKFP in six of his past eight contests. He crushed the Magic for 29 points, 15 rebounds and 56.75 DKFP in just 32 minutes earlier this season and is a solid center to pay up for in the rematch in Orlando. With all the changes in Minnesota, Towns is the focus of the offense now and has a high ceiling in every matchup.
Other Options — LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,800), Myles Turner ($6,500)
ValueKhem Birch, ORL vs. MIN, $3,200 — The Magic will be without Mo Bamba (leg) for a “significant time,” which could mean the rest of the season. In his place, look for Birch to get all the minutes as backup to Nikola Vucevic ($9,300). Birch has shown in the past he can be a solid contributor of points and rebounds when given the chance and has posted 17.0 and 16.25 DKFP in his two games back in the rotation after the injury to Bamba. While there is likely to be other value options that open up due to trades throughout the day, Birch is a solid way to save some salary and spend near the minimum for a player that should be able to get about 20 DKFP if things go his way.
Other Options —
Ivica Zubac ($4,300), Daniel Theis ($3,700)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Zubac will not be available since he is reportedly headed to the Clippers in a deal for Mike Muscala.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.