This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.
The trade deadline is just a few days away, and the moves began to trickle out this week. A few players on the waiver wire have already been impacted and are listed below. Many more moves are expected, and this column touches on a couple players who appear primed for a trade-induced boost. But we don't need to guess at what the future may hold, as there are plenty of valuable, high-upside targets worth grabbing right now.
As always, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team.
Adds for All Leagues
Robert Williams, Celtics (66% rostered)
Probably – hopefully – the last time he'll qualify here. Williams is a per-minute dynamo who combines the best parts of Nerlens Noel with young DeAndre Jordan, plus a relevant helping of assists. After another monster game Wednesday night, he needs to be rostered everywhere.
Kenyon Martin, Rockets (48% rostered)
Martin, an avid reader of this column, apparently took offense when I didn't include him in last week's "the Rockets are tanking now so here's who you should add" paragraph. My apologies, Mr. Martin. (In my defense, he had only played one game since getting recalled from the G-League when the article ran).
Bad teams leaning into the tank are a boon to the fantasy waivers landscape, and Martin is now the Rockets' waiver wire headline act. I still think Kevin Porter (90% rostered) is the biggest winner, but at this point that's already old news. I still love Jae'Sean Tate (50% rostered) – Christian Wood is now back, but the damage that does to Tate's value is largely offset by the departure of P.J. Tucker. Sterling Brown (4% rostered), has some quirky category leagues appeal right now, and that could increase if the Rockets trade Victor Oladipo. D.J. Wilson (1% rostered), a part of the return package in that Tucker deal, has some potential as a very deep league prospect. There's a lot to monitor here. But Martin is currently the top prize.
Martin is averaging 31.2 minutes since I declared the official start of Rockets tank season. His production has been inconsistent, but he's averaging positive or neutral value in every category. He's flirting with 1-1-1 (steals-blocks-threes), and he's putting up efficient shooting numbers from every distance. And perhaps most importantly, his workload was not impacted by Wood's return to action Wednesday.
De'Anthony Melton, Grizzlies (23% rostered)
By pure fantasy production, Melton barely qualifies for this article. He still has too many games with fewer than 20 minutes, which has led to some disappointing box scores. But the advanced stats are starting to show some dramatic difference between him and the rest of the Grizzlies' shooting guards. For every minute Grayson Allen spends on the floor, another Grizzlies' fan contracts a stress hernia. It's hard to imagine that the status quo continues much longer. And when (if?) the levee ever breaks, Melton will quickly become an all-league auto-start.
Moses Brown, Thunder (39% rostered)
The undrafted 21-year-old sophomore is unlikely to recreate Tuesday's absurd line of 20 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks, but that line should prove that Brown has some meaningful upside. He's a two-way player who was not in the Thunder's rotation before early March, but he's logged at least 19 minutes in five straight, including 26.0 in two starts when Al Horford and Luguentz Dort were out. As of right now, he's only really addable in deep leagues or on good teams that have a roster spot they can afford to play with. The real appeal here is Brown's potential if Al Horford gets moved before Thursday's trade deadline. Depending on the return package, Brown could be one of the best adds of the season if Horford lands elsewhere.
Hamidou Diallo, Pistons (45% rostered)
Diallo (groin) has yet to make his Pistons debut, though it sounds like he may be close to returning to action. Full disclosure: I'm a huge Diallo fan, and my excitement about his potential has led to some over-eager adds in the past. That said, the Pistons also seem to be excited about Diallo, and they have a giant soft spot in their wing rotation. It shouldn't be too hard for him to earn at least 25 minutes per game or more. If that happens, a medium-sided "if", Diallo could offer good points and rebounds while also pitching in some assists and steals.
Jalen Brunson, Mavericks (32% rostered)
We're still talking about Brunson? No, I don't care that he had two bad games against the Clippers, and that his minutes were cut in the second of those two. I still believe his increased role in the rotation is here to stay. Including those two bad games, he's averaging 26.9 minutes over the last month and a half, putting up 15-4-3 with 1.7 threes and great shooting splits.
Dwight Howard, 76ers (47% rostered)
He's only rosterable while Joel Embiid (knee) is out, but the current timeline gives Howard at least one more week of viability. At this stage of his career, Howard is a pretty run-of-the-mill center who provides very good rebounds, good blocks, OK points, and a poor free throw percentage.
Other recommendations: Jae'Sean Tate, Rockets (50% rostered); Aleksej Pokusevski, Thunder (41% rostered); Tomas Satoransky, Bulls (22% rostered); Maxi Kleber, Mavericks (17% rostered); Jeff Green, Nets (13% rostered)
Streamer of the Week
Jaylen Nowell, Timberwolves (17% rostered)
Well, this one kinda snuck up on us. I'm as guilty as anyone, Nowell didn't even make my deep leagues other recommendations section last week. While that seemed defensible at the time, looking back over the last two weeks altogether, Nowell is in the midst of a solid run. Malik Beasley (suspension) will miss four more games. D'Angelo Russell (knee) is nearing a return, but whenever that comes he's still likely to have a minutes restriction for at least a few games. So Nowell should have about another week of fantasy relevance, if not a little more. He's scored in double figures in seven of his last 10, and he whipped out a four-game run averaging 18-5-3 from last Thursday through Tuesday.
Deep League Special
Jordan Poole, Warriors (11% rostered)
Production-wise, Poole is actually addable in many standard leagues. But, hey, he's widely available, so deep-leagues can still get in on the fun! He's averaging 19.0 points and 3.4 threes over the past five games, and while he's not doing much in any other category, those scoring numbers are big enough that we can live with those lackings. There are a few things that might pose problems down the line – he's only playing 22.6 minutes, his field goal efficiency appears unsustainably high (54% over this stretch), and Kerr has benched Poole shortly after productive stretches in previous seasons – but we don't have to worry about those yet. Despite those potential roadblocks, there are also some causes for optimism – primarily that this hot streak began as soon as Poole was available following an injury absence and that it began before the All-Star break and has extended beyond it. For now, add Poole and enjoy this run for as long as it lasts.