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Basketball Pickups: Add Jaime Jaquez Jr.

Mavericks, Pistons among trade deadline winners
The Rotoworld Basketball crew discuss the winners of the NBA trade deadline, namely the Dallas Mavericks for acquiring P.J. Washington and the Detroit Pistons for moving on from Killian Hayes.

Sunday’s matinee between the Celtics and Heat was a rematch of the last two Eastern Conference Finals, and from a drama standpoint, the game lived up to the hype. Unfortunately for Miami, its four-point defeat came with an additional cost. Already playing without Jimmy Butler, who’s away from the team due to the death of a family member, the Heat watched Josh Richardson (shoulder) and Terry Rozier (leg) go down with injuries during Sunday’s game. Those absences have opened the door for multiple wings who were essentially deep-league options.

Rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. (39% rostered, Yahoo) replaced Butler in the starting lineup, and with the Heat’s star wing lacking a timeline for return, he’s worth streaming in standard leagues. Jaquez didn’t have a good game, finishing with six points, three rebounds, one assist, and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes, but the circumstances keep him on the fantasy radar. Also worth rostering are Caleb Martin (20%) and Duncan Robinson (22%), who scored 15 points apiece against the Celtics.

Martin offers more for managers needing rebounds and assists, while Robinson remains primarily a points and 3-pointers option. The former supplemented his 15 points on Sunday with eight rebounds, one assist, and three 3-pointers in 36 minutes. As for Robinson, he also scored 15 while accounting for two rebounds, one assist, and three 3-pointers. And he avoided a potential injury after getting entangled with Jaylen Brown during the fourth quarter.

The only negative for these Heat players is the schedule, as they only play three games during Week 17. However, two of those games will be played before the All-Star break, making Jaquez, Martin, and Robinson viable options in leagues that update lineups daily. Sunday’s schedule consisted of just two games, but we can still look at some worthwhile pickups for Monday’s slate.

Precious Achiuwa (43%)

Achiuwa remains rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues despite the current state of the Knicks’ frontcourt rotation. In addition to Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, and OG Anunoby being sidelined, Isaiah Hartenstein is dealing with soreness in his Achilles. Hartenstein is questionable for Monday’s game in Houston, but Achiuwa is averaging 40.5 minutes per game over the past two weeks, providing 4th-round value in 9-cat formats. Until Anunoby or Randle returns, Achiuwa will be worth rostering.

Simone Fontecchio (13%)

Fontecchio played 32 minutes and scored 20 points in his Pistons debut on Saturday, and with Quentin Grimes expected to be out through the All-Star break, he’ll remain a valuable option due to his shooting ability. With Detroit playing a Tuesday/Wednesday back-to-back, Fontecchio is worth a look in deeper leagues. He may not hit 30 minutes when the Pistons rotation is complete, but that isn’t the case now.

Tre Mann (8%) and Vasilije Micic (5%)

Mann and Micic played well in Saturday’s win over Memphis, dishing out nine assists apiece in their Hornets debuts. Mann was the starter, which is likely why his rostered percentage is slightly higher, but Micic offered the better stat line. They’ll both be in the rotation for the foreseeable future, as LaMelo Ball remains without a timeline for return from his ankle injury. Also, the Hornets play five games during Week 17, two games before the All-Star break and three after.

Dalano Banton and Ashton Hagans (> 1%)

Portland delivered terrible news on Sunday, announcing that Malcolm Brogdon would be re-evaluated in two weeks due to right elbow bursitis. With Shaedon Sharpe done for the season and Anfernee Simons (ankle) and Scoot Henderson (foot) also dealing with injuries, the Blazers backcourt rotation lacks proven option. As a result, Hagans (who started Saturday’s loss to the Pelicans) and Banton are on the radar in deep leagues. Banton performed better against New Orleans, but there will be plenty of minutes to go around. Managers hoping for a boost in the defensive categories can consider Matisse Thybulle, who’s rostered in 11% of Yahoo leagues.