By Gabe Allen, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports
The NBA Trade Deadline is less than a month away, and player movement may be ramping up. We already saw one fairly significant deal go down Thursday, with the Knicks acquiring Cam Reddish from the Hawks.
Between now and the Feb. 10 deadline, there could be a great deal of action. Coupled with the continued barrage of injuries and illnesses, now is an especially important time to keep tabs on the free-agent pool in your fantasy basketball leagues. This week’s column features several short-term and long-term adds as well as a few players still working their way back from injuries.
Without further ado, here are 14 players to consider adding heading into Week 14.
HEALTHY AND READY TO ROLL
Jalen Suggs, Orlando Magic (44% rostered)
Following a lengthy injury absence, Suggs (thumb) is set to return for Friday’s matchup against the Hornets. Though he was off to a downright dreadful start from an efficiency standpoint (33.9 percent FG, 3.2 turnovers per game), Suggs had been supplying a steady source of counting stats across multiple categories. Through 21 appearances, the 20-year-old rookie is averaging 12.3 points, 3.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.2 threes and 1.1 steals across 27.8 minutes. Fantasy managers in points leagues should snag Suggs before someone else scoops him up.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Washington Wizards (39% rostered)
Though his offensive efficiency — in terms of field-goal percentage (41.9% FG) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4-to-1) — isn’t among his strengths, Caldwell-Pope makes for a strong streaming option thanks to Washington’s four-game slate in Week 14. With averages of 14.0 points, 4.6 boards, 2.8 threes, 2.3 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks across 31.9 minutes during his last eight appearances, Caldwell-Pope is especially intriguing in points leagues, though his ability to collect counting stats in every category makes him an attractive option in most formats if you aren’t prioritizing efficiency.
Royce O’Neale, Utah Jazz (39% rostered)
O’Neale’s counting stats don’t jump off the page, and his rebounding average (5.0 RPG) has fallen off considerably compared to last season (6.8 RPG). Nevertheless, he is contributing career highs in several departments, including scoring (7.3 PPG), steals (1.4 SPG), field-goal percentage (48.8% FG) and three-point percentage (40.3% 3PT). He’s also handing out 2.5 dimes per game for the third consecutive year while committing only 0.9 turnovers. Even if it’s merely for the next matchup — Utah plays four games in Week 14 — O’Neale is worth adding, especially in category formats.
Patrick Beverley, Minnesota Timberwolves (38% rostered)
This is the third straight week that I’m recommending Beverley — and hopefully, it’s the last. He was on an absolute tear to start the new year before missing two contests due to a groin injury. He’s already back and has combined for 13 points, 11 boards, eight dimes, five steals and three blocks across 51 minutes in his last two outings.
With Minnesota in the thick of the playoff race, Beverley should be heavily relied upon during the second half of the season — and frankly, he’s my favorite waiver wire target heading into Week 14. Don’t let Russell Westbrook trick you: Beverley isn’t just running around doing nothing. He’s stuffing the stat sheet while playing a meaningful role on a playoff contender; add him now while you still can.
De’Andre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks (37% rostered)
Hunter made his return to the rotation on Wednesday following a two-month absence after wrist surgery. He struggled from the field but compiled 15 points, three treys, one board, one steal and one block in merely 24 minutes of action. With the Hawks trading Cam Reddish to the Knicks, the previously log-jammed wing rotation is suddenly much more fantasy-friendly to the likes of Hunter, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kevin Huerter (foot). In fact, despite his awful injury luck over the last two seasons, I’d put Hunter in the same must-add camp as Beverley.
Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers (35% rostered)
Stephenson has come back down to Earth after combining for 46 points, 19 dimes, nine boards, five treys and four steals across 61 minutes during games against the Nets and Jazz last week. Still, he’s making things happen off the bench — six points, six dimes, five boards, and two steals in 21 minutes against Boston on Wednesday — plus Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles) re-aggravated an injury that had kept him sidelined since Dec. 21. The recent return of Caris LeVert (protocols) does provide reason to pump the brakes a bit, but for the short-term Stephenson is probably worth adding, particularly in points leagues, as the Pacers have four games on tap for Week 14.
Amir Coffey, Los Angeles Clippers (34% rostered)
Paul George (elbow) may miss the rest of the season, which would open the door for other Clippers to step up during the second half. Among those who have been answering the call lately is Coffey, a third-year small forward who is averaging double-digit minutes (18.9 MPG) for the first time in his career. Moreover, Coffey has earned at least 22 minutes during each of the last dozen games while averaging 10.8 points (48.9% FG, 41.1% 3PT, 87.5% FT), 4.7 boards, 2.8 dimes, 1.8 threes and 1.0 steal across 28.4 minutes during that same stretch. If he can build on this recent breakout and sustain a similar level of play going forward, Coffey will be worth rostering in most leagues. With four games on the Clippers’ Week 14 schedule, Coffey minimally makes for a quality short-term add.
Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies (23% rostered)
It has flown under the radar a bit, but Jones is quietly enjoying the best year of his career for the red-hot Grizzlies. Not only is he contributing career-high averages in scoring (8.3 PPG), rebounding (2.8 RPG) and made threes (1.0 3PG), his shooting percentages from the field (47.6% FG), beyond the arc (39.1% 3PT) and the charity stripe (91.7% FT) are all career bests as well. Furthermore, he leads the entire league in assist-to-turnover ratio, handing out 4.2 dimes per game while committing only 0.8 turnovers. Though Jones is only a must-add in deeper leagues given his fairly modest role (21.3 MPG), over the last nine games he’s averaging 11.8 points, 4.8 assists and 3.9 boards in 22.3 minutes. At the very least, anyone already rostering Ja Morant would be wise to pick Jones up.
Trey Lyles, Detroit Pistons (19% rostered)
Lyles is coming off a real stinker — six points, three boards and one dime in 15 minutes against the Bulls on Tuesday. Nevertheless, during his last seven appearances, Lyles is averaging 14.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 threes, 0.9 blocks and 0.7 steals across 27.6 minutes. Moreover, he complements Cade Cunningham much more than undersized sophomore center Isaiah Stewart, who’s a better defender but lacks Lyles’ shooting range and offensive versatility. At least until Kelly Olynyk (knee) rejoins the rotation, Lyles is worthy of consideration, plus Detroit is also among the teams with four games on its Week 14 schedule.
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers (19% rostered)
With a plethora of Portland’s regular rotation players sidelined, Little has been getting a lot of run lately and is making the most of it. Through the first six games in January, he is averaging 13.3 points, 5.5 boards, 2.7 threes, 1.8 assists and 0.8 blocks across 33.3 minutes. Even if several Trail Blazers return to the lineup soon, Little is worth adding (or holding on to) if the organization opts for a significant shakeup at the trade deadline, as a rebuild would bode well for his fantasy stock going forward.
Robin Lopez, Orlando Magic (8% rostered)
Depending on the status of Mo Bamba (toe) and Wendell Carter Jr. (hamstring), Lopez could be a solid streaming option heading into the upcoming four-game matchup period. Though both of the aforementioned young big men are listed as day-to-day, the Magic haven’t been all that reliable in terms of providing accurate injury reports this season. Meanwhile, Lopez has filled in capably when called upon, most recently posting 16 points, 11 boards, two dimes and one block in 31 minutes during Wednesday’s loss to the Hornets.
INJURED BUT INTRIGUING
Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic (38% rostered)
Who knows when Isaac (knee) will actually be cleared to play, but he is traveling with the team on road trips. Most fantasy managers can’t afford to stash injured players — especially those without a true timetable to return — but Isaac’s defensive potential could prove worth the wait.
Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks (32% rostered)
The fact that Milwaukee recently cut ties with DeMarcus Cousins must mean Lopez (back) is a lock to return at some point in the regular season, right? Again, precious few fantasy managers are in a position where they can devote an IR spot to a player lacking a timetable to return. Still, once Lopez is healthy, he’ll be a hot pickup just like Isaac.
Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic (6% rostered)
Cole Anthony’s breakout has unsurprisingly resulted in Fultz (knee) becoming a forgotten man. With that being said, Fultz could be nearing his return, and Anthony has missed his fair share of games due to injury thus far this season. Even if it’s off the bench, Fultz should still have an opportunity to carve out a meaningful role for himself, and his length (6-foot-9 wingspan) might make it possible for him to successfully share the floor with Anthony for stretches.
If Orlando trades veterans Gary Harris and/or Terrence Ross, that would be a sign that the Magic are prioritizing the development of young players such as Fultz during the second half of the season. Like Isaac and Lopez, Fultz is worth keeping an eye on, at the very least.
Recent recommendations still rostered in less than 50 percent of leagues: Dorian Finney-Smith, Hamidou Diallo, Brandon Clarke, Nicolas Claxton, Kelly Olynyk, Alperen Sengun, Gary Harris, Kevin Huerter, Chris Duarte, Cam Reddish, Terance Mann, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, Talen Horton-Tucker, Facundo Campazzo, Keifer Sykes