NBA Waiver Wire: Top Fantasy Adds For Week 16... And Beyond

NBA Waiver Wire: Top Fantasy Adds For Week 16... And Beyond

This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.

The NBA trade deadline (Feb. 10) is still a couple weeks away, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start gearing up for it. The importance of playing the waiver wire wisely in the lead-up to and immediately following the annual deadline can't be overstated, even if very little happens. 

As such, this week's column focuses in part on a handful of players who are worth adding in anticipation of potential trades that would theoretically improve their respective fantasy stocks. Without further ado, here are a dozen players to consider picking up heading into Week 16.

Otto Porter Jr., Golden State Warriors (43% rostered)

Unless Draymond Green (back) returns sooner rather than later. which seems increasingly unlikely, Porter is a strong pickup in most formats. Over his last 10 appearances, he is averaging 10.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.6 threes in 24.2 minutes.

Through the first several months of the season, Porter has proven capable of excelling in Golden State's offensive system, which requires constant ball and player movement and the ability to make rapid reads as a passer and cutter. Furthermore, he's a versatile defender with quick hands, capable of covering multiple positions. Add him now while you still can.

Dorian Finney-Smith, Dallas Mavericks (43% rostered)

Finney-Smith is already contributing career highs in scoring (10.1 PPG), assists (1.9 APG), and steals (1.2 SPG) while flirting with career-high averages in blocks (0.5 BPG), made threes (1.8 3PM) and minutes (31.9 MPG). Moreover, the extended

The NBA trade deadline (Feb. 10) is still a couple weeks away, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start gearing up for it. The importance of playing the waiver wire wisely in the lead-up to and immediately following the annual deadline can't be overstated, even if very little happens. 

As such, this week's column focuses in part on a handful of players who are worth adding in anticipation of potential trades that would theoretically improve their respective fantasy stocks. Without further ado, here are a dozen players to consider picking up heading into Week 16.

Otto Porter Jr., Golden State Warriors (43% rostered)

Unless Draymond Green (back) returns sooner rather than later. which seems increasingly unlikely, Porter is a strong pickup in most formats. Over his last 10 appearances, he is averaging 10.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.6 threes in 24.2 minutes.

Through the first several months of the season, Porter has proven capable of excelling in Golden State's offensive system, which requires constant ball and player movement and the ability to make rapid reads as a passer and cutter. Furthermore, he's a versatile defender with quick hands, capable of covering multiple positions. Add him now while you still can.

Dorian Finney-Smith, Dallas Mavericks (43% rostered)

Finney-Smith is already contributing career highs in scoring (10.1 PPG), assists (1.9 APG), and steals (1.2 SPG) while flirting with career-high averages in blocks (0.5 BPG), made threes (1.8 3PM) and minutes (31.9 MPG). Moreover, the extended absence of Tim Hardaway (foot) means the Mavericks will rely even more heavily on Finney-Smith going forward. While he's not a superb source of any one specific stat, his versatility enables him to effectively slot in at several positions and provide solid production regardless of his role in any given lineup.

Hassan Whiteside, Utah Jazz (45% rostered)

Rudy Gobert (calf) is expected to return prior to the All-Star break, which begins on Feb. 18. However, having averaged 14.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks over his last four spot starts, Whiteside is a wonderful streaming option until the three-time Defensive Player of the Year rejoins Utah's rotation. The only caveat is the Jazz have just two games in Week 16.

Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia 76ers (40% rostered)

With the odds of Ben Simmons being traded prior to the deadline seemingly dwindling, Thybulle becomes an intriguing add for those in need of defensive production. Boasting career highs in scoring (5.8 PPG), rebounding (2.4 RPG), steals (1.9 SPG), blocks (1.1 BPG), minutes (25.9 MPG), field-goal percentage (49.4% FG) and free-throw percentage (71.4% FT), Thybulle could build on this progress during the second half of the season and carve out an even more demanding role heading into the playoffs.

Luke Kennard, Los Angeles Clippers (49% rostered)

Kennard's four-point play with 1.9 seconds remaining capped the Clippers' 35-point comeback versus the Wizards on Wednesday. Nevertheless, his impressive play of late has gone somewhat under-the-radar. Having recently missed a substantial stretch of games, Kennard has caught fire over the last three contests, averaging 21.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 4.0 made threes (54.5% 3Pt).

Given the increasingly murky outlook of star forward Paul George (elbow), Kennard is worthy of consideration in most formats, thanks to his ability to play on and off the ball offensively and not only score but also set the table for teammates.

Devin Vassell, San Antonio Spurs (35% rostered)

Vassell has reached double figures in scoring 12 times in his last 13 appearances. With January averages of 13.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.3 threes, the sophomore is making the case that he deserves even more playing time going forward. Though it's possible that the presence of fellow wings such as Doug McDermott and Lonnie Walker will prevent that from happening, the Spurs could (and should) prioritize the development of Vassell given his youth and palpable potential.

Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets (30% rostered)

Sengun has earned more than 16 minutes only once in the last eight games. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the one exception came during a blowout defeat, in which Sengun totaled 14 points, five boards, three blocks, one assist, and one steal in 24 minutes. A consistently demanding role simply may not be in the cards for the rookie—until suddenly it is.

Those who can afford to stash Sengun, both in the short- and long-term, could be handsomely rewarded. Even if a blockbuster deal involving Christian Wood doesn't come to fruition before the deadline, Sengun remains a player to keep an eye on down the stretch as the campaign winds down given that he's on a losing team that's likely to prioritize ping-pong balls at some point.

Thaddeus Young, San Antonio Spurs (21% rostered)

Those who can afford to stash a player in the lead-up to the trade deadline should absolutely consider snagging Young. If he is still a Spur beyond the deadline, then he can probably be dropped in all formats. But if a deal does go down, he will be a popular add. He's not part of San Antonio's regular rotation, but he did log 12 points, three boards, one dime, and one steal in 12 minutes during Tuesday's blowout victory over the Rockets.

There's only so much one can take away from that showing, but it does provide a reminder that Young doesn't need much playing time to make an impact, which he illustrated just last season by averaging 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 24.3 minutes for the Bulls.

Jeff Green, Denver Nuggets (17% rostered)

Those in deep leagues shouldn't overlook Green, who is sporting January averages of 13.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 threes in 25.1 minutes. It's true that he's coming off of a pair of complete duds. Nevertheless, at 35 years of age, Green is impressively registering a career-high field-goal percentage (52.1% FG) on the season – this after just setting career high in that category a year ago (49.2% FG in 2020-21).

Goran Dragic, Toronto Raptors (3% rostered)

Dragic (personal) has appeared in only five games for the Raptors this season—and the last time he saw the floor was back on Nov. 13, when he dropped 16 points, five rebounds, three assists, two threes, and two steals in 28 minutes against the Pistons. Regardless, like Thaddeus Young, Dragic is certainly worthy of consideration for those who can afford to stash a player heading into the trade deadline.

Having averaged 13.4 points (43.2% FG, 37.3% 3PT, 82.8% FT), 4.4 dimes, 3.4 boards, 1.8 threes, and 0.7 steals in 26.7 minutes for the Heat in 2020-21, there simply aren't many players available on the waiver wire with that much upside.

Isaiah Jackson, Indiana Pacers (3% rostered)

Domantas Sabonis (ankle) made his return to action Saturday against Dallas. Still, Jackson has played well enough lately to warrant a spot on your watch list, at the very least. Personally, I have my doubts that the Pacers will make any significant trades prior to the deadline. However, if a path to real minutes is cleared for Jackson, he has displayed the potential to stuff the stat sheet.

Over his last five games, including Saturday's contest in which Sabonis played 29 minutes, Jackson averaged 11.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.0 steals in just 17.2 minutes.


Recent recommendations rostered in less than 50 percent of leagues: Cameron Johnson, Monte Morris, Royce O'Neale, Goga Bitadze, Mason Plumlee, Kevin Huerter, Jonathan Isaac, Brandon Clarke, Amir Coffey, Kevon Looney, Brook Lopez, Nicolas Claxton, Patrick Beverley, Trey Lyles, Hamidou Diallo, Onyeka Okongwu, Terance Mann, Danilo Gallinari, Corey Joseph

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gabriel Allen
Gabriel Allen is a tennis professional and freelance journalist whose work has been published in the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated, among other places.
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