Fantasy Basketball: players to target in exchanges

Jalen Brunson had 15 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds in his first game with the New York Knicks.

The NBA season is officially back, as we’ve seen two of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference and two of the most prestigious and controversial teams in the Western Conference.

Every Wednesday we will provide players you should not only be looking to acquire via trade, but also players you should be looking to trade.

Since – at the time of this writing – we’re dealing with a sample of, well, two games, we’ll base the player values ​​below on their pre-season value.

Going forward, we will adjust this with the data we have seen so far and incorporate potential trade scenarios for which ones you should be looking to acquire and which ones you should be looking to move.

Let’s go, and have a great NBA season.

Trade for:

Jaren Jackson Jr. (PF, C–MEM)

Jackson was tough to classify heading into the season since undergoing surgery on his right foot in June. It’s hard to bet on the big guys returning to a high level straight after foot surgery, but Jackson appears to be ahead of his progression schedule.

Head coach Taylor Jenkins said he expects Jackson to participate in 5-on-5 drills soon, putting him ahead of his potential return in January.

Additionally, prior to the Grizzlies’ preseason games, Jackson was part of the pre-game on-field team session the Grizzlies do. He was jumping like a guy who was going to play 30 minutes. It looks healthy and the window to get it cheap will be small.

Rudy Gobert (C-MIN)

This is an opportunity to take advantage of the story of the off-season around the Gobert agreement. So many people made fun of the Timberwolves for the number of draft picks they gave away that can slip into our minds as fantasy players. But don’t get confused here. The deal has nothing to do with the immediate future but rather 2024 and 2025, as well as how that will work out in the playoffs.

But because of that, people seem to be fading a bit from Gobert, and while he will lose a few rebounds for Karl Anthony Towns, elite defensive and rebounding numbers will always be there for him. The center position is slim, so if you can get it at any price, get it.

Jalen Brunson (PG-NYK)

Speaking of the Knicks’ new guard, don’t be surprised if there’s early talk that Brunson isn’t what the team envisioned. Brunson will lead the team and be the first true point guard in a while, but he’s not a guy who will go out and average 20 points per game. It’s not his game, and it’s not what the Knicks want it to be.

If this narrative begins to occur, seek to acquire it. He’s going to be a fantastically good option this year, especially if you need help with out-of-position assists and planks.

Isaiah Hartenstein (C-NYK)

The Knicks have made a concerted effort to address their center depth this offseason by retaining Mitchell Robinson via overtime and signing Hartenstein as a free agent.

The Knicks have abused Robinson over the breadth of his career, and in some ways that makes sense because he hasn’t been a beacon of health and hasn’t developed offensively.

My prediction is that Hartenstein will surpass Robinson this year and usurp him from the starting and closing lineups for the Knicks. With the central position being so slim, you can get Hartenstein now for cheap before its value skyrockets.

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Mike Maher is an editor and content manager at FantasyPros and BettingPros. To learn more about Mike, check out his archivefollow him on Twitter @MikeMaher

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