Several players will see their values altered at the trade deadline. Who should you be targeting before those values change?
The NBA's trade deadline is next Thursday so get ready for some buying and selling. A year ago, no less than 10 trades were made within 72 hours of the deadline and similar activity is expected this season. For fantasy owners -- particularly those in the middle of the pack -- now is the time to gamble. Last season we saw players such as Andray Blatche, John Salmons and Beno Udrih take off once roles opened up for them. Here is a list of players whose values could be dramatically affected and may be worth stashing on your rosters through the deadline and potentially beyond.
Ty Lawson -- The increasing rumors surrounding Chauncey Billups seem to indicate the Nuggets are ready to transition to the future, and that future lies in the hands of Lawson. As a full-time starter, I would expect averages similar to Billups' -- 16 points, five assists, two treys, and a steal.
Richard Hamilton -- There are enough contenders that need a shooting guard -- and the asking price is low enough -- that Hamilton should be moved. In the 10 games he's played at least 30 minutes this season, he's averaging 19.9 points, three rebounds, three assists, 1.5 three-pointers, and a steal.
Troy Murphy -- Murphy has averaged a double-double in five of his last eight seasons and two treys per game over his previous two campaigns. Yet, he isn't seeing the light of day in New Jersey. If he can still find a substantial role somewhere, he can be a difference maker.
Josh Howard -- Howard turned in 16 points, five boards, three three-pointers, two steals and a block in his first game back from a knee injury on Sunday. Of course, he turned in a dud on Wednesday. He's cheap, versatile, on the block and could find a significant role somewhere.
Marvin Williams -- The Hawks want to shake things up and Williams desperately needs a change of scenery, particularly on a less talented team, such as the Cavaliers.
Ramon Sessions and Daniel Gibson -- Should the Cavs be able to move players such as Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, and Anthony Parker, a ton of minutes and shots would open up for these two guards.
O.J. Mayo -- Mayo is coming off a suspension and has seen his minutes drastically reduced in his third season. However, this is still a player that averaged 18 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.8 three-pointers, and 1.2 steals over his first two seasons. Even if he's not dealt, he should be worth a look for the next month with Rudy Gay sidelined.
Samuel Dalembert -- A center with an expiring contract and 500-plus starts is always a valuable trade chip and Dalembert can still put up valuable big-man stats with a starting job.
J.R. Smith -- If Melo is dealt, Smith stands a good chance to pick up a lot of the available shots left behind. He's long been a fantasy tease and could finish strong as he heads into free agency.
Aaron Brooks -- The Rockets say they are reluctant to part with Brooks before the deadline, but someone may offer up a deal too good to refuse for a player that led the league in three-pointers last season.
Courtney Lee -- Lee's a redundant part in Houston, but even with a starting job elsewhere, he'll remain a below average fantasy option. However, his three-pointers and steals will make him valuable enough to add in deeper leagues.
Gilbert Arenas -- Arenas' stint in Orlando has been mind-numbing, but if the team could open up a starting job for him, it's possible he returns to the numbers he was averaging before the trade -- 17.3 points, 5.6 assists, 2.2 three-pointers, and 1.4 steals.
Anthony Randolph -- The Knicks seem more than willing to part with Randolph, but his role would likely remain limited nearly anywhere he ends up.
Mickael Pietrus -- A mostly forgotten player, he could actually find a starting job with the likes of the Bulls, Jazz, Mavericks, Knicks and others.
Amar'e Stoudemire -- If the Knicks make a splash, Stoudemire's touches would be reduced. Furthermore, his value is exceptionally high and could fetch you what you need to make a run at a championship.
Stephen Jackson -- The Bobcats are selling, and if a team takes on Jackson, he would likely see a reduced role.
Antawn Jamison -- Jamison is putting up impressive numbers of late but would see far fewer shots on nearly any other team. Even if he remains a Cav, he could see reduced playing time in favor of younger players down the stretch.
Zach Randolph -- Z-Bo is heading into free agency, and the Grizzlies may seek to get something for him now. He could have difficulty maintaining his impressive production while adjusting to another club.
Luke Ridnour -- The T'wolves may be ready to hand the point guard job back to Jonny Flynn, and Ridnour would not see as big of a role on nearly any other team he plays for.
Chauncey Billups -- Billups proved with his move to the Nuggets that he doesn't need much time to adjust. He could get off to a strong start in a new zip code, but the asking price won't be cheap.
Jeff Green -- If the Thunder make a move they may include Green, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. He's put up solid numbers behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook but could contribute more on a less talented club.
Chris Kaman -- He's missed nearly 50 games but could deliver some strong numbers on a team in need of a center -- such as the Thunder, Rockets or Knicks
Jamal Crawford -- He's struggling over the past two weeks, but could have a Salmons-like finish to the season if dealt.
Mo Williams -- A point guard needs help to put up strong fantasy stats, and Williams has very little of that in Cleveland. A new uniform would bring with it more open looks and more assist opportunities.
You can follow Cory Elfrink on Twitter @theextrapass or contact him with your questions at cormailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.