Fantasy Basketball, Trade Deadline Edition!
The special edition recap has arrived!
Well, that was quite the trade deadline. Twelve deals were made between Saturday and Thursday’s 3 p.m. cutoff. Over half of the rosters in the League just underwent some kind of tweak, renovation, or, as Mike Miller said, “Extreme Makeover: Team Edition.” Plenty of players will have new roles and this recap is designed to cover as many of the fantasy implications as possible.
Before breaking down each trade, in the spirit of Tiger Woods Apology Day, I want to apologize for getting you hyped about Paul Millsap a few weeks ago. The Jazz decided to hold on to Boozer despite a last second effort by the Heat. Now, to my defense, the Jazz have completely turned their season around, going 14-2 since the day I wrote the ‘Trade for Millsap’ piece. We knew their team success would play a major role in deciding to trade him and the Jazz currently hold the 3rd-seed in the Western Conference. The good news for Millsap owners though: In his last two games he averaged 33 minutes, 22 points, 10 rebounds, 2.5 steals, and 2.5 blocks. Of course, with Booz around, you won’t be able to count on big numbers from Millsap.
TRADE: Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton and Quinton Ross to the Wizards. Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to the Mavericks.
FANTASY IMPLICATIONS: Butler should have similar numbers, as he wasn’t having a great season anyway. It’s possible his numbers take a bit of a hit, but it shouldn’t be too noticeable. Jason Terry will have to fight a little bit harder for his minutes and production playing behind Butler but it shouldn’t terribly affect him since the Mavs rely on him heavily in the Sixth Man role. Haywood should be able to continue his solid season rebounding and blocking shots for your fantasy team. On top of Erick Dampier’s bad knee, he is now going to miss three to five weeks because of a dislocated finger. Josh Howard came off the bench in his first game with Washington. He had 14 points and 3 steals in 26 minutes. Mike Miller, Nick Young, and Al Thornton all will make it difficult for Howard to get big minutes.
TRADE: Marcus Camby to the Blazers. Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw to the Clippers.
FANTASY IMPLICATIONS: Initially, this trade looked really good for DeAndre Jordan and Craig Smith. The Clips have already played two games since the trade and the two players took turns having nice games. Jordan had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in the first game. Smith had 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the second. Now Drew Gooden joins them so it will be hard to figure out who will emerge as the best fantasy player. With the Clips pretty much finished this season, I can’t see any of them getting really serious minutes. Instead it will probably end up in some sort of a time-share unless they really focus on trying to develop Jordan, who I think has the most upside.
Blake will backup Baron Davis so I don’t think his value will change much from his Portland days. Outlaw hasn’t played since November because of foot surgery but he’s due back to the court in about a week. Once healthy, he could make a strong move to be the starter at small forward and would be worth a look in deep leagues. Camby will probably produce at about the same rate as he did as a Clipper, and it is now time to drop Juwan Howard in most leagues.
TRADE: Antawn Jamison and Sebastian Telfair to the Cavaliers. Al Thornton, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the rights to Emir Preldzic, and the Cavaliers’ 2010 first round pick to the Wizards. Drew Gooden to the Clippers.
FANTASY IMPLICATIONS: The Butler trade made Andray Blatche a popular pickup, but this one makes him a must-own. He started against the Timberwolves on Wednesday and finished with 33 points and 13 rebounds. Another surprise was JaVale McGee, who started at center for the Wiz and put up 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks. It is rumored Big Z will be bought out, so there shouldn’t be anyone to threaten the productivity of this young frontcourt except the players themselves. This could be a good fit for Thornton and he might be the starter at small forward. Jamison’s numbers will likely take a dip in Cleveland, as they are, arguably, the deepest team in the League. Telfair is still irrelevant. Drew Gooden, who was traded twice in less than a week, will compete with DeAndre Jordan and Craig Smith in Los Angeles to fill the void left by Marcus Camby.
TRADE: John Salmons, Bulls’ 2011 and 2012 second round picks and option to switch 2010 first round picks (provided Chicago is between No. 11 and No. 30) to the Bucks. Hakim Warrick and Joe Alexander to the Bulls.
FANTASY IMPLICATIONS: Not much, but Salmons-owners should be excited for a change. Hopefully, he is able to turnaround a miserable season up to this point and finds his rhythm in Milwaukee. He will probably take a starting spot from either Charlie Bell or Carlos Delfino. Warrick could have an immediate impact coming off of the bench for the Bulls since they traded away Salmons and Tyrus Thomas.
TRADE: Tyrus Thomas to the Bobcats. Flip Murray, Acie Law, and a future first round pick to the Bulls.
FANTASY IMPLICATIONS: Larry Brown and the Bobcats organization hope all Thomas needs is a change of scenery for him to flourish. I think it will help him to a certain extent. This is a playoff-bound Charlotte team I wouldn’t be surprised to see advance to the second round. Thomas collects blocks and steals with the best of them and he also has the ability to rebound at a high-rate. He’ll probably come off the bench, but will bring the Bobcats a tremendous boost in athleticism when he replaces Boris Diaw at power forward. There is a lot of potential in Thomas but I would expect modest numbers as he probably won’t crack the starting lineup. Flip Murray, at best, will do for the Bulls what he was doing in Charlotte – scoring about a dozen per game coming off of the bench.
TRADE: Ronnie Brewer to Memphis in exchange for a conditional 2011 first-round pick.
FANTASY IMPLICATIONS: Utah did make a move, but it was Brewer, not Boozer. Wesley Matthews, CJ Miles, and Kyle Korver will battle for the starter’s minutes. We’ve seen Miles and Matthews there already this season and Korver would certainly be a valuable source of threes if he gets serious playing time. My gut tells me Miles will be the player to get the majority of the starts at shooting guard to finish the season. Brewer has had a very unproductive season outside of the steals category. He’ll be coming off of the bench in Memphis, so I don’t expect his numbers to improve. The Jazz are in Golden State tonight so keep your eye on who starts and who gets the majority of the minutes Brewer leaves behind.
TRADE: Tracy McGrady and Sergio Rodriguez to the Knicks. Carl Landry, Joey Dorsey and Larry Hughes to the Kings. Kevin Martin, Jordan Hill, Jared Jeffries and Hilton Armstrong to the Rockets.
FANTASY IMPLICATIONS: We’ll see if T-Mac is ready to put in work. If he is, then he could put up some nice numbers in NY. If he isn’t picked up in your league yet, go out and get him. This is a low-risk, high-reward situation. Rodriguez could be another great acquisition to emerge from all of these trades. It is rumored he could immediately take the starting role from Chris Duhon. Even if he doesn’t take over right away, with Nate Robinson gone, he should get some quality tick as the backup point guard. The Knicks host the Thunder on Saturday night, and it will be very interesting to take a look at the roles of these new guys.
Carl Landry’s arrival in Sacramento presents a dilemma to both his owners and Jason Thompson-owners. The Kings will be in Los Angeles to play the Clippers on Saturday night in a very telling game for fantasy players. Francisco Garcia and Beno Udrih will both benefit from the absence of Martin. I think Garcia could be the better player to own in the long run as he is working his way back to full health. Depending on how much Paul Westphal plays Hughes, it could potentially hamper both Garcia and Udrih.
In Houston, Martin should be able to play his style more comfortably and consistently, while Shane Battier will likely move to the bench. Landry’s minutes will probably be spread out amongst a number of players (Jeffries, Hill, Chase Budinger, and David Andersen), none of whom should emerge as a very significant fantasy player.
TRADE: Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry to Celtics. Eddie House, JR Giddens, and Bill Walker to the Knicks.
FANTASY IMPLICATIONS: Nate will be a spark for the Celtics coming off of the bench, but I’m sure there will be games where he is somewhat of a non-factor. Sure, I think there will be times when he goes off for 25-30 points so I think he should definitely be owned. Essentially what I’m saying is, I don’t think his level of production will change substantially one way or the other. It’s doubtful any other players in this deal make much noise in the fantasy realm.
There were some other moves made, but it would be shocking to see players from any of them make a difference in their new homes. Names like Darko Milicic, Brian Cardinal, Royal Ivey, Francisco Elson, Jodie Meeks, Primoz Brezec, Theo Ratliff, and Dominic McGuire don’t exactly generate much excitement in fantasy… or in anything, really.
But that’s just a little nitpicking; we really got what we were asking for – a lot of movement. If there is anything I missed in here, let me know.
Just to recap, the best waiver wire pickups after all of this movement are McGrady, Blatche, Rodriguez, McGee, Jordan and Garcia. But shortly we’ll learn about some others who could potentially work out nicely on your fantasy squad such as Udrih, Korver, Miles, Matthews, C. Smith, Warrick, and Outlaw.