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Trade Tracker: Values, they are a changin'

Sergio Gonzalez
Fantasy Writer
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Editor's Note: Our Sergio Gonzalez will assess the winners and losers from all of the trades leading up to Thursday's NBA trade deadline.

Thursday, Feb. 24

Trade: Two-team deal involving Grizzlies and Rockets
Grizzlies receive: Shane Battier, Ishmael Smith
Rockets receive: Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll
Fantasy Winners: Hasheem Thabeet?

Thabeet might be a winner in that he could see some playing time in Houston, a team desperate for help at the center position with Yao Ming long gone and forgotten. Chuck Hayes has a pretty good handle on the job, but Thabeet could sneak into enough playing time to make him a cheap source for blocks and boards (think Ronny Turiaf).

Fantasy Losers: Sam Young, Tony Allen, Shane Battier

With Rudy Gay sidelined, Young and Allen have seen a boost in minutes and production across the stat line. Now Battier joins the mix. He will eat up minutes as a defensive role player that will take away from what Young and Allen have created for themselves. Battier will also be in line for a decline in playing time compared to what he was seeing in Houston.

Thursday, Feb. 24

Trade: Two-team deal involving Suns and Rockets
Suns receive: Aaron Brooks
Rockets receive: Goran Dragic
Fantasy Winners: None

Fantasy Losers: Aaron Brooks

Brooks will eventually become the replacement for Steve Nash, possibly as soon as next season. However, that does little to help his Fantasy appeal for this year. One of this season's biggest Fantasy disappointments, Brooks now has his fate sealed as a backup for the remainder of the year after falling behind Kyle Korver in Houston and dealing with injuries for the better part of the first half. Fantasy owners holding on to him in the hopes that he would eventually regain the starting role in Houston can give up on that pipe dream now. Only an injury stands to save his Fantasy appeal.

Thursday, Feb. 24

Trade: Two-team deal involving Celtics and Thunder
Celtics receive: Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic
Thunder receive: Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson
Fantasy Winners: Serge Ibaka, Glen Davis, Shaquille O'Neal, Nate Robinson, Delonte West

Ibaka will get a chance to return to the early-season production that saw him break out in the first half of the season while Green was out due to injury. The Thunder will need him to become active as an offensive player again, having lost Green's mid-teens scoring.

Davis will benefit, mainly in the short term, with the Celtics now short up front while both Shaq and Jermaine O'Neal are out with injuries. Krstic is not a player who will be asked to play big minutes and Davis will be one of the team's few options for size. Having recently seen his playing time cut in half, his situation will improve. Expect Shaq to be asked to play a more active role in his 20-minute stints once he is healthy enough to play, much in the way he did earlier this season when he filled in for an injured J.O.

Robinson is not a huge winner, but the potential is there for more consistent playing time and even an increase in shot volume. He will have to share minutes with James Harden and Thabo Sefolosha.

Fantasy Losers: Jeff Green, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce

Green will likely be asked to play a hybrid small forward/power forward role behind Garnett and Pierce. Green certainly will not be playing around 35-40 minutes per game he did as a featured part of the Thunder offense.

Meanwhile, Garnett and Pierce could each have their touches watered down just a bit more with Green becoming another mouth to feed in the offense. It is not time to panic by any means if you own either K.G. or Pierce, but do not be surprised to see each player lose some touches.

Thursday, Feb. 24

Trade: Two-team deal involving Trail Blazers and Bobcats
Trail Blazers receive: Gerald Wallace
Bobcats receive: Dante Cunningham, Joel Przybilla
Fantasy Winners: Gerald Henderson, Dante Cunningham, Stephen Jackson

Henderson and Cunningham should each see a boost as the Bobcats try to fill the void left at power forward by Wallace's departure. Wallace has double-digit scoring potential but has not proven to be much of a rebounder. Each player is worth a flier in very deep leagues because of the chance at increased playing time. Expect to see Diaw play some more power forward as well for the Bobcats. Jackson could see an increase in shot volume as Wallace leaves a void of about 12-13 shots per game.

Fantasy Losers: Gerald Wallace, Nicolas Batum

The trade should make the Blazers stronger, but it makes their rotation a mess from a Fantasy standpoint. Wallace will take minutes from Batum, but will also not have quite the run of play that he enjoyed in Charlotte. He will become more of a role player and less of a go-to option. He remains a viable Fantasy option, but some of the luster may be gone soon.

Thursday, Feb. 24

Trade: Two-team deal involving Clippers and Cavaliers
Clippers receive: Mo Williams, Jamario Moon
Cavaliers receive: Baron Davis
Fantasy Winners: Mo Williams, Ramon Sessions

A change of scenery could do Williams a lot of good. He will have a chance to feed the ball to a budding superstar in Blake Griffin after apparently losing a lot of interest in Cleveland during their dismal season. If it gets Williams going at all, he could be in for a strong finish.

Sessions has come on strong and the Cavaliers have been looking for ways to keep him in the lineup even with Williams back from injury. This deal brings in a disgruntled, aging, injured Davis who may not even put on a Cavaliers uniform for a while -- if at all. Expect Sessions to play big minutes going forward, allowing him to retain Fantasy value that could have been lost.

Fantasy Losers: Baron Davis

Davis is injured and said to be unhappy with the deal. The Cavaliers are more interested in his contract (with $14 million coming off the books after next season) than his play at this point. It could be a while before Davis suits up for Cleveland and he is not likely to be very inspired to produce the rest of the way for a Cavaliers team that might not win 15 games this season.

Wednesday, Feb. 23

Trade: Two-team deal involving Hawks and Wizards
Hawks receive: Kirk Hinrich, Hilton Armstron
Wizards receive: Jordan Crawford, Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans
Fantasy Winners: Kirk Hinrich

Hinrich takes over as the starting point guard in Atlanta, a team very much in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference. With more offensive weapons around him in Atlanta than in Washington, his assist totals are likely to rise. He averaged 4.4 dimes per game in 48 appearances for the Wizards. There is low-end value here as a double-digit scorer who can chip in decent numbers in assists, steals and even some light 3-point shooting.

Fantasy Losers: Mike Bibby

Bibby goes from starter to reserve as he will be just a sub behind rookie John Wall. He was not a real Fantasy asset in Atlanta this season, but this removes him from the list of potential stopgap measures off the waiver wire at the guard position.

Wednesday, Feb. 23

Trade: Two-team deal involving Hornets and Kings
Hornets receive: Carl Landry
Kings receive: Marcus Thornton
Fantasy Winners: Carl Landry, Marcus Thornton

This looks like a deal that could benefit both players involved. Each player is likely headed for more consistent playing time, which has been hard to come by all season on their respective teams.

Landry is a solid scorer and rebounder who has proven that he can play well in a reserve role, doing well last season as a bench player for the Rockets. He will be the team's primary big man off the bench behind David West and Emeka Okafor, and could find enough playing time to manage around 10-13 points and seven boards per game.

Thornton, meanwhile, will head to a Kings team that is without Tyreke Evans for at least the next three weeks and possibly longer. The team needs a scoring threat at the two-guard spot and Thornton has been able to provide that whenever he has received ample playing time. Consider him a sleeper for a cheap-scoring option and 3-point shooting in the short term.

Fantasy Losers: Jermaine Taylor, Tyreke Evans?

Taylor was in line for a boost with Evans sidelined, but that could go by the wayside now. Expect Thornton and Taylor to battle for minutes and touches, but Thornton has a more reliable NBA resume.

Evans is expected to be re-evaluated in three weeks after undergoing several treatments on his ailing left foot. But with the Kings adding Thornton as insurance and with nothing really left to play for, this could be a sign that Evans might not play again this season.

Wednesday, Feb. 23

Trade: Three-team deal involving Nets, Jazz, Warriors
Nets receive: Deron Williams, Dan Gadzuric, Brandan Wright
Jazz receive: Devin Harris, Derrick Favors
Warriors receive: Troy Murphy
Fantasy Winners: Kris Humphries, Troy Murphy, Brook Lopez

Humphries had begun to lose playing time to the rookie Favors, but this trade leaves him in a position to play big minutes again at power forward. Humphries had become a regular double-double threat before the Nets tried to force feed minutes to Favors.

Murphy is expected to be bought out and will become a free agent. His likely destinations include Miami, Boston and Orlando. His value would likely be highest in Miami, but this is the beginning of a return to Fantasy relevance for a player who averaged 14.6 points and 10.2 rebounds just last season. He is certainly worth an investment off the waiver wire, though we don't expect quite those numbers wherever he might land.

Lopez has not had much trouble scoring this season, but the addition of a premiere point guard like Williams will likely lead to more easy finishes for him the rest of the way. Williams cannot help his cause on the glass, unfortunately.

Fantasy Losers: Derrick Favors

Favors was getting a chance at increased playing time in New Jersey, mostly because the team was trying to package him in a trade (first for Carmelo Anthony and then for Williams). In Utah, he will find playing time hard to come by behind Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.

Tuesday, Feb. 22

Trade: Three-team deal between Nuggets, Knicks, Timberwolves
Nuggets receive: Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov
Knicks receive: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman, Corey Brewer
Timberwolves receive: Eddy Curry, Anthony Randolph
Fantasy Winners: Ty Lawson, J.R. Smith, Arron Afflalo, Landry Fields, Ronny Turiaf, Anthony Randolph

Lawson has been tabbed as the new starting point guard in Denver and will get a chance to show what he can do. His value would be highest if Felton is moved, but coach George Karl sees him as the team's future point guard and not Felton. He can score, dish and rebound and could be a complete package. Given 35 minutes per game, he could become a high-end starter. However, that will depend on what happens with Felton.

Smith will become a go-to scorer for the Nuggets down the stretch. In a contract year, the Nuggets will want to fully evaluate him the rest of the way and Smith has shown the ability to be a high-end scorer when given the opportunity throughout his NBA career. He will get that opportunity the rest of the way and an increase in minutes will lead to better numbers in boards and dimes as well. He goes from fringe Fantasy option to a potential stud down the stretch.

There is no guarantee that Afflalo will emerge as a regular offensive threat, but he will get a chance to be in the mix with players like Smith, Chandler and Gallinari for touches. He is a capable scorer and will be a sleeper for a boost.

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There could be an increase in shot volume in the cards for Fields. Sure, Anthony will eat up most of the field-goal attempts left behind by Chandler and Gallinari, but there will be some left over for Fields as well. The loss of two wing players in the deal means Fields will likely be asked to play more minutes, which is always good.

Turiaf will be the team's starting center, mostly by default. The Knicks lack size up front and Turiaf could be asked to play about 25-30 minutes going forward. However, he lacks an offensive game and is really only a cheap source for boards and blocks. The team may eventually figure out that Stoudemire is their best bet at the five spot as Turiaf has failed to take advantage of big minutes in the past.

Randolph was not getting any playing time with the Knicks and will be getting some playing time in Minnesota. However, he will only be a reserve behind Kevin Love and Darko Milicic, capping his potential for production. Do not invest more than a flier pickup off the waiver wire in deeper leagues.

Fantasy Losers: Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari

What a sharp decline for Felton, who will go from a No. 2 guard in most standard formats to a fringe player at best. Coach George Karl plans to start Lawson ahead of Felton, who averaged 38.4 minutes per game in New York. We could see that cut in half, along with the rest of his numbers (17.1 points, 9.0 assists, 3.6 rebounds). At best, he might fight for a 50-50 split with Lawson.

Chandler is going to have to fight with Gallinari, Arron Afflalo and Smith for touches. The Nuggets will likely still look to feature Chandler, whom they view as their best get in the deal. However, he might not be featured for 14 shots per game in the offense -- as he was with the Knicks.

Gallinari will compete for touches more than he had to in New York, which could lead to some inconsistency. The drop might not be major, but there is certainly a removal from his comfort zone that will impact his Fantasy appeal at least initially.

Do you have a Fantasy hoops question for our staff? You can e-mail us at DMFantasyHoops@cbs.com. Be sure to put Attn: Trade Deadline in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state. You can also follow Sergio on Twitter (@CBSGonzalez).

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Player News
Omer Asik ready to clean up in return to starting role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Last season was a rough one for Omer Asik, who had to deal with returning to a reserve role after really shining as a starter the previous year. He should be much happier with his role this season, as the Pelicans acquired him this offseason with the intention of installing him as the starting center.

The Pelicans should have a fearsome frontcourt with Asik starting next to Anthony Davis, and Davis' presence should free Asik up to do the kind of work he excels at. Asik isn't a great offensive player, but he can be a dominant offensive rebounder, and should have many chances to clean up the boards with teams keying in on Davis offensively. Among players who have logged at least 5,000 minutes in the NBA, Asik is 22nd all-time in offensive rebounding percentage.

Asik had trouble staying healthy last season, but that was the first time he had ever missed a regular-season game in his career, so we can probably write that off as a fluke. He averaged a double-double with 1.1 blocks per game in 30.0 minutes per game two years ago, and should be capable of similar production as he returns to a starting role.

Asik should be viewed as a starting Fantasy option this season, though he may not have the upside of some other younger centers at this point. 


Tobias Harris' Fantasy value a mystery at this point
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Perception is a funny thing. Just ask Magic forward Tobias Harris, who enjoyed by far the most productive season of his career in 2013-14 but was somehow viewed as a Fantasy disappointment.

Part of that stemmed from Harris' issues with availability, as he missed 20 games and got off to a slow start to the season as a result. It really took until January for Harris to find his stride, but he averaged 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game from Jan. 1 on, without missing a contest.

Harris was probably better than the general perception of him a year ago, but the power of expectations hurt him. And now he enters his fourth season as something of a career crossroads, and it is hard to say just how Fantasy owners should approach him this season.

The Magic added Channing Frye and Aaron Gordon to the roster this season, further confusing what was already one of the most crowded frontcourts in the league. Harris can play both forward spots, but he is probably best used as a small-ball power forward; the presence of Frye, one of the league's elite stretch-fours certainly complicates matters for Harris, then.

At just 22, Harris still has a world of potential ahead of him. However, he probably profiles best as a reserve Fantasy option heading into the season, given concerns about his role.   


Hype may be too high for Giannis Antetokounmpo
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) No matter what he accomplishes in his second NBA season, Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is likely to be a historical outlier, given his age. The question is, how much of a leap can the now-20-year-old take next season.

Only 15 players in NBA history have logged as many minutes in a single season as a teenager as Antetokounmpo's 1,897, so he is occupying fairly rarified air already. His age is a big part of why he is considered a big-time breakout prospect for Fantasy purposes, but he has a long way to go from a statistical standpoint.

Antetokounmpo was good for a 19-year-old rookie, but his season averages of 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game left a lot to be desired. It is easy to dream about a Antetokounmpo taking a big step forward, but that next step is never guaranteed -- for every Anthony Davis there is a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist whose development follows a slower, less linear path. 

Antetokounmpo was very good -- for a 19-year-old. However, Fantasy owners don't get extra points, rebounds or assists if the degree of difficulty is higher, so you are betting on Giannis taking a huge step forward at the age of 20. Antetokounmpo has become something of an internet darling, and his play in Summer League and the FIBA World Cup dominated much of the offseason discussion, which only helped build the hype to potentially unsustainable levels. 

He is a lottery ticket, for sure, but he is one that might not be worth the cost at this point. 


Improved jump shot all Jimmy Butler needs
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Bulls guard Jimmy Butler had the breakout season many expected from him a year ago, but there were still plenty of flaws apparent in his game as he finished his third NBA season. With a better team around him, Butler just might have enough help to vault him to stardom.

Butler's jump shot abandoned him last season, especially after a toe injury forced him to miss 11 games in November and December. He was shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range prior to the injury, but connected on just 39.3 percent of his shots overall and 27.1 percent from three-point range from that point on.

We can blame Butler's season-long shooting slump on the injury or his increased offensive role, but he should have neither excuse available for him this season. Butler should be healthy, and the Bulls added plenty of offensive firepower this offseason, in the form of Pau Gasol and Doug McDermott, not to mention a hopefully healthy Derrick Rose. Butler took 154 shots off the dribble last season, per Stats.NBA.com, and made just 30.7 percent of them. With a better team around him, Butler should get many more opportunities to shoot with his feet set.

Butler has the skill set to be a tremendously efficient offensive player, given how often he bullies his way to the free-throw line. Last season, Butler filled up the box score extremely well, but his poor shooting limited his Fantasy value somewhat. If a new role helps his efficiency, he could be one of the very best guards in the league in category-based formats. 


Lance Stephenson set for bigger role in new setting
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Though there were fits and starts, Lance Stephenson finally began to live up to his considerable promise last season. Now in a new home in Charlotte, will Stephenson take another step forward in 2014-15?

By the end of last season, the Pacers were a mess, and Stephenson caught plenty of the blame for that. Still, he might have been arguably the team's most consistent player throughout the season, averaging between 25.8 and 29.7 Fantasy points per game from before and after the All-Star break as well as the playoffs. For as much of a mess as that team was, Stephenson emerged as something of a rock, at least for Fantasy purposes.

The Hornets are actually built in a somewhat similar way to the Pacers, so there wont' be much of a stylistic shift for Stephenson to get used to. Per MySynergySports.com, 11.8 percent of the then-Bobcats' possessions ended in post-ups, actually down from the 13.2 percent mark the Pacers' posted. Stephenson struggled at times with his post-entry passing, though his off-target feeds might find their mark more often when being lobbed in to the soft hands of Al Jefferson, as opposed to Roy Hibbert.

The Hornets might lean even more heavily on Stephenson than the Pacers did, since Indiana liked to spread the ball around with their starting five. The Hornets, on the other hand, look to be extremely top-heavy, and Stephenson will get plenty of chances to be the second or third option. We have him projected for 29.1 Fantasy points per game, and consider Stephenson a borderline top-50 Fantasy option for this season.  


Move to Houston won't alter Trevor Ariza's trajectory
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Trevor Ariza parlayed a career-year into a lucrative free-agency contract with the Rockets this offseason -- stop me if you've heard this story before.

Ariza was largely a disappointment in his first stint with the Rockets, though it did lead him to the best per-game numbers of his career. Still, Ariza was obviously miscast as a primary offensive option the last time he was in Houston, and that won't be a problem this time around.

Ariza joins a Rockets team with two established stars, and will likely spend much of his time trying to fill the departed Chandler Parsons' role. That should suit him nicely, as Ariza has just enough of an off-the-bounce game to serve as the team's third ballhandler when the shot clock gets deep. Ariza attempted 11.1 field-goal attempts per game last season, and should see a boost given Parsons' role; he attempted 13.3 shots per game.

Ariza's improved three-point shot seems legitimate, as he is shooting 38.6 percent from long range over 738 attempts since 2012. However, he will no longer have John Wall feeding him for juicy corner 3-pointers; Wall to Ariza was the league's most productive corner-three combination last season. His shooting numbers may take a hit with his move.

Even acknowledging the loss of Wall's help, we know the Houston offense is set up to get every player the most efficient shots possible, so Ariza shouldn't see much of a dip in his efficiency. His ability to fill up the box score makes him a perfect No. 2 option at forward in category-based leagues, especially now that he is a high-volume shooter. 


Despite new role, don't write off Isaiah Thomas entirely
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Suns guard Isaiah Thomas might see one of the biggest dropoffs in his Fantasy value from last season to this, as he joins the crowded Suns' backcourt.

The Suns might have three All-Star caliber guards in the backcourt now, with Thomas likely to backup Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe this season. That should put a serious dent in Thomas' value; Thomas finished 13th in Fantasy scoring among guards a year ago, but is projected to finish just 43rd this season.

Still, Thomas is definitely someone you'll want to add to your team when drafting, and almost certainly before the rest of the No. 4-type guards he is grouped with. Thomas is likely to see his numbers fall off from the 20.3 points and 6.3 assists he averaged a year ago, at least at first. However, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him end up starting upwards of 25 games throughout the year, given Bledsoe's injury-proneness. Bledsoe has missed at least 25 games in two of the last three seasons for knee issues.

Thomas probably profiles as more of a bench option for Fantasy purposes next season, but you'll be targeting him much earlier than nearly any other reserve. His upside as a handcuff option for either Bledsoe or Dragic is sky-high, and will make him well worth your attention on Draft Day. 


Eric Gordon cleared for contact
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Pelicans guard Eric Gordon has been cleared to take part in full-contact offseason drills ahead of training camp, The Times-Picayune reports.

Gordon underwent season-ending knee surgery last April, but is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. 


Jrue Holiday cleared for contact ahead of camp
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday was able to participate in full-contact offseason drills last week, the first time he has done so since undergoing season-ending surgery last January.

"Getting out playing has been a joy," Holiday told The Times-Picayune. "I've been running and jumping and stuff, but getting my rhythm back on the court is definitely a big thing right now for me."

The Pelicans open training camp Sept. 30, and Holiday is not expected to have any limitations as the team prepares for the start of the season. Holiday averaged 14.3 points, 7.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game last season prior to the injury.


Kent Bazemore focused on conditioning in recovery
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Newly signed Hawks guard Kent Bazemore did not pick up a basketball until August, preferring to focus on conditioning in his recovery from foot surgery in April.

"I think the injury was definitely a blessing," he told the Daily Press, "because I was able to step away from the game of basketball. I took myself out of my element all summer. I did stuff I'm not used to doing."

Bazemore signed a two-year deal with the Hawks this offseason, and is expected to compete for playing time on the wing immediately, as he is fully recovered from the surgery. 


 
 
 
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