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Courtside Seat: Lin is prime trade bait

Senior Fantasy Writer
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We interrupt Linsanity to bring you another topic facing Fantasy owners -- the NBA trade deadline. March 15 is just a month away, and several prominent players could be on the move, which will impact all Fantasy leagues.

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Here are five players who could be traded before the deadline, and where they end up could change their Fantasy value. If you know they are on the move, you might want to buy or sell in your league now before their value either improves or declines.

As for Linsanity, we'll address Jeremy Lin further down as we explain why he is someone to sell high before this phenomenon ends.

Dwight Howard, C, Magic
Key stats: 20.1 points, 15.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks
Rumored destinations: Lakers, Nets, Knicks and Bulls
If traded his Fantasy value would: stay the same
Howard is going to remain a beast wherever he goes, but it would be interesting to see him play with someone like Kobe Bryant, who commands the ball. At least we know his rebounding would remain high. Going to the Nets might increase his value since he would likely have to do more scoring, but he would also see more double teams. A trade to the Knicks seems unlikely at this point, and the Bulls don't seem ready to blow up their roster to bring in Howard. We know Howard's list of trade partners is growing, but the Lakers and Nets seem the most likely.

Stephen Jackson, SG, Bucks
Key stats: 11.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists
Rumored destinations: Clippers and Hornets
If traded his Fantasy value would: improve dramatically
Everyone knew Jackson and Scott Skiles wouldn't mix, and we've seen Jackson more on the bench than on the court. He needs to get out of Milwaukee as soon as possible, and going to the Clippers makes the most sense after losing Chauncey Billups (Achilles tendon). Jackson has scored at least 18.5 points in each of his past four seasons, and his scoring would rise in a new city. This is the time to trade for Jackson because he will only improve on a new roster, and it would be a shock to see him finish the season with the Bucks.

Chris Kaman, C, Hornets
Current stats: 10.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 blocks
Rumored destinations: Pacers, Rockets, Heat and Bucks
If traded his Fantasy value would: decline
A Kaman-for-Jackson trade would help both players since Kaman could help replace the injured Andrew Bogut (ankle) in Milwaukee and remain a solid Fantasy option. A trade to the Pacers or Heat would hinder his value, and he might not benefit much if he goes to the Rockets. He's playing well now with the Hornets as they continue to showcase him, and he has four double-doubles in his past five games with seven blocks over that span. It might not be a bad thing if he remained in New Orleans, but we know the Hornets need to trade him, which will definitely happen.

Steve Nash, PG, Suns
Current stats: 14.6 points, 10.7 assists, 2.6 rebounds
Rumored destinations: Magic, Knicks and Trail Blazers
If traded his Fantasy value would: decline
Nash has been in the same system since 2004, and he has averaged a double-double in points and assists in all but one year. So a trade to the Knicks, to be reunited with Mike D'Antoni, would benefit Nash the most. However, following the emergence of Lin, that move is not likely to happen. CBSSports.com NBA Insider Ken Berger recently went on the Jim Rome radio show and mentioned Nash going to Orlando (with Howard staying). Berger said Nash running the Magic offense with all those 3-point shooters would be solid. Nash will still remain a quality Fantasy option wherever he goes, but his best value would be if he stays with the Suns.

Ramon Sessions, PG, Cavaliers
Current stats: 10.2 points, 5.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds
Rumored destination: Lakers
If traded his Fantasy value would: improve slightly
The good thing about Sessions is we've seen what he's been capable of doing as a starter since he has two double-doubles in points and assists in his past four games with 41 assists over that span in place of Kyrie Irving (concussion). He would likely start for the Lakers or play the majority of minutes at point guard, but I wouldn't get overexcited about that. The Lakers don't have a need for a ton of production at point guard with Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Still, the increased minutes would help his value, and he is someone to target in trade now.

Each week we will take a look at a variety of topics around the NBA. We will look at guys to trade, trade for, add off the waiver wire and also answer some of your social media questions, among other things. It's our CBSSports.com potpourri look at Fantasy Basketball.

Sell-high candidates

Brandon Jennings, PG, Bucks
Why you should trade him: Jennings has struggled of late. In his past five games he is averaging 14.4 points, 4.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 31.2 percent from the field. Those stats are down from his season averages, and he could be trending in the wrong direction. You might want to sell him now in case this continues.

DeAndre Jordan, C, Clippers
Why you should trade him: Jordan has been a serviceable No. 2 center for most of the season, but his value is on the decline. He has one double-double in his past six games, and he has just one game with more than 24 minutes over that span. He is losing playing time to Kenyon Martin, and the Clippers will likely continue to give Martin an increased opportunity.

Jeremy Lin, PG, Knicks
Why you should trade him: We all know Lin has been awesome. In his past five games, he is averaging 23.6 points, 9.8 assists and 4.2 rebounds. But you have to be concerned if he can keep this up, especially once Carmelo Anthony (groin) returns. The smart play is to trade him now while his value is at an all-time high. You can probably get something great in return.

Tony Parker, PG, Spurs
Why you should trade him: Parker is having an amazing season at 19.0 points and a career-high 7.8 assists, but with Manu Ginobili back after missing 22 games with a broken hand you will see Parker's production decline. In the first two games since Ginobili returned, Parker averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 assists, and he might continue to suffer going forward.

Kemba Walker, SG, Bobcats
Why you should trade him: Walker has filled in admirably in place of D.J. Augustin (toe) and Gerald Henderson (hamstring), but Augustin is back now. Augustin's return is expected to put Walker on the bench, and Corey Maggette is also healthy. Walker will still get plenty of playing time, but he won't average 15.2 points like he's done to start February.

Buy-low candidates

Carmelo Anthony, SF, Knicks
Why you should trade for him: Fantasy owners are sprinting from Anthony because of Lin's explosion on the scene, but let's keep things in perspective. Anthony is still averaging 22.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists in a down year. If you can find an owner willing to unload him for the right price then acquire him now because when healthy he will produce.

Jamal Crawford, SG, Trail Blazers
Why you should trade for him: Crawford has scored at least 17 points and dished out five assists in four of his past six games. He is seeing increased playing time with Raymond Felton struggling, and Crawford will continue to improve unless Portland makes a trade for someone like Nash. We like Crawford to keep getting better as the season goes on.

Zach Randolph, PF, Grizzlies
Why you should trade for him: Randolph has been out with a knee injury, but he is expected to return in early March. He will be a great addition to a Fantasy playoff run, especially if he gets close to 100 percent. When healthy, Randolph is capable of averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, which is something he's done each of the past three seasons.

Derrick Rose, PG, Bulls
Why you should trade for him: Rose is dealing with a back injury, which has hampered him of late and caused him to miss the past three games. His Fantasy owners are frustrated, which is the perfect time to strike. Prior to sitting out, Rose averaged 29.0 points, 13.0 assists and 5.5 rebounds in two games, and he should be a beast when he returns at 100 percent.

Greivis Vasquez, PG, Hornets
Why you should trade for him: Jarrett Jack (knee) should return soon, but that shouldn't matter to Vasquez now that Eric Gordon (knee) is out for another six weeks. Vasquez will continue to get plenty of playing time, and he is worth buying now. We've seen what Vasquez can do when he gets an opportunity, and you can probably trade for him for a low price.

Free agent watch

Here are five guys I am looking at in my leagues:

Tristan Thompson, PF, Cavaliers
Owned: 44 percent of leagues

Carlos Delfino, SG, Bucks
Owned: 43 percent of leagues

C.J. Watson, PG, Bulls
Owned: 32 percent of leagues

J.R. Smith, SG, free agent
Owned: 29 percent of leagues

Chris Wilcox, PF, Celtics
Owned: 4 percent of leagues

Thompson should get an increased look with Anderson Varejao (wrist) out, and he is someone to put on your radar in case he starts to play well. Delfino has been on a tear of late with 17 3-pointers in his past five games, and his playing time has been consistent at 30 minutes per game over that span. Watson is taking advantage of Rose being out, and Wilcox should benefit with Brandon Bass (knee) out. Smith and Wilson Chandler (35 percent ownership) are looking for new teams after playing in China and they could be valuable additions in the right city.

Social media corner

@Matt Salter on Twitter wants to know: I need a center or forward and available are Trevor Booker, Kaman, Corey Brewer, Trevor Ariza and Gustavo Ayon.

I'd roll with Kaman since he's playing well now, especially with Emeka Okafor (knee) banged up, and he could see an increase in value if he's traded. Ariza is also solid, and Booker has played well with Andray Blatche (calf) out. But Kaman has the most upside of this group.

@nate mcwilliams on Twitter wants to know: Would you rather have Drew Gooden or Luis Scola for the rest of the year?

Gooden is the better option because he has been on a tear since Bogut went down. Scola has played well at times, but he's been more of a bust this season than a star. Gooden could lose value if Bogut returns early or the Bucks add someone via trade, but ride him now while he's hot.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyNews . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Melo considered doubtful to play Friday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:32 pm ET) The Knicks announced Thursday forward Carmelo Anthony is doubtful to play Friday against the Thunder due to back spasms. If sidelined, it will be the second straight game Anthony misses.

Kemba Walker joins list of injured Hornets players
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:21 pm ET) Although Hornets guard Kemba Walker was able to play through injury Wednesday against the Trail Blazers, it doesn't appear he will be active Friday against the Warriors. The Hornets announced Thursday that Walker is doubtful to play Friday because of a right thigh contusion.

The Hornets also listed guard P.J. Hairston as questionable due to a sprained right thumb, guard Gary Neal as doubtful due to a left shoulder sprain, forward Marvin Williams as doubtful with a left shoulder strain and forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as out due to a stress reaction in his right foot.


Bulls' Rose, Noah practice Thursday, but Friday status is still TBD
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:09 pm ET) Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said guard Derrick Rose (hamstring) and center Joakim Noah (eye, knee) practiced in full Thursday. However, Thibodeau said he will see how they feel Friday before determing their availability for Friday's game at Boston.

Rose said he "wants" to play Friday, but he will see how his injured hamstring reacts, according to The Boston Globe. He said he will play, if he feels ready.


Williams: Pelicans need to get Davis at least 20 shots per game
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:01 pm ET) Pelicans coach Monty Williams gathered his team Wednesday to express his frustration following a 99-89 loss Tuesday against the Kings, in which center Anthony Davis attempted just 12 shots and totaled a season-low 14 points.

Williams expressed Davis needs to be more involved on offense on a nightly basis to give New Orleans the best chance to win.

"Anthony (Davis) cannot be in a game and not touch the ball," Williams said after his meeting with players, per NOLA.com. "We have to have an effort to get him at least 20 shots every night. And that’s on me too. As much as I draw up plays for him, run the offense through him, the guys on the floor has to know it. When they don’t do it, I’ve got to make sure they get him the ball. Because he’s not a selfish player, he’s going to make the right plays. And our guys know that."

Davis is averaging 25.4 points per game, which trails only Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who is averaging 26.4 points per game. Davis leads the NBA with 3.4 blocks per game.


Spurs' Splitter (calf) out, Joseph (ankle) questionable for Friday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:53 pm ET) The Spurs announced Thursday forward Tiago Splitter (calf) has been ruled out for Friday's game vs. Sacramento. It will be the 12th straight game Splitter will miss.

Gaurd Cory Joseph is listed as questionable for Friday's game due to a sprained left ankle. Joseph has missed the last two games.


Clifford: Stephenson 'not a star,' but has 'talent to become a star'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:49 am ET) Hornets guard Lance Stephenson was benched for the fourth quarter for a second straight game during Wednesday's 105-97 loss against Portland, which extended the team's losing streak to seven games. 

After the loss, coach Steve Clifford said Stephenson's issues adjusting to his first season with the Hornets is partly due to him trying to live up to expectations.

"To be fair, one of the things that's made it more difficult for him is that he came here and people proclaimed him as the next superstar," Clifford said Wednesday, per ESPN. "He's not a star. He's a guy that has talent to become a star. To be a star in this league, you have to do it over years."

Stephenson has struggled to find a consistent rhythm and role in Clifford's offense. Stephenson is fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 9.7 points per game, which is a significant drop after averaing 13.8 points per game in 2013-14 for Indiana.

He is also shooting just 36.8 percent from the field after shooting 49.1 percent last season. Although, it's not all bad for Stephenson, who is averaging career highs in rebounding (8.1 rpg) and assists (5.4 apg).

"I've been around Kobe [Bryant] and [Tracy] McGrady. They were superstars. I was also around Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell. They were two-, three-year All-Stars," Clifford said. "[Stephenson has] got a lot of work to get to that level. Everybody proclaimed him as this guy, and if you remember the first time we got him, I said he's got to develop into that."


Celtics guard Marcus Smart will not be back Friday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:49 am ET) Although Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart returned to practice Wednesday, he will not return to action Friday against the Bulls, the team announced Thursday. It will be the eighth straight game Smart is sidelined.

Melo doesn't anticipate he will be out 'too long'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:33 am ET) Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who missed his first game this season Wednesday against the Mavs due to back spasms, won't put a timetable on his return, he told the New York Post. However, he indicated he doesn't expect to miss too much time.

"I could barely walk or do anything yesterday so I’m doing a little better," Anthony said Wednesday. "I’m walking. They said these things are hard to gauge. I just don’t know how long I’ll be out.

"I don’t think it will be too long. I think the spasms will go away. But I’m not going to play with spasms."

Anthony likely will undergo tests once the team returns to New York. Coach Derek Fisher said the team doesn't have a clear diagnosis on Anthony and won't until his back starts to improve.

"I’ve never felt this way before," Anthony said. "Nothing happened that I can remember [in the Houston game]. I really tried to play through it, but then I just couldn’t move."


Tyson Chandler pulls down 25 rebounds vs. former team
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:28 am ET) Mavericks center Tyson Chandler set season highs with 17 points and 25 rebounds during a 109-102 win Wednesday against the Knicks, who he played for over the previous three seasons.

"At the beginning of the year, you always look at the calendar and mark it," said Chandler, who finished three rebounds shy of the career high he had with the Knicks exactly two years earlier against Brooklyn, per The Associated Press. "But honestly once you get caught up in the season, it's not as big as it's made out to be."

Chandler is averaging 10.8 points and 11.7 rebounds in 14 November games. He's surpassed double digits in rebounds nine times in November. Wednesday was the first time this season he totaled more than 20 rebounds.


Lakers SG Kobe Bryant scores team-high 22 vs. Grizzlies
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:11 am ET) Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant scored a team-high 22 points on 5 of 15 shooting, including 2 of 5 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 99-93 loss to the Grizzlies Wednesday.

Bryant sank all 10 of his free throws to help boost his scoring total on a night where he struggled with a low shooting percentage for the second time in three games. He only managed to pick up four rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes in the loss, the team's third straight. The Lakers will look to get back on track Friday against the Timberwolves.


 
 
 
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