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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
Cavaliers' LeBron James scores team-high 33 in Game 2 win
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:38 pm ET) Cavaliers forward LeBron James bounced back from a Game 1 loss to score a team-high 33 points on 13 of 29 shooting in his team's 106-91 win over the Bulls in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals Wednesday.

James had his worst shooting night of the postseason in Game 1, making only nine of his 22 shots, but he was able to do his part to stake the Cavaliers to an early 38-18 after one quarter. The Cavs and James didn't look back from there, finding a win to even the series at one game apiece. The forward also added eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block in 34 minutes Wednesday.

The Cavaliers head to Chicago to face the Bulls in Game 3 Friday.


Derrick Rose doubles up, Bulls lose Game 2 to Cavaliers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:34 pm ET) Bulls guard Derrick Rose scored 14 points on just 6 for 20 shooting, including 2 for 5 shooting from behind the arc, as his team fell to the Cavaliers 106-91 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals Wednesday.

Rose dished out 10 assists to earn his first double-double of the postseason, but he wasn't able to find the scoring touch that helped lead the Bulls to a Game 1 upset. He also racked up seven rebounds and one block in 37 minutes in the loss.

The two teams enter Friday's Game 3 in Chicago with series tied 1-1.


Cavaliers G Iman Shumpert suffers groin injury Wednesday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8:47 pm ET) Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert was forced to leave Wednesday's Game 2 matchup against the Bulls with a left groin strain, reports TNT.

Shumpert left the game in the second quarter, but he was able to return.


Pelicans G Jrue Holiday undergoes surgery on leg
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8:34 pm ET) Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday underwent surgery Wednesday to have a screw removed from his leg, the team announced.

Holiday had the screw removed from a rod, which was previously placed in his lower right leg. He does not have a timetable to return to basketball activities. 


Clippers G Chris Paul (hamstring) will not play in Game 2
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8:09 pm ET) Clippers guard Chris Paul has been ruled out of Wednesday's Game 2 matchup at Houston, the team announced.

"He's not moving well," coach Doc Rivers said, per the Houston Chronicle. "That concerns me. It was not that hard of a decision."

Paul is dealing with a hamstring injury, which he suffered during the Game 7 win over the Spurs in the opening round. He also missed the first game of the series against the Rockets because of the injury. Guard Austin Rivers is expected to start in place of Paul.

The Clippers are 7 1/2-point underdogs at Houston on Wednesday.


Report: Bulls F Jimmy Butler to be named Most Improved Player
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:40 pm ET) Bulls forward Jimmy Butler will be named the NBA's Most Improved Player this week, sources told ESPN.

Butler averaged 13.1 points last season, but he raised his scoring average to 20.0 during the 2014-15 season. He also set career highs in assists, rebounds and steals. His shooting average also improved from 39.7 percent last season to 46.2 percent this season.

Butler, 25, is set to become a free agent in the offseason.


Report: Pelicans Quincy Pondexter, Jrue Holiday go under knife
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:26 pm ET) Two Pelicans underwent procedures Wednesday, per The Advocate.

Included is small forward Quincy Pondexter, who had arthroscopic knee surgery. He is coming off a season in which he averaged 7.2 points in 24 minutes per game.

In addition, point guard Jrue Holiday had a screw removed from his leg. He missed much of the season due to a stress reaction and played in three of the four playoff games against Golden State.


Nets want Brook Lopez back, but open to dealing other stars
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:15 pm ET) The Nets want center Brook Lopez back. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson? Not so much.

General manager Billy King confirmed Wednesday his commitment to sign Lopez if, as expected, he opts out of his contract in favor of unrestricted free agency in July.

"For us to get in the playoffs that stretch, [Lopez] was the guy who carried us," King told the New York Post. "He was our best player. Without Brook Lopez, there's no way we even get to where we go to this year.

"I'll say it again: We want him back. I want him back, [coach] Lionel [Hollins] wants him back, ownership wants him back. We've all said it. There shouldn't be any more doubts about it."

King, however, is open to trading Williams and Johnson.

"We're going to explore all options, as we have [previously]," he added. "Will there be a trade? There could be, but I'm not sure."

Though his numbers were down from the previous year, Lopez was particularly productive as the Nets fought for and won a playoff spot. He finished the season averaging 17.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.


Thunder GM: We'd like to bring back Kyle Singler
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:02 pm ET) Thunder small forward Kyle Singler has expressed a desire to stay in Oklahoma City. And general manager Sam Presti hopes to oblige.

"Finding a player in free agency that can shoot close to 40 percent from the three-point line over the course of a season, embrace various roles, and stand as one of your most fundamental players at 6-9 is unlikely when over the cap and tax," Presti told The Oklahoman. "Therefore, we are hopeful we will be able to keep working with him."

Singler performed well after a deadline deal brought him to Oklahoma City. He finished the season shooting a career-best 39.8 percent on three-pointers.


Cavaliers PG Kyrie Irving: I've 'got to be better' in fourth quarter
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:03 pm ET) LeBron James has already accepted some of the blame for a Cavaliers loss in Game 1 of their second-round series to the Bulls. Now teammate Kyrie Irving is heaping some on himself as well.

Irving scored 30 points in the defeat, but blamed fatigue for his performance in the fourth quarter, when he shot 2-for-7 from the field and a Cleveland comeback was met and exceeded by Chicago.

"The shots I was taking, especially down the stretch, they were fatigued shots," he told ESPN Wednesday. "It just wasn't in the flow of our offense. Regardless of if I'm hot or not or Bron's hot or not, it's just the guys out there on the floor, I just have to make better decisions - whether it's going to be making one of my teammates better or me taking a shot. ... I've just got to be better."


 
 
 
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