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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
Hornets center Al Jefferson looking to improve defensive presence
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:25 pm ET) Hornets center Al Jefferson said he is tired of being a defensive liability and is looking to make sure opposing teams don't target his pick-and-roll defense, according to The Charlotte Observer.

"I refuse to continue getting picked on at the end of games. It’s not fun," Jefferson said. "Last year at the end of games teams always put me in high pick-and-rolls. I got sick of them thinking that was to their advantage, and it was to their advantage."

Coach Steve Clifford said he was happy that Jefferson brought up the subject of his defensive issues and saved the coaches from having to point it out.

"He’s working hard. His attitude is great. I sense more of a hunger than any kind of complacency," Clifford said. "He sees what the possibilities are for the group. He’s competitive and wants to win."


Pistons coach speaks highly of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:14 pm ET) Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy spoke highly Wednesday about second-year guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, according to the team's official website.

"You always look at players first to their strengths, where can a guy be great," Van Gundy said. "I think he can be an elite defender in this league at the two guard and we’ll look for that every night. I think he is a high-energy guy who can get up and down the floor and attack the basket in transition. Those two things have got to be his foundation."

Caldwell-Pope averaged 24 points per game in the Summer League. However, he's still not at the stage in his career where the Pistons are counting on him to be one of their top scorers.

"On the offensive end, he’s going to have to slow down a little bit, get under control, and like a lot of people it will come down to how many shots he can make, how efficient he can be shooting the ball, how consistent can you be," Van Gundy said. "But I think he’s got a great foundation with the defense and energy that will get him on the floor and give him a chance to develop in those other areas."


Lakers forward Ryan Kelly suffers hamstring strain
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:31 pm ET) Lakers forward Ryan Kelly suffered a moderate left hamstring strain Wednesday. The Lakers will have more information about the severity of his injury Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Pacers forward C.J. Miles not worried about calf strain
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:24 pm ET) Pacers forward C.J. Miles has been unable to complete a full practice at the start of training camp due to a calf strain, according to VigilantSports.com. However, Miles is not worried about the injury.

"It’s just a little strain, nothing crazy," he said Wednesday. "I’m pretty much healed. I’m doing everything just monitoring the contact a little bit just because of the wear and tear on it.

"It doesn’t make sense for me to be out with a strain for three weeks now when I could take a couple days just two get it all the way back, finish the month and be ready for the first game of the season. But I’m well past sitting out. Just monitoring it, that’s all."

Miles added he only sits out a portion of practice.

"I do everything throughout the whole practice until like just a little bit of the contact just towards the end," he explained. "Since the first practices are long, they don’t want me go through the wear and tear of the whole practice."


Jonas Jerebko will be part of Pistons' 10-man rotation
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:24 pm ET) Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy indicated Wednesday forward Jonas Jerebko will be part of a 10-man rotation this season.

"We'll play at least nine on a nightly basis but probably 10 a lot, based on the way Jonas has played in September and in camp," Van Gundy said after Wednesday's morning practice, per the team's official website. "I've been really happy (with him). Nobody put more time in here this summer than Jonas did. Because of his play with the national team in years past, he's never really been able to devote as much time to his own development and his own game. He's gotten stronger. He's in tremendous shape.

"I think the key to Jonas -- and we talked about this early on -- is he has to get back to being the guy he was when he first came into the league, that hungry guy playing with incredible energy, trying to make his spot. What we've seen in September, he looks like a guy who is committed to being a high-energy guy."


D.J. Stephens added to Pelicans' training camp roster
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:34 pm ET) The Pelicans added guard/forward D.J. Stephens to the training camp roster, according to The Times-Picayune. Stephens appeared in three games for the Bucks in 2013-14, averaging 2.3 points and 1.7 rebounds.

Josh McRoberts expects to be ready by Heat season opener
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:31 pm ET) Heat forward Josh McRoberts will not play in Wednesday's scrimmage due to a toe injury, according to the Sun-Sentinel. McRoberts, who had toe surgery in the offseason, said he has dealt with the issue for years.

"I've needed surgery for a couple years," McRoberts said. "We kind of figured out last year before the season started. I knew right when the playoffs ended, so it was something I had planned for."

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the Heat are just being cautious to avoid McRoberts aggravating the injury. However, McRoberts expects to be ready by the season opener in late October.

"I'm just kind of easing back into things," McRoberts said. "It takes time to recover from something like this. I'm just trying not to overdo it."


Heat forward Chris Andersen working on jump shot
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:24 pm ET) Heat forward Chris Andersen is spending extra time after practice during training camp to work on jumpers from the elbow and baseline, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Andersen is putting in the extra work because the Heat feel he can be used in more than just pick-and-roll situations.

"To step out and have that confidence to shoot the 15-footer, a lot of people haven't seen it or don't expect it," Andersen said. "This year, [coach Erik Spoelstra] says he's going to implement it into the game plan. I look forward to getting that opportunity."


Norris Cole looking to become a scoring threat for Heat
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:43 pm ET) Heat guard Norris Cole said he wants to become more of a scoring threat this season, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

"We had so many playmakers [last year] that there were times I deferred to let those guys make the plays," Cole said. "They were great at it…. But I also I saw [plays] where I could have been more aggressive to attack."

The Heat are expected to have more balanced scoring in 2014-15 since LeBron James is no longer on the roster.

"He's gotten better individually for sure," guard Dwayne Wade said. "He had a hell of a summer working out and getting prepared. Defensively, he's a monster. The next wave for him is how to be effective as a point guard and effective as a scoring guard. He's going to have to figure out the perfect way to do that. It's not always easy for guys but if he can figure it out he can be very dangerous for us."


Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge expected to attempt more 3-pointers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:35 pm ET) Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts expects power forward LaMarcus Aldridge to attempt more than the 15 3-pointers he took last season during the 2014-15 campaign, according to The Oregonian. However, it doesn't appear Aldridge will become a 3-point specialist any time soon.

"This summer, I worked on it a lot more, so we'll see this season," he said. "If it's there, I'll take it. I'm not going to force it at all."


 
 
 
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