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NBA trade deadline breakdown

by | Fantasy Writer
  •  

Another trade deadline has come and gone, and again none of the trades managed to move the earth. Still, enough small-to-medium sized deals took place to alter the Fantasy landscape, even if the tremors were slight. If you feel like going the lazy route, you can listen to this column instead, as we navigated the ins and outs of these deadline deals on Thursday's Fantasy Basketball podcast. Otherwise, here's our take on what went down this week.

Nets get: Marcus Thornton
Kings get: Jason Terry and Reggie Evans

Brooklyn's wing rotation was already pretty jumbled, with Paul Pierce, Alan Anderson and Andrei Kirilenko all vying for defined roles. On one hand Thornton does offer the Nets some young firepower with range, but it seems the minutes just aren't there for him to become Fantasy relevant. I'd let Thornton sit out in free agency outside of deep Roto leagues, where is threes carry some weight.

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This trade will likely have a greater effect on Ben McLemore's value, as he had been shoved to the background following Sacramento's trade for Rudy Gay. Terry's only played in two-thirds of games this season dealing with a sore knee, so McLemore shouldn't have a problem getting 25 minutes a night as a starter. He's worth a flier if you're desperate, but even when he was getting 27 minutes a night to as a starter he only averaged 8.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. And that was without Rudy Gay taking shots away. He got in foul trouble in his first post-trade start, only scoring four points in 19 minutes. Even when he logs heavy minutes, don't expect much from this rookie. Just not the right situation for him to grow.

Lakers get: Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks
Warriors get: Steve Blake

This move might be great for Steve Blake, who will go to a team with championship ambitions, but for Fantasy owners this likely spells the end of Blake's relevance. He'll still hit threes, as the Warriors have been known to do, but the 7.6 assists per game Blake's averaged so far will no longer reflect reality. Take Jordan Crawford for example, who was dishing out around six assists per game when he played for Boston. He started the year on a surprisingly strong note -- just like Blake. But since the move to Golden State, Crawford's only managed 6.6 points and 2.2 assists per game. You can give it a few games if you want, but I would go ahead and drop Blake if I was stashing him. Without a central role in D'antoni's offense, Blake should regress to the miniscule numbers he's had most of his career. Probably a bit more than the three points and two rebounds he registered in his first game as a Warrior, but not enough to warrant a roster spot.

On a more positive Fantasy note, this move likely cements Kendall Marshall as a Fantasy mainstay. He passed out 16 dimes Wednesday night, and I think it's almost guaranteed that he finishes among the top three players in assists per game (currently at 9.8, second to Chris Paul's 11.1). His minutes might fluctuate a bit here and there as the injured guys return, but even if he's pushed to the bench he'll stay productive -- evidenced by his recent 7.6 assists average over the five games he was bounced out of the starting lineup.

The Lakers received a guy known for his excessive sideline celebrations and a guy known for pouting in a press conference. Still, there's a good chance that one of them will receive minutes, as Los Angeles has a difficult time assembling a team of eight active players on a consistent basis. Nick Young is still day to day and Steve Nash will only play a game here and there for the rest of the season, meaning D'antoni might have no choice but to send one or both of them out there for 15-20 minutes a night. Don't pick up either of them, but don't be surprised if one of them goes for 20 points sometime soon. This offense has made Fantasy contributors out of Nick Young, Jodie Meeks and Chris Kaman, so anything is possible.

Cavaliers get: Spencer Hawes
76ers get: Two second round picks and Earl Clark

Bad news for Fantasy owners has been the theme of this trade deadline, and it continues here as Spencer Hawes leaves Fantasy-haven Philly for frontcourt-jammed Cleveland. His value for the rest of the season will entirely hinge on Anderson Varejao's health. Varejao had a cortisone injection in his back Wednesday -- not a great sign that he'll be jumping back into the lineup sometime soon. So if he's out for a while, Hawes retains most of his value. But if Varejao makes a quick recovery, Hawes will likely become droppable in 12-team leagues. There are only a handful of backup centers worth owning in the league. Best case, he's Andray Blatche -- a guy you grab here and there when someone's injured. Worst case, he's Kelly Olynyk -- a shooter who only gets enough minutes to matter every five games or so. The 76ers waived Earl Clark immediately, so no need to worry about this trade from their end.

Bobcats get: Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour
Bucks get: Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien

Sessions has the best chance of improving his Fantasy value from this deal. The problem is he's going to Milwaukee, where the starting lineup seems to change with every blink of an eye. Since he's a score-first guy, the Bucks might opt to use him off the bench. He averaged 10.5 points and 3.7 dimes in 23.7 minutes per game for the Bobcats, so a bump in minutes could bring him up to respectable 13 and five production. The biggest challenge will be cementing his role on a team that seems to have a new Fantasy flavor every week.

Gary Neal to the Bobcats is much harder to buy into. I wrote about Neal as a sleeper because of what he showed in the Finals last year, but now I think I probably fell victim to San Antonio's nearly flawless system, which currently has Patty Mills exploding for 25-plus with the greatest of ease. Neal will have to score a lot to earn a spot on your team, which he's capable of. But for now, leave him alone.

Wizards get: Andre Miller
Nuggets get: Jan Vesely
76ers get: Eric Maynor and two second-round picks

Andre Miller is the only person to pay attention to here, and even that is a bit of a stretch. The Wizards are especially shallow, so he'll get minutes. But oddly enough, the latest instance of Miller thriving in an offense featured him posting up smaller point guards in the playoffs and scoring at will. A score-first Miller doesn't sound like anything I want a part of, and when you look at who he might try and assist to in the Wizards' second unit, things look even worse for Mr. Miller's Fantasy value.

Nuggets get: Aaron Brooks
Rockets get: Jordan Hamilton

Nothing really to see here. You know what you're getting in Brooks, and he might have some value while Ty Lawson is hurt. But there are better options out there. Move along.

Hawks gets: Antawn Jamison
Clippers get: Cenk Akyol's draft rights

Yawn.

76ers get: Byron Mullens and a second-round pick
Clippers get: A second-round pick

Yawn agai--wait a tick! Didn't the 76ers just trade their starting center? Isn't the center they drafted recovering from knee surgery? Haven't they been one of the best Fantasy teams in the league because of their ridiculously quick pace, which maximizes the number of possessions? Yes, yes and yes. Mullens is not good, but he has a similar skill set to Hawes as a center who can stretch out to the three-point line. He averaged 12.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for the first half of last year with the Bobcats -- one of the slowest teams in the NBA. So it won't be a shocker if he puts up some empty -- but satisfying -- Fantasy numbers in the breakneck, no-defense 76ers starting lineup. The fear here is that Philadelphia, the one terrible team you could count on for Fantasy, becomes just like the other terrible teams that drive you crazy: the Lakers and the Bucks. If the 76ers pin down a lineup quickly, their pieces will carry value simply because of their playing style.

Spurs get: Austin Daye
Raptors get: Nando De Colo

Yaaaawwwwwnnnnn.

Kings get: Roger Mason Jr (who's almost guaranteed to be waived).
Heat get: A highly protected second-round pick (which it's almost guaranteed they'll never get to use)

zzzZZZZZzzzzZZZZZzz.

Pacers get: Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen
76ers get: Danny Granger

Zzzzz-cmphk-huh? What? What!? This one came right at the buzzer. Maybe even a little after the buzzer. All year we've been warning Fantasy owners that Turner was destined for a precipitous fall in value, and that day has finally come. Instead of being the focal point on the team that leads the league in offensive possessions, he'll now be the seventh or eighth option on a defensive-minded team that runs at a snail's pace on offense. Thanks for the memories Mr. Turner -- it was fun while it lasted. The absolute only way he keeps any kind of Fantasy value is by becoming a facilitator in the second unit and averaging five assists per game. Indiana does need some passing back there, as its second point guard -- C.J. Watson -- is a shoot-first player. But Turner has seemed reluctant to embrace the role of distributor, evidenced by his 3.7 assists per game on the season. Don't drop him immediately, but don't hesitate when you see someone you want out there.

Turner does leave behind a sizable void, one that streaming options such as Tony Wroten and James Anderson may pounce on. But I think it's more likely that Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young absorb those shots, rebounds and assists. It's hard to believe, but the 76ers just got a lot worse by losing what amounts to half of their core talent. Anderson couldn't break 10 points per game on the season in 28.4 minutes per game before the trade, so I'm not convinced he'll be able to excel with opposing defenses paying even more attention to him. Wroten has a better chance of boosting his numbers with more minutes, but I see him continuing to only be used in bursts, as he's basically served as Philly's backup point guard (which Eric Maynor may cut into), and his turnover rate is one of the worst in the league. They'll take on bigger loads, but I'm not betting on two guards after a team trades a center and a forward.

Granger is intriguing when you consider how great Turner was for Fantasy in the Philadelphia offense. The problem is he's older and slower, while the 76ers are younger and faster. If they want to do anything, it's run. If there's one thing Granger can't do, it's run. It's also widely speculated that the 76ers will buy out of Granger's contract, allowing him to sign with a contender looking to bolster its bench. But if that doesn't happen, there's a chance Granger could log enough meaningless minutes to warrant keeping him on your roster. If he's been dropped in your league, he's worth a flier for the simple fact that -- for now -- he plays for the 76ers. Still, I'm betting this relationship doesn't last long.

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Player News
76ers PF Nerlens Noel: 'I'm feeling a lot more confident'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:34 am ET) 76ers power forward Nerlens Noel delivered season highs of 17 points and 12 rebounds Saturday and expressed confidence in his play after the game.

''I am really starting to feel like my legs are under me now,'' Noel told the Associated Press. ''(After) not playing basketball in so long, I am already starting to feel my timing is a lot better and I'm feeling a lot more confident.''

''That was Nerlens' best game. So everybody in Philadelphia is seeing what we're seeing. It's slow but it's coming,'' coach Brett Brown said.

Noel will look to build on the excellent outing Monday when the 76ers host the Blazers.


Jazz PG Trey Burke scores season-high 20 vs. Pelicans
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:25 am ET) Jazz point guard Trey Burke scored a season-high 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting, including 2 of 5 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 106-94 loss to the Pelicans Saturday.

Burke was just 1 of 8 from the field in a two-point outing Friday but bounced back big on night later. He also managed to tally four assists and one block in 34 minutes Saturday. Burke will try and build on the excellent performance Monday against the Bulls.


Spurs SF Danny Green scores season-high 21 vs. Nets
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:20 am ET) Spurs small forward Danny Green scored a season-high 21 points on 8 of 10 shooting, including 5 of 7 shooting from behind the arc, in his team's 99-87 win over the Nets Saturday.

Green also set a season-high scoring mark Friday by putting up 18 points in Minnesota but topped that performance Saturday, making a season-best 80 percent of his shots and sinking five three-pointers for the first time this season. He also racked up seven rebounds, three blocks and two assists in 33 minutes off the bench. Green will look to stay hot Wednesday against the Pacers.


Rockets G Patrick Beverley (hamstring) expects to play Monday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:09 am ET) Rockets guard Patrick Beverley said after suffering a hamstring injury Saturday that he expects to play Monday, the team announced.

"Tweaked it a little bit, I didn't wanna push it like I did the Miami game," Beverley said of his hamstring.

Beverley returned from a hamstring issue on Nov. 4 to play 30 minutes against the Heat but had to miss another four games while recovering after aggravating the injury. He was able to play four games before being struck by another hamstring injury Saturday.


Wizards C Marcin Gortat notches double-double vs. Bucks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:06 am ET) Wizards center Marcin Gortat scored 10 points on 5 of 12 shooting while grabbing 13 rebounds in his team's 111-100 win over the Bucks Saturday.

Gortat has been able to put together a string of good scoring totals, but Saturday's double-double was his fourth of the season, with his 13 boards matching a season high. He matched another season high by blocking three shots while also kicking in two assists in 35 minutes of action. Gortat's next matchup will come Tuesday against the Hawks.


Timberwolves C Gorgui Dieng doubles up vs. Kings
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:01 am ET) Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng scored 12 points on 5 of 10 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds in his team's 113-101 loss to the Kings Saturday.

It was just the second double-double of the season for Dieng, though he did manage 10 rebounds Friday as well while scoring nine points. His 12 points and 10 rebounds both matched season highs. Dieng also managed two steals, two blocks and one assist in 39 minutes Saturday. He'll look to build on the solid performance Wednesday against Milwaukee.


Kings guard Ben McLemore scores season-high 22 vs. Minnesota
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/22/2014) Kings guard Ben McLemore scored a season-high 22 points on 9 of 17 shooting, including 4 of 9 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 113-101 win over the Timberwolves Saturday.

McLemore had managed just 21 points in his previous three games combined before exploding Saturday. He nearly notched his first double-double by racking up a season-high nine rebounds while also tallying three assists and one steal in 41 minutes. The Kings will look for three wins in a row when they face the Pelicans Tuesday.


Timberwolves C Nikola Pekovic to be evaluated Monday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/22/2014) Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said Saturday that center Nikola Pekovic will be evaluated Monday, the Associated Press reports.

Pekovic is dealing with wrist and foot injuries. If it's determined that he'll need at least 10 more days before returning, the team could receive a roster exception to add another player. Pekovic has averaged 11.9 points and 8.1 rebounds while shooting 42.2 percent in nine games.


Kevin Love's 23 points not enough for Cavaliers
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11/22/2014) Cavaliers forward Kevin Love scored a team-high 23 points in a 110-93 loss to the Raptors Saturday.

Love also added seven rebounds, but he is still trying to find a rhythm in the offense. For the season, he has recorded six double-doubles. The Cavaliers next play Monday against Orlando.


Jazz SF Gordon Hayward scores team-high 31 vs. Pelicans
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/22/2014) Jazz small forward Gordon Hayward scored a team-high 31 points on 9 of 16 shooting, including 2 of 3 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 106-94 loss to the Pelicans Saturday.

Hayward did a fantastic job on the offense end while also making 11 of his 14 free-throw attempts, but his night was overshadowed by a career-best 43-point performance from Pelicans forward Anthony Davis. However, Hayward did manage eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 39 minutes while posting his third 30-point performance of the season. He'll look to keep rolling Monday against the Bulls.


 
 
 
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