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NBA trade deadline breakdown

by | Fantasy Writer
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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
Chris Wright earns multi-year deal
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:48 am ET) The Bucks signed forward Chris Wright to a multi-year contract Tuesday, on the second-to-last day of the season. The deal is likely for the minimum salary, after Wright proved himself on 10-day contracts.

Wright has appeared in seven games with the Bucks and has impressed with his athleticism. He is averaging 6.0 points and 2.1 rebounds per game on 64.3 percent shooting, and has likely earned a spot on the roster for next season. 


Paul Pierce solid in playing through shoulder injury
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:44 am ET) Nets forward Paul Pierce was able to play through a shoulder injury Tuesday, logging 21 minutes in a 109-98 loss to the Knicks. Pierce scored 13 points on 4 of 8 shooting in the game, with one 3-pointer made. He added one rebound, one assist and one steal in the loss.

With the Nets locked into their playoff seeding, Pierce might not even play in the season finale against the Cavaliers Wednesday. If not, he will finish the season averaging 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in 75 appearances, the worst averages of his career across the board. 


Darrell Arthur sits out vs. Clippers
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:38 am ET) Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur was unable to play Tuesday against the Clippers, due to a knee injury suffered in the team's previous game. This leaves his status for Wednesday's season-finale against the Warriors in doubt, given the limited time for his injury to improve.  

Ty Lawson misses penultimate game, fifth straight
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:36 am ET) Nuggets guard Ty Lawson missed his fifth game in a row Tuesday against the Clippers, as he continues to deal with an ankle injury.

With just one game left on the schedule, Wednesday against the Warriors, it seems unlikely Lawson will be able to return this season. The normally durable guard has already missed a career-high 19 games, but has been terrific when able to play, averaging 17.6 points, 8.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game.  


Blake Griffin earns 16th tech, suspension
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(1:33 am ET) Clippers forward Blake Griffin did not travel with the team to Portland for Wednesday's season finale, after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season Tuesday. That technical triggers an automatic suspension, and with just one game left, there isn't a great chance the league will rescind the technical.

The technical was the lone blemish on an otherwise fantastic game for Griffin, as he scored a game-high 24 points on 9 of 17 shooting. He added five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in a 117-105 win over the Nuggets. 


Mirza Teletovic not with team for final two games
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2014) Nets forward Mirza Teletovic is not with the team Tuesday for the penultimate game of the season against the Knicks, and he won't be there for the season finale against the Cavaliers Wednesday. Teletovic is with his wife after she gave birth to twins.

Teletovic emerged as a key contributor off the bench for the Nets this season, after barely seeing the floor as a rookie. He is averaging 8.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 3-pointers per game in 72 appearances. 


Paul Pierce playing through shoulder "tweak"
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2014) Nets forward Paul Pierce will play through a minor shoulder injury Tuesday against the Knicks, after tweaking it in Sunday's game. Pierce is in the starting lineup against the Knicks, though he might not play his usual role with the Nets gearing up for the playoffs. 

Alan Anderson sits out third in a row
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2014) Nets guard Alan Anderson will miss his third straight game Tuesday against the Knicks, as he continues to deal with an abdominal injury. Anderson has not played in nearly a week, and his status for the season finale Wednesday against the Cavaliers is not yet known.

Torn labrum ends Carmelo Anthony's season
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2014) Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony had an MRI taken Tuesday that showed the extent of the right shoulder injury he has been playing through.

Anthony will miss the team's final two games of the season with a small tear in his labrum, the MRI revealed. The team announced he will not require surgery to repair the injury, and he will be evaluated in a month to determine the extent of the injury. He is expected to be fully recovered in time for the start of next season, though whether he will still be with the Knicks remains to be seen.

Anthony has now suffered a torn labrum at the end of the last two seasons, one in each shoulder. Anthony played in 77 games this season, averaging 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, while shooting 45.2 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from three-point range.  


Goran Dragic out for finale
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2014) Suns guard Goran Dragic had been fighting through an ankle injury over the last few games, but he will not be on the floor for the season finale against the Kings.

With the Suns' playoff hopes dashed following their last loss, Dragic will not push his ankle in the season finale Wednesday against the Kings, with the Arizona Republic reporting Tuesday he will be out for the finale.

Dragic has been one of the most improved players in the league this season, registering career-highs in nearly every relevant category. Dragic appeared in 76 games this season, averaging 20.3 points, 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. He shout 50.5 percent from the field and 40.8 percent from three-point range. 


 
 
 
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