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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
Wizards Wall, Beal ready to fight through injuries for Game 2
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/3/2015) The Wizards grabbed Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Atlanta Hawks despite guards John Wall and Bradley Beal both suffering what first appeared to be scary injuries during the contest. However, per The Washington Post, both players say they will be ready for Game 2 on Tuesday. 

Wall injured his wrist and hand after falling to the floor after a layup attempt. He returned quickly to the game, but did grab it several times. 

"If it's not broken, I'll play through anything," Wall said.

Beal's injury is a little more tricky. After turning his ankle on the follow through of a jump shot, the guard seemed in intense pain. Beal has a history of leg injuries, so he was a little more cautious about his status. 

"Even if I'm not a threat, I can still be a decoy," Beal said. 


Cavaliers G Iman Shumpert to start in Game 1
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/3/2015) With shooting guard J.R. Smith suspended for two games, the Cavaliers will turn to Iman Shumpert to start Game 1 against the Bulls, per the Morning Journal

"I think I'll get more opportunities just playing more minutes if J.R. is out, but as far as going in with a different mindset, it's not like I'm going to transform into J.R. for the team," he said. "It just doesn't go like that. You just got to sort of do your part."

Shumpert averaged 8.0 points and 3.6 rebounds in 62 regular season games with the Knicks and Cavaliers. 


Clippers PG Chris Paul passes MRI, still questionable for Game 1
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/3/2015) The results on the MRI to Chris Paul's injured hamstring came back negative on Sunday, but he remains a game-time decision for the opener of the Western Conference semis between the Clippers and Warriors, per ESPN.com. 

Paul was hurt earlier in Saturday's game against the Spurs but returned to hit the dramatic game winner that sent the Clippers into the next round. 


Marc Gasol's solid game not enough for Grizzlies
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/3/2015) The Grizzlies have an interior advantage in their Western Conference semifinal series against the Warriors and on Sunday, center Marc Gasol was able to make a living at the free throw line, but it wasn't enough in Memphis 101-86 loss. 

Gasol finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. He was 11-of-12 from the charity stripe, the only Grizzlies player to shoot more than four free throws. 


Stephen Curry scores 22 as Warriors roll to Game 1 victory
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/3/2015) Stephen Curry got off to a slow start but warmed up quickly as the Warriors ran past the Grizzlies 101-86 Sunday to capture Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series. 

Curry added seven assists and four steals as the Warriors kept Memphis at bay for most of the game. Curry was 4-of-8 from behind the arc and finished 8-for-18 from the floor as Golden State shot 50.6 percent in the victory. 


DeMarre Carroll's huge first half not enough for Hawks
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/3/2015) Entering Sunday's Game 1 against Washington, the Hawks' DeMarre Carroll had scored 20 points or more in four straight postseason games. He extended his streak by halftime. 

Carroll had already surpassed his career high for postseason points by halftime, with 21. It was the most a Hawks player has scored in a half this season, and Carroll became the first Hawk with five straight 20-point postseason games since Dominique Wilkins in 1989. 

Carroll cooled in the second half, finishing with 24 in the Hawks' 104-98 loss to Washington. 


Early wrist injury doesn't slow Wizards' John Wall
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/3/2015) Wizards guard John Wall went down with an apparent wrist injury in the first half of Sunday's 104-98 Game 1 win over Atlanta. 

Wall went to the bench briefly, then returned to the game without heading to the locker room for an examination. He finished the game with 18 points and 13 assists to help the Wizards take home-court advantage from Atlanta. 


Wizards' Bradley Beal shakes off sprained ankle in Game 1
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/3/2015) Wizards guard Bradley Beal sprained his right ankle late in Game 1. The team said that he was questionable to return, but he ended up missing four minutes, 18 seconds of game time. 

Beal returned to the contest midway through the fourth quarter, and his 28 points led the Wizards to a 104-98 Game 1 win over Atlanta. 


Warriors' Stephen Curry, Draymond Green benefit from time off
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/3/2015) The Warriors wrapped up their first-round series last Saturday, and coach Steve Kerr said the team benefitted from the time off. 

Kerr said that Stephen Curry looked "bouncy and fresh" in practice, and Draymond Green's injured ankle was able to heal, per the San Francisco Chronicle


J.J. Barea wants to stay with Mavericks
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/3/2015) J.J. Barea is a free agent this offseason, but he made it clear that he wants to remain with the Mavericks. 

"I want to. I want to and hopefully this time we make it work," per Mavs Moneyball. "I had a lot of fun this year. I enjoyed being back. It feels like home for me here in Dallas so hopefully I can come back and finish my career here for the next couple years."

Barea left the Mavericks in 2011, when he was a free agent, but he doesn't anticipate history repeating itself.

"It's going to be a little different," he said. "I think at that point I had to make a decision. This time I think it'll be a lot easier to keep me around."


 
 
 
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