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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
Warriors guard Klay Thompson needs to pass concussion protocol
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Former NBA player Mychal Thompson, the father of Warriors guard Klay Thompson, said his son is feeling better Thursday, but he needs to pass the league's concussion protocol before he can play again, reports the Associated Press.

The younger Thompson sustained a knee to his head during the Game 5 win over the Rockets on Wednesday. He suffered concussion-like symptoms after the contest.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for June 4 and Mychal said Klay is on track to play. 


Dwyane Wade's agent on contract talks with Heat: It's early
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) With the recent report indicating the Heat and Dwyane Wade are significantly apart in contract negotiations, Wade's agent said Thursday that there is still plenty of time to reach an agreement, reports the Sun Sentinel.

"It's relatively early," Wade's agent, Henry Thomas said. "He's had a tremendous career [with the Heat] and we're just trying to see whether or not there's room to continue that."

Wade has until late June to decide on whether to opt out of his contract, which would pay him $16.1 million during the 2015-16 season. He has spent his entire 12-year career with the Heat.


Hawks F Elton Brand undecided on retirement plans
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Hawks forward Elton Brand will take his time before deciding whether to return for his 17th NBA season, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"I'll see if I have another year of trying to get prepared and what it takes to be on an NBA roster," Brand said Thursday. "There is a lot of work you have to put in… After two or three weeks, I'll know. See if I have that itch. This team I might not and just lay back on the couch. We'll see."

Brand, 36, averaged 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 36 games this season.


Lakers G Wayne Ellington says his shoulder is healed
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) After missing the last two weeks of the season with a separated shoulder, Lakers guard Wayne Ellington said Thursday the injury has healed, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

Ellington was able to play in 65 games before suffering the season-ending injury. He averaged 10.0 points, 1.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds.


Lakers F Julius Randle cleared for half-court workouts
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Lakers forward Julius Randle has been cleared for full-contact half-court sessions, according to ESPN LA 710

Randle, who broke his leg in the first game of the 2014-15 season, can now participate in half-court sessions of 2-on-2 and 3-on-3. As part of a gradual progression in his recovery, the next step will be for Randle to be approved to take part in 4-on-4 games. 

Randle is hoping to re-join his team for the NBA summer league. Though he broke his leg, Randle still hit the gym and lost 18 pounds during the season. 


Surgery not needed for Hawks F Paul Millsap (shoulder)
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Hawks forward Paul Millsap will not need surgery on his injured shoulder, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Injuries took a toll on the Hawks in the Eastern Conference finals as Millsap, Kyle Korver (ankle), Shelvin Mack (shoulder) and DeMarre Carroll (knee, toe) all experienced them. For Millsap, it's a good sign that surgery isn't required as he now has plenty of time to let his shoulder heal on its own. 

Millsap is expected to explore plenty of options in free agency. He finished the year with averages of 16.7 points, 7.8 rebound and 3.1 assists per game. 


Report: Hawks' DeMarre Carroll interested in playing for Knicks
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll has interest in joining the Knicks this offseason, according to a report from the New York Post

Carroll used to work out with Knicks coach Derek Fisher in Southern California, which is the reason for the interest. Carroll, in a contract year, had the best NBA season of his career, posting averages of 12.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. 

He also built a reputation has being a strong defender. Carroll is coming off knee and turf toe injuries that he played through during this past NBA Eastern Conference finals. 


Rockets' James Harden sets playoff record with 13 turnovers
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Rockets guard James Harden committed an NBA playoffs record 13 turnovers in Wednesday night's 104-90 loss to the Warriors in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. 

The loss eliminated the Rockets from the postseason and advanced the Warriors to the NBA finals. 

"Unacceptable," Harden said, via NBA.com.

Harden, who was brilliant in a 45-point effort in Game 4, struggled throughout Wednesday's elimination game. He scored 14 points but only went 2-of-11 shooting from the field. He made 10 of 11 free throws and missed all three of his three-point attempts. 


Warriors' Thompson develops postgame concussion-like symptoms
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) The Warriors announced that guard Klay Thompson developed concussion-like symptoms after the team's Game 5 win over the Rockets, CBSSports.com NBA Insider Ken Berger reports.

Thompson "began to not feel well" after the game. The team also said that the guard was evaluated for a concussion after taking a knee to the head but did not exhibit concussion-like symptoms at the time. Thompson will have to pass concussion testing before being cleared for action in the NBA Finals.

Thompson scored 20 points on 8 of 14 shooting in his team's series-clinching win over the Rockets on Wednesday. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for June 4.


Warriors F Harrison Barnes scores 24 in Game 5 win over Rockets
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Warriors forward Harrison Barnes played one of his best games of the season in Thursday's 104-90 win over the Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. 

Barnes scored 24 points on 10-of-20 shooting from the field, which included going 2 for 5 from behind the arc. He also made both of his free-throw attempts. Barnes got a lot of looks around the rim late in the game, scoring 13 of his points in the fourth quarter. 

This marked the most points Barnes has scored this postseason and the second-highest he's scored all year. His season high is 25, scored against the Hawks in a win on March 18. 


 
 
 
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