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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
Magic F Aaron Gordon (ankle) available to play against Suns
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:30 pm ET) Magic forward Aaron Gordon will be available for Wednesday night's game against the Suns, according to the Orlando Sentinel

Gordon has an ankle injury, though he was able to participate in Orlando's shootaround. Gordon missed the Magic's previous two games. 

The Magic are 4 1/2-point underdogs to the Suns. 


Pacers PG C.J. Watson dealing with elbow soreness
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:30 pm ET) Pacers point guard C.J. Watson is available to play Wednesday but is dealing with elbow soreness, VigilantSports.com reports.

Donald Sloan will receive extra minutes, and it's possible Watson is held out of the game entirely despite his availability. He has averaged 9.6 points and 3.7 assists in 41 games.

The Pacers are 13 1/2-point favorites at home against the Knicks Wednesday.


Pacers C Roy Hibbert (rest) will not play vs. Knicks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:26 pm ET) Pacers center Roy Hibbert will be rested Wednesday and miss his team's matchup with the Knicks, VigilantSports.com reports.

Ian Mahinmi will draw the start in place of Hibbert, while Lavoy Allen will also be part of the frontcourt rotation. Hibbert has averaged 10.9 points and 7.2 rebounds in 55 games.

The Pacers are 13 1/2-point favorites at home against the Knicks Wednesday.


Magic's Evan Fournier, Luke Ridnour will not play Wednesday
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:26 pm ET) The Magic will be without guards Evan Fournier and Luke Ridnour for Wednesday's game against the Suns, according to the Orlando Sentinel

Fournier has a hip injury and Ridnour has a hamstring injury. Ridnour's injury kept him out of Wednesday afternoon's shootaround. 

The Magic are 4 1/2-point underdogs. 


Kings C DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) probable vs. Spurs
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:20 pm ET) Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is probable to play Wednesday against the Spurs due to a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

Cousins recently missed two games with the ankle issue but was able to return Tuesday, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in 29 minutes. He has averaged 23.6 points and 12.2 rebounds in 44 games.

The Kings are 10 1/2-point underdogs in San Antonio Wednesday.


G Bradley Beal: Wizards need to stop playing selfish basketball
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:11 pm ET) Wizards guard Bradley Beal had some strong words for the way his team has played over the past month. 

Since Jan. 28, the Wizards have lost 12 of their past 15 games. Beal, via the Monumental Network, said Washington hasn't been playing team basketball, which is the reason for the recent skid. 

"We have to get back to playing the way we did earlier in the year," Beal said. "We're taking a lot of shortcuts. We're taking the easy way out instead of working and doing everything we need to do to win. I think sometimes we're just trying to get by in a lot of areas of the game instead of just doing the hard things. I think once we get back to that and start sacrificing ourselves, and once we're more of an unselfish team, defensively, then I think we'll be fine."

Though Beal noted the Wizards aren't playing cohesively, he said it's not anything players are doing on purpose. It appears to be a case of players pressing and trying to figure out a way to stop the recent losing trend the Wizards have been on. 

"Individually we're trying to make up for it and we're trying to do things on our own," Beal said. "It's not necessarily bad, but it is bad. You're getting out of the team concept. [But] the intentions aren't bad."


Ray Allen announces he won't play in 2014-15 season
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:57 pm ET) Guard Ray Allen will not play during the 2014-15 season, his agent announced Wednesday.

"Over the past several months, I have taken a lot of time to deliberate what is best for me," Allen said in a statement. "I’ve ultimately decided that I will not play this NBA season. I’m going to take the remainder of this season, as well as the upcoming off-season, to reassess my situation, spend time with my family and determine if I will play in the 2015-16 season."

Allen made 73 appearances with the Heat in 2013-14, averaing a career-low 9.6 points and 26.5 minutes per game.


Magic SF Devyn Marble (eye) out 4-6 weeks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:33 pm ET) Magic small forward Devyn Marble will miss the next four-to-six weeks due to a detached retina in his left eye, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Marble has made 16 appearances with the Magic, averaging 2.3 points and 13.0 minutes per game. He's also seen six games of action with Erie of the NBA Development League, averaging 13.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 30.3 minutes per game.


Hornets G Kemba Walker (knee) cleared for basketball activities
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4:30 pm ET) Hornets guard Kemba Walker's knee is ready for basketball again. 

Walker has been cleared to begin basketball activities, the Hornets announced on Wednesday. Walker has been recovering from a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. He had surgery to repair the injury on Jan. 28. 

Walker is able to participate in practice without restrictions. 

Per the Charlotte Observer, coach Steve Clifford said Walker could play by the time the Hornets head to the West Coast for a four-game trip beginning on March 16.  

In 42 games this season, Walker is averaging 18.8 points per outing. 


Spurs' Jarell Eddie following Danny Green career path
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:29 pm ET) Austin Spurs forward Jarell Eddie is modeling his career patch on current Spurs guard Danny Green, Spurs.com reports.

"I look at the way Danny rose up in the Spurs organization, and the way he can knock down shots, but also does the little things," Eddie said last week. "I look at him, and I know what I have to do to make it myself."

Eddie has made 42.2 percent of his three-point attempts and won the NBA Development League Three-Point Contest in February.

"Shooting’s a premium at the NBA level," Eddie said. "With the release that I have and the size that I have, I’ve always had the mindset the I’m an NBA player. Now, it's clear that if you keep working in the D-League, someone will spot you."

Green indicated that the intangibles picked up in the NBADL have helped him make a leap.

"It lights a fire under you to see what it really takes to make it to the NBA," Green said. "So you spend that extra time picking up things defensively. I feel like I’m the guy they look at a lot of times because I just worked really hard and can shoot the ball. Us D-League guys didn’t have the easiest path, but it’s a path that’s worth taking."


 
 
 
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