Man, I love the NBA trade deadline from a fantasy basketball standpoint. Every trade creates value, or at least, adjusts the value for a player or two. As the dust settles from Thursday’s trade deadline, we see many new faces in new places including a former Boston Celtics star as a Los Angeles Laker and a whole slew of new faces surrounding LeBron James in Cleveland.
This week also is a short week due to NBA all-star festivities kicking off on Friday. All teams either have one or two games this week so streaming will be downright impossible.
Games Played by Team This Week
4 Games: None
3 Games: None
2 Games: ATL, BKN, CHI, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHO, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA.
1 Game: BOS, CHA, CLE, DAL, IND, MEM, POR, WAS.
Trade Deadline Analysis
Orlando Trades Elfrid Payton to Phoenix for a 2018 2nd Round Pick
It’s no secret that I’m been down on Payton for a while, but this is a deal I like for his fantasy value. The Suns desperately needed a point guard and only had to give up a second-round pick to get one. Payton should immediately step into significant minutes for the Suns and has the chance to be a top-75 fantasy asset the rest of the way. Just don’t forget that he’s barely better than Shaq shooting free throws.
Back in Orlando, the departure of Payton provides a boost in value for D.J. Augustin and Jonathan Simmons. Augustin will step in as the starting point guard and has proven that he can provide solid fantasy value when given the chance. The upside isn’t great, but Augustin could flirt with top-100 value thanks to his contributions in points, assists, 3-pointers, and steals. Simmons will likely see a rise in usage rate and will be relied upon a little more as a playmaker as well. Both he and Augustin are decent pickups in 12+ team leagues.
Emmanuel Mudiay to New York, Devin Harris and a 2nd Round Pick to Denver, Doug McDermott and a 2nd Round Pick to Dallas.
This trade is a whole lot of blah. The only player with any hint of fantasy relevance is Mudiay, but he’s not a recommended add outside of 16+ team leagues. The biggest impact from this trade is on Jarrett Jack and Frank Ntilikina, both of which can safely be dropped now that Mudaiy will be taking a lot of their minutes away.
Dwyane Wade Returns to Miami for a 2024 2nd Round Pick
Well, that was an awfully short tenure away from Miami. After just a season and a half in Chicago and Cleveland, Wade returns to the team that he spent the first 13 years of his career with. Nothing will change about his fantasy value though. Wade wasn’t worth owning before the trade and still isn’t worth owning now.
Cleveland Receives: George Hill and Rodney Hood
Utah Receives: Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose
Sacramento Receives: Joe Johnson, Iman Shumpert, and a 2020 2nd Round pick
Firstly, everyone not going to the Cavaliers in this trade aren’t fantasy relevant and can be left on the waiver wire for now. However, the newest Cavs are and have seen their respective fantasy value trend in opposite directions. Hill will step in as the starting point guard and should see an uptick in points, assists, and overall fantasy value the rest of the way playing next to Lebron.
Inversely, Hood’s value takes a slight dip. He goes from being one of the top scoring options in Utah to a cluster of wings all vying for shots. Don’t expect anything more than late-round value the rest of the way due to the likely drop off in his scoring and 3-point contributions.
With Hood out of town, there’s only one legit scoring option left on this Utah roster and that man is Donovan Mitchell. I’d be trying to get every share of Mitchell I can right now as he’s going to be a difference maker down the stretch. If given the choice, I’d take him over Klay Thompson for the rest of the 2017-18 season. You heard me!
Crowder’s value will stay the same which means he’s still not worth owning outside of 14+ team leagues right now.
Cleveland Receives: Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
Los Angeles Receives: Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and a 2018 1st Round Pick.
Isaiah Thomas is now on his third team in a little over six months, but this time, the move should help Thomas’ fantasy value. It was obvious that he was a bad fit in Cleveland, but now he goes to a Lakers team deprived of a big-time scoring option. It will be interesting to see how Luke Walton uses Thomas once Lonzo Ball returns to the lineup, but regardless, Thomas will have the opportunity to be to focal point of an offense.
Take everything I just said about Hood above and apply it here. Clarkson joins a logjam of wings and will be even lower on the offensive pecking order than Hood. He’s not going to be worth owning in fantasy while he’s in Cleveland. On the other hand, Larry Nance Jr. has an opportunity to carve out some fantasy value while Kevin Love is out of the lineup. Give him an add if you need a big man that can rebound and provide some defensive statistics.
Russell Westbrook (PG – OKC)
The triple-double maestro missed Thursday’s game with a sore ankle and was kept out of practice yesterday as well. No need to freak out though as this is more of a precautionary absence than anything else. Westbrook is a game0time decision tonight again Memphis so keep an eye on his status during shootaround.
Carmelo Anthony (SF/PF – OKC)
What is it with ankle injuries in OKC? Anthony has already missed two games, and like Westbrook, is a game-time call tonight against the Grizzlies. Again, this isn’t serious, just annoying.
Kristaps Porzingis (PF/C – NYK)
Unless you live under a rock or decided to distance yourself from people and electronics for the week, you know that Porzingis tore his ACL and will be out for the next nine months or so. I just needed this space to vent as he was on more than one of my fantasy teams this season. The value of Michael Beasley just got a big boost for rest of the season and he needs to be owned in all leagues.
Devin Booker (SG – PHO)
A hip injury has forced Devin Booker to miss the last three games and potentially could keep him out a few more. This isn’t a major injury but with only two road games left before the all-star break, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Suns hold their star guard out to give him some extra rest.
Lonzo Ball (PG – LAL)
While he’s getting closer, Ball is looking less and less likely to return from his knee injury before the all-star break. With only two games on back to back nights left, it wouldn’t shock me if Luke Walton kept his rookie point guard out through the break.
Thank-you for reading and I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members. Got a question about a player not covered here? Follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask me there.