As the end of 2023 inches closer, we gain one step towards the first date in the NBA trade cycle: December 15th. This week is going to be full of fake trades and dream scenarios. With that in mind, injuries have been plaguing the league once more, and it is vastly important to be able to account for that. I have suffered a loss or two from weekly injuries piling up. Overall, the mailbag is usually fun, and we will have some this week. Toward the end, the weekly rant question will be a rant about a certain rebuilding team as well. You just certainly love to see it! Welcome back.
Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Trade-In Boosts and Injured Teams
Here we go, may as well get started.
Which players are most likely to get a big boost in their fantasy games if they or their teammates get traded? – Mart (of Fantrax HQ)
There are going to be a few of these scenarios that make sense, but lets identify some teams that are going to be sellers first. The popular team is the Chicago Bulls. Following, the Toronto Raptors, the Portland Trailblazers, the Utah Jazz, the Washington Wizards, and the Charlotte Hornets. I would not be surprised if the Atlanta Hawks made a huge move either. I would put the Detroit Pistons on this list, but they do not have much to sell.
Alternatively, teams that are likely to buy are lengthy as well. The Miami Heat, the New York Knicks, the Indiana Pacers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Atlanta Hawks, the Sacramento Kings, the Dallas Mavericks, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Houston Rockets are all a part of that list. Let’s do some trades.
The Chicago Bulls
The Bulls have a few players they will most likely part with, which will open up some minutes for incoming players and currently rostered players. First, is Coby White, who has started the entire season while averaging 13.4 Points and 4.1 assists per game. He’s improved his steal rate, and continues to shoot at an above-average rate from three. His usage will likely rise above 20% given a trade of DeMar Derozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic. Patrick Williams and Andre Drummond will experience these boosts too, given that neither will likely get traded.
Everyone does fake trades, but here are a few that will likely net out assets Chicago wants.
Chicago gets: Buddy Hield, Jarace Walker
Indiana gets: DeMar DeRozan
Value increases: Buddy Hield and Jarace Walker. Jarace would get some much-needed growth opportunity in Chicago, while Buddy would most likely flip to another team.
Honestly, I am struggling to find a deal with LaVine. It would require some direct swaps, and while I think there are some teams that would be worthwhile swap partners, that would have to be a position they want to be in. For example, I think it would be good value all around if Chicago and Cleveland made some swaps. The two small guard, two non-shooting big combo is not going to work out long term. Similarly, with the Hawks, I expect a shakeup sometime soon. Having two of the same players is redundant.
Here’s one surrounding Nikola Vucevic
Chicago get: Ivica Zubac, Kobe Brown, Amir Coffey, Bones Hyland
Los Angeles Clippers get: Nikola Vucevic
This would vastly improve the depth and viability of the Bulls’ long-term roster, as well as the Clippers’ ability to score without giving up rebounds. This would allow players like Kobe Brown, Amir Coffey, and Bones Hyland to get significant improvements in minutes and usage. Vucevic would most likely retain his overall viability in a setting where he is the fourth option. Zubac would be a go-to post scorer without DeRozan as well!
Zach LaVine Gets Tricky
The best fit for me is in the East, but more specifically New York. Both the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks are perfect examples of players to watch out for.
Brooklyn gets: Zach LaVine
Chicago gets: Ben Simmons, Cam Thomas, and two first-round picks.
New York Knicks get: Zach Lavine
Chicago Bulls get: RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier + draft capital.
Either of these is going to drive up the value of the traded players to Chicago. Ben Simmons would get more usage, as would Cam Thomas and RJ Barrett.
The Portland Trailblazers
Portland has two major assets they would plan on moving on from, maybe three. Malcolm Brogdon, Jerami Grant, and Anfernee Simons. Simons is included in this list for the redundancy of the rebuild, and I think is being used improperly. Teams that need point guards are few and far between. First, let’s start off with Orlando.
The Orlando Magic get: Malcolm Brogdon
Portland would receive: Gary Harris, Chuma Okeke, Jett Howard, and the future Denver pick protected 1-5.
Malcolm Brogdon fits this team perfectly. He’s efficient, an average defender, and can distribute the rock while also having a premium backup like Cole Anthony as an insurance policy. Giving him this run would benefit both situations in a fantasy way. Jett Howard starts to get minutes, and Gary Harris would most likely get waived.
Alternatively, moving Jerami Grant is tougher. On top of his larger salary, he is not playing at a value needed for a contending team. Here’s what a trade would entail:
Portland acquires: Gordon Hayward, Gary Trent Jr. back, two lottery-protected first-round picks.
Charlotte acquires: Jerami Grant
Toronto acquires: Anfernee Simons
This restructuring benefits a few players fantasy-wise. First, it benefits Grant. He would get immediate relief from defenses playing next two a variety of different scorers, and allow him to defend alongside Mark Williams. Second, it would benefit Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe having usage freed up and shooters alongside them. Basically, it would benefit the Raptors’ overall scoring capability with a dynamic on-off scorer like Simons to take the pressure off of Scottie Barnes.
I have touched on nearly every team that was mentioned, with the inclusion of the Nets.
Rant of the Week! – Should Monty Williams have turned down the Pistons head coaching offer in the offseason? Are there any redeemable Pistons players? – Evan
No, and yes. You do not turn down that kind of money, ever. That would be like winning the lottery and saying the state can keep all of the money. He took the money, and the success of the team is also part of his issue as it is anyone else’s. Why was James Wiseman playing over anyone? Why are the lineups not maximized? Essentially, until he comes right out and blames Troy Weaver, these are his crosses to bear.
Redeemable, yes. Jaden Ivey is dynamic and efficient, with good marks in assists and rebounds for a second-year guard who struggled to get started. Buy Ivey stock now. The team has talked about moving Cade off ball to maximize player development and offensive sets. If you are a Cade Cunningham owner, rejoice! Finally, he will start playing his real positions of the 2 and 3. Jaden Ivey and Cade Cunnigham are discount Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic.