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Harden/Simmons Blockbuster and NBA Trade Deadline

What. A. Whirlwind. The NBA trade deadline has come and gone. Now that the dust has settled, let’s recap the newsworthy trades, and discuss how it affects NBA fantasy basketball. Onward!

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Notable Trades:

Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers

Nets get: 

  • Ben Simmons
  • Seth Curry
  • Andre Drummond
  • 2022 1st round pick
  • 2027 1st round pick

76ers get:

  • James Harden
  • Paul Millsap
  • 1st Round Draft Pick in 2022 OR 2023

How it affects fantasy:

Ben Simmons needs to be claimed in waiver wires immediately if he hasn’t been already. He goes to a team where he never has to shoot the ball again if he doesn’t want to. He just needs to bring his DPOY-worthy defense to Brooklyn. He’ll average 10 points and 10 assists by accident. Seth Curry’s value is up in the short-term, but down when KD and Joe Harris get back healthy. Andre Drummond’s stock skyrockets as he becomes the plug-in starter and projects to 30+ minutes a night. Per 36 minutes, Drummond averages 12 points, 17 boards, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. Embiid and Harden’s stock stays the same. Harris stock is down, as is Tyrese Maxey’s.

Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks

Wiz get: 

  • Kristaps Porzingis
  • 2022 2nd round pick

Mavs get:

  • Spencer Dinwiddie
  • Davis Bertans

How it affects fantasy:

The Mavs either don’t think Luka and Kristaps work together long-term, or they’re worried about his knee, because this wasn’t a salary dump as the salaries match almost perfectly. Kristaps stock goes up, as he’ll have the most usage on the team with Brad Beal out for the year. Provided Porzingis plays, of course. Kuzma’s stock is down as his rebounding totals will slip. Beal’s stock stays the same. Thomas Bryant’s stock is up, as is Raul Neto’s and Ish Smith’s as the only true point guards remaining on the roster. Dinwiddie’s stock is down, as he’ll defer to Luka. Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell play familiar roles of starting bigs while Porzingis is out.

Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs

Celtics get: 

  • Derrick White

Spurs get:

  • Josh Richardson
  • Romeo Langford
  • 2022 1st round pick
  • 2028 1st round pick swap

How it affects fantasy:

Derrick White’s stock is down now that he’ll solely be playing distributor to Boston’s boring offense that is simply, “Give Tatum the ball, or give Jaylen the ball.” Tatum and Jaylen’s stock stay the same. Dejounte Murray’s stock also stays the same. I don’t think he could have any more usage than he already gets. Perhaps Richardson stays a 6th man, and Lonnie Walker gets more run with the starters. Otherwise, not much changes in the fantasy world.

Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets

Celtics get: 

  • Daniel Theis

Rockets get:

  • Dennis Schroder
  • Bruno Fernando
  • Enes Freedom

How it affects fantasy:

Daniel Theis will get to play and should probably be picked up off the waiver wire. They sent Schroder to hell, but at least he’ll get to shoot more with the Rockets pace of play. Sengun still isn’t free from Chris Wood.

Kings, Pistons, Clippers, and Bucks

Kings get: 

  • Donte DiVencenzo
  • Josh Jackson
  • Trey Lyles

Pistons get:

  • Marvin Bagley Jr.

Clippers get:

  • Rodney Hood
  • Semi Ojeleye

Bucks get:

  • Serge Ibaka
  • Warriors or Cavs 2nd round pick (whichever is best)
  • Kings 2024 2nd round pick
  • Cash

How it affects fantasy:

White Donte’s stock is up, he’ll get to do a little more than three and D on this roster. Marvin Bagley is free to get real minutes, so he finally gets his wish to be a starter, as the Pistons take a flier. Nothing changes of note on the Clippers. Serge Ibaka’s stock stays the same, as he was heating up/getting more minutes with the Clippers lately and he’ll likely get that same usage with the Bucks.

Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards

Hornets get: 

  • Montrezl Harrell

Wizards get:

  • Ish Smith
  • Vernon Carey
  • Celtics 2023 2nd round pick

How it affects fantasy:

Trez is free to potentially get a minutes upgrade on the Hornets, but Plumlee has been playing well. Ish Smith is probably the co-starter with Raul Neto now, on the Wizards. Vernon Carey should also see 20+ minutes for the first time in his career.

Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs

Raptors get: 

  • Thad Young
  • Drew Eubanks
  • Pistons or Bulls’ 2nd round pick, whichever is better

Spurs get:

  • Goran Dragic
  • Raptors 2022 1st round pick

How it affects fantasy:

It doesn’t. Young probably won’t play much. Eubanks will get waived. So will Goran Dragic.

Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers

Cavaliers get: 

  • Caris LeVert
  • 2022 second-round pick (via Miami)

Pacers get:

  • Ricky Rubio
  • 2022 first-round draft pick (lottery protected)
  • 2022 second-round pick (via Houston)
  • 2022 second-round pick (via Utah)

What it means for your fantasy team:

If you are a Caris LeVert owner, I believe his value stays the same. LeVert’s role on the Pacers was to be the team’s 2nd option behind Domantas Sabonis, and primary option when they needed late buckets. His role on the Cavs would be very similar, if not improved. I think Garland would remain the team’s primary ball-handler, but LeVert’s presence would take the scoring load away from him. Further, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley provide assist value as pick and roll assets for LeVert. On the downside, the Cavs play at a slower pace than the Pacers did, and fewer possessions may correlate to fewer fantasy points.

We’ll revisit the Pacers’ fantasy expectations shortly, as they weren’t finished making big moves…

Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angelos Clippers

Clippers get:

  • Norman Powell
  • Robert Covington

Blazers get: 

  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Justise Winslow
  • Keon Johnson
  • 2025 second-round pick (via Detroit)

Yuck. The Blazers just executed a salary dump. I don’t like it at all. My immediate reaction is that Dame will be gone soon, as he won’t want to stick around for a rebuild. But then again, the Blazers wouldn’t make a move like this without Dame signing off on it. Looking forward, Dame becomes even more of a usage monster, but he’s hurt right now, so that usage will shift to Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic in the meantime. The Clippers got much better in the long-term as they now have a bonafide third scorer to go with Paul George and Leonard. They are also both injured, so it’s safe to say that the scoring load still goes with Morris and Powell (whose role wouldn’t change as a bucket getter, and nothing else). As a slight aside, I’d like to mention that this could be a career reviving move for Justise Winslow in the short term. He has a path to 25+ minutes per game while Dame is out, and when he was getting steady minutes, he flirted with triple-doubles on good nights.

Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers

Kings get: 

  • Domantas Sabonis
  • Jeremy Lamb
  • Justin Holiday
  • 2027 2nd round pick

Pacers get:

  • Tyrese Haliburton
  • Buddy Hield
  • Tristan Thompson

This was a flabbergasting trade to me. I have no clue what the Kings are up to. They traded Haliburton who is one of the best draft picks they’ve made in decades. A piece that many franchises would consider someone to build around. In order to get Sabonis (who I consider an elite big, but not worth trading away an elite guard). I understand that the Kings have a surplus of guards, but that’s not a bad thing in today’s NBA. The more guards the better. In terms of fantasy, Sabonis’ value is unchanged. On the Pacers, he was an elite fantasy big with a scoring burden who can rebound at an elite clip and is an underrated passer. He gets that same tag with the Kings, but Fox and Mitchell will push a faster pace, which is a positive bonus. Lamb and Holiday are afterthoughts in fantasy. As for Haliburton, his value might decline playing on a slower-paced team, with Malcolm Brogdon as the primary ball-handler, but not enough that you should consider trading him if he’s on your squad. The real bumps go to Isaiah Jackson and Goga Bitadze, as Sabonis’ departure creates a minutes/value vacuum for those two to fill.

All-in-all, these moves were primarily impactful for real-life teams, as opposed to your fantasy teams. I wouldn’t make any changes to your roster, unless it’s taking a flier on Justise Winslow, Bitadze, and/or Jackson. They could provide nice short-term value to your squads because I don’t anticipate them being long-term plans for these organizations.

Notable Pieces That Weren’t Traded:

  • Russell Westbrook
  • John Wall
  • Jerami Grant
  • Myles Turner
  • John Collins
  • Harrison Barnes

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