Fantasy Basketball: One Week After the Trade Deadline

Tom LorenzoContributor IFebruary 27, 2009

With the trade deadline now a full week in our rear-view mirror, I figured it's time for an early look on how many of those trades are panning out.  

Here now are a few words on what's gone on and what's in store for a number of players who changed zip codes last week.  


Larry Hughes (PG/SG/SF, NYK)

The two statistics that fantasy owners look at when it comes to Larry Hughes are points and steals.  His career averages stand at 14.4 points and 1.5 steals per game, yet in his first 30 games with the Bulls this season Hughes netted only 12.0 points and stole just 1.2 balls in 26 minutes.  

With his trade to the Knicks many fantasy owners were hoping to see Hughes improve on those sub-par numbers in coach D'Antoni's free-flowing offense.  

However, heading into Friday night's action, Hughes was averaging a mere 3.3 points, 1.0 rebound, 0.7 assists, and 0.7 steals on 18.2 percent shooting.  Stick a fork in him, right?  

Not so fast.  

Hughes really shined on Friday night against the 76ers with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 treys in 33 minutes.  Something tells me that we're going to see a lot more of Larry Hughes in New York.

 But, buyer beware.  

He's been inconsistent over the past three seasons. I'd look for Hughes to have some nice games going forward, but I'll warn you that he is prone to have some off nights along the way.


Chris Wilcox (PF/C, NYK)

I'll be brief on this one.  Chris Wilcox will not see enough time on the court to make a difference. The Knicks were looking for another guard, which helped Hughes' value. Wicox has yet to see more than 11 minutes in any of the four games he's played since joining the Knicks.  He has no value at all right now.


John Salmons (SG/SF, CHI) 

The Bulls already had a bevy of guards and wing players when they pulled the trigger on the John Salmons trade. In Sacramento Salmons was the lead small forward and the team's second leading scorer posting 18.3 points per game.  

With the Bulls, Salmons has and will continue to come off the bench.  His first three games seemed a little discerning for fantasy owners.  

In Sacramento he was taking 14.0 field goal attempts in 37 minutes of action, while in Chicago he was taking only 7.0 field goals in 28 minutes heading into Friday.  His role has obviously changed.  

However, in Friday's game against the Wizards Salmons really took off.  He had 25 points in a little over 30 minutes, adding two three-pointers on 8-13 shooting from the floor.

 Salmons is not a guy you want to let go of, but you also have to wonder how many nights he can lead the Bulls in both scoring and field goal attempts.  Not many, but probably just enough to keep his owners quite happy the rest of the way.


Brad Miller (C, CHI)

It depends on which Brad Miller you want to talk about here.  If you're valuing Miller as a double-double candidate on a nightly basis then you aren't going to be happy with this move.  Miller is a nice "value" center.

If you took him as your second or third center then you can go on enjoying 12 and eight out of him in nearly 23 minutes of play. He's better than any center on your waiver wires, but he's not going to play 30 minutes a night anytime soon with Joakim Noah showing to be a worthwhile starter.  


Rafer Alston (PG, ORL)

What do I like about Alston in Orlando?  Well he's already showing to be a better play-maker in his first five games with the Magic upping his assists from 5.4 in Houston to 6.3 with his new team.

I can see him dishing even more assists as he gets comfortable in the offense.  Right there is a nice plus for Alston owners.  Another plus are his steals.

 He is averaging nearly three steals per game with the Magic, as opposed to the 1.2 he was taking away in Houston. Where I am concerned is that he has knocked down only three treys in five games with Orlando, while he was averaging 1.7 per game in Houston.

You wonder if Alston knowing that he's better off driving and dishing while playing on the league's best three-point shooting team is a better option than camping out beyond the arc with the rest of his teammates.

Alston is a good option for assists, steals, some points, and a poor field goal percentage. That is something you need to be aware of going forward, but if you can live with a few poor shooting performances than enjoy having Alston in your lineup.


Andres Nocioni (SF/PF, SAC)

Early returns show Nocioni as the winner in plus production of players who were dealt on the trade deadline. He's gone from coming off the bench in Chicago for 24 minutes per game to playing a more sizable role off the bench in Sacramento for almost 30 minutes per.  Nocioni is also taking on a more aggressive scoring role.

He was taking only 8.5 field goal attempts in Chi-town, while now hoisting a notch over 10 per game in Sac-town.  I also like that he is taking 2.7 more free-throw attempts per game as a King.

This shows me once again that he is getting more aggressive with the ball.  Nocioni was NOT an option as a Bull, but now you have to give him a second look.  Those in deeper leagues need to add Nocioni.  

His role in Sacramento is to essentially replace what was loss by John Salmons, and he's off to a good start.  


Thabo Sefolosha (SG/SF, OKC)

I'm not going to go nuts here and suggest that you all look at Sefolosha as an option, but if you want to seriously talk about a guy who improved his stock during the trade deadline, it's Thabo.

As a Bull he was playing only 17 minutes per game coming off the bench. Now in Oklahoma City he is in the starting lineup and encroaching on 30 minutes per game. He's picking off 2.0 steals per game and had 12 points, 8 rebounds, and two threes on Friday night against the Mavs.

I actually like him a lot in deeper leagues, since he should remain as the starting two-guard for the Thunder. So, think about Thabo if you need some steals and a little help in your deep leagues.    


You can listen to Tom each Monday night at 8:00PM EST talk hoops on Blog Talk Radio's RotoRadio.  This week he is joined by Roland Beech of  Make sure to tune in and call or IM questions for Tom or Roland.  

Also, check out Tom and other great fantasy writers on