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Fantasy Basketball: Trading LeBron James Is a Good Idea

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Fantasy Basketball: Trading LeBron James Is a Good Idea
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Trading LeBron James might be a good idea for your fantasy squad.

Let's get some things out of the way quickly. LeBron James is having a season like no other. Believe it or not, that's not hyperbole. 

James is currently on pace to become the only player in NBA history to ever average more than 25 points-per-game on 58 percent shooting with at least 6.5 rebounds and 6 assists per game. No one. Not Michael. Not Bird. Not Magic. Not Kobe. Not a single solitary soul. Throw in the 1.5 3-pointers and 1.2 steals he's averaging a game and you get the Frankenstein of fantasy basketball. He does everything. 

If you were one of the few fantasy basketball players to have a gold ticket to LeBron James' Fantasy Factory, the time is now to pawn that ticket to the highest fantasy bidder. 

Despite the historic pace James is currently on, fantasy owners would have to just look at the schedule to see where James is most limited. 

January 6 (Week 11) to March 23 (Week 21) marks the remaining weeks of the fantasy basketball season. The Miami Heat, along with the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz, will play a league-low 34 games. In head-to-head leagues, having a greater amount of players will always be a significant advantage. 

You may ask yourself why James Harden or Chris Paul isn't the topic of fantasy trade conversation here. The Utah Jazz are devoid of any real elite fantasy contributors so I'll eliminate them from the discussion. As of this writing, the Rockets are 21-13 and ranked 6th in the Western Conference. The Clippers are 22-12 and currently sit in the 4th playoff spot in the Western Conference. Both teams will be in a dog fight to secure better playoff seeds in the embattled Western Conference. Paul and Harden should retain first-round value as they play through the rest of the fantasy basketball season.

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So, we're left with LeBron James. For all his immeasurable talents, the NBA schedule will severely limit his fantasy value towards the end of the fantasy basketball regular season. 

The Miami Heat play in the laughable Eastern Conference. 11 teams in the Eastern Conference are under .500 and the Heat are just one game behind the Indiana Pacers. A total of four (four!) teams are playing at or above .500 basketball. 

What might that mean for James and his fantasy owners?

As the season wears on, James may be taking days off as the Heat prepare to win their third consecutive NBA title. The Heat's only competition in the East are the Indiana Pacers whom they will have to battle with for home court advantage in the playoffs. Still, LeBron is scheduled to play only 34 more times in the remainder of the fantasy basketball season. 

By contrast, the Washington Wizards will lace it up 39 times betwixt January 6 and March 23. Offering James to a John Wall owner will score you at least five more games, barring injury.

LeBron James may be having a historic season but could be coming up empty when fantasy owners need him most. 

You can follow John Otano on Twitter @MisterOtano.

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