By Derek of The Sportmeisters
The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t been NBA Champs for that long, as teams are trying to make a play for next year already, with what were some major deals that will affect how some teams project to finish next year.
What I am going to discuss today is the fantasy impact of those trades and who is impacted. Let’s get started, shall we?
Cleveland Cavaliers Trade C/F Ben Wallace and G Sasha Pavlovic to Phoenix Suns for C Shaquille O’Neal
So Shaq appears to be back and the Cavs seem to think that he will be the answer to LeBron’s inability to win a championship. However, that’s not what I am here to discuss. (I leave that to Ryan and Justin).
Instead, let’s look at the fantasy impact. With Shaq coming in, that is going to move Big Z (Zydrunas Ilgauskas) to the bench. Ilgauskas averaged 27 minutes, 13 points, and 7.5 rebounds per game last year, and those numbers will all drop, making him nearly undraftable.
If Shaq can stay healthy, he could put up similar numbers as last year in Phoenix (17.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.4 blocks), but 14 and seven are more likely. In Phoenix there won’t be much change, except that Steve Nash won’t have Shaq to slow down the run-and-gun offense anymore. Nash should bounce back from a disappointing 2008-2009 season.
San Antonio Spurs Trade F Bruce Bowen, C Fabricio Oberto, and F Kurt Thomas to Milwaukee Bucks for F Richard Jefferson
This trade will have huge implications on both the real side and the fantasy side of things. On the fantasy side, Jefferson comes to a team that already has a Big Three in Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili.
With him no longer being the only player on the roster that is a real threat, his stats will be quite different. He will no longer be an elite scorer, but he should shoot many more three-pointers. As for the Big Three, expect the numbers to be about the same, except Ginobili’s points per game may drop some.
Orlando Magic trade G Rafer Alston, G Courtney Lee, and F/C Tony Battie to New Jersey Nets for G/F Vince Carter and F Ryan Anderson
Carter comes back home and Alston goes back to the bench.
After Jameer Nelson was injured, Alston took over as the starting point guard after being acquired from Houston. He started 76 games last year, but will be back to a role as the sixth man, a role he hasn’t played since the 2003-2004 season in Miami. His numbers will obviously dip and the move to the bench makes him almost undraftable.
However, Courtney Lee may end up benefiting from the trade. He will likely move into the starting shooting guard role and could definitely up his 8.4 points per game average from his rookie season.
As for Orlando, Nelson moves back into the starting role and gets to now play with two dynamic players. His scoring numbers may drop a bit, but his assist numbers should rise and that’s what you want from a fantasy point guard.
As for Carter, he has always been a great fantasy player and this won’t change that. His scoring numbers might drop, but assists, three-pointers, and field goal percentage should increase.
Now, we’re going to talk about the NBA Draft and the top two rookies who may help your fantasy team this year.
F—Blake Griffin—Los Angeles Clippers
You don’t draft a guy No. 1 and not use him. This guy just keeps impressing everyone and now the Clippers are in a tough spot, as they already have Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, and Zach Randolph at that position.
However, they are reportedly trying to trade one or two of them so they can free up some minutes for Griffin. Expect 15-25 minutes as a rookie with 12-plus points and seven-plus rebounds per game.
G—Stephen Curry—Golden State Warriors
This kid was amazing in college and should have no problem finding time in the NBA. The Warriors play a fast-paced style game, much like he played in college. However, there are rumors that he is on the trading block in the attempted Amare Stoudamire deal in Phoenix. Either way, Curry should have plenty of fantasy value next year.
That’s all for now, any questions or concerns email me at Derek@Sportmeisters.com.