It is no surprise that the Golden State Warriors were the first team to make a major deal this season, trading the disgruntled Stephen Jackson (and Acie Law) to the Charlotte Bobcats for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic.
Charlotte fans have to be happy; while they don't really need Law, the addition of Jackson gives them a big wing who can help this team score some points with his shooting and his ability to create for others.
If you're a Warriors fan (and I'm sorry if you are), another shooting guard and a player who thinks he's a shooting guard isn't exactly what the team needs.
This may not be the final move either team makes this season, but it will impact your fantasy basketball season. Let's take a closer look.
Going from the highest-scoring team in the NBA to the lowest-scoring team usually doesn't turn out well from a fantasy basketball perspective, but Jackson owners need to remain optimistic about the move.
This season Jackson was playing six fewer minutes per game than each of the last two seasons, and it impacted his scoring by four points. All of the turmoil in the East Bay was reflected in his free-throw and three-point percentages, and Jackson was simply not hitting his potential.
The Bobcats will have to decide if they want to go big with their lineup (starting Jackson at shooting guard and leaving Gerald Wallace at small forward), or if they want to move Wallace to the power forward, which would put Boris Diaw on the bench in order to start second-year combo guard D.J. Augustin or rookie Gerald Henderson at the two.
Overall, Jackson is a better basketball player than Bell. His ability to play the two or the three means he should play mid-30s minutes, and in that time he will produce a high-teens scoring average. Jackson focuses on defense, so you can trust he will earn steals, and he is one of the most underrated passing wings in the NBA.
It seems like coach Larry Brown isn't ready to play Gerald Henderson big minutes, and this should open the door for Augustin to play over 20 minutes per game, something he hasn't done since Nov. 6.
There is no need to sell any Bobcats because of the move. If you are in a deep league, Augustin should become relevant—maybe even Henderson too. If there is an owner in your league disappointed in Jackson's numbers, take him at a discount, because he is going to a team that will need him to win games.
Golden State Warriors
Although Raja Bell does like to shoot the three (something he will be allowed to do freely in Oakland), his size and defense give Golden State two things they didn't have at shooting guard. The problem is the Warriors have too many guys who can play the position to begin with.
The starting backcourt of Steph Curry and Monta Ellis has been a failed experiment in GS to date, and while Anthony Morrow is an impressive shooter, he doesn't have the all-around game of Bell.
As long as Bell can avoid injuries, he should continue to play over 30 minutes per game and will get more attempts in that time with the increased pace of the game, giving him the potential to average over 15 points for the first time in his career.
Monta Ellis owners shouldn't worry about the move, as he will continue to be the driving force of the Warriors offense. If you own Morrow, it is primarily for threes; he may take a hit in overall scoring, but he will still get his looks when in the game.
Role player Kelenna Azubuike would have earned more playing time with the trade but a patella injury has him sidelined indefinitely. In Azubuike and Jackson's place Corey Maggette should enter the starting role and be a start-worth fantasy player, until he gets hurt.
Now that Jackson is gone, the Warriors will need Anthony Randolph to do even more, and I wouldn't be surprised if he enters the starting lineup soon, as long as he can avoid injuries.
This move doesn't look good for Morrow or Curry owners, but Randolph is a guy worth getting, as is Maggette. Bell has a relatively low price tag; he isn't a stellar fantasy performer, but he's a nice addition if you are looking for a shooting guard.