Fantasy Hoops Winners and Losers of the NBA Trading Deadline
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While there are a plethora of people out there that are ready to tell you exactly why you need to be excited to see Carmelo Anthony playing for the New York Knicks for the next few years, there are plenty of other important trades that went down in the past week throughout the NBA that fantasy owners should pay attention to.
Obviously, the most important move was the one that sent Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz to the New Jersey Nets.
It's not often you see a team give up a legitimate top-5 point guard in this league (and aside from Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and Steve Nash, you won't find one better), but I think that it's evident that the Utah organization never really got over the shock of what happened with Jerry Sloan.
Yet while this move was important, I don't see any real winners in the deal, except maybe Derrick Favors.
Paul Millsap has been doing great for the Jazz since Carlos Boozer left for Chicago last summer, but now with Favors, the team has a legitimate young stud they can groom to be a future banger in this league.
Deron Williams is a big loser here, though. It's hard for a point guard to really be strong as a fantasy player when he doesn't have much talent around him to help deflect the opposition's best defenders.
At least when he was in Utah, he could depend on players like Millsap, Mehmet Okur or CJ Miles to step up and help take some of the pressure off. He doesn't have that support system in New Jersey.
Who Do You Think Is The Biggest Winner?
Unless Brook Lopez plans on being able to start producing 30-and-15 nights as often as Zach Randolph, fantasy owners should probably consider this a great time to look to trade Williams. Maximize his value before the playoffs.
A player who really stands to grow a lot in his fantasy value is Ty Lawson. The Denver Nuggets have been relying on the leadership of Chauncey Billups since they acquired him from Detroit in what was Joe Dumars' version of "Eyes Wide Shut," trading Billups for Allen Iverson and then pairing him in the backcourt with Rip Hamilton and/or Rodney Stuckey.
Well, over the past two years now, Lawson has been riding the pine behind Billups, learning how to be a leader and taking the opportunity to contribute when he's been on the court.
Now that his minutes should almost double to at least 30 minutes per game, expect a greater output from him. Hoops fans are worried that Ray Felton may hurt him, but Felton has been strongest in support roles for the last few years now.
A player who obviously lost some fantasy value is Jeff Green. This should be seen by people as a temporary setback, since he's going to be a long-term swingman in the green and white in Boston.
However, it's hard not to be discouraged that a guy who was a third-best player behind Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook is now going to be an Axe Man (read: riding the pine) for most of the rest of the season behind Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Will he get some playing time? Obviously, but not as much as he was getting in Oklahoma City.
Allow me to derail for a moment to make a few notes/observations about this trade:
- I need to admit here that I love this trade for the Celtics, but it also shows that Danny Ainge has pretty much completely disregarded the threat of the Orlando Magic in the playoffs. Otherwise why do you get rid of a banger like Kendrick Perkins who can hammer on Dwight Howard for a seven game series? You basically just got Nenad Krstic to high-five Big Baby Davis every time he gets teed up and/or fouls out of a game.
- The Celtics have the most dynamic front court of 2007, with Krstic up and coming, The O'Neal boys playing good-cop/bad-cop, and KG screaming his way to the hoop once a game. I'd have paid to watch it then. Now? Well, I'd still pay to watch it. As a reality show. HBO, make this happen! (Could you imagine if Sheed hadn't retired?! Oh man, I'm giddy just thinking about it.)
- Kendrick Perkins cried when he found out that he was traded away from Boston. Don't you think that the next team that shows him love is going to get his undying loyalty? More on this in a few...
I should note that if you happen to have a keeper league of some sort, or a "dynasty" league as the kids are calling it these days, you have no reason to worry about Jeff Green.
Once the Three Party goes into the history books, Green could be a key ingredient to their rebuilding.
Kendrick Perkins could be a breakout player of this trading deadline, too, if he can stay healthy. You have to love a guy that cries when his team trades him. That's passion that you never see in the NBA anymore.
King James dropped trou and showed Cleveland the Dook on national television; Perkins cried behind closed doors.
It's just cool to know some guys still care about where they play. Plus, he's going to a team that can use a workhorse big man.
He's not going to start producing 20-10 games or anything, but I see no reason that, if Perkins can stay healthy, he can't start putting out 15 point, 12 board, 3 block games fairly regularly.
The key for him is to get healthy and get some cohesion with his new teammates, but this could be a great move for the Thunder.
I really think, though, that the fantasy owners that should be the most bummed out tomorrow morning should be those that have Gerald Wallace on their team.
You took a legitimate fantasy stud in Wallace (a guy who can put up stats in points, blocks, rebounds, assists, and even FG% once in awhile), and you place him on a team with LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, and Wesley Matthews.
Heck, they even have Marcus Camby and Andre Miller, two guys that can pull out their old-man strength and still put on a show a few times a month.
It's great for Wallace as a player, but bad if you're depending on him for output. Time to trade him, since you'll get more value for him than you will if you keep him.
There are other guys who are probably going to be positively impacted by their changes in scenery this year at the trading deadline.
You can't deny that Joel Pryzbilla might be looking better, or Marcus Thornton, Kirk Hinrich and Baron Davis.
I just don't think that, with the exception of Davis, they're really worth sacrificing too much of your roster or time to take a look at.
If you're one of the guys still reeling from the injury to Rudy Gay, however, maybe you'll want to take a look.
Either way you look at it, the trading deadline this year gave us nothing if not excitement all across the many fantasy leagues on the Internet.
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