NBA Trade Deadline Winners & Losers for Fantasy Basketball

Lou Cappetta looks at the 2014 NBA trade deadline and finds the winners and losers for your fantasy basketball teams

Lou Cappetta - RotoBaller

Just when it looked like this would be just another boring trade deadline in the NBA, the Philadelphia Tankers, I mean Sixers, pulled a big name from Indiana by landing former All-Star Danny Granger.

While there were no huge names traded like Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Love, there were still plenty of deals that will impact the rest of the Fantasy Basketball season. RotoBaller will sort through the aftermath, and give you an idea of how these deals will shape your fantasy basketball season going forward.

 

The Winners

Danny Granger, SF, Philadelphia 76ers

This year’s quiet trade deadline ended with a bang when the Sixers traded Evan Turner to the Pacers for Danny Granger. If you have watched Granger play at all this year, it’s obvious that his days as a 25 PPG scoring superstar are over, especially now that Paul George and Lance Stephenson had taken over as the dominant wings in Indiana. On the flip side, if you’ve watched Granger play this season, it’s obvious he can still play, and over the last month, he’s been inching closer and closer to playing 30 minutes per game (including a 40 minute performance back on February  7th). The Sixers’ fast paced offense may test Granger’s balky knees, but after all of the deals Philly made today, somebody on that team is going to have to score, and Danny Granger has the pedigree to do it.

Baller MoveDanny Granger is worth a speculative add in all leagues, especially if you need scoring and threes.

 

Marcus Thornton, SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets

By Mike (Flickr: (2013-12-21) Kings at Magic 71) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsAny time you can get away from the Sacramento Kings, it has to be considered a win, and Marcus Thornton has to be thrilled that he is out of a terrible situation and with a contender.

Marcus Thornton can score, and shoot the three, but for one reason or another, he continually fell out of favor in Sacramento. This is a guy who has gone from averaging close to 19 points and two threes per game two seasons ago, to barely playing and racking up DNP-CD’s. This could be the perfect situation for Thornton, as he comes to a team that not only has a point guard who can get him the ball for open threes, but with players at shooting guard and small forward who are up there in age, have injury concerns, and will need plenty of rest down the stretch in an effort to be healthy for the playoffs.

Baller MoveThe Nets are currently starting Shaun Livingston in their backcourt, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Marcus Thornton replace him in the starting line-up until Joe Johnson returns. Even if Thornton ends up playing off the bench, he should see plenty of minutes filling in for Deron Williams, Johnson, and Paul Pierce, all of whom have had injury concerns this year. If he isn’t owned in your league yet, give him a look for points and threes.

 

Spencer Hawes, C/PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

If you drafted Spencer Hawes late in your draft, you have to be overjoyed with the fact that he has given you second or third round value so far. While his numbers have dipped a bit lately, Hawes has offered a valuable combination of double-double potential (13 points, 8.5 rebounds per game), threes (1.5 per game), blocks (1.3 per game), and assists (3.3 per game) from the center position.

Hawes was in the perfect situation in Philadelphia, as the combination of an uptempo offense, few scoring options, and even fewer quality big men to compete for shots and playing time have helped him become one of the more valued fantasy big men in the game this year. Of course, it’s been common knowledge that Philly was looking to trade him in an effort to stock pile draft picks, and a trade would almost certainly mean that Hawes would once again return to fantasy irrelevancy.

So while Hawes owners can’t be thrilled that he was dealt at the deadline, they have to be happy that he went to a place where he should still be a quality fantasy option. At the moment, Hawes is better than both Tristan Thompson and Cody Zeller, and while he may lose minutes at center to Anderson Varejao, Varejao is a constant injury risk, and is unable to play at the moment. In fact, Cleveland has been trying to limit Varejao’s minutes all season long in an effort to keep him on the floor, and have been unable to do so. There is a good chance that Hawes hurts VArejao’s value more than Varejao hurts Hawes going forward.

Baller MoveIf an owner in you league panicked and dropped Spencer Hawes, grab him ASAP. If you own him, be patient and see how things in his new digs pan out. I don’t think he’ll lose as much value as many experts think.

 

Byron Mullens, PF/C, Philadelphia 76ers

Since the Philadelphia 76ers currently own every pick in the second round of this year’s NBA draft, they decided to trade one, along with Lavoy Allen, to the Clippers for power forward Byron Mullens.

I’m not a huge fan of Mullens, but he is intriguing because his skill set is similar to that of the guy he will be replacing, Spencer Hawes. He almost certainly will get plenty of minutes, especially since the only other viable big man option in Philly was Lavoy Allen, who Mullens was traded for. Mullens will go from being buried on the Clippers bench, to possibly starting, so there is some upside here. Fantasy owners need to remember, however, that Mullens is the same guy who the Bobcats practically begged to seize their starting power forward job last year, and he just wasn’t able to do so.

Baller MoveIn a deep league, almost any starting big man is a must add. In normal and shallow leagues, you may want to give Mullens a look if you are desperate for a big man, but don’t expect the same numbers Spencer Hawes was putting up in Philly.

 

Raymond Felton, PG, New York Knicks

In the game of fantasy basketball starting centers and point guards are like gold. It is almost impossible to find a starting center or point guard on fantasy waiver wires, no matter how terribly they are playing, except in the shallowest of leagues. That is why, despite having the worst season of his career, Knicks point guard Raymond Felton is still owned in most leagues.

The Knicks made no bones about wanting to rid themselves of Felton at the trade deadline this year, and had Iman Shumpert not sprained his MCL in last night’s game, he may have been on his way to LA in exchange for Darren Collison. Nothing hurts worse in fantasy basketball than losing a point guard, and if you haven’t given up on Felton yet, it probably means you are thin at the position to begin with. Felton’s owners have to be happy that he still has a starting gig, and that he will turn things around.

Baller MoveIf you own Felton, you have to be happy that he still has his starting gig. He has never been this bad in his career, so if you’ve held onto him this long, it probably pays to just roll with him and see if he can turn it on down the stretch.

 

Aaron Brooks, PG, Denver Nuggets

Like Marcus Thornton, Aaron Brooks went from scoring close to 20 points per game in 2009-10, to being buried on benches and bouncing around the league. The guy even played a season in China. Also like Thornton, Brooks is somewhat of a one-trick pony, as he offers offense, and a nice shot from downtown, and not much else (especially on defense).

In his return to Houston this year, Brooks was buried behind the backcourt trio of James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Patrick Beverly. Now that he’s been dealt to Denver, he finds himself in a much different situation, as the Nuggets backcourt situation right now is a mess. With Nate Robinson done for the year, Ty Lawson banged up, and disgruntled Andre Miller sent packing at the deadline, Denver has been relying heavily on Randy Foye, and have even been playing him at point guard. Brooks has a great chance to come in and get as many minutes as he can handle, and playing along side a knock-down shooter like Foye could mean that Brooks gets plenty of open looks from behind the arc until Lawson returns to the lineup.

When Lawson does return, Brooks could still have value as he’ll fill the role that Nate Robinson had before he had surgery. Robinson was able to provide some late round value as Denver’s first option off of the bench, and there is no reason why Brooks can’t pick up where Nate-Rob left off.

Baller MoveAaron Brooks is not a must own player, but if you need some threes and assists, he should be worth a look.

 

The Losers 

Evan Turner, SG/SF, Indiana Pacers

Almost every fantasy expert has been screaming “sell high” on the productive Sixer veterans, as the team made no secret of their desire to deal Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner, and Thadeous Young for draft picks and/or future roster flexability. Unfortunately, unless you play in a league with a bunch of owners who don’t know anything, trading said Sixers was easier said then done. Chances are, you got stuck holding your breath at the deadline.

Owners of Thadeous Young got to breathe a sigh of relief as he was the only one of the Philly “big 3″ to stay in the city of brotherly love. Hawes owners should be happy to see the stretch five move to a team where he should still have plenty of fantasy value. For you Evan Turner owners, today was the worst news possible, as Turner ended up being shipped off to the Pacers.

In Philly, Turner was averaging a very productive 17.4 points per game, to go along with six boards, almost four assists, and a steal per game. While Turner is surely happy to be headed to a team with championship aspirations, there is absolutely no way Turner comes close to the numbers he posted in Philly on a team that already has two dominant wing players in Paul George and Lance Stephenson. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if his numbers end up being similar to what Danny Granger has done this past month, and that means he probably has little value anywhere but deep leagues going forward.

Baller MoveThere is a chance that Turner could see more time at either guard spot as well at the small forward position, so I don’t think I would drop him just yet. Still, Turner’s value sank like a rock with the trade, so it may be smart to start looking for replacements ASAP.

 

Jeff Teague, PG, Atlanta Hawks

Like many fantasy experts, I was really high on Jeff Teague going into the season. He looked to be taking over the Hawks with Al Horford and had very little competition for minutes, and early in the season, it looked like he was going to prove us all right.

Then Al Horford got hurt, and it looked like Teague was primed for a huge breakout as Atlanta’s only real scoring threat. Unfortunately, that never happened, and Teague’s numbers have gotten worse, he’s suffered through injuries, and has seemed to fall out of favor with the Atlanta front office to the point that his name began to spread in trade rumors.

Teague owners, and I’m one of them, have to be frustrated, as one night he will post a double-double like an all star point guard, and then follow it up with a 3-for-16 performance with no threes and 5 turnovers. A change of scenery may have done Teague some good, as Atlanta has no complementary players to help him, and no quality back-ups to reduce his minutes and limit fatigue. Everything that pointed toward Teague having a breakout season, has actually done more harm than good, and now there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

Baller Move: Point guards are so valuable, and despite his struggles, Jeff Teague is too good to just flat out drop, so owners are stuck just hoping he’ll get healthy and get out of his funk.

 

Omer Asik, C, Houston Rockets

After a breakout season that saw him average a career high in points per game (10.1), rebounds per game (11.7), and blocks per game (1.1), Omer Asik was rewarded with the signing of Dwight Howard and a seat on the Houston bench. It’s gone so bad in Houston, that it was a foregone conclusion that Asik would be dealt somewhere, for something, rather than just rotting on the bench racking up DNP’s.

Asik had been linked to a bunch of destinations, including Philadelphia, but as it turns out, he is staying put in Houston. With the lack of quality big men around, Asik was a popular add and stash going into the day, so needless to say, owners who jumped the gun have to be disappointed.

Baller MoveAsik has little value playing for the Rockets, and should only be owned in the deepest of leagues.

 

Darren Collison, PG, LA Clippers

Darren Collison put up some very solid fantasy numbers while Chris Paul missed five weeks with a shoulder injury, but has little value in fantasy basketball as long as Paul is healthy.

That looked like it was about to change at the last minutes of the trade deadline, as Collison had been rumored to be heading to the New York Knicks in a deal that included Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert. Had Shumpert not sprained his MCL in the Knicks’ last game, maybe this trade happens, and Collison is penetrating and dishing in the Garden for open threes from JR SMith and Carmelo Anthony. Had Collison gotten traded to the Knicks, his value would have skyrocketed, and he was another guy that plenty of owners were stashing with thoughts of it paying huge dividends down the stretch.

Unfortunately, Collison stayed in LA, leaving him with little fantasy value as long as Chris Paul is playing.

Baller MoveDarren Collison should remain on waiver wires unless your league is really, really deep.

 

Hopefully you had more winners than losers at the deadline, but even if you owned guys like Evan Turner, or held on to Omer Asik, there is still plenty of time in the season to make moves. Keep an eye on RotoBaller.com for hot waiver wire adds down the stretch who may be able to help you along the way.  Good luck!

 

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Article by Lou Cappetta - RotoBaller.com

I'm an avid fantasy sports player of football, baseball, and basketball. I have written sports articles for Bleacher Report and RBI Magazine before starting my own blog. I'm excited to be writing for RotoBaller.com as this is the perfect site to combine my three passions: sports, writing, and fantasy sports! Check out my blog at www.spitballsblog.blogspot.com and on twitter @spitballsblog

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