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Making Sense Of The Trade Deadline - Part 2


Last week we took a look at a few of the early deadline deals.  Now we'll take a look at the last minute deals that took place in the lead up to the NBA trade deadline.

This year's busy trade deadline saw a flurry of moves. We'll only be looking at the moves that are expected to have fantasy relevance, as well as some of the rumored trades that didn't happen.

Let's begin with the Cavs deciding to go full revamp.

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The Cavs Shuffle The Deck

The Deals:

Cavaliers acquire: Jordan Clarkson, Larry NanceLakers acquire: Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Cavs 2018 first-round pick

Cavaliers acquire: Rodney Hood, George HillJazz acquire: Jae Crowder, Derrick RoseKings acquire: Joe Johnson (waived), Iman Shumpert, 2020 second-round pick

Winners:

PF/C Larry Nance Jr. (Cleveland Cavaliers): The big winner from the first deal is Larry Nance, who goes from an inconsistent role in a crowded front-court with the Lakers to a much more defined role with the Cavaliers.

Nance has a fantasy-friendly game, the rare big with good efficiency numbers in both FG and FT combined with a decent helping of defensive stats and has been able to return top-100 value in stretches when he is given low to mid 20s in minutes. He should find that in Cleveland as the starting power forward (he is better than Tristan Thompson) and this move should help him become a top-100 guy rest of season.

PG Isaiah Thomas (Los Angeles Lakers):  Thomas was an unmitigated disaster in Cleveland, and he really has nowhere to go but up. A change of scenery should do him good, and while he will not return to the heights he reached in Boston as a top-20 player, he will be a lot better than he has been so far this season.

Thomas is clearly a system player that benefited from Brad Stevens' sets and the way Stevens used him in off-ball situations, and playing for an inferior coach without a system really exposed him this year. Coach Luke Walton comes from the Steve Kerr tree, and should find creative ways to use IT off-ball, and that should help him recoup some of his value. He won't sniff top-20 value this season, or probably ever, but top-70 is a reasonable expectation.

PG/SG George Hill (Cleveland Cavaliers):  Like Nance, Hill moves from a situation in which his minutes were inconsistent to one where his role is defined. One of the biggest reasons for Hill's decline in play this season is motivation, and that changes with the move from the Sacramento tire fire to a playoff contender in Cleveland.

Hill has shown in the past that he can produce, and it's not a stretch to expect solid top-100 value going forward.

Neutral:

SG/SF Rodney Hood (Cleveland Cavaliers): The needle doesn't move much on "Rocket" Rodney Hood with the move to Cleveland. His efficiency should go up a bit playing next to Lebron, but his game will remain relatively similar. He won't be asked to create offense as much as he was in Utah and will probably spot up for 3 more often but this won't be enough to really move the needle too much on his fantasy value. He is who he is.

PF/C Channing Frye, SF Jae Crowder, SG/SF Joe Johnson, SG Iman ShumpertNone of these guys were standard league guys before,and not much changes. Crowder is the only one who might but he is still going to be behind Ingles and expected to take on a 25 minute-ish role. That's not enough to make him relevant again.

Losers:

PG/SG Jordan Clarkson (Cleveland Cavaliers): Clarkson's game translates terribly to fantasy, and what value he did have comes from a 28% usage rate with the Lakers mostly running the second unit. With the Cavs, he will have to share the floor with Lebron for big chunks of games, and the usage rate is sure to drop down from that lofty number. He still contributes nothing in defense and doesn't shoot that many 3s, which means he doesn't look to be a standard league guy moving forward.

 

Lord Elfrid Payton Moves To The Desert

The Deal:

Suns acquire: Elfrid Payton; Bulls acquire: Second-round pick

Winners:

PG/SG DJ Augustin (Orlando Magic): Augustin has always been a popular pickup whenever Payton went down during the past few seasons, and now, he has the starting spot to himself. Augustin brings a valuable mix of assists, 3s and decent steals, and will be a top-100 guy as the starting PG in Orlando.

Neutral:

PG Elfrid Payton (Phoenix Suns): Not much changes with Payton's outlook as he should still have a high-20s to low 30s minutes projection and the situation doesn't really change much. Devin Booker might cut into his ball handling a bit but it shouldn't really be enough to make a tangible impact. He's still a top-75 ish guy.

Losers: 

Orlando Magic Fans: The Magic selling really low on a former lottery pick in a rebuilding season and making no other moves really makes no sense, and I feel bad for Magic fans as the team still look like it has no real idea what its trying to do.

 

Big Apple Mudiay

The Deal:

Knicks acquire: Emmanuel Mudiay; Bulls acquireDevin Harris, second-round pick; Mavericks acquire Doug McDermott, second-round pick

Winner:

PG Emmanuel Mudiay (New York Knicks): The Knicks are taking a flier on a former lottery pick, and with Kristaps Porzingis out for the season, it'd be in their interests to see what they have in the ex-Nugget. While Mudiay probably won't, and shouldn't get more minutes than Frank Ntilikina down the stretch, he will definitely get more minutes than the 17.8 he had in Denver this season.

Loser:

PG Jarrett Jack (New York Knicks): More a function of the Porzingis injury than the trade itself, Jack looks to be the odd man out at PG for the Knicks. He's had spurts of value at times this season, but with the Knicks season over, it's in their interests to see what they have in both Frank Ntilikina and Mudiay, and those minutes will come at the expense of Jarrett Jack.

 

Wade Goes Home

The Deal:

Heat acquire: Dwyane Wade; Cavs acquiresecond-round pick

TBD:

PG/SG Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat): Wade going back to Miami is an interesting story and he hasn't been a relevant fantasy guy this year, but there is one scenario in which Wade could move to relevance. Miami is significantly over-performing its metrics right now and the correction has the team in a spiral that could see them on the outside looking in for a playoff spot come the final stretch of the fantasy season. This may be Wade's final season in the NBA, and if Miami were in a position where they feel they can't make the playoffs, they may decide to give the Heat legend the Kobe treatment as a final send-off.

If that were the case, he may get the minutes and usage to be a top-100 guy again, and could swing the fantasy playoffs for some owners. It's unlikely, but it is something to keep an eye out for.

 

The Deals That Didn't Happen

Lou Williams, Tyreke Evans and Deandre Jordan remain with their current teams

Winners:

PG/SG Lou Williams (Los Angeles Clippers): Sweet Lou gets to continue his great season and the Clippers are essentially his team for the rest of the year. If Lou got dealt, there would have been a massive drop in his expected production as a lesser option on a contending team, but as is, staying put is the best news for owners.

PG/SG Tyreke Evans (Memphis Grizzlies): The same logic applies to Tyreke Evans, none of his suitors were going to give him a 32 minute role with a 28% usage rate. Staying in Memphis will let Evans keep his top-60 ranking for the rest of the season.

 

 

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