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Making Sense Of The NBA Trade Deadline


We should have known better when we thought that things were a bit too quiet last week. The NBA has taught us again and again near the trade deadline that bombs can be dropped at any given moment and usually, it's in a way we don't expect.

This was the case when it came to last year's blockbuster trade of DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, and it happened again this year with the Clippers, seemingly out of nowhere, dealing Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons.

As we prep for a week of Wojbombs and Shamwows, let's take a minute to digest what's already gone down and the impact that those moves will have for fantasy.

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Blake Griffin Moves North

The Deal:

Pistons acquire: Blake Griffin, Brice Johnson, Willie ReedClippers acquire: Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a protected 2018 first-round pick, a future second-round pick

Winners:

SG/SF Stanley Johnson, SG Luke Kennard (Detroit Pistons): With Avery Bradley being out in the Griffin mega-deal, the 31.7 minutes a game that the departing wing was playing need to be distributed, and these two guys are the first in line to absorb the bulk of it. Stanley Johnson has been a disappointment so far in his young career due to absolutely atrocious shooting. That won't change, but with 30+ minutes a game, Johnson can almost act like a Robert Covington lite - A sizable source of steals and 3s for a punt FG% team.

Kennard is looking at minutes in the high-20s, and the impact this trade will have on him is a bit more murky. The rookie has the skills to be more than just a 3-point specialist, and whether he can become that this season is dependent on how much trust Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy has in the kid to let him handle the ball more and be more involved in creating offense for the second unit. That extra involvement can be the difference between Kennard being a streamer/deep league guy versus a standard league guy.

Reggie Bullock is also worth mentioning -- he was already starting alongside Bradley, and now slots into Bradley's spot at the 2 with Johnson at the 3. His minutes aren't really changing from what they already had been for much of December and January, but they're more secure, and he's had a hot hand (shooting 45% from 3 on the year), so he's worth owning in a lot of leagues.

C Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons): The underrated aspect of the trade working for the Pistons is the fact that Blake Griffin is a significantly better playmaker than Tobias Harris was. With Blake looking to playing a Point Forward type role, Detroit's off-ball players will get better looks than they did previously, and the giant Griffin/Drummond pick and roll will be all kinds of fun to watch. Drummond seems to be excited to team up with Blake, and there's no reason to expect his fantastic season to lose any steam after this trade.

SF/PF Tobias Harris (Los Angeles Clippers)With DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams looking to be on the way out, Tobias Harris is in line to be the Clippers go to guy going forward and should have every opportunity to thrive as the de facto number one option. Harris should see an increase in rebounds once Jordan gets moved, as Drummond was a vacuum on the boards suppressing the numbers of his teammates.

SG Avery Bradley (Los Angeles Clippers): Avery Bradley was having a down season in Detroit, and the change of scenery should be good for the guard. He saw his rebound numbers drop significantly with the move from Boston to Detroit, as he went from a terrible rebounding team in Boston to playing along side the aforementioned vacuum in Andre Drummond. While he might not get back to the heights of last season, Bradley should be a bit more productive in LA than he was in Detroit.

Neutral:

PF/C Blake Griffin (Detroit Pistons): Not much changes with Blake. He still is playing alongside a big center, and he still will have carte blanche to handle the ball in a point forward type role. He does move away from his brilliant 4-4-4 playoff schedule, but the Pistons still possess a solid 3-4-4 schedule so you only lose one game with the move. He will remain a top-30 level guy.

Losers:

PG Reggie Jackson (Detroit Pistons): Jackson's value as a point guard was already precarious due to his lack of steals and low 3s. His saving grace was fairly decent assist numbers for a later round point guard, and that stands to take a hit with Blake coming in and taking over some of the ball-handling duties. It's hard to see Reggie being a top-100 guy going forward.

PG/SG Lou Williams (Los Angeles Clippers): Bringing in Avery Bradley means adding another mouth to feed in the guard rotation, and Bradley will eat into Lou's minutes if Lou doesn't get moved. The chance of Lou getting moved also increases as the move signals a rebuild for the Clippers, and it's hard to envision a better situation for Sweet Lou than the one he had found himself in the last few months.

 

The Montenegro Alpha Meets Mardi Gras

The Deal:

Pelicans acquire: Nikola Mirotic, second-round pick; Bulls acquire: Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson, Omer Asik, protected first-round pick

Winners:

SF/PF Nikola Mirotic (New Orleans Pelicans): Nikola Mirotic looks to have a more solidified role and should see his minutes settle close to the 30 minute mark for a team that desperately needs help up front with the season ending injury to DeMarcus Cousins. With Anthony Davis commanding the type of defensive attention he gets, Mirotic will be able to carve out a role next to the generational big man and his value should increase. He should settle in as a borderline top-50 guy.

PF/C Bobby Portis, SF/PF Paul Zipser (Chicago Bulls): These are the two guys who should be in line to absorb the majority of Mirotic's minutes. Neither of these guys are particularly good players, but the opportunity is there for them to provide some value. Portis looks to get minutes in the high 20s, and he can almost provide a double double in that time with a bit of defense and 3s. He can be a top-100 guy given those minutes and should be added in standard leagues.

Zipser still remains a ways away from being standard league relevant, but should see his minutes rise and coach Hoiberg likes him, so there is a chance he can reach streamer relevancy at some point this season.

C Omer Asik (New Orleans Pelicans): Just kidding! The corpse of Omer Asik is still as useless as ever.

Losers: 

SF/PF Dante Cunningham, SG/SF Darius Miller (New Orleans Pelicans): The random Pelicans front court flotsam all take a hit with this trade. They had borderline standard league relevancy before, and almost zero relevancy now.

 

#FreeGreg

Suns buyout Greg Monroe

Winner:

PF/C Greg MonroeWherever Greg goes will be better than his current situation as a walking DNP-CD. If Monroe ends up on a team with a shallow front court, like the Boston Celtics, he can be close to the top-70 guy he has been in previous seasons in a role with minutes in the high-20s. This is great news for Monroe and he is worth a speculative add as he has great upside if he ends up in the right situation.

 

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