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RotoBaller NBA Recap: What Is New York's State Of Mind?


Welcome to the RotoBaller NBA Recap. In this feature, we highlight three fantasy basketball takeaways from last night's slate of NBA games. While we are over 24 hours removed from the blockbuster trade between the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks, it is hard to not lead off Friday's recap with the shocking deal that went down on Thursday -- mostly considering that the Knicks found themselves in action for the first time since the agreement.

The storyline is beyond compelling. The Knicks and Mavericks compete in a game against each other on Wednesday. A report comes out Thursday that Kristaps Porzingis is unhappy with the Knicks' direction and how they have handled the season. In what feels like minutes, the Knicks complete a deal to ship the Latvian out to Dallas in exchange for draft picks and potential buyout players. And on top of all of this, New York finds themselves back in action on Friday against the Boston Celtics, who happen to have Kyrie Irving, the player they are trying to acquire in free agency above anyone else. Not even Hollywood could write this ridiculous of a script.

Even though Dallas essentially took New York behind the woodshed and took the Knicks for all they were worth, both teams are going to get what they want, and that is good enough for me. The Mavericks will walk away with a tantalizing duo of Porzingis and Luka Doncic, but they will still need to convince Porzingis to commit to the team for a long-term contract. That isn't necessarily something that they need to worry about right now and should just be happy that they pulled off the highway robbery that they did. As for the Knicks, DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews could both be heading towards a buyout. That makes the deal appear even worse, but the removal of Tim Hardaway Jr. will give New York enough cap space to sign two max players during free agency. If they believe that Porzingis wasn't the long-term answer for them, they now can tank for a possibility at Zion Williamson in the draft and two superstars to come along in July. The Knicks have taken a massive gamble in clearing the deck for an all-out effort this summer. If they land the dream combination of Irving and Kevin Durant, all will be forgiven. However, if the two max players end up being anything along the lines of Tobias Harris and DeMarcus Cousins, New York is going to turn into Gotham City. The only difference is the city won't have a Batman on the team to save them.

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Damyean Dotson: Broadway's Leading Act

Damyean Dotson scored a season-high 22 points on 9-for-16 shooting in New York's 113-99 loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday, adding six rebounds and four three-pointers. Dotson is in an intriguing situation going forward for the Knicks. The addition of Wesley Matthews and Dennis Smith Jr. could take away some playing time for a few weeks, but with the possibility that Matthews could be a buyout candidate for the team, Dotson has a chance to reclaim the starting gig for the rest of the year.

The 24-year-old is still available in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues, so he may be someone that you just want to keep an eye on for now. But after seeing how the Knicks handled Enes Kanter, who is a fellow veteran with an expiring contract, it is possible that New York quickly buys Matthews out and gives Dotson as many minutes as he can handle down the stretch of the season to see what he can do.

 

Kevin Huerter: Is Starting To Regain His Groove

Kevin Huerter scored 14 points to go along with seven assists and four three-pointers in Atlanta's 128-112 loss on Friday. Huerter had struggled in his first two games back from a neck injury, averaging only four points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, but the 20-year-old has found a rhythm in his previous two contests and looks like he is back on the radar in standard leagues.

Taurean Prince and Kent Bazemore are on the trade block for the Atlanta, and if either of them gets moved by February 7th, Huerter will be in store for more minutes going forward. The Maryland product is still available in 74 percent of leagues and is someone that is worth adding to the end of your roster if you have an open spot.

 

Rudy Gobert: Takes All-Star Snub Out On Atlanta Hawks

Rudy Gobert is one of the most impactful players in the NBA. According to the Hollinger NBA statistics, he is 11th in the league for estimated wins added to a team. Basketball reference has him second in defensive win shares, trailing only Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, Gobert was inexplicably snubbed from this year's All-Star game.

On Friday night, the French star took his frustration out on the Atlanta Hawks, making all seven shots from the field and 11 of 15 from the free throw line to match a season-high 25 points with 13 rebounds, one assist and two blocks. The All-Star game has always been a flawed process, but it is unfortunate that Gobert didn't get voted into the game based on the fantastic season he is providing for the Utah Jazz. He has currently helped lead the team to the seventh seed out West and has been producing top 15 return in nine-category fantasy leagues. Some fans may not want to recognize it, but Gobert is a star and deserves to be in the game two weeks from now.

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