February 10th, 2018
The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and there was a ton of movement. The elephant in the room is everything that the Cleveland Cavaliers did on Thursday turning over half their roster, to prepare for their playoff run. The questions and analysis are less about who got traded where and more about what fantasy impact, if any, will these trades have. My gut feeling is that of all the players who got traded almost all of them will either have equal or greater fantasy value, so if you are in season long fantasy basketball leagues, there’s no reason to panic.
If you play the daily game, the key is to identify your value marks, and take them down. If a player is consistently over-performing, his price will go up, consequently if he’s not adjusting his draft day price tag will decrease. Let’s take a closer look at the fantasy impact some of these trades will have.
Blake Griffin to Detroit – I know, I know – this was not a deadline deal, but because this was such a block buster I want to chime in here. Both Griffin and Andrew Drummond seem to work as long as they continue to own their roles. It’s not far from how Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins were working in New Orleans. I love the idea of bigs and centers being a major part of a team’s offensive strategy. I hardly doubt this will be a league wide trend, but personally I think it makes the game more watchable. I do think the biggest winner with this deal is Ish Smith… he’s getting a ton of minutes and a lot more handling of the ball has resulted in an uptick in points and assists. Don’t forget about Ish Smith down the stretch he’ll be cheap and perfect for roster construction.
Cleveland Cavalier Mid-Season Over-Haul
Jae Crowder – Crowder was awesome in Boston and a fantasy asset 50% of the time… he stunk in Cleveland and will now be an asset again in Utah… watch is minutes, I’m guessing he’ll settle in Utah and be useful
Dwayne Wade – there’s just no room for him to be relevant on this roster… experience and leadership don’t score fantasy points
Iman Shumpert – that’s funny!!
Isaiah Thomas – this one’s interesting – because the Lakers aren’t crazy about starting him, but he won’t come off the bench. The Cavs dealing IT2 is basically their admission they botched the Kyrie Irving deal. Thomas is damaged goods, and I want no part of him. Eventually he’ll go off, but I have no idea what the hell has happened to him, other than the possibility he came back waaaaay to early.
George Hill – lay low with Hill until he cranks the starting line-up.
Rodney Hood – see above – Hill and Hood are going to swap out to start, but both will be better than they were now that Lebron James is playing with them
Jordan Clarkson – he’s going to come off the bench and that sucks. I do think he’ll be starting by the end of the season, but he’s currently the most productive player in the NBA coming off the bench who plays less than 30 minutes. If he starts he’ll be a chalky cash game start while he’s cheap. If he’s getting 30 minutes without starting he’ll be a value play.
Larry Nance Jr. – don’t expect much from Nance unless he gets more than 22 minutes per game.
Elfrid Payton – Encore time – because it’s not just about the Cavs… I love Elfrid Payton on the Suns, but loved him more in Orlando when he was the focal point on the offense of a bad team. He’ll get less volume, but will great when you need plug someone in for the sake of roster construction.