Fantasy Hoops: Do You Believe In Magic?
The NBA trade deadline has passed, and there was a lot of smoke, but very little fire. Sure, a few Fantasy relevant players have changed zip codes, but the big trades never materialized. Boston Celtics PG Rajon Rondo, Los Angeles Lakers PF/C Pau Gasol and New York Knicks F Carmelo Anthony, names which were bandied about for weeks leading up to the deadline, remain with their teams.
The Philadelphia 76ers were busy, sending swingman Evan Turner to the Indiana Pacers, along with C Lavoy Allen, for swingman Danny Granger and a second-round pick in 2015.
Turner heads to a talented team, and his role will be diminished as a result. Fantasy owners cannot be happy with Turner ending up in Indianapolis, as his minutes and production are certain to drop. Allen will also have a reserve role with very little minutes. Granger has had difficulty staying healthy, and he isn’t likely to have a huge role with the 76ers going forward, if he has one at all. He is reportedly looking for a buyout of his contract, so stay away from Granger for Fantasy purposes.
To replace Allen, the Sixers added PF/C Byron Mullens and a 2018 second-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Clippers for a 2014 second-round pick. Mullens could end up re-emerging as a solid Fantasy option if he gets heavy minutes in Philly, and really only big man Arnett Moultrie is standing in his way. That’s not much of an obstacle. If you need a big man, keep an eye on Mullens in his first few games with the Sixers.
In another fairly substantial deal as far as Fantasy is concerned, the Charlotte Bobcats shipped SF Jeff Adrien and PG Ramon Sessions to the Milwaukee bucks for Gs Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour. This looks like a winning situation for the Bucks, at least early. Adrien debuted with 11 rebounds in 18 minutes in his first game over the weekend, and Sessions looks to see a decent role with Milwaukee, too. Neither will knock your socks off for Fantasy purposes, but they’re decent depth additions if available.
In an earlier deal last week, the Golden State Warriors kicked off the flurry of minor deals by adding SG Steve Blake from the Los Angeles Lakers for Gs Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. Blake had six points and five assists in 16 minutes against Brooklyn over the weekend, which isn’t exactly earth-shattering production. He will cycle into the rotation, and should see a healthy amount of minutes, but don’t expect a whole lot more production than he was seeing in L.A. At most, he is worth a look as a No. 5 or 6 guard in leagues of 12 or more teams for his long-distance shooting. In deeper formats, he can be left to the waiver wire.
The biggest Fantasy value might come from Bazemore, and he is worth adding in most leagues of 12 or more teams. In two games with the Lakers, he has averaged 31 minutes, while posting 16.0 PPG with 2.5 APG, 2.0 SPG and three 3-pointers. The former Old Dominion standout is also 11-for-23 from the floor, which is pretty solid production for Rotisserie owners, too.
Teams with four games (11): Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Golden State, Indiana, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Utah
Teams with three games (16): Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Denver, Detroit, Houston, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Toronto, Washington
Teams with two games (3): Charlotte, Miami, Minnesota
MON: Dallas at New York (7 p.m. NBATV)
TUE: L.A. Lakers at Indiana (7 p.m. NBATV)
WED: New Orleans at Dallas (8 p.m. ESPN), Houston at L.A. Clippers (10:30pm ESPN)
THU: New York at Miami (8 p.m. TNT), Brooklyn at Denver (10:30pm TNT)
FRI: Golden State at New York (8 p.m. ESPN), New Orleans at Phoenix (10:30pm ESPN)
SAT: Washington at Philadelphia (7:30 p.m. NBATV), Denver at Portland (10:00pm NBATV)
SUN: New York at Chicago (1 p.m. ABC), Dallas at San Antonio (7:00pm NBATV)
* All Times Eastern (ET)
The Orlando Magic have two games in the upcoming week against the Philadelphia 76ers. If you haven’t been following along this season, that’s huge. The 76ers rank dead-last in scoring defense, allowing 110.7 points per game. And perhaps the Fantasy Game of the Year took place between these teams back on Dec. 3 in Philly, as the 76ers eked out a 126-125 victory in double-overtime. That might not happen again, but both sides should see tremendous Fantasy production. For Philly, PG Michael Carter-Williams is an absolute must-start, as is PG Tony Wroten with E.T. out of the picture. And as mentioned above, keep a close eye on Mullens. SG James Anderson is also a player who is likely to continue logging big minutes with plenty of points. Anderson is averaging 11.3 PPG over his past three outings.
For the Magic, Gs Arron Afflalo and Victor Oladipo will be tremendous options this week. Afflalo dropped a career-high 43 points in that epic game back on Dec. 3. And the Magic bought out PF Glen Davis, so look for F Tobias Harris and C Kyle O’Quinn to have some added Fantasy value down the stretch. Harris, in particular, is a tremendous addition if you need frontcourt help. He had a season-high 28 points Sunday in a loss against the Raptors.
Golden State Warriors PF/C David Lee did not travel to Detroit for Monday’s game due to a stomach illness, so look for SF Draymond Green to have some added value in Fantasy leagues. Lee’s return is uncertain, but he shouldn’t be sidelined for too long. Still, he will play three games maximum this week, and his status for Wednesday at Chicago is uncertain.
Los Angeles Lakers SG Nick Young was able to successfully return to the lineup Sunday, posting 10 points in 20 minutes. The Lakers need his offense, and Fantasy owners will want to get him back into the lineup in leagues of 12 or more teams. For others, he should be reserved for one more week just to see how he responds over the next couple of games.
Sacramento Kings C DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) was able to return to the lineup Sunday at Denver, despite being a game-time decision. He hit half of his 16 field goal attempts, finishing with 27 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five blocked shots in 34 minutes. It appears Cousins is now a go for Fantasy owners in the upcoming week, and he could be in line for a big week against Houston Tuesday, and at L.A. Lakers Friday, two of the worst defensive clubs in the NBA.
If you need help in specific categories in Rotisserie Fantasy play, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these guys, who should be available in your league, to help out in certain areas.
Patty Mills, PG, San Antonio (17.3 ppg over the past nine games)
Rodney Stuckey, SG, Detroit (12.9 ppg over the past 10 games)
Matt Barnes, SF, L.A. Clippers (11.4 ppg over the past eight games)
Evan Fournier, PG, Denver (11.3 ppg over the past 10 games)
Elton Brand, PF, Atlanta (7.4 rpg over the past nine games)
Jermaine O’Neal, C, Golden State (7.3 rpg over the past six games)
Draymond Green, SF, Golden State (6.9 rpg over the past eight games)
Kelly Olynyk, C, Boston (6.9 rpg over the past eight games)
Pablo Prigioni, PG, New York (5.0 apg over the past nine games)
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Boston (4.9 apg over the past eight games)
Will Bynum, PG, Detroit (4.6 apg over the past eight games)
Devin Harris, PG, Dallas (4.5 apg over the past eight games)
Gerald Wallace, SF, Boston (1.9 spg over the past eight games)
Kyle Singler, SF, Detroit (1.8 spg over the past 10 games)
Norris Cole, PG, Miami (1.6 spg over past eight games)
Jeremy Lamb, SG, Oklahoma City (1.5 spg over the past eight games)
Ronny Turiaf, C, Minnesota (2.7 bpg over the past seven games)
Bismack Biyombo, C, Charlotte (1.6 bpg over the past eight games)
Elton Brand, PF, Atlanta (1.6 bpg over the past nine games)
Draymond Green, SF, Golden State (1.5 bpg over the past eight games)
Kyle Singler, SF, Detroit (19 3-pointers over the past 10 games)
Anthony Tolliver, PF, Charlotte (19 3-pointers over the past eight games)
Matt Barnes, SF, L.A. Clippers (17 3-pointers over the past eight games)
Derek Fisher, PG, Oklahoma City (17 3-pointers over the past eight games)
Patty Mills, PG, San Antonio (17 3-pointers over the past nine games)
Evan Fournier, PG, Denver (16 3-pointers over the past 10 games)
Check out our full suite of Fantasy Sports radio shows and podcasts! Listen to your favorite RotoExperts live or on demand, including the legendary Lenny Melnick, Tim McCullough, Jake Ciely, Gregg Sussman and many more. We cover Fantasy Football all week long and baseball year-round right here on ROTORADIO.