Cleveland Cavaliers Trades Reboot Players’ DFS Values
The Cavaliers Hit the Reset Button
Whoa! If you’re still craving riveting sports entertainment after G-Eazy’s Super Bowl Halftime Show (Super Bowl selfie’s anyone?) then you have to check out what went down at the NBA trade deadline. The Lakers and the Cavaliers worked out a deal that sent former All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and their 2018 first-round pick to L.A. for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. Cleveland - in an effort to add quality players around Lebron James for perhaps a final run at a title, added young talent Rodney Hood and veteran guard George Hill. In the three-way deal, the Utah Jazz acquired Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose while the Sacramento Kings received Joe Johnson and Iman Shumpert.
The Cavaliers are now completely reset from their Opening Day roster. Let’s break down the projected outcome moving forward with the new-look Cavs and talk some daily fantasy value coming up after All-Star weekend.
Can Isaiah Thomas Gain DFS Value in LA
According to Rachel Nichols of ESPN - Isaiah Thomas’ agent, Aaron Goodwin, says that his client will not come off the bench in Los Angeles. This perplexes a lot of basketball fans, as Lonzo Ball is clearly the starting point guard. President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson, cleared things up for those wondering if “I.T.”. According to Bill Oram of the Southern California New Group, the Hall of Fame point guard will be the starter when healthy.
Once Ball is back from a knee injury (which has now been three weeks of being listed as “day to day”), Thomas will share the backcourt in the starting lineup with the rookie. While Thomas’ shooting percentage has been down since returning from a hip injury (36.1 percent, which is a career-low), his usage rate is still at a high 28.1 percent. He now leaves the ball-dominant Lebron James who led Cleveland with a 30.8 UR and lands with the Lakers, whose leader in that category is Jordan Clarkson (27.5) one of the players he was traded for.
It would be wise to monitor Isaiah Thomas’ price on DraftKings. According to Rotogrinders.com as of Feb 7, Thomas was listed at $6000 and has not returned value for daily Fantasy lineups. But, it has been apparent that Thomas can still put up a decent stat line, and now that he does not have to share the ball with Lebron, Thomas will have the opportunity to produce. In his last game, Thomas put in 13 points and seven assists, which translated into 27.25 points and does not necessarily hurt your lineup. His value will only improve while Lonzo Ball remains sidelined, but it remains to be determined how the Lakers rotation will look once Ball returns.
The Lakers use a lot of guards including Josh Hart, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tyler Ennis, and Alex Caruso who all see minutes throughout games. If Thomas returns to last year’s form, then this should not matter. But, remember, Thomas could very well be a half-season rental as he is not locked in past this season.
In a confusing trade, the Houston Astros have acquired Kyle Korver and Russell Wilson from the Cleveland Cavaliers for a first-rounder in the NFL draft.
— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) February 8, 2018
As for the rest of the Lakers, Julius Randle will remain a double-double threat every night and Josh Hart can also be played with more confidence, as he has earned playing time in recent weeks. The real beneficiary from an opportunity standpoint should be Kyle Kuzma, who will not have to compete with Larry Nance Jr. for minutes off the Lakers bench. We have seen HUGE performances from the first-round pick, but we have also seen busts when Kuzma does not get into rhythm with the deep rotation that coach Luke Walton goes with. Kuzma was listed at $4700 on Fanduel and $5100 on Draftkings as of Feb
New Look Cleveland Cavaliers May Create DFS Value Plays
It was no secret that the Cavs and Lebron James were looking for help as they make what seems to be a final push at a title with James at the helm. Cleveland added three competent ball-handling guards who can create their own shot in Clarkson, Hood, and Hill. Hill will be the player to roll out, as his price has been very low in what was an unusual role with Sacramento, as the team would sit him in favor of playing younger players. Now, Hill steps into the starting point guard role in which he averaged 16.9 points per game in 49 contests last season. His usage rate and minutes will surely increase, and he was priced at just $4200 on DraftKings as of Feb 5.
Larry Nance Jr. will find himself in a starting role while Kevin Love recovers from a broken hand. This gives his value a certain bump for the next few weeks. Once Love is back, it is not yet clear if Tristan Thompson will remain in the starting lineup. Regardless, Nance Jr. will be a solid DFS play while he is the starter and can return value even when he is coming off the bench. He’s averaged 8.6 PPG and 6.8 rebounds per game along with 1.4 steals per contest and 0.5 blocks in that role for the Lakers.
Clarkson projects to come off the bench for J.R. Smith and has proven to be a solid Fantasy player in that role. In his last nine games, Clarkson is averaging 19.5 PPG. The Cavs traded for Clarkson specifically to add a player that can take pressure off Lebron and get a bucket while he is out on the floor. Since winning first-team All-Rookie honors in year one, Clarkson has built a reputation for creative finishes around the hoop with a consistently reliable jump shot from long range. Most recently, the fourth-year shooting guard was listed at $6400 on DraftKings. Look to see how his price fluctuates once Clarkson suits up for Cleveland. If he hangs around that price, he has the potential to exceed value with efficient play. Playing alongside the pass-first Lebron James should benefit the young scorer.
Rodney Hood is ready to put his name on the NBA as he now finds himself in a prominent role for a true contender in the Eastern Conference. Hood is averaging 16.8 PPG in 27 minutes per contest and was just $4900 on Feb 7. Hood has the potential to be a star in this league and should see plenty of minutes, particularly down the stretch when the Cavs want to spread the floor, as Hood is averaging 38.9 percent from beyond the arc this season. Hood is averaging a healthy 6.7 attempts from 3-point land and has made 2.6 per contest. Hoods shooting and athleticism make him a great Fantasy option now that he is in Cleveland.
Rodney Hood Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli
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