Haven’t I been hyping up this NBA Trade Deadline for over a month now? It’s about time it got here, and it certainly did not fall short of expectations. Fans saw huge names on the move in one of the most bizarre, active deadlines ever.
Major Fantasy implications were involved, that’s what really matters. While it may take a few days to sort out all of the fine details in each trade, one thing is for sure: the 76ers end up with A LOT of draft picks. On to the trades . . .
BLOCKBUSTER: Suns receive Brandon Knight, Marcus Thornton, first round pick
Bucks receive Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis, Miles Plumlee
Celtics receive Isaiah Thomas
76ers get a lot of picks
Perhaps the most unexpected blockbuster trade in recent years, there were a multitude of young stars involved in this deal. Knight was enjoying a career year, averaging 17.8 points per game, 5.4 assists, and 4.3 rebounds under the tutelage of former point guard Jason Kidd. After shooting well early in the season, Knight has scuffled a bit, shooting just 41.8-percent from the field over the course of January and February. He is set to become a restricted free agent and my guess is the Suns believe they have a real shot of retaining him to make a deal of this magnitude.
Fall out for the Suns: Knight will start alongside Eric Bledsoe, and with Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas out of the picture, both should be able to flourish in terms of minutes. It may take time to develop chemistry since both guards like to play with the ball in their hands but the talent is undeniable. Bledsoe should see a definite uptick in value, based on minutes and expectations from the team. Knight could eventually make his way back to his Bucks value but not right away. The team also receives Thornton (via the Celtics), who is likely to be one of the first players off the bench. Like I mentioned in this article, all Thornton needs is the opportunity and he will produce. The Suns haven’t leaned on Gerald Green much recently, which should help Thornton’s value. The eye to keep a name on here is Brandan Wright. With Plumlee on the move and Alex Len suffering from foot soreness, Wright could get his chance. He’s worth a speculative add in deeper leagues for now . . .
Fallout for the Bucks: The Bucks bring in a great stash of young talent here to shore up their bright future. Carter-Williams is one of the best rising stars in the NBA and a beast for Fantasy Basketball, especially for Daily. MC-W knows how to fill up the stat sheets, accruing points, assists, rebounds, and steals. His only problem has been efficiency. In his rookie season, he shot 40.5 percent while averaging 3.7 turnovers per game. Perhaps the dragging weight of this 76ers roster was pulling him down this season as his numbers have actually gone in the wrong direction. He is shooting just 38 percent while averaging 4.5 turnovers per game this year. The Bucks must think pairing him with Kidd will help Carter-Williams round out his game more efficiently. The team also has plenty of point guards currently on the roster but if they asked for Ennis to be involved, they must have something in mind. He did attend the same college as Carter-Williams (Syracuse). As for Plumlee, he should get some run with the team following the Larry Sanders buyout while I expect John Henson to pick up most of the slack in the frontcourt.
Interesting move for the Celtics here, as they seem to be in rebuilding mode, but opt to trade for Thomas. Yes, Thomas is only 26 years old but they already have a young point guard in Marcus Smart on the roster. Perhaps they feel a certain way about Smart, which led them to pull the trigger on this deal. Thomas is an offensive firecracker and should likely be able to maintain what he was doing with the Suns. The only problem I have is head coach Brad Stevens always fluctuating the minutes he gives his players. While it’s his team and he has a right to run it however he wants, he should really be more considerate to the Fantasy owners out there . . .
BLOCKBUSTER: Heat receive Goran Dragic
Suns receive Danny Granger, two first round picks
Fallout for the Heat: A starting lineup of Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh, and Hassan Whiteside is mighty appealing in the weaker Eastern Conference. With the Heat likely to finish outside of the lottery this year, it made sense to give up picks for Dragic, especially when he said he would consider an extension with them. Dragic now surrounds himself with more talent on this roster and has a chance to have big nights moving forward against his new Eastern Conference foes. He will see closer to 35-plus minutes per game now, making it easier to get back to his 20.3 points, 5.9 assists from just one season ago. Bosh might not be asked to shoulder the load as much moving forward, but could see an uptick in 3-pointers made and efficiency given Dragic’s ability to drive and kick.
BLOCKBUSTER: Thunder receive Enes Kanter, D.J. Augustin, Kyle Singler
Pistons receive Reggie Jackson
Jazz receive Kendrick Perkins, first round pick
Fallout for the Thunder: Of all the things that happened today, I feel the worst for Augustin owners. After spending up a ton of FAAB and enjoying some stellar plays as the starting point guard of the Pistons, he gets shipped out to the Thunder. While I’m sure he doesn’t mind playing for a likely contender, his Fantasy value is flushed down the toilet. He will assume a backup role behind Russell Westbrook but it’s obvious his numbers won’t nearly be what they were. He should only be owned if there is NOTHING on your waiver wire. Kanter is in an interesting situation now, as he’s expected to be the starting center for the Thunder. He was also enjoying a career year, 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per contest in just over 27 minutes per game. The minutes could see a slight increase and while the scoring may drop a tad because of lower usage rate, the rebounds should remain steady or even increase. The move shouldn’t affect his value too much.
Fallout for the Jazz: Now I know the Jazz are enamored with Rudy Gobert (rightfully so), but I genuinely feel they could have received more for the 22-year old Kanter. While the move might not be too beneficial in the long run for the club, Gobert gets a huge boost. Remember how I feel for the Augustin owners? Now flip that in reverse and there is no move I like better for Fantasy then this one. Not only can Gobert score efficiently, he can grab boards and block shots at an elite level. In the month of January where he averaged 27.6 minutes per game, he was averaging 9.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and just over three blocks per game in 15 games played. With his minutes soaring into the 30-plus range, owners can expect a double-double on a nightly basis with an elite level of blocks for those in category leagues.
Fallout for the Pistons: Perhaps Jackson was foreshadowing when he wore that Detroit ‘Bad Boys’ cap at All-Star Weekend since that’s where he finds himself. This move finds itself just under Gobert in terms of Fantasy greatness, as Jackson will now have a starting gig to himself, something he’s never had before. Still only 24 years old, Jackson has shown off his talent over the past two seasons with the Thunder, becoming a pivotal piece for them in the postseason. He is a scorer but can provide solid counting stats in the rebounds, assists, and steals department as well. I expect his assist per game to vastly increase moving forward.
Blazers receive Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee
Nuggets receive Will Barton, Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson, a second round pick and a 2016 lottery-protected first round pick
76ers receive Javale McGee and a first round pick
Nuggets receive overseas prospect
Kings receive Andre Miller
Wizards receive Ramon Sessions
Timberwolves receive Kevin Garnett
Nets receive Thaddeus Young
76ers receive Isaiah Canaan, second round pick
Rockets receive K.J. McDaniels
Pelicans receive Norris Cole
Heat receive John Salmons
OTHER FANTASY IMPLICATIONS:
There aren’t many huge names here but definitely some stuff working noting. Afflalo has been an efficient scorer this season, chipping in with above-average free-throw percentage, 3-point makes, and a few rebounds. While with the Nuggets, Afflalo was playing exactly 33 minutes per game. Likely assuming a sixth man role with the Blazers, that number will drop to under 30 although he can still provide decent production. He shouldn’t be dropped as he will be that offensive burst off the bench for the Blazers. LOVE the move for the actual team, don’t really love it for Fantasy. Randy Foye might be worth an addition since he’s next up on the depth chart for the Nuggets at shooting guard. Wilson Chandler solidifies his value and will receive the bulk of minutes moving forward.
Still only 26 years old, Thad Young finds himself in a decent situation where his minutes should remain steady as a starter for the Nets. With the emergence of Gorgui Dieng in Minnesota, Young became expendable. Both Dieng and Young should see their values increase. I have a hunch the Timberwolves brought Garnett in to mentor Dieng and hopefully mold him into a star. He certainly has the potential to be one.
The 76ers are in shambles and have clearly opted into tank mode for the remainder of the season. I am very intrigued by a minor deal today that took place in the form of Canaan for McDaniels. Canaan lit up the summer league and was part of that Murray State March Madness sweetheart team a few years back. He has four years of college experience and is very basketball savvy. He can flat out score the rock, averaging 21.8 points per game in his senior year at Murray State. Assuming he is the starter, he will have the opportunity to score, provide threes and assists. He should be scooped up from the waiver wire in most, if not all formats. The other name to keep an eye on is JaKarr Sampson who will likely be pushed into more minutes.