Sunday’s mammoth trade of DeMarcus Cousins from the Kings to the Pelicans for Buddy Hield teased us into believing this trade deadline would deliver another thunderstorm or two. Instead, as usual, all we got was a steady drizzle sprinkled in with a deluge of rumors that centered on Jimmy Butler and Paul George.
Disappointed, but unbowed, we present the Fantasy side of a not-so-interesting deadline of deals throughout the association.
The Trade: Kings trade PF/C DeMarcus Cousins and SF Omri Casspi to the Pelicans for SG Buddy Hield, SG Tyreke Evans, SG Langston Galloway, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 second-round pick
Fantasy Impact: Didn’t see that one coming.
Cousins and Anthony Davis give the Pelicans the most dominating pair of bigs since Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H formed the Two Man Power Trip in 2001. New Orleans should hope for a better ending, though. Don’t expect both Cousins and Davis to maintain the massive usage rates they had entering Thursday’s game at the Rockets. Boogie was hitting at 37, while The Brow’s UR of 32 wasn’t too far behind. Something has — and will — give, but it won’t greatly impact their Fantasy value.
Davis knows the offense and is the franchise cornerstone, so Cousins may have to accept the fact he will have to defer to someone else for the first time in his career. What Davis does do for Cousins is that it will take the pressure off of him to be the Alpha and Omega of a team, a truth of life that might see Cousins’ intensity dial down just enough for him to be a solid 1A. Both are still Top 15 caliber players, but it will take some time for the two to mesh. There will be some fits and starts, but give it five to 10 games before you see how each truly blends with each other.
Hield, he of the 39 percent field goal percentage, now becomes the focal point of a city that might not recover from this deal. There’s no question Hield can become a reliable shooter with long-range accuracy, but now isn’t the time. He’ll get a rise in ownership and a green light to shoot, but trying to compare him to Steph Curry is a fool’s task he didn’t volunteer for.
While Hield adjusts to bigger expectations, Evans will have a chance to see increased minutes, but a balky knee may keep him on the same minute limitations he had in New Orleans. He’s owned in 57 percent of leagues, but concerns of his knee make him a risky play.
The Trade: 76ers trade PF/C Nerlens Noel to the Mavericks for SG Justin Anderson, C Andrew Bogut and a first-round pick
Fantasy Impact: Weeks of speculation finally results in Noel, the sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft, moving from one lottery-bound team to another, albeit one with better weather. Noel appeared in just 29 games (seven starts) for Philly this season, averaging 8.9 points, five rebounds and an assist per game.
Overall, Noel was a big disappointment for the Sixers, so the change of scenery might revive his career. He’ll immediately be inserted into the lineup and should be able to help breathe life into a Mavericks team that is last in the league in total rebounds per game. He also is an ideal fit for an offense ranked 29th in offensive pace (91.7) and will team up with Harrison Barnes, Seth Curry and Yogi Ferrell as cornerstones.
With a career average of 1.6 blocks per game, Noel also brings a needed presence in that category. He’s owned in nearly 80 percent of polled standard leagues, so if he is floating around in your league’s waiver wire, now is a good time to pick him up.
Anderson should see a slight run in ownership. Owned in just 2 percent of polled standard formats, Anderson’s per 36-minute numbers are 16.7 points, 7.6 boards and 1.6 assists per night. At the very least, he’ll greatly improve on the nearly 12 minutes per game he was seeing in Dallas and should join the Sixers’ rotation immediately.
As for Bogut, his limited Fantasy value will continue to plummet, especially since the Sixers are expected to buy him out and make him a free agent. A handful of teams are already interested, with the Cavaliers the most likely landing spot. Only in deeper leagues will Bogut have value once he finds a new home.
The Trade: Nets trade SG/SF Bogan Bogdanovic and F Chris McCullough to the Wizards for F Andrew Nicholson, G Marcus Thornton and a first-round pick
Fantasy Impact: This all about Brooklyn receiving a much-needed first-round pick this June. As arduous a task as the Nets have in rebuilding, moving Bogdanovic and McCullough might have been the easiest thing the franchise has done this season.
Bogdanovic’s value was limited even before Thursday. His new role coming off the bench in D.C. will make him less pleasing in the eyes of most standard league owners. The 22.2 Fantasy points per game he averaged with the Nets will take a pratfall.
Both McCullough and Nicholson have intriguing potential, but not enough for owners to bother with at this point.
The Trade: Bulls trade PF Taj Gibson, SF Doug McDurmott and a 2018 second-round pick to the Thunder for PG Cameron Payne, PF Joffery Lauvergne and SG Anthony Morrow
Fantasy Impact: The sound of the steel doors opening in Fantasy hoops prison means Bobby Portis is paroled and ready to finally break out. Fantasy wise, Portis is the biggest winner at the deadline and should move into the Bulls lineup sooner rather than later. He’s sporting a 24.7 usage rate in his last five games and could look like the potential stretch-four monster he displayed at times during the 2015-16 preseason and portions of the regular campaign.
Gibson will see his current 63 percent ownership in standard leagues fall like temps in Chicago this weekend. He could see a spike in production for the immediate future, but will take a major hit once Enes Kanter comes back into the lineup.
There is a certain intrigue with Payne as the centerpiece of the trade from the Bulls’ side of things. His per 36-numbers aren’t eye-opening, but expect Payne to push aside Rajon Rondo and seize the reigns of the offense. At the very least, Payne will work his way toward 2017-18 sleeper status by year’s end.
The Trade: Suns trade SF P.J. Tucker to the Raptors for PF Jared Sullinger and second-round picks in 2017 and 2018.
Fantasy Impact: The handwriting was on the wall for Sully once Serge Ibaka was acquired last week. He’s bound to ride pine with the Suns, who will begin grooming Marquese Chriss for potential superstardom.
Tucker is a role player brought in to add more depth to the Raptors. Neither player involved has any Fantasy value.
The Trade: Hawks trade PF Mike Scott to the Suns for cash.
Fantasy Impact: If you’re traded for cash, there’s a 100 percent chance your Fantasy value doesn’t exist.
Next trade, please.
The Trade: Rockets trade PG Tyler Ennis to the Lakers for PG Marcelo Huertas
Fantasy Impact: Well…um…uh…there’s little to see here. At least neither Ennis nor Huertas was moved for cash.
The Trade: Bucks trade C Roy Hibbert to the Nuggets for a future second-round pick
Fantasy Impact: Hibbert is a $5 million contract that goes off the books for Denver on June 30. Whoever the Nuggets grab in free agency this summer due to their newfound cap space will deliver more Fantasy value.
The Trade: Rockets trade SG K.J. McDaniels to the Nets for a future second-round pick
Fantasy Impact: McDaniels is brimming with upside and may find his opportunity for increased minutes with Brooklyn, a team that has become a waystation for those once buried on other benches. There’s some deeper league value, but McDaniels will need to cut into the playing of rookie Caris LeVert and promising second-year man Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, so don’t get too excited.
The Trade: Hawks trade C Tiago Splitter and two future second-round picks to the 76ers for SF/PF Ersan Ilyasova
Fantasy Impact: The addition of Splitter makes the chances of Joel Embiid returning soon (if at all) an indefinite gamble. Splitter might see some value in deeper leagues, but only if Embiid remains sidelined.
Ilyasova’s Fantasy numbers had been on the downswing before the trade. He had a nice run of production earlier in the season, but he’s now at 21 Fantasy points per game. There’s little reason to believe that number will rise, so keep him off your radar in most standard leagues.
The Trade: Lakers trade PG Lou Williams to the Rockets for SG Corey Brewer
Fantasy Impact: Expect Brewer to see significant minutes for the Lakers, although his Fantasy worth could be limited. He might be a cheap thrill for deeper league owners, but don’t hold your breath expecting his 2 percent ownership to take a sharp hike up the ladder.
Williams had averaged 32.6 Fantasy points per game in his last five games as a Laker. While that number will be hard to consistently attain, Williams has the offensive firepower to light up a scoreboard in limited minutes off the bench. He averaged 19.4 points per game in just 19.2 minutes of work in his final five outings with the Lakers. Williams has good Fantasy value, a worth that would go up if Eric Gordon or James Harden were to go down due to injury.