As the dust from the NBA trade deadline settles and basketball fans around the world focus their attention on the all star weekend festivities, which opened with a dominant victory by the USA team in the Rising Stars Challenge. It’s that time of year where people debate the best dunk contests of all time and complain about how neither team is really trying in the all star game. But if you’re a fantasy hooper, this time of year also signals something very important. Trade deadline season.

    Other than drafting your team, trades are probably the most enjoyable aspect of playing fantasy sports. Most fantasy managers think they can run their local NBA team so swinging trades in fantasy leagues is the closest most of us will get to feeling like an NBA general manager.

    But beyond being really fun trades are also pretty important when building a successful team that can compete for a championship in your fantasy leagues. Nothing feels better than selling a guy off at the perfect time in exchange for someone who was being undervalued with another team that ends up playing a crucial role on your team down the stretch.

    The unfortunate fact of the matter with trades however, is they can be pretty tough to pull off. A lot of the times it depends on how well you know the other fantasy managers in your league and how easily you can reach out and communicate with them. There are a few techniques and strategies you can use to increase the chances of pulling of a move.

    With most fantasy leagues set to have their trade deadlines pass in the coming weeks, let’s go over sone basic tips that will help you complete more trades in your fantasy leagues:

    1. First things first, put some thought into which teams you approach as a trade partner. Look at the season standings/point totals/category totals for the teams in your league and see who excels in the areas you’re looking to improve in. Additionally, find teams that could use an improvement in areas where you have a surplus in. Are you loaded with centers but have a team in your league who needs big men? Maybe they have a surplus in an area you need some help? These are the types of questions that will lead you to finding a more logical trade partner.
    2. Reach out to the fantasy manager of the team you want to trade with directly. Whether it’s via a text messaging app or through the chat interface within the fantasy site you’re playing on, reaching out to start a conversation instead of just randomly putting an offer through to their team will automatically put you in a better position to successfully negotiate a trade.
    3. Ask them questions about what they’re looking for and show you’ve put some thought into how a potential trade can help them. Don’t just message someone in your league saying, “I want Lebron james from you.” Instead, mention something along the lines of, “I noticed you could use help in rebounds. I have plenty to go around and would be interested in one of your three-point shooters in return.”
    4. Never open the talks with your best offer. This can be a fine line to toe sometimes because you run the risk of not offering enough to grab their attention, but typically whoever you’re trying to trade with will attempt to negotiate more than your initial offer. If you start with your best offer there’s no way to make it seem like you’re “sweetening the pot” or caving to some of their demands as you negotiate.
    5. Don’t ever tell someone that a player on your team is “untouchable.” If they ask for the best player on your team, name the price it would take to make it happen. The worst that can happen is they say no and you move on. But every now and then you come across a team who won’t be afraid to swing a blockbuster and you end up with a whole new set of superstars which can be fun and at the end of the day fantasy hoops is about having fun.
    6. Try not to come off as if you’re campaigning for the value of your players to the team you’re negotiating with. The second you start rattling off a bunch of reasons why the player you’re offering is so good, they’re going to start to wonder why you even want to give him up and you will seem disingenuous. Instead, weave reasons why you value certain players a certain way into your conversation without aggressively trying to convince them.
    7. Make sure you actually listen when your trade partner tells you what they’re looking to add to their team so you can offer players that help them achieve that goal. Put yourself in the other persons shoes – you’re only making a trade if you feel it improves your team. If you’re goal is to get a trade done, you have to consider what the other party finds intriguing.
    8. Know your league settings. Are you a dynasty league or a redraft league? Can you trade draft picks? Is there a salary cap? This information is crucial when trying to identify what makes sense for each team to acquire in a trade and whether or not you’ll be able to offer it in negotiations.

    These are just a few basic ideas that can help you approach your trade deadline with an entrepreneurial spirit to get as many deals done as possible. Enjoy the all star break and happy trading!

Fantasy News

  • Zach LaVine
    SG, Chicago Bulls

    The Bulls will hire Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas as their new VP of Basketball Operations, per Adrian Wojnarowski.

    A deal between parties is being finalized but Karnisovas has been considered the frontrunner since his name emerged as one of the candidates. Karnisovas is replacing John Paxson and will be tasked with hiring a GM and a number of lower level staff to help reshape Chicago's entire basketball hierarchy. It's a much-needed move for a franchise that's looked listless despite having some talented young players.

    Source: ESPN

  • Zach LaVine
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Denver's GM Arturas Karnisovas completed a "second lengthy interview" for the Bulls' top basketball executive position on Wednesday.

    The interview was with owner Jerry Reinsdorf and COO Michael Reinsdorf. Karnisovas is the "clear frontrunner" for the job, and a change in the front office can only be positive for the Bulls franchise and their players' fantasy values. Karnisovas joined the Nuggets as assistant GM in 2013 and was promoted to GM in 2017. During his time in the front office Denver has steadily improved and was headed for a second straight 50-win season. Hopefully he can bring in a coach that can reproduce Denver's offense, as the Bulls currently rank 29th in offensive rating this season.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Trae Young
    PG, Atlanta Hawks

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the NBA and ESPN are close to finalizing a televised Horse competition that expects to feature Trae Young, Chris Paul, Zach LaVine and others.

    It is also believed that there will be some participants from the WNBA as well as recent NBA alumni. The NBA has been trying to find any way to get their product back on television and this seems like the easiest way to make that happen in the current environment. The NBA might still be a ways away but NBA fans will be able to watch some of their favorite athletes in a good old fashioned Horse competition.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Lauri Markkanen
    PF, Chicago Bulls

    Report: Nuggets' General Manager Arturas Karnisovas is the early frontrunner for the Bulls' top exec spot.

    The Bulls are finally planning to move on from the Gar Foreman and John Paxson-led front office, though both may stay with the organization. Karnisovas has the draft and development track record that the Bulls are seeking. The search is in the early stages, though the Bulls do plan to have someone hired prior to the resumption of the season.

    Source: nbcsports.com

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Report: NBA players that received advanced payments or regular payments on a six-month cycle instead of a 12-month cycle could return significant amounts to owners as part of a compensation deal.

    Owners may already get back a pro-rated amount of their players' salaries for each game that is not made up this season. And these players that have been paid some of their salary early would need to return the advanced portion, as well. The takeaway here is that both sides would clearly benefit by playing as many regular season games as possible, but the painful talks about how to handle the missing revenue from the inevitable missed games are moving along.

    Source: cnbc.com

  • Cassius Stanley
    SG, College

    Duke freshman shooting guard Cassius Stanley (6-foot-6, 193 pounds) has announced his plans to enter the 2020 NBA draft, after racking up averages of 12.6 PTS, 2.9 REB and 1.1 3-pointers per game, while setting averages of 47.4 percent FG, 36.0 percent from long range and 73.3 percent from the free throw line in his only season with the Blue Devils.

    Stanley had a solid shortened (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) freshman year at Duke and has decided to follow the ever-popular one-and-done route for college players coming out of perennial powerhouse programs. While his numbers don't jump off the stat sheet, he is immensely talented and can put the ball in the bucket. At this point, whenever the 2020 draft happens, Stanley projects as a second-round selection.

    Source: Adam Zagoria on Twitter

  • Both Gach
    SG, College

    Sophomore Both Gach, a 6-foot-3 ,183 pound guard out of Utah, announced his plans on Tuesday to enter the 2020 NBA draft after concluding his second (shortened; due to COVID-19 pandemic) season with the Utes, averaging 10.7 PTS, 3.6 REB and 2.9 AST in 2019-20.

    Unlike Nico Mannion, who also declared for the draft Tuesday, this announcement was less expected. Gach is likely looking to gauge interest from NBA teams and may not hire an agent, at least not initially. He caught some eyes with his play early in the season, but currently does not project as a selection in either round of the upcoming draft. There's a chance we see Gach back with Utah next season.

    Source: Evan Daniels on Twitter

  • Nico Mannion
    PG, College

    Nico Mannion, a highly-touted freshman guard out of Arizona, has entered his name into the 2020 NBA draft pool on Tuesday.

    Mannion has garnered national attention since his high school days, largely due to his impressive video clips on social media and YouTube. He has been projected as a lottery pick in the 2020 draft for some time now, so it's safe to say this isn't surprising in the least. Mannion has incredible skill as a distributor and despite his low shooting percentages in his lone season at Arizona (39.2 percent FG and 32.7 percent from deep), he should not be on the board beyond the lottery picks, whenever the 2020 draft occurs.

    Source: ESPN

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    The NBA "would like to have a champion crowned by Labor Day weekend," per Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Wojnarowski was on "Get Up" on Tuesday morning with host Mike Greenberg when he gave the latest timeline that he is hearing. Woj made it a point of emphasis that this is the ideal timeline that the NBA is hoping to complete this season by, and added that if this comes to fruition there is no question that the start of next season would be delayed. This is the latest timeline that we are hearing about, and we will have to see how realistic this is as time passes.

    Source: ESPN

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    NBA teams will not be allowed to conduct in-person or live video workouts for NBA Draft prospects but will be allowed up to four hours of virtual meetings per prospect.

    Whenever the draft happens, it will be with the least amount of research in quite a while. Teams will be without tournament game tape for college prospects and without the ability to watch live workouts. Combined with a lack of consensus on who the best players are, this could lead to a wild draft with the eventual best players going much later than usual.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter