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    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

  • Damion Lee
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    Damion Lee went 4-for-12 from the field and 4-for-4 at the line to finish Thursday's game with 13 points, one 3-pointer, four rebounds, three assists and one steal.

    Lee has been one of the hotter pickups since D'Angelo Russell was sent to the Wolves. However, some buyer's remorse might be setting in as Lee's .413 shooting from the field can dip thanks to the variance that comes along with him being a streaky shooter, making more suiting for FG-punting builds.

  • Juan Toscano-Anderson
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Juan Toscano-Anderson was a beneficiary of lengthy garbage time in Thursday's loss to the Rockets, recording a career-high 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block.

    JTA played well, but as mentioned this game was long over even before the fans could form their conga line leading out of the arena. He's worth a watch list spot if you're playing in an 18-teamer or deeper, but expect him to fall off when Stephen Curry eventually returns.

  • Andrew Wiggins
    SF, Golden State Warriors

    Andrew Wiggins recorded a team-high 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting with three rebounds, two 3s, one steal and two blocks in a loss to the Rockets on Thursday.

    There's not much more to add regarding Wiggins and the Warriors' sad state. On a positive note, Wiggins has managed to keep the peripherals going since joining the Dubs, something he should be able to sustain ROS.

  • DeMarre Carroll
    SF, Houston Rockets

    DeMarre Carroll debuted for the Rockets on Thursday vs. the Warriors but was quiet in his 13 minutes off the bench with just two points (2-of-2 FTs), three rebounds and four assists.

    Carroll was added more for playoff depth as a veteran shooter. He's not going to make noise in fantasy, so leave him on the wire.

  • Jeff Green
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Jeff Green made his debut for the Rockets on Thursday and looked surprisingly spry given that he's 33 years young, chiming in with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting with four 3s, four rebounds and one steal in 24 minutes.

    Before you go rushing off to grab Green, note that there was so much garbage time in this one, you could have built a landfill. He was likely seeing extra run to get acclimated with his new team and system. Leave him on the wire for now. Green's extra time on the floor came at the expense of Danuel House, who played just 19 minutes and was able to tally 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting (three 3s) with three rebounds and one assist. House remains a standard-league hold at this time.

  • James Harden
    PG, Houston Rockets

    Coming out of the All-Star break, a refreshed and rested James Harden was back in tip-top form, leading the Rockets to a 135-105 stomping of the Warriors with 29 points (6-of-16 FGs, 14-of-15 FTs), 10 dimes and a fat stat line.

    Harden was in full beast mode (beard mode?) in this one, handily dispatching with the Dubs with three rebounds, three treys, three steals and two blocks, while committing just one turnover. 2019-20 has been rockier than usual for Harden as he saw some unfamiliar territory with ups and downs. He's back and killing it, so clearly the ASB-rest may have been exactly what the doctor ordered.

  • Kent Bazemore
    SG, Sacramento Kings

    Kent Bazemore saw some quality run in Thursday's win over the Grizzlies, logging 23 minutes off the bench and dropping 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting with three rebounds, two 3s and one steal.

    Bazemore is not an efficient scorer, so his .600 clip from the field tonight should be taken with a hefty grain of salt. He's been widely inconsistent for most of the season but is worth keeping an eye on in case he makes it a habit of playing well.

  • Jabari Parker
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    Jabari Parker (right shoulder impingement) debuted for the Kings on Thursday but was unremarkable in his 15 minutes off the bench, tallying just four points, four rebounds and two assists.

    While Parker is not a high-impact player in fantasy, we should expect to see those minutes rise as he gets his legs back. And given that Marvin Bagley III's timetable is in weeks, Parker may be worth a streamer once he's closer to 100 percent.

  • Harrison Barnes
    SF, Sacramento Kings

    Harrison Barnes was unconscious as he went 7-for-11 from deep en route to his game-high 32 points in Thursday's 129-125 win over the Grizzlies.

    Barnes was hot as hell, making 11-of-17 shots from the field, but chipped with just a sprinkling of peripherals outside of the 3-pointers, adding one rebound, one assist and one steal to the box. Even when he's on a tear, Barnes still is just a score-first (only) guy, who doesn't really diversify into the other categories. Still, it was a good night overall. Just don't expect him to be THIS good every night moving forward.

  • Tyus Jones
    PG, Memphis Grizzlies

    Tyus Jones made his 18 minutes on the floor count on Thursday, chipping in 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting with three rebounds, two 3s and six assists.

    Jones is flying under the radar lately and should be on the radars of managers looking for a quality guard to stream. While he's not averaging 20 minutes per game, his per-36 minute numbers of 13.2 points, 8.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 3-pointers per game on .468 shooting from the field should be enough to convince you that he's worth the grab.