June 3, 2018, 1:45 pm
Welcome in HoopBallers! As we’ve gotten a little distance from the end of the season and the emotional highs and lows of the fantasy campaign have evened out, it’s worthwhile to take a look back on the year that was. I asked some select members of our tremendous HB staff, from feature writers to blurbers to podcasters to people in our journalism and scouting arms, to answer a handful of questions about another fun year of hoops and what went right or wrong in their fantasy endeavors. We’ll be bringing you those answers in the coming weeks.
Trades are probably the toughest part of fantasy ownership. You’re dealing with competing valuations that are almost never in sync, plus all sorts of fun subconscious biases working against you. Outside of the draft itself, trade season throws the most variables into the mix and it can be exceedingly difficult to navigate for even the most experienced fantasy owners. That (plus, you know, winning things) is what makes pulling off a successful trade so satisfying.
Trades tend to be tougher in leagues with more experienced owners, as those who have been around the block a few times are often more steadfast in their own assessments of players. The same can be said for deeper leagues, as it becomes tougher to assess the impact of new players as they fall further and further from the top-150. While those guys are mostly filler in bigger packages, nobody wants to lose out on any value.
Unfortunately, I fall into the extremely stubborn group and didn’t make any trades this season. There were some talks in the few weeks following the draft but I decided to see how things would play out before pulling the trigger on anything. Onto the experts, who are generally more fun than me.
I don’t do trades because I’m in too many leagues and stretched way too thin. Most of my leagues prohibit trading because they’re high stakes, too. One day I’m going to form a family band and kill time between shows by sending all of the same terrible trade offers people constantly send me.
Turning Lou Williams and Al Horford into Damian Lillard, who I then managed to package in a trade for KAT. My goal going into every year is to acquire another bonafide first rounder (in addition to the one I drafted), and last season I managed to squeeze Anthony Davis out of an opponent before the KAT fleecing this year. It’s hard to lose a league with two guys in the top-8.
Trading away Zach Randolph for John Henson – It isn’t the most glamorous trade, but getting rid of Randolph early on in the season proved to be huge for me down the stretch. Z-Bo barely played over the final few weeks, and while Henson isn’t incredibly productive, it was enough to get me through.
I had a few successful trades (including two involving me getting Joe Ingles’ top-60 value), but I’d say getting Lord Robert Covington for Taurean Prince and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was the best. The trade went through right before RHJ got hurt and Taurean went on a months-long tailspin. By that time, Ro-Co wasn’t playing particularly well either but the 2-for-1 opened up an extra roster spot I used to ameliorate the situation. Come playoff time, Bellwood’s finest was up to his usual 3-and-D plus blocks and boards, spending most of the H2H playoffs inside the top-20 (and helping me to win my big money league) and finishing the season at No. 37.
Jayson Tatum for Gary Haris back in November. I tried floating Tatum to everyone because I couldn’t see him sustaining those insane numbers (50% from 3PT) and over the course of the entire season Harris ended up almost 30 spots higher.
It’s the second year in a row that I’ve been able to capitalize on a Giannis trade primarily because I target a manager that is literally dying to trade for him. Last year I was able to trade him in a package that included Marcin Gortat and Patty Mills for Victor Oladipo, Dario Saric, Brandon Ingram and Jabari Parker. This year I was able to swap him for Paul George and Clint Capela in a roto league, clearly getting the better part of the bargain in both situations.
I don’t play any redraft leagues anymore, I’m in all dynasty or keeper leagues. I guess the biggest trade I made this year was trading Lauri Markkanen and a 2018 rookie first-rounder for Andre Drummond around midseason. It ended fine. I didn’t win :(.