February 17, 2016, 11:48 am
PISTONS FLEECE MAGIC FOR TOBIAS HARRIS
If the Kings had a competitive deal for Harris and the Magic went with Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova because they are Scott Skiles guys that’s pretty rough. And yes, the Magic are now among the favorites to overspend on a bad free agent this summer but I digress. Harris was being underutilized a shade in Orlando and though he mostly dodged Skiles’ wacky rotations, nobody is ever really in the clear. He goes to Detroit and he will be both wanted and used appropriately. Channing Frye is also all-but out the door to the Clippers or the Cavs.
Winners: Tobias Harris, Brandon Jennings, probably Aaron Gordon.
Losers: Stanley Johnson, Marcus Morris, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo, Evan Fournier, maybe Aaron Gordon
Notes: Harris can get evaluated about a half-round to a full-round higher than I ranked him in my updated Bruski 150. Jennings is not a lock to have standard league value but I do think he’ll fare better in Orlando than he was about to fare in Detroit. Payton, Oladipo and Fournier now have the full Skiles to deal with (and you never go full Skiles) with Jennings in the house and that’s before you talk about any expanded role for Mario Hezonja. I’d knock at least a round off of each of their value and Payton could easily get hit much harder.
As for Gordon, Ilyasova fits the perfect mold of a guy that Gordon speculators come to hate, and after holding him for as many as 4-5 weeks in some cases they’ve already got an uphill climb to get any ROI. So while it’s entirely possible the organization has given the mandate to play the guy, this is Scott Skiles we are talking about here.
Stanley Johnson and Marcus Morris both take a hit with this news, but it’s probably only a small one because Harris’ minutes will probably exceed Ilyasova’s by about 5-10 per game. They’ll probably come out of Morris’ bucket and that pushes him out of 12-team value and into low-end 14-team territory. Either way, his upside is so low you can definitely move on for a hot free agent.
COURTNEY LEE GOES TO CHARLOTTE
The Hornets fancy themselves to be pretty savvy with this move, essentially switching out P.J. Hairston and all of his baggage for a pro in Courtney Lee. Chris Andersen found his way to the Grizzlies in this deal too — not that it matters much — but the Grizz have a hilarious assortment of characters to run around the Grindhouse. The Heat attached themselves to the deal and got a much-needed ballhandler in Brian Roberts, and the Grizzlies get younger because they apparently knew they didn’t want to be in the Lee business when he became a free agent.
Winners: Courtney Lee, Mario Chalmers, Matt Barnes, P.J. Hairston, Brian Roberts
Losers: Jeremy Lamb, Jeremy Lin, Brandan Wright
Notes: Lee was set to get a small bump in Memphis due to the Marc Gasol injury and he probably gets the same bump playing for old assistant Magic coach Steve Clifford. He has played for seven teams in his career so he’ll pick things up pretty quickly, but the real issue with Lee is just getting him to shoot more. Playing next to Nicolas Batum could help that along. I’d still keep him in the same place we’ve been rating him on the B150 and waiver wire write-ups, and if he does better it’s a cherry on top.
Hairston was pretty much dead money in Charlotte so maybe he fits in and does better, but he’s only worth a look in the deepest of the deep formats. Chalmers was already on the radar before this trade and he’s still a must-own player in 12-team leagues. If you’re in a 10-team league with some dead weight he’s an interesting flier, especially with Mike Conley always banged up. Roberts will probably get some decent backup run in Miami but the question is how much and will it convert to standard league value.
Wright is a loser here because part of the allure of picking up an injury risk in a foggy situation is that there was literally nobody else to play at center in Memphis. Andersen can barely walk so the downgrade is as small as it can possibly get. Jeremy Lamb and Jeremy Lin were set to get nice bumps with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out for the season, but Lee will keep them closer to their current season-long numbers — which are both worth owning in 12-team leagues. Lin can get you the low-end numbers right now and Lamb is a shade or two below him when healthy, but doing his damage in just about 20 mpg with all sorts of upside from there.
HEAT TRADE JARNELL STOKES TO THE PELICANS
Notes: There are no winners and losers here. This is all about getting their salary tax number down for the Heat, and the Pelicans simply need healthy bodies or so it appears. Stokes has never averaged more than 6.6 mpg in the NBA and that was in 19 games last season. We’ll need to see him do something on the basketball floor before recommending a pickup in all but the largest of formats.
STAN VAN GUNDY IS ON ONE – TRADES TOP-8 PROTECTED FIRST ROUNDER FOR DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS
SVG is making a serious push right now and restricted free agent Donatas Motiejunas (back) for a top-8 protected pick is a gambly as it gets. He must feel good about the injury situation, and yes the Pistons also got some much-needed depth in the form of Marcus Thornton, but the Rockets beat writers also felt good about Motiejunas’ back this offseason and it hasn’t panned out. Joel Anthony went across in the deal and could provide spot minutes for whatever mass destruction occurs in their frontcourt.
Winners: Donatas Motiejunas, Marcus Thornton, Clint Capela, Corey Brewer, Ty Lawson
Losers: Tobias Harris (not really), Anthony Tolliver
Notes: All of the aforementioned winners and losers aren’t winning or losing much, with the exception of Capela who is as good of a stash as we can find before the deadline. Capela has top-175 value in just 20.9 mpg and that could be a mid-round value if he maxed out at 27 mpg or so, which certainly seems doable in the Rockets’ frontcourt right now. Thornton will probably get some early run while the Pistons are short-handed in their backcourt, assuming they can’t get Jodie Meeks on the floor. Still adding him would be for deep league speculators only. Brewer has been a mess all year and it’s a wait-and-see from afar moment for him, and Lawson has been terrible as well but getting Thornton out of there could clear out some extra minutes. Again, we’re not running to add him at all at this time. Donatas Motiejunas needs to prove he can stay on the floor before we speculate on his value or any impact on Tobias Harris.
CHANNING FRYE TO THE CAVS
This will kick off some Kevin Love speculation but it appears to be a cost-cutting move for the Cavs to save money on the luxury tax by moving Anderson Varejao, who will end up in Portland as a part of the three-team deal. Frye will become a spot-usage stretch four at best, and it remains to be seen what Varejao will do in Portland, if anything.
Winners: Aaron Gordon, Channing Frye
Losers: Nobody, really.
Notes: Don’t go overboard projecting this as evidence of another massive win for Gordon. As said before, his metrics have been bad for the last four weeks that owners have been advised by experts to hold Gordon, and Scott Skiles has already said he’s dividing Gordon’s minutes up between Evan Fournier, Mario Hezonja and Gordon. In other words, Scott Skiles is Scott Skiles. See above for evaluation on Gordon.
UTAH DOESN’T GET JEFF TEAGUE, BUT THEY DO GET SHELVIN MACK
Quin Snyder coached Shelvin Mack when he was in Atlanta as an assistant, and this is precisely the type of understated deadline deal we love. The Jazz didn’t have to give up any major assets to get him and he can provide better minutes than Raul Neto and maybe even Trey Burke.
Winners: Shelvin Mack, Dennis Schroder
Losers: Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Raul Neto
Notes: Mack isn’t going to wow anybody with his numbers and he’s not worth a pickup in 12-16 team leagues, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he wiggled into a significant role next to former Butler teammate Gordon Hayward. Burke needs a change of scenery in a bad way and his value was kaput in standard leagues before this development. Alec Burks was also struggling in standard leagues before he got hurt, despite all of his reality basketball promise. Now he’ll have a more capable guard to deal with and the only way this works out in his favor is if Burke gets dealt, which could very well happen. I still like Burks as a guy to take a flier on whenever we get a clean bill of health on him. Dennis Schroder needs a big Hawks trade to truly set him free, but this at least gets one guy off his back if Atlanta doesn’t make a trade. I’m still holding Schroder through the deadline at a minimum.
THUNDER AND NUGGETS SWAP VETERANS AT POSITIONS OF NEED
The Thunder traded D.J. Augustin and got back Randy Foye in return, while also including Steve Novak and two second round picks in the deal. Augustin is needed in Denver because Jameer Nelson might need wrist surgery, while the Thunder are watching Andre Roberson struggle through his injury timetable and Dion Waiters is a postseason unknown. Foye will give them big experience at the shooting guard position in that respect.
Winners: D.J. Augustin, Will Barton, Gary Harris
Losers: Emmanuel Mudiay, Dion Waiters
Notes: Mudiay was starting to get momentum on this site and in general, but 9-cat owners will now want to tap the breaks quite a bit. He still has tremendous upside and has been trending in the right direction, but the stat set is a mess with shooting percentages and in 9-cat formats he can really lose value quick. We like him as a must-own player in 8-cats right now because of that upside, but Augustin is precisely the type of player that Michael Malone could turn to in order to spell Mudiay as he struggles. Augustin isn’t quite worth a pickup because he has his own issues with stat sets in standard leagues, but don’t be surprised if we’re talking about him as a late-round value in a few weeks.
Barton and Harris simply get a guy out of their SG/SF bucket in Foye and that will help them the tiniest bit. Waiters now gets that guy and he had no real standard value anyway, but this hurts him even worse.
HOPEFULLY YOU DIDN’T EVEN RENT, BRIAN ROBERTS
Brian Roberts lasted one practice in Miami and he was traded to the Blazers.
Notes: Nothing to see here. He won’t have any fantasy value in Portland, assuming he stays there. Miami is temporarily under the luxury tax and that’s huge for them, with one player that they can add without going over. Portland gets over the salary floor with their moves today.
AND FINALLY THE BIG TRADE OF THE DEADLINE
The Wizards bit on the Markieff Morris bait and gave up a top-9 protected first round pick, which almost makes sense if you consider they’re probably still trying to go after Kevin Durant this summer. If they have any chance of getting him, they have to have a good team in place. That said, the Thunder and Warriors are easily the leaders in the clubhouse so giving up that kind of a pick for Morris is a massive and probably inadvisable gamble. Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair also go across in the trade.
Winners: Markieff Morris, Jon Leuer, Alex Len, Mirza Teletovic
Losers: Jared Dudley, Kris Humphries, Otto Porter, Bradley Beal
Notes: Morris get about as ideal of a landing spot as he could get and with top-75ish upside and a point guard that assists, he’s a must-own player in my book even if he has all of the obvious risks. Jon Leuer will be a controversial pick of mine in the Bruski 150 at No. 83 in 8-cat formats because we don’t really know how Earl Watson views him, but he did have top-80 value in December at 26 mpg (while shooting a bit over his head). Mirza Teletovic and Kris Humphries are not too imposing, and Leuer has a somewhat fantasy friendly game and if he emerges obviously the upside is probably in the top-60 range for 8-cat formats. I stuck him where I stuck him assuming he comes out of the break healthy and I’m crossing my fingers. Upside doesn’t grow on trees in fantasy leagues.
Teletovic has a hard time converting standard league value so I’m only looking at him in 16-team leagues and Humphries would need some massive good reports to hit the fantasy radar. Alex Len was a must-own 12-team guy for me because of his upside and also because I just don’t see how the Suns don’t develop him. His fingers were impacting his game before the break so hopefully the time off got that figured out.
For the Wizards, Jared Dudley loses all fantasy appeal with Morris set to steal from everybody’s touches and minutes, and Porter and Beal will take slight hits but Porter will probably get the worst of it since Beal’s minutes are already limited and not to be trifled with, I’d guess.
UPDATE: The Suns are only keeping one of Humphries and Blair, so that takes one of them out of the equation for Leuer, Len and Teletovic.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE
The Grizzlies dealt away Jeff Green for none other than Lance Stephenson and created a super team of characters including Zach Randolph, Matt Barnes, Lance Stephenson, Chris Andersen, Tony Allen and P.J. Hairston. And in related news, the Grizzlies just became a reality TV show. The move fortifies the Clippers’ bench to give them an outside shot at competing in the West (read: very outside), and for the Grizzlies this is probably the best way to gracefully bow out of serious contention.
Winners: Almost every Grizzlies player
Losers: Jeff Green, Wesley Johnson
Green loses whatever fantasy value he had in Memphis and Wesley Johnson takes a hit in L.A. Mike Conley, Mario Chalmers, Matt Barnes, Zach Randolph and Brandan Wright are all must-own players, and since this team is now built to run it’s possible they all get a pace improvement, too. Lance Stephenson was never really a great standard league asset when he was good, but he’s worth watching or speculating on in a very deep league. The same goes for Hairston in case he magically jumps into some run because the Grizzlies start getting hurt and/or tanking.
EVEN MORE – WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN
Neither Jeff Teague nor Dennis Schroder was dealt, putting owners in a new position of having to decide if Schroder can maintain standalone value. At some point Coach Bud is going to let the kid fly, but he’s only a top 140-180 value in 20.7 mpg on the season. If he can get 25 mpg he can be a solid player to own, but do you pass up a hot free agent for that? No. He’s a stash in the classic sense and 9-cat owners need to know what they’re doing with their turnovers when they make that call.