2015-16 Fantasy Basketball: NBA Trade Deadline Tracker and Fantasy Analysis
Welcome to what could shape up to be a day of huge NBA news that shakes the outlook of fantasy basketball leagues, or a day of disappointment where no big names are moved, thus leaving us with no players going from fantasy scrubs to studs. Either way, you need to be ready to pounce as quickly as possible in case a big deal goes down that opens up a fantasy asset that could potentially shift the power in your league(s). I went over a few things last week that should help you be better prepared for this glorious deadline day. It discusses how you should go ahead and decide which player(s) on your roster you would drop if a trade occurs that makes a player sitting on your wire a must-add. You don’t want to be crunching numbers trying to decipher who you should drop between Player A and Player B after news breaks. That opens a window for your opponents to beat you to the punch, be ready NOW.
Like I mentioned above, something huge may go down today, or we might not have any deals that even register on the fantasy Richter scale, either way, you should be prepared as if a season altering move could go down at any moment all the way up until the deadline and even like 30 minutes after. Last year, all was quiet until 45 minutes before the deadline and then all out madness ensued. Don’t let the calming before the storm fool you, deals will be made.
I will be right here all day updating the Fix trade deadline tracker right after deals go down. I will post the trade, and give quick analysis on whose fantasy value went up, down, who you should add, drop, etc.. This is your one-stop shop for quick fantasy breakdowns of everything that comes of today’s deadline dramatics. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @BigZack44 for my instant reactions to every deal that goes down, before I type out a more thoroughly analyzed breakdown right here.
Let’s get right to it, started with the trades that occurred this week before today, followed by every deadline day deal.
The Orlando Magic trade Tobias Harris to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova
This one was viewed by most as a really bad deal for the Magic, but as a Magic fan, I am okay with it. Tobias Harris didn’t fit the team at all and was only holding the likes of Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Mario Hezonja back. The Magic get two shooters who are free agents this summer (unless Ersan balls and the Magic use their team option to keep him next year). Fantasy-wise, Brandon Jennings will probably take all of the backup PG mins which is 10mins from Shabazz Napier, 5ish minutes from Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton will likely drop from 31 minutes to 28. Unless Jennings goes off, he should stay around 20 minutes, so he’s not an add right now which is sad news to those like me who had hoped he’d go somewhere he could start and play 30+ a night. Ersan Ilyasova will presumably come off the bench and play around 18-20 minutes initially, also not worth adding right now.
Lastly, Tobias to Detroit will probably keep his value about the same. He should get all of the Ersan vacated minutes and the playing time of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris will take minor hits, as well as their usage rates and shot attempts. This would put the trio of wings at about 30 minutes each. Stanley Johnson will unfortunately drop to 25 minutes or less now, so his second half upside has been simmered way down.
The Memphis Grizzlies trade Courtney Lee to the Charlotte Hornets
Nothing else about this minor three-way trade is worth mentioning. Courtney Lee gives the Hornets a nice veteran defensive wing to fill the void left by the re-injured Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Lee still is not worth owning in standard leagues, and his arrival shouldn’t really downgrade any of the notable Charlotte players values.
The Detroit Pistons trade a protected first round pick and Joel Anthony to the Houston Rockets for Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton
Not much to see here, but it gets our trade deadline day cherry popped at least. Donatas Motiejunas is a really nice get for Detroit, he will play some backup power forward and center, but not enough to garner fantasy value in standard leagues. This will be a minority opinion, but I bet the Detroit fans will prefer D-Mo to Tobias by the end of the season. This deal leaves more of a cloud over the Pistons rotation minutes split, but for now you hold onto Tobias and KCP, while Stanley is less attractive and a drop candidate if anything decent on the wire, and Morris and Motiejunas are not really worth owning. Marcus Thornton may get bought out, but even if not, he wouldn’t play much at all.
The Orlando Magic trade Channing Frye to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland trades Anderson Varejao and a first round pick to the Portland Trailblazers and a second round pick to Orlando
Orlando is clearing more cap space for this summer, Cleveland gets a bench shooter, Portland will waive Varejao. Nothing to see in terms of fantasy, sigh. Channingf Frye just gives the Cavs a player with a pulse to come off the bench with some shooting range, shocked they took on his salary over the next two years beyond current though.
The Utah Jazz trade a second round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for Shelvin Mack
Back in August our own, Sam Macey wrote about how Shelvin Mack just needed minutes to produce at a solid level. We will wait and see if Utah trades Trey Burke before the deadline, but if not Shelvin likely wouldn’t quite be worth owning in 12-team leagues. If Burke does leave, Mack has a chance to find some fantasy relevance as seen in the above linked article. As of this moment, I would hold off on adding Mack in anything 12-teams or less, he may be worth a temporary add in 14+ leagues.
The Oklahoma City Thunder traded D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak and two second-round picks to the Denver Nuggets for Randy Foye
Randy Foye is an interesting get for OKC, solid bench veteran, but he’s still not likely to be worth an add in anything beyond deep fantasy leagues. In trading away D.J. Augustin, OKC is showing confidence that rookie Cameron Payne can be their lone backup point guard. As is though, he’s not a standard league add. Again, nothing interesting to see here. Be calm, it’s only 1:30pm ET, things didn’t pop off last year until 2:15.