Fantasy Hoops: Believe In The Magic This Week
By: Daniel Dobish
The NBA trade deadline has passed, and there was a lot of smoke, but very little fire. Sure, a few Fantasy relevant players have changed zip codes, but the big trades never materialized. Boston Celtics PGRajon Rondo, Los Angeles Lakers PF/CPau Gasoland New York Knicks FCarmelo Anthony, names which were bandied about for weeks leading up to the deadline, remain with their teams.
The Philadelphia 76ers were busy, sending swingmanEvan Turnerto the Indiana Pacers, along with CLavoy Allen, for swingmanDanny Grangerand a second-round pick in 2015.
Turner heads to a talented team, and his role will be diminished as a result. Fantasy owners cannot be happy with Turner ending up in Indianapolis, as his minutes and production are certain to drop. Allen will also have a reserve role with very little minutes. Granger has had difficulty staying healthy, and he isnt likely to have a huge role with the 76ers going forward, if he has one at all. He is reportedly looking for a buyout of his contract, so stay away from Granger for Fantasy purposes.
To replace Allen, the Sixers added PF/CByron Mullensand a 2018 second-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Clippers for a 2014 second-round pick. Mullens could end up re-emerging as a solid Fantasy option if he gets heavy minutes in Philly, and really only big manArnett Moultrieis standing in his way. Thats not much of an obstacle. If you need a big man, keep an eye on Mullens in his first few games with the Sixers.
In another fairly substantial deal as far as Fantasy is concerned, the Charlotte Bobcats shipped SFJeff Adrienand PGRamon Sessionsto the Milwaukee bucks for GsGary NealandLuke Ridnour. This looks like a winning situation for the Bucks, at least early. Adrien debuted with 11 rebounds in 18 minutes in his first game over the weekend, and Sessions looks to see a decent role with Milwaukee, too. Neither will knock your socks off for Fantasy purposes, but theyre decent depth additions if available.
In an earlier deal last week, the Golden State Warriors kicked off the flurry of minor deals by adding SGSteve Blakefrom the Los Angeles Lakers for GsKent BazemoreandMarShon Brooks. Blake had six points and five assists in 16 minutes against Brooklyn over the weekend, which isnt exactly earth-shattering production. He will cycle into the rotation, and should see a healthy amount of minutes, but dont expect a whole lot more production than he was seeing in L.A. At most, he is worth a look as a No. 5 or 6 guard in leagues of 12 or more teams for his long-distance shooting. In deeper formats, he can be left to the waiver wire.
The biggest Fantasy value might come from Bazemore, and he is worth adding in most leagues of 12 or more teams. In two games with the Lakers, he has averaged 31 minutes, while posting 16.0 PPG with 2.5 APG, 2.0 SPG and three 3-pointers. The former Old Dominion standout is also 11-for-23 from the floor, which is pretty solid production for Rotisserie owners, too.
Teams with four games (11):Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Golden State, Indiana, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Utah
Teams with three games (16):Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Denver, Detroit, Houston, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Toronto, Washington
Teams with two games (3):Charlotte, Miami, Minnesota
MONDallas at New York (7:30pm NBATV)
TUEL.A. Lakers at Indiana (7:00pm NBATV)
WEDNew Orleans at Dallas (8:00pm ESPN), Houston at L.A. Clippers (10:30pm ESPN)
THUNew York at Miami (8:00pm TNT), Brooklyn at Denver (10:30pm TNT)
FRIGolden State at New York (8:00pm ESPN), New Orleans at Phoenix (10:30pm ESPN)
SATWashington at Philadelphia (7:30pm NBATV), Denver at Portland (10:00pm NBATV)
SUNNew York at Chicago (1:00pm ABC), Dallas at San Antonio (7:00pm NBATV)
* All Times Eastern (ET)
The Orlando Magic have two games in the upcoming week against the Philadelphia 76ers. If you havent been following along this season, thats huge. The 76ers rank dead-last in scoring defense, allowing 110.7 points per game. And perhaps the Fantasy Game of the Year took place between these teams back on Dec. 3 in Philly, as the 76ers eked out a 126-125 victory in double-overtime. That might not happen again, but both sides should see tremendous Fantasy production. For Philly, PGMichael Carter-Williamsis an absolute must-start, as is PGTony Wrotenwith E.T. out of the picture. And as mentioned above, keep a close eye on Mullens. SGJames Andersonis also a player who is likely to continue logging big minutes with plenty of points. Anderson is averaging 11.3 PPG over his past three outings.
For the Magic, GsArron AfflaloandVictor Oladipowill be tremendous options this week. Afflalo dropped a career-high 43 points in that epic game back on Dec. 3. And the Magic bought out PFGlen Davis, so look for FTobias Harrisand CKyle OQuinnto have some added Fantasy value down the stretch. Harris, in particular, is a tremendous addition if you need frontcourt help. He had a season-high 28 points Sunday in a loss against the Raptors.
Golden State Warriors PF/CDavid Lee(illness) did not travel to Detroit for Mondays game due to a stomach illness, so look for SFDraymond Greento have some added value in Fantasy leagues. Lees return is uncertain, but he shouldnt be sidelined for too long. Still, he will play three games maximum this week, and his status for Wednesday at Chicago is uncertain.
Los Angeles Lakers SGNick Young(knee) was able to successfully return to the lineup Sunday, posting 10 points in 20 minutes. The Lakers need his offense, and Fantasy owners will want to get him back into the lineup in leagues of 12 or more teams. For others, he should be reserved for one more week just to see how he responds over the next couple of games.
Sacramento Kings CDeMarcus Cousins(ankle) was able to return to the lineup Sunday at Denver, despite being a game-time decision. He hit half of his 16 field goal attempts, finishing with 27 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five blocked shots in 34 minutes. It appears Cousins is now a go for Fantasy owners in the upcoming week, and he could be in line for a big week against Houston Tuesday, and at L.A. Lakers Friday, two of the worst defensive clubs in the NBA.
If you need help in specific categories in Rotisserie Fantasy play, youve come to the right place. Check out these guys, who should be available in your league, to help out in certain areas.
Patty Mills, PG, San Antonio (17.3 ppg over the past nine games)
Rodney Stuckey, SG, Detroit (12.9 ppg over the past 10 games)
Matt Barnes, SF, L.A. Clippers (11.4 ppg over the past eight games)
Evan Fournier, PG, Denver (11.3 ppg over the past 10 games)
Elton Brand, PF, Atlanta (7.4 rpg over the past nine games)
Jermaine ONeal, C, Golden State (7.3 rpg over the past six games)
Draymond Green, SF, Golden State (6.9 rpg over the past eight games)
Kelly Olynyk, C, Boston (6.9 rpg over the past eight games)
Pablo Prigioni, PG, New York (5.0 apg over the past nine games)
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Boston (4.9 apg over the past eight games)
Will Bynum, PG, Detroit (4.6 apg over the past eight games)
Devin Harris, PG, Dallas (4.5 apg over the past eight games)
Gerald Wallace, SF, Boston (1.9 spg over the past eight games)
Kyle Singler, SF, Detroit (1.8 spg over the past 10 games)
Norris Cole, PG, Miami (1.6 spg over past eight games)
Jeremy Lamb, SG, Oklahoma City (1.5 spg over the past eight games)
Ronny Turiaf, C, Minnesota (2.7 bpg over the past seven games)
Bismack Biyombo, C, Charlotte (1.6 bpg over the past eight games)
Elton Brand, PF, Atlanta (1.6 bpg over the past nine games)
Draymond Green, SF, Golden State (1.5 bpg over the past eight games)
Kyle Singler, SF, Detroit (19 3-pointers over the past 10 games)
Anthony Tolliver, PF, Charlotte (19 3-pointers over the past eight games)
Matt Barnes, SF, L.A. Clippers (17 3-pointers over the past eight games)
Derek Fisher, PG, Oklahoma City (17 3-pointers over the past eight games)
Patty Mills, PG, San Antonio (17 3-pointers over the past nine games)
Evan Fournier, PG, Denver (16 3-pointers over the past 10 games)