Trade Deadline Fantasy Implications

14 min read

I’ll keep our introduction brief because we’re about to take a long ride here. Not long ago, it seemed like this might end up as a quiet trade deadline. Alas, the NBA trade gods have smiled down upon us (or smited us, depending on which team you root for). Wednesday evening began a bonanza of NBA movement. We were finally granted something to talk about besides Anthony Davis. Regardless of how intriguing the picture below is, we needed some more seasoning on our trade deadline curly fries.

Lebron must have been feeling distant from his teammates for some reason.

Anyway, let’s just get right into it because I’m fiendin’ for some fantasy talk.

Also, be sure to go check out episode 39 of our podcast where we, as a team, try to break down the madness of this trade deadline in less than one hour!

Memphis Moves on from Gasol

Full disclosure – Toronto’s best lineup to this point has been when they play Ibaka at the 5 and Siakam at the 4. I don’t know that that has surely changed. But how happy will Marc Gasol be if Nick Nurse opts to play Ibaka down the stretch of some games for matchup purposes? Gasol will be the better defensive option against bigger, traditional Centers. What about against small-ball though? There are some questions to be answered here. It might take a while before we have a full grasp on Toronto’s rotational situation.

TOR Fantasy Outlook

In addition to the Gasol/lineup questions posed above, I wonder who takes most of Delon Wright’s minutes now. My confidence in Fred VanVleet is bolstered even further now. He’s gotta be a must-own player going forward. C.J. Miles may not have been the biggest piece to Toronto’s rotational puzzle, but his departure also leaves a gap in playing time that Norman Powell and Danny Green might team up to inherit. Again, my biggest question though, is how much Marc will actually play against small-ball-heavy teams.

MEM Fantasy Outlook

I wish Memphis would have also let Conley go. That really would have made Delon Wright a must-add. He’s still worth a pickup though. The Grizz should want to see what they have in him down the stretch before his restricted Free Agency. In addition, Jonas Valanciunas was traded right when he was announced to have returned from a lengthy injury absence. He’s still young enough (26) to be considered for Memphis’ future plans as a backup Center at least. Maybe they play him down the stretch as well. Ivan Rabb might also still be worth holding until we see how things shake out.

To sum it up…

Stock Up:

  • Delon Wright
  • Jonas Valanciunas
  • Fred VanVleet
  • Danny Green, Norman Powell, and/or OG Anunoby

Stock Down: 

  • Serge Ibaka
  • Marc Gasol
  • Justin Holiday
  • Avery Bradley
  • maybe even Mike Conley down the stretch

The Wiz Swap Otto for the ‘Porker Duo’

The Wizards did it. They got off of one (or two depending on your outlook) of their bad contracts in what might amount to the beginning of a rebuild. It would be difficult to tank with a healthy John Wall in-house. Luckily (unluckily?), Wall will miss most of the 2019-20 season after apparently rupturing his achilles walking around in his house. Questions linger about whether the Wizards could have gotten more than just Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis. Porter is only 25 and is a good starter when healthy, after all.

In addition, GM Ernie Grunfeld also traded Markieff Morris. Looks like he must have recently called up Sam Hinkie and asked for advice.

WAS Fantasy Outlook

There will likely be a collective effort to attempt to replicate what Porter did for the Wizards on the court. Trevor Ariza and Jeff Green could both potentially benefit a little from this. You also have to take into account where the playing time for Portis and Parker will come from though. At least Washington dealt away Markieff Morris for pennies as well. So those minutes are available too.

CHI Fantasy Outlook

I’m not sure this significantly impacts any single player currently on this Bulls roster. They were desperate for Wings and got one for what appears to be an okay deal for them. My biggest question won’t be resolved until this Summer. How does another potential star Forward fit onto this team now? I’m referring to Zion Williamson, and even R.J.  Barrett to a lesser extent. Chicago is full-steam ahead in the hunt for a top pick right now. A starting lineup consisting of Zion/Barrett, Otto, Markkanen, and Carter Jr. probably doesn’t work.

PS – I feel for those of you who drafted/traded for Otto because of his fantasy playoff schedule.

To sum it up…

Stock Up:

  • Troy Brown Jr.
  • Christiano Felicio (especially if Lopez gets buyout)
  • Trevor Ariza and/or Jeff Green

Stock Down: 

  • maybe Wayne Selden and/or Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot

Phoenix Confuses People

I’m not exactly sure what GM James Jones’ thought process is here. It’s possible that he’s just stacking up favors from ‘powerful’ organizations (LAL and now MIA). Trading away Ryan Anderson’s bad contract, which is only partially guaranteed for the 2019-20 season, for an even worse one is befuddling. Yes, Johnson is much younger than Anderson but come on. The Suns have to have had their sights set on something higher than TyJo, right? Something with more upside possibly? Maybe they have their eye on Ja Morant in the 2019 Draft. Or maybe they do have a grander plan. Who knows?

PHX Fantasy Outlook

It was only two seasons ago that Tyler Johnson finished as a top 85 player. The following season he fell outside the top 120 but was still relevant for much of that campaign. This year, he’s nowhere to be found. He could find some rejuvenation in Phoenix. This team is desperate for a competent Point Guard. I’m not sure TyJo is the answer. I also don’t think he could do any worse than he has been this season in Miami. He’s someone to take a flier on if he’s not gobbled up in your leagues already. Taking more minutes away from Melton and Okobo might seem ill-advised. In fact, it probably is for a team in this position. Wayne Ellington is an intriguing piece for very deep leaguers. He obviously doesn’t produce much besides 3’s while not hurting you in FT% and TO’s. He’s intriguing to me because Phoenix will probably buy him out if they can’t flip him in another trade within half a day. Depending on where he lands, he could be on the deep league radar.

MIA Fantasy Outlook

Ryan Anderson probably won’t be played much, if at all. He’s irrelevant for fantasy purposes. Aside from trying to figure out if Spoelstra will play Ryno at all, this deal potentially bolsters the fantasy value of a few players. Dion Waiters and/or Rodney McGruder should see an uptick here. It almost assuredly still won’t be enough to put Waiters on the standard league radar though. Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson will likely see their usage increase a bit. Winslow might jump up a few spots but still struggle to squeeze his way onto the standard-sized scene, while J-Rich could work his way back up toward top 50. These might be long shots. Coach Spo has used some weird lineups and rotations recently, especially with his usage of Tyler Johnson.

To sum it up…

Stock Up: 

  • Tyler Johnson
  • Wayne Ellington (assuming a buyout)
  • Rodney McGruder
  • Dion Waiters
  • maybe Josh Richardson and/or Justise Winslow

Stock Down:

  • the youngsters in Phoenix’s backcourt

Philly Forms a Fresh Four

Well, this one was a bit of a shocker. I fully expected the 76ers to chase an upgrade of some sort. They had a few needs to fill. Those needs were not completely filled by this deal. Time will tell if Philly would have been better off just sniffing around for a lesser 3-and-D guy who could complement the solid core that already existed here. Maybe even just a floor-spacer like Nikola Mirotic, who the Sixers reportedly called about, could have worked for them. They certainly wouldn’t have needed to trade as much to get him. That being said, I do see some benefit for Philly in this deal. Maybe Harris could act as another ball-handler behind Ben Simmons to help keep T.J. McConnell off the court more during the playoffs. But holy cow, did they give up one heck of a haul for an expiring contract that will demand somewhere near max money this Summer. That’s on top of Jimmy Butler, who is in the exact same position. GM Elton Brand took a gamble here. Maybe there’s an idea that if they have two pseudo-stars to re-sign, that could possibly help in the negotiations, bolstering some kind of confidence in the other party. Or maybe it could blow up in their face. It’s time to take the old wait-and-see approach. If Philly wants to maintain this “Big 4” like they said they do, they can’t be stingy with their checkbook this Summer.

One last thing: kudos to the Clippers front office for doing a masterful job here. LAC got one heck of a package for a player they likely were going to let walk in Free Agency anyway. A deal like this almost never goes down for an expiring contract player – even one of Tobi’s caliber.

PHI Fantasy Outlook 

I don’t love this trade for the fantasy value of Harris. Currently a top 25 player this season, his usage will likely fall off a bit. I’d hate to see Brett Brown mostly use Tobi as a spot-up guy, which was one of this team’s pressing needs. Yes, Harris has blossomed into an elite 3-ball sniper, but he’s proven to have much more value than just that. I expect some of his points to take a hit, especially considering Embiid and Butler have already whined about not getting enough alone time with the ball as it is. Also, the small sliver of assists Harris was able to produce in LA might take a tumble as well, unless Brown intends to use him as another ball-handler. Maybe one probable bright side is that we could see even more 3’s from this 6’8 Forward.

Outside of Harris, Boban and Mike Scott should see some playing time. Boban’s minutes will likely be matchup-dependant, while Great Scott will probably have to see playing time given the lack of other options there. Also, with another player somewhat adept at handling the rock, T.J. McConnell could begin to be cut out of the picture entirely now. None of these guys are really standard league-relevant options anyhow.

LAC Fantasy Outlook

With arguably LA’s best player taking the next flight out of LAX, Gallinari could see even more usage. Already inside the top 30 in standard 9-cat leagues, the Rooster could even push for Tobi’s top 25 spot now. The same sentiment goes for Lou Williams as well. Patrick Beverley might also keep his hot streak going. I’d hold onto him, at least until he cools off. I could also see the Clippers giving Shai Gilgeous-Alexander much more developmental run now that they’re seemingly pulling their name out of the ‘playoff picture’ hat. Wilson Chandler has some relatively large shoes to fill. He’s been dealing with a nagging number of injuries that have kept his fantasy relevance to a minimum. I don’t expect him to jump back into the fantasy picture here. Landry Shamet is an interesting case to me. He’s not really good for much more than 3’s and being a positive in FT% and TO’s at the moment. Plus, LAC’s backcourt is a stacked mess now with so many mouths to feed. He is, however, a Dynasty name to watch.

I’m also throwing the Zubac deal in here as well, as to not add another whole section here. I think he might be worth a flier considering LAC shouldn’t be pushing for a playoff spot anymore.

To sum it up…

Stock Up:

  • Danilo Gallinari
  • Lou Williams
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander down the stretch
  • Ivica Zubac
  • maybe Patrick Beverley

Stock Down:

  • Tobias Harris
  • J.J. Redick
  • Furkan Korkmaz
  • maybe Jimmy Butler

Fultz Gets His Change of Scenery

This was a nice, low-risk gamble for the Magic. Markelle Fultz still holds enough potential and upside that he was worth a simple price of a marginal roleplayer and a late 1st-round pick. I’d like to see him get some confidence back and help his team succeed. He wasn’t necessarily needed in Philly. Hopefully Orlando can work with him while showing him their appreciation to help lead him out of his own head.

ORL Fantasy Outlook

Markelle’s timetable is still uncertain. I was kind of hoping he was close to a return and Philly was just holding him out because they didn’t need him. That may not be likely. Orlando has no reason to rush him back, and would be well-advised not to. Simmons’ departure may not mean much for the rest of the Wings on this team as his role was relatively minimal anyway.

To sum it up…

Stock Up:

  • Fultz (once he returns)
  • maybe Evan Fournier and/or Terrence Ross

Stock Down: 

  • D.J. Augustin and Jerian Grant (upon the return of Fultz)
  • Jonathon Simmons

Milwaukee gets an Upgrade

Mirotic was bound to be dealt at this deadline. New Orleans reportedly received numerous calls regarding him. He would be a valuable floor-spacing PF for any competitor. Well, the competitors came knocking. Milwaukee blew the doors down, granting the Pelicans a young, defensive player in Stanley Johnson and four 2nd-round picks, which mostly came from Washington, reports say. Those 2nd-rounders could be very interesting considering where the Wizards are at this point in time.

NOP Fantasy Outlook

With Niko gone and Markieff Morris being released, Julius Randle will get all the usage he can handle. Jahlil Okafor and/or Cheick Diallo could also continue seeing decent play. It remains to be seen just how much New Orleans will play the Brow. They surely don’t want a serious, John Wall-type injury to occur, destroying their leverage. Maybe they take it easy on him, granting more time to the younger bigs behind him.

MIL Fantasy Outlook

You have to think Mirotic’s value takes a hit here. Milwaukee likely won’t start him, and might not even finish with him in most matchups. That’s not to say he won’t have a nice role on this team. His offense will be very valuable to a team pushing for the NBA Finals behind their MVP candidate.

DET Fantasy Outlook

Did you know this was actually a 3-team trade? I just recently found that out. Detroit’s implications are minimal. Thon Maker likely still won’t be standard league asset but he may just completely steal Zaza’s role. It would take an injury to Drummond, or maybe Griffin, for Maker to really start getting some shine. It is odd that the Pistons dealt away both Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock though. Has their playoff-chasing stance changed? Who is left on the Wing? We might see a lot more minutes out of Luke Kennard, Khyri Thomas, and/or newly-acquired G League phenom, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.

This just in: Detroit will reportedly win the Wayne Ellington sweepstakes. He will likely assume a similar position to Reggie Bullock’s former role.

To sum it up…

Stock Up:

  • Julius Randle
  • Luke Kennard
  • Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
  • Thon Maker
  • Wayne Ellington
  • maybe Jahlil Okafor and/or Cheick Diallo

Stock Down:

  • Nikola Mirotic
  • D.J. Wilson
  • Zaza Pachulia
  • Ersan Ilyasova
  • Solomon Hill

Sacramento Uses Their Cap Space

The Kings are making an all-out push for the 7th or 8th seed. Vlade Divac is salivating at the chance for a first-round exit. Harrison Barnes might not be a star, but he can certainly help them fulfill their dreams. Meanwhile, the Mavericks just wanted to shed Barnes’ contract after having to take on Courtney Lee and Tim Hardawy Jr. in the pre-deadline Porzingis super-deal. I suppose this was a win-win.

SAC Fantasy Outlook

Sacramento added another, maybe more adept, body at their Forward position. It’s never fun to predict what’s in Dave Joerger’s head so I won’t deal in certainties here. I could see Bogdanovic spending a little more time riding the pine but it might be safer to predict a drop-off in Bjelica’s minutes for sure. The Kings certainly shouldn’t take any playing time away from Bagley, but as I said, you never know with these guys. Sac-town also acquired Caleb Swanigan from Portland, but that will likely be irrelevant, particularly for redraft-leaguers. The Kings also acquired Alec Burks in a separate deal. I doubt he sees any significant time, especially given this Barnes deal, which might push BogBog to play even more SG, depending on how Joerger uses Barnes.

DAL Fantasy Outlook

I doubt Justin Jackson gets in the rotation much with numerous other mouths to feed. Courtney Lee is already getting tagged with DNP-CD’s, but Hardaway, Kleber, Finney-Smith, Powell, and of course, the future fantasy phenom himself, Luka Doncic, are all players that expect to be given playing time on this roster.

To sum it up…

Stock Up:

  • Dorian Finney-Smith
  • Maxi Kleber

Stock Down:

  • Nemanja Bjelica
  • Justin Jackson
  • maybe Harrison Barnes