The New Jersey Nets announced their second deal of the day by trading away Troy Murphy and a second round pick to the Golden State Warriors for Brandon Wright and Dan Gadzuric.
This deal has been coming for a while. It was not long ago that Troy was an absolute fantasy stud with rebounds, blocks and three's, with many owners drafting him this season with high hopes in New Jersey. Unfortunately for Troy, it didn't work out, and the future is not any brighter at Golden State as they are looking at a potential buyout. They consider the second round pick as the key to this trade... ouch!!!
For the Nets, Gadzuric will provide some frontcourt support off the bench, but neither he nor Wright has any fantasy relevance.
None of these players are worth owning. However, do keep an eye out for where Murphy eventually lands.
The Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks have exchanged points... no really, they have! It has been announced today that Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong of the Wizards are on their way to Atlanta for Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans and a draft pick.
An interesting move by both teams, but in terms of fantasy, the two main impacts are on Bibby and Hinrich. Whilst the move won't propel the Hawks up the East ladder, they get a solid player on both ends of the court, and someone with playoff experience, as such, we see his stats going up as he moves from a bench role into a starter position, meaning he is worth a pickup in all leagues. On the other hand, one can expect the opposite for Mike Bibby, as he will now ride the pine behind John Wall. It is our belief that Bibby be dropped in all leagues... he had a nice start to the season, but production has dropped off quite a bit of late.
For the Hawks, they give away a promising rookie and depth to get Hinrich. Unfortunately this is not the deal that will help them in the East... should they have not pushed for Deron Williams?
The Sacramento Kings traded Carl Landry for New Orleans guard Marcus Thornton and cash today.
For the Kings, Thornton (boy, did he fall off his production since his form last year) adds some depth as a shooter off the bench behind Evans, however the clear winners are Jason Thompson and Samuel Dalembert (and to some extent DeMarcus Cousins), both of whom will see additional time. Both should be considered in deeper leagues, especially the latter with his rebounding and blocking potential.
For the Hornets, they are clearly lacking some presence inside, especially after Emeka Okafor has missed quite a few games now. Landry owners should be happy with this move, and whilst it will be hard to expect his old Rockets numbers, he should produce off the bench (especially with CP3 around), and again should be considered in deeper leagues. David West owners will experience only minor falls in production.
You will never get this, you will never get this, la la la la lah (Nuggets showing off Melo to Knicks)... and in the end, they (The Knicks) get this!!!
Finally, Carmelo finally got his wish, and was traded to the New York Knicks, a trade that was always on the cards and made sense for both teams. On the one hand you had the Nuggets, who stood to lose out completely (see Bosh, Chris), but instead, they got some decent pieces in return as they build for the future. Meanwhile, the Knicks certainly have picked things up this season with the acquisition of Amare, but let's be honest, they weren't beating the Celtics, Magic, Heat or Bulls with that team. Now they have another scorer, to go along with the savvy veteran Chauncey Billups... plus, they have no excess baggage in Eddy Curry. They might not have got LeBron, but did ok nabbing Amare and Melo.
Here's how it went down (who went where):
Knicks: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman, Anthony Carter, and Corey Brewer
Nuggets: Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, plus draft picks.
Timberwolves: Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry
So, who are the winners and losers from this trade from a fantasy perspective? We got it covered... check out our thinking below:
Danilo Gallinari – Will likely be given the starting gig ahead of Wilson Chandler. The Nuggets were keen on him from day one, and he is already a must own in fantasy leagues. His value only goes up, with his scoring only to get better.
Wilson Chandler – Whilst it may be easy to presume his stats will go down, we actually don't see much change. His minutes should remain consistent. May take slight decrease overt he next couple of weeks, but should come good come fantasy playoff time.
Ronny Turiaf – Lost his starting gig due to injury, but now it appears it is his again. All pressure will be on Amare and Melo, meaning he should get his fair share of rebounds, blocks, and second chance follow-ups. A nice addition should you need a center.
Corey Brewer – Yes, he'll back-up Melo, but who else do the Knicks have now they have traded everyone away? He fits the D'Antoni system well, and should see regular minutes. As such, he will be a good source of 3's and steals.
Anthony Randolph – Ok, I know what you're thinking, but hey, it couldn't get any worse than a DNP. He should gobble up the minutes left by Corey Brewer off the bench.
Aaron Affalo – Has quietly been having a solid season. There will be extra shots to spread around (to the tune of around 30 per game), and he has been shooting well, so we see his scoring taking a jump up to over 15 per game.
Ty Lawson – Will split time with Felton now on board, but his minutes should go up given he knows the system. If Felton moves on (NJ anyone?), then Ty would make for a very nice fantasy addition in deeper leagues.
Chauncey Billups – Does not really fit the D'Antoni system, however he is a professional, with solid experience. He won't be relied upon to do much scoring, hence his value takes a hit here. His assists will increase slightly, as will his 3 pt opportunities.
Raymond Felton – Was starting to get used to life in New York, but this trade clearly sees his stock falling. He won't have Amare to pass to, and we would be surprised if Denver is his final destination. His scoring may increase, but other stats will fall, including his FG percentage.
Timofey Mosgov – Was a vital piece to the trade. Came into fantasy relevance once he was handed the starting Knicks gig (rebounds, blocks), but in Denver, it's a different story. He will now drop down the pecking order behind Nene, Harrington, Martin and Anderson. Like Felton, he may not stay in Denver long.
Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony – One could argue that given they will now share the ball that their stats will go down, but just take a look at what Miami have done with their superstars. We see no change to their value.
Tony Douglas, Shawne Williams & Bill Walker – Will see a slight increase in minutes, but none are worth of a fantasy spot on your roster.
Landry Fields – Is a must own in all fantasy formats. He should continue to produce on par with his season stats.
Sheldon Williams & Renaldo Balkman – Will see limited minutes, hence not worth considering.
Denver frontcourt – Nene may see more shots, but no change to their value here.
Eddy Curry – Will get to watch Kevin Love do all the work... from the bench.
How does this chance impact on the real life teams?
For Denver this will obviously hurt their chances to compete (good news for Jazz, Grizzlies, Rockets, Hornets, Suns, and Trailblazers), and may now miss this season's playoffs. However, they should rebuild pretty quickly with the nucleus of players they have, all on decent contracts too. Reports are that they aren't done making changes yet, so watch this space.
As for the Knicks, they are pretty much assured of a play-off spot now, and most teams would want to avoid playing them in the first round (Hawks, Bulls, and Magic). This was clearly a deal that had to do to appease NY crowd as they were going nowhere with the 'youth' policy. Their long-term picture is a little muddy, with very little depth, and will rely on picking up another piece to the puzzle... perhaps CP3 or Deron is on the cards. However, with future unknown cap size, this may be difficult.
Ok, so Blake Griffin won the 2011 Spite Slam Dunk contest, and did so by jumping over a car... yep, over a car. Whilst the actual dunk itself wasn't that flashy, he dunked over a car, on an alley-oop... say what you want, but that is a dunk, and original at that.
Blake Griffin showed off a full repertoire of dunks, but let's be honest, was this dunk comp over before it even began? Going into the contest, there was much hype around him, and he didn't disappoint. However, once he made it to the final, there was not much hope for JaVale McGee (that under the ring dunk was simply amazing, not to mention the 3-ball dunk). He was on his home court, put on a theatrical show, and it was left to fan vote to decide... Blake could have done two lay-ups and probably still have won. Something for Stern and the league to think about next year.
Regardless of the finish, the 2011 dunk competition was one of the best ones in the history of the event.
On the eve of the 2011 NBA All-Star game in LA, we thought it would be apt to reflect back on a historic fantasy performance by none other than Earvin "Magic" Johnson, LA's favorite son.
Back in 1991, Magic's career was suddenly cut short after he announced that he had HIV. A year later, he was voted in by the fans to play in the 1992 All-Star game... a contensious decision by his peers, but what a vintage performance he turned in, including winning the prestigious MVP award in just 29 minutes of play. Many a fantasy owner would be happy with these stats:
25 points - 9/12 FG, 4/4 FT
3/3 from downtown
Let's see if anyone can match these statistics in the 2011 game. For what it's worth, this writer believes that Derrick Rose will be the unbeata-BULL.
This instalment of 'The Hakeem High-tops' takes a look at the rising stock levels of a number of players over past 30 days heading into the all-star break. With the upcoming trade deadline, perhaps these are potential sell-high opportunities:
LaMarcus Aldridge: Clearly the injuries in the Blazers frontcourt have meant that LaMarcus was needed to step up, and indeed he has. Over the past month he has averaged 26 points, 9.1 rebounds, and more importantly, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks, on very solid shooting.
Chauncey Billups: Despite ongoing trade talks, Chauncey has been producing on the court. Over the past month he has 17.5 points, 5.3 assists, 2.6 3's, and has been near flawless from the free-throw line.
Amir Johnson: A waiver wire pickup that has helped many a fantasy team of late. On the month, the Raptors PF has 13.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and has shot at 59% from the field.
Andre Iguodala: Was mentioned in the falling stock previously, but has since turned it around, with more of a focus on handling the ball. Andre has put up 14.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and surprisingly, 7 assists over the past month. He also has his usual 2 steals a game.
Channing Frye: One of the key beneficiaries of the big trade with the Magic, over the past 30 days Channing has 14.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, and an astonishing 3.1 shots a game from behind the arc. Whilst those stats won't keep up, he should continue to hit them from downtown.
Baron Davis: At one stage was on the chopping block of many fantasy teams, with some even following through. However, playing with Blake Griffin has to do something to your stats, combined with the loss of Eric Gordon, it was only upside potential for Baron. Over the past month Baron has 16.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.9 steals... he has even shot well from the field!
Marcin Gortat: It was only a matter of time until the Suns gave him regular minutes (27 pg), esp. with Robin Lopez at center. Marcin has put up 12.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, 0.7 steals, and a block per game over the past month.
Chuck Hayes: Matrix like stats coming from Chuck over the past month; 10 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.8 blocks. Despite poor shooting from the stripe, fantasy owners have to happy about his production.
Ramon Sessions: Whenever he has been given regular minutes, he has produced. With Mo Williams down, and playing on a Cavaliers team, over the past month Ramon has dropped 16.1 points, 7.6 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals on the opposition.
Need assistance with your roster, or advice on trades? Ask TheFantasyDudes.
This instalment of 'The Lue Lowdown' takes a look at the falling stock levels of a number of players over past 30 days heading into the all-star break. With the upcoming trade deadline, perhaps these are potential buy-low opportunities:
Manu Ginobili: Spectacular start to the season, and whilst the Spurs still continue to set the benchmark in the NBA, Manu's play of late has disappointed fantasy owners. Over the past 30 days he has averaged only 14.6 points a game, 3.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.1 steals, on only 39% from the field. Expect him to turn his recent slump around post all-star break.
DJ Augustin: A revelation over the first half of the season, but like Manu, the production has dropped off a little. Over the past month he has 13.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.5 steals and 1.5 3's. Whilst the three's are nice, the field goal percentage of 40% is not.
Hedo Turkoglu: After his trade to the Magic, it appeared he picked up right where he left off in Orlando, however he has disappointed of late. 9.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists on 42% shooting. Hedo has been very inconsistent for fantasy owners, and whilst he is seeing a lot of the ball handling, he is averaging close to 2 turnovers a game.
John Wall: Ok, he is putting up some nice stats, but for fantasy owners, they can't be liking the 43% shooting from the field, and only 63% from the stripe. A great source of steals and assists, but he may be worth moving, especially as fantasy owners will be tempted to pull the trigger on a trade after his MVP rookie performance against the sophomores.
Vince Carter: The demise is well under way. We are big fans of Vincanity, but if you can't produce with Steve Nash running the floor, who can? Over the past month he has just 11.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists on 39% shooting from the field.
Jameer Nelson: See above re: Hedo Turkoglu. With less ball, and losing time to Gilbert Arenas, it has spelled a performance downgrade for Nelson. He'll come good for the Magic when in playoff-mode, but unfortunately not good news for fantasy owners. Over the past 30 days he has just 10.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists on 39% shooting.
Brandon Jennings: Sure, he is only coming back from injury, but over his past 11 games he has only averaged 9.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 steals, and less than a 3. Alarmingly for fantasy owners, he has been shooting a horrible 32.6% from the field... talk about a category killer!
Need assistance with your roster, or advice on trades? Ask TheFantasyDudes.
Looking for a player off the waiver wire averaging 14.6 pts, 4.4 reb, 0.6 stl, 2 ast, and a hand 1.4 threes over the last 5 games? Well that player is Aaron Afflalo. And guess what - he is almost universally owned in fantasy leagues. You're not getting him.
Try be realistic when you look to pick up players. If you're looking for someone to contribute right across the cats, you're not going to find him. Instead, look for a player who is good-to-very-good in a single cat, and who won't kill you in the three FG%, FG% and TO categories. I call this type of player the '1 Sweet, 3 Neat' player (yeah yeah, I know, it needs some work - you got anything better?)
Here are some '1 Sweet, 3 Neat' players you should look to pick up:
DeJuan Blair, PF/C, SA: Blair is averaging 15 pts, 10 reb, 1.6 stl and 0.6 blk on 58% shooting over his last 5. You're telling me you couldn't have used those rebounds to help you win that cat last week?
Jodie Meeks, SG, Phi: Who cares if his name sounds like the girl you liked in your high school gymnastics team? The man rains down 3's like the average college offensive lineman eats Whopper burgers (2.2 over last 5, 1.7 over season).
Lou Williams, PG/SG, Phi: Diamond Lou has been on a tear lately, with 19 pts, 22-25 FT, 1.8 threes & 0.8 stl over his last 5 games. It's difficult to find that quantity of points and FT's on the waiver wire. Williams has even shot the ball well, averaging 50% from the field over the last 5. It is his questionable shot selection that has worried owners in the past, but if he can keep up even close to that % (he won't stay at 50% of course), you will do well by him.
Greg Monroe, PF/C, Det: With 9 reb on 58% shooting over his last 5, the rookie is heating up at the right time, and figures to keep getting better and better. His FT% leaves alot to be desired, but doesn't get to the line enough to harm you, particularly if you are already strong in that cat.
Kendrick Perkins, C, Bos: Perk's blocks (2 p/g over the last 4) can easilly help you win that cat, and his rebounding has been tasty lately too. Like Monroe, his FT's are a bit of a worry, but doesn't get to the line in abundance either, and they should improve as he gets more games under his belt.
The Dallas Mavericks are playing great basketball right now, and are currently riding an 8 game winning streak, including a big come from behind victory against the Celtics away from home (how clutch was that J-Kidd three???). Try taking that smile away from Mark Cuban's face!
With the Spurs doing so well, it's easy to forget about the Mavericks, however their record speaks for themselves as they go under the radar. They are currently 35-15, and sit in second in the West, ahead of the Lakers. Despite injuries to Caron Butler (season) and Rodrigue Beaubois (returning soon), they have been getting the job done, and is a real credit Head Coach Rick Carlisle.
Whilst it is the usual suspects that are performing for Dallas, led by all-star Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, the real surprise package has been the play of big man Tyson Chandler. For years the Mavericks have been missing that presence inside, and Tyson has delivered. He has contributed 10.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.2 blocks on 65.3% shooting from the field for the season, and no doubt those fantasy owners out there that have him must be pretty happy with his production... if you are looking for a big man, then look to trade for him.
We have compiled a list of players from the Mavericks roster worth owning on fantasy teams:
Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler, Jason Terry
Shawn Marion (pts, rebs, blks, stls), DeShawn Stevenson (3's)
All other players on the Mavericks roster are not worth owning at this point of time, however how Dallas incorporate Peja Stojakovic into the team will be worth keeping an eye on.