Fantasy Basketball: Music of the Traffic – Trade Deadline Special

It’s 3 o’clock on a Thursday

The trade offers roll in

There’s an old man sitting next to me… but he’s doing nothing…

The NBA trade deadline passed us by and while there was a decent amount of action, not every team was an active participant. Some franchises, including Phil Jackson’s Knicks, decided to sit out and wait for the offseason to reload.

They say that sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make. That is true in fantasy leagues as much as it is in the Association. However, sometimes doing nothing can be perceived as a flawed strategy and that is certainly how Knicks fans, Pacers fans, Celtics fans, Timberwolves fans and probably fans of several other teams feel right now.

With Melo not allowing a trade to be made, the Knicks did nothing to change their fortunes for the remainder of this season. In Indy, Larry Bird was probably too busy fielding calls for Paul George to make any deals to add talent around George and entice him to stay a Pacer long-term. Meanwhile, Danny Ainge couldn’t find a deal he was comfortable with to pull the pin on acquiring George or Jimmy Butler.

With the All-Star break behind us, the action has started again and there are plenty of faces in new places. So what does that mean for your fantasy teams?

Never fear as Downtown is here, listening to the Music of the Trade Deadline Traffic, so you don’t let the action pass you by.

Week 18 (Feb. 27 – March 5)



The extended week is almost done and with that, Week 18 brings a normal schedule back. Fourteen of the 30 teams play four games, with the remaining 16 teams tipping off three times. This means everyone is in play for the coming matchup.

Here are the trade deadline deals and what they mean for fantasy purposes.

Trade details: Toronto sends Jared Sullinger and two second-round picks to Phoenix for P.J. Tucker

Outlook for traded players: Sullinger was superseded by Serge Ibaka’s arrival in Toronto anyway and this year is a write-off as he recovers from his injury. The Suns waived him after the deal.

Tucker is a winner here. He could see a boost backing up DeMarre Carroll and playing some small-ball four behind Ibaka. He’s worth a look in 14-team leagues.

Impact on other players: Carroll and Norman Powell will lose some minutes to Tucker, but not enough to make a drastic impact.

Potential pickups: Tucker is worth watching in 12-team leagues and probably worth grabbing in deeper leagues.

Trade details: Atlanta sends Mike Scott to Phoenix for a protected second-round pick and cash

Outlook for traded players: Scott had no fantasy value before the trade and has no value now. He was also waived by Phoenix.

Impact on other players: None

Potential pickups: None

Trade details: Houston sends Tyler Ennis to the Los Angeles Lakers for Marcelo Huertas

Outlook for traded players: Ennis goes from being a backup/third-string point guard in Houston to being the third-string point guard in L.A. He had little value outside 16-team leagues and deeper when in Houston and has even less now.

Huertas wasn’t playing much in L.A. and will be waived by Houston. He has no fantasy value.

Impact on other players: Lou Williams is in Houston now and he would have played ahead of Ennis anyway, so no impact.

Potential pickups: None

Trade details: Houston sends K.J. McDaniels to Brooklyn for cap space

Outlook for traded players: McDaniels wasn’t playing in Houston but has an opportunity to crack the rotation in Brooklyn, especially with Bojan Bogdanovic gone. He’ll likely be the backup small forward behind Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and could play some two-guard behind Caris LeVert too. He’s worth watching in deeper leagues.

Impact on other players: Sean Kilpatrick and Joe Harris could lose some value here, but let’s wait and see on that one.

Potential pickups: McDaniels is one to watch, but likely would only have value in 16-team leagues.

Trade details: Milwaukee sends Roy Hibbert to Denver for a protected second-round pick

Outlook for traded players: Assuming he’s not bought out, Hibbert will sit on the pine in Denver, just as he did in Milwaukee. His days of fantasy value are long gone.

Impact on other players: None

Potential pickups: None

Trade details: Chicago sends Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick to Oklahoma City for Anthony Morrow, Joffrey Lauvergne and Cameron Payne

Outlook for traded players: Gibson could still start in OKC, while McDermott’s role as a backup three-man and occasional starter should not change.

Payne has a chance to play a lot more in Chicago, but that may wait until next season. Morrow will still be a backup, but with Dwyane Wade’s health, he could have some value, while Lauvergne’s role is unclear with Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic still on the roster.

Impact on other players: Portis is probably the biggest winner here and should start for the Bulls going forward, while Mirotic could return to the rotation and may have some value if yesterday’s game is anything to go by. The Bulls’ point guard depth chart is four deep right now with Rajon Rondo still there, so they (Jerian Grant, Michael Carter-Williams and Rondo) will all lose some value.

Domantas Sabonis is probably the biggest loser out of this as he’ll likely move to the bench with Gibson in town and Enes Kanter now back. Sabonis had little value in standard leagues anyway and if he’s no longer starting, he can be safely dropped.

Kanter could take a slight hit, but it’s unlikely he’s impacted.

Potential pickups: Payne is worth keeping an eye on as his new role is being defined, while Morrow could have some sneaky value behind Wade and Jimmy Butler.

Trade details: Philadelphia sends Nerlens Noel to Dallas for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson and a top-18-protected first-round pick

Outlook for traded players: This is a great result for Noel, who will step straight into the starting lineup in Dallas at the five spot. His defensive skills are much needed and he should be able to play more regularly than Bogut, who was in and out of the lineup. Noel has offensive upside too as his usage should increase from the 17.9 percent it was sitting at in Philadelphia. He needs to be owned in all formats.

Bogut will be released by the Sixers and will likely become a backup centre, depending on where he lands. His fantasy value had declined already given his health issues, so he can be left on waiver wires for now.

Anderson, though, is also a winner out of this trade. He goes to a team starving for capable wing players and while he’ll play behind Robert Covington, he has a good chance to increase his playing time to around 20 minutes per game. If he does, he’ll have fringe value in 12-team leagues, so keep an eye on him.

Impact on other players: Noel will take minutes away from Dwight Powell and Salah Mejri but neither had much value to begin with. Anderson could play some at shooting guard too, meaning Nik Stauskas and Gerald Henderson could take a slight hit, but any impact would be minimal.

Potential pickups: Anderson is one to watch in 12- to 14-team leagues. Noel should already be owned.

Trade details: Philadelphia sends Ersan Ilyasova and a second-round pick to Atlanta for Tiago Splitter and draft considerations

Outlook for traded players: Ilyasova loses out here as he goes from a starter on a team that needed his skillset to backing up Paul Millsap. He did his damage in 27 minutes per game this season, but will probably be playing closer to 22 going forward, making him a borderline cut in 12-team leagues. Best to watch and see what his role looks like.

Splitter is injured and won’t play. He helps the Sixers meet the salary floor and will be gone at season’s end once his deal expires.

Impact on other players: It’s happy days for Dario Saric, who will move into the starting lineup now and could be the number one option while Joel Embiid is out. With Ben Simmons out for the season, nothing can really slow Saric down now. He needs to be owned in all 12-team formats going forward and most 10-teamers too.

On the Hawks, Mike Muscala and Kris Humphries could lose some production, but had little value in standard leagues anyway.

Potential pickups: Super Dario! Grab him now if he’s available.

Trade details: Washington sends Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton and a lottery-protected first-round pick to Brooklyn for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough

Outlook for traded players: Bogdanovic was the biggest name in this deal and he goes from starting in Brooklyn to backing up Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. in Washington. He has to take a hit from this move and is now droppable in 12-team leagues. McCullough could actually play some in D.C. but will likely spend some more time in the D-League with Markieff Morris and Jason Smith ahead of him.

For the Nets, Thornton has been waived, while Nicholson may have a chance to crack the rotation but won’t have any fantasy value.

Impact on other players: Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will be handed the keys to the wing positions at Barclays Center and both could flirt with 12-team value, while Kelly Oubre Jr. could lose a little value with Bogdanovic in town, but shouldn’t change much.

Potential pickups: LeVert and Hollis-Jefferson are worth watching to see what kind of minutes they get going forward.

Trade details: The Los Angeles Lakers send Lou Williams to Houston for Corey Brewer and a 2017 first-round pick

Outlook for traded players: Williams is one of the frontrunners for the Sixth Man of the Year award and while he’ll technically be the seventh man in Houston behind Eric Gordon, he’s still going to play a huge role off the bench. The Rockets are the perfect offensive team for him to join and with no real point guard backing up Pat Beverley, Lou-Will is going to see big minutes. His debut on Thursday saw him pump in 27 points in 25 minutes as he felt right at home in Mike D’Antoni’s system. He can still safely be owned in all formats.

Brewer goes to a Lakers team looking to bottom out this year to try to keep their first-round pick, as well as develop their young core. He’ll mentor the likes of Brandon Ingram and back-up Nick Young, but will have little value outside of 16-team leagues.

Impact on other players: Jordan Clarkson could see a slight decrease in shooting guard minutes with Brewer in town, but he’ll probably benefit more from Williams’ departure at the point guard spot, while D’Angelo Russell could see more usage in fourth quarters, gaining touches that used to go to Williams.

In Houston, it’s possible Beverley loses some shots to Williams, but there’s enough to go round there, so there’ll be no real impact.

Potential pickups: Ingram and Clarkson could see an uptick in usage, so are worth considering in 12-team leagues if available.

Trade details: Sacramento sends DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to New Orleans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a 2017 first-round pick and a second-round pick

Outlook for traded players: While we haven’t seen a twin-towers combo since Robinson and Duncan, Cousins will try to make it work with Anthony Davis. Boogie will likely see a slight reduction in usage percentage, leading to a drop in points and possibly free throw attempts, however his efficiency, both in terms of field goal percentage and fewer turnovers, should improve playing alongside another All-Star. Cousins may also grab fewer boards, but not enough to impact your squad. Boogie went for 27 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, five steals and four blocks in a phenomenal fantasy debut on Thursday, but the Pels got blown out, so we’ll see if that sort of stat line is replicable going forward.

Casspi would have been a nice fit in the Big Easy, but a broken thumb has forced New Orleans to waive him, so he’s basically done for the fantasy season now.

Hield was the marquee name on the Kings side of the deal and while he’ll be fighting for minutes with Ben McLemore, Arron Afflalo and Garrett Temple, he’s the one they wanted and will be given every opportunity to shine. He could be in line for a nice bump, although his value is still better suited to points leagues.

Evans goes back to where it all began for him and will be asked to help facilitate on this lineup starved of offensive talent. He should be in line for 25 to 28 minutes per game and could hold late-round value in 12- to 14-team leagues.

Galloway may be waived, but even if he’s not, he’ll have no value in Sacramento.

Impact on other players: The biggest winner is probably Willie Cauley-Stein, who now has a clear path to five-man minutes for Dave Joerger and showed what he can do with the added responsibility on Thursday with a career-high 29 points, to go along with 10 rebounds and a block.

Davis will also likely take a slight hit in points and rebounds, but will still be a top-10 player going forward.

E’Twaun Moore and Tim Frazier will be forced into heavier workloads as the Pelicans have a dearth of guards. Both have shown in the past they are capable of holding late-round value if given the chance, while Solomon Hill could also benefit, especially with Casspi now gone.

Potential pickups: Cauley-Stein and maybe even Kosta Koufos if you need a big, or keep an eye on Frazier and Moore for the Pelicans if guard help is what you crave.

With the fantasy playoffs right around the corner, it’s no time to be sitting around doing nothing. Take stock of your roster, analyse your strengths and weaknesses, and decide if you want to push your chips into the middle to go after that title.

But remember, sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make.

La la la, di da da

La la, di da da da dum

Sing us a song, you’re the Portis man…

Follow me on Twitter @tomhersz for updates
Follow Downtown @downtownball

Author of the article

When you’re introduced to the NBA as a 6 year old in 1984, staying up late to watch Bird, Magic and Dr. J, it’s pretty hard not to fall in love with the game. I became consumed with the Association, and as my own game was developing, I tried to emulate as much as I could at an early age and learn how to play “the right way”. I have memories as a teenager of being glued to Saturday Basketball on TV and spending every spare cent I had on basketball cards and replica jerseys and so began my obsession with NBA knowledge and stats. I played my first season of Fantasy Hoops in 2002, as my serious playing days were slowing down. I now play in 5 or 6 leagues every year. To say I’m obsessed with Fantasy Hoops would be an understatement. To say I love nothing more than sharing my opinion on a player’s value would be entirely accurate, and I guess, the reason why I’m here. Follow me on twitter: @tomhersz @downtownball