Trade deadlines often end up as being mostly hype. Rumors run rampant for months leading up to the deadline, but most of the moves made wind up involving role players, draft picks and expiring contracts. That wasn’t the case this year.
After Denver, Minnesota and New York agreed to the three-team blockbuster sending Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks, the trade floodgates were open. As a result, we had one of the busier deadlines in recent memory.
Below is a breakdown of various players whose fantasy value has been impacted by all of the wheeling and dealing.
Kendrick Perkins, C, OKC – In one of the bigger surprises Thursday, Boston sent Perkins to Oklahoma City for a package centered around Jeff Green. Perkins will provide the Thunder with a much-needed defensive presence in the paint. The 26-year-old center has been a nightly double-double threat the past few seasons with the Celtics despite never averaging over 30 minutes per game. With less competition for playing time in OKC, Perkins should start eclipsing that 30-minute mark on a regular basis. Look his way if you need help with rebounds or blocks.
Ty Lawson, G, DEN – With Chauncey Billups now patrolling Madison Square Garden, Lawson has taken over as the Nuggets starting point guard. The sophomore guard showed his upside in his first start after the trade, finishing with 21 points, five rebounds, seven assists and six steals in 39 minutes. He’ll have to give some of those minutes to newcomer Raymond Felton, but Lawson is Nuggets coach George Karl’s starting point guard for the short term, and the two will also likely be on the court together. Felton’s presence will limit Lawson’s upside, but he’s still in a better position to produce now than he was prior to the blockbuster trade.
Jason Thompson, F, SAC – The Kings opened up playing time for Thompson on Wednesday by trading away backup power forward Carl Landry. Thompson’s production has been inconsistent this season, but his struggles can partly be attributed to Kings coach Paul Westphal’s unsteady rotation. With Landry now out of the mix, most of the minutes at the four and five will be split three ways between Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins and Samuel Dalembert. The extra playing time should allow Thompson to produce closer to the numbers we saw in his first two seasons.
Marcus Thornton, G, SAC – Thornton is the piece Sacramento acquired in the Landry deal. The 23-year-old shooting guard showed off his dynamic ability to score late last season by averaging over 20 points per game after the All-Star break, but he was buried on the Hornets bench most nights this year. That shouldn’t be the case in Sacramento, as Thornton gives the Kings a much-needed long-range threat. With Tyreke Evans (plantar fasciitis) out indefinitely, Thornton should get a chance to immediately contribute. He’s worth a look for any squads in need of scoring and threes.
Chase Budinger, G/F, HOU – Budinger is another three-point shooter who’s worth a speculative grab. With Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks both being shipped out of Houston prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, Budinger should see more consistent playing time down the stretch. His per-36 averages currently sit at 16.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.0 treys. Those numbers are probably a stretch, but Budinger will be worth a look now that he’ll have more playing time.
Kris Humphries, F, NJ – While the entirety of Nets’ roster will benefit from playing with Deron Williams, Humphries could see the biggest immediate boost following the moves made by New Jersey. The Nets traded away Derrick Favors on Wednesday, leaving the starting power forward gig to Humphries. The 26-year-old big man out of Minnesota has averaged 8.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 27 starts this season. His offense should see a decent boost playing with Williams, so don’t be surprised if Humphries starts offering more than just rebounding and blocks.
Hasheem Thabeet, C, HOU – The second-overall pick of the 2009 draft was traded to Houston in exchange for the aforementioned Battier on Thursday. Thabeet is already considered a bust by many pundits, but at 24, he still has time to reach some of his potential. We doubt he makes much of an impact with the Rockets this season, but he’s in a much better position to develop and produce now that he’s not stuck behind Marc Gasol in Memphis. His development is worth monitoring, especially in keeper leagues.
Baron Davis, G, CLE – Thought to have an “un-tradable” contract, Davis getting shipped to Cleveland was another surprising deadline deal. He was packaged with the Clippers’ 2011 first-round pick for Cleveland’s Maurice Williams and Jamario Moon. The move frees up cap space for the Clippers and gives the Cavaliers a sought after lottery pick. Davis was playing inspired ball for the Clippers, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts to being traded to the worst team in the league. To make matters worse, he and Cavs coach Byron Scott have a bumpy relationship dating back to their stints with the Hornets. Davis owners should definitely be worried about the situation, but we’ll sit back and observe before slapping the veteran guard with “stock down.”
Semih Erden, C, CLE – Another move made by the Cavs was acquiring Erden from the Celtics just before the deadline. On the surface, Erden doesn’t look like a very appealing fantasy option, but he showed flashes of productivity in seven starts for the Celtics earlier this season, averaging 6.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 22 mpg. If he were headed to a more functional team, Erden’s upside would probably be limited, but the cellar-dwelling Cavs might actually give him a chance to earn a spot in the rotation. We’re not expecting much here, but he could be a surprise producer in deep leagues if the Cavs give him the necessary run.
Anthony Randolph, F, MIN – Randolph went from New York to Minnesota as part of the three-team trade that landed Melo with the Knicks. The 21-year-old big man was never able to establish himself in the Big Apple, but he might get a chance with the Timberwolves. He’s stuck behind Kevin Love and Darko Milicic on the depth chart, so we don’t expect him to be in the starting five this season, but Randolph could work his way into the rotation if he can grasp Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis’ triangle offense. No need to rush to your waiver wire, but keep an eye on Randolph to see how Minnesota deploys him down the stretch.
Jeff Green, F, BOS – Green was the main haul for Boston in their trade with Oklahoma City on Thursday. The fourth-year forward will go from being a third scoring option to a sixth with the change of address. He’s a versatile player and helps solidifies Boston’s rotation, but the decreased role will have a negative impact on his fantasy value. Owners should be sending out trade offers with hope of capitalizing on Green’s production in OKC, because he won’t be able to match it in Boston.
Raymond Felton, G, DEN – Like Green, Felton has found himself in a reduced role with his new team. After nearly making the All-Star team with the Knicks, Felton could be locked in as the Nuggets backup point guard. More likely than not, Felton and Lawson will be in a frustrating timeshare at the position. Any way you cut it, Felton’s value takes a significant dip.
Aaron Brooks, G, PHO – As if Brooks owners haven’t been frustrated enough this season, now they have to deal with the him backing up one of the best point guards in the NBA. With his trade to Phoenix, Brooks will be stuck behind Steve Nash, meaning he’ll struggle even more to find significant run of the bench. Downgrade Brooks slightly from the already disappointing production we saw from him in Houston.
Gerald Wallace, F, POR – Wallace was traded from the Bobcats to the Blazers for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham and two first-round picks Thursday. “Crash” was one of the league leaders in playing time while with the Bobcats, approaching 40 minutes on a nightly basis. The Trailblazers already had a glut of wing players on their roster before acquiring Wallace, and since they didn’t include any of those other options in the deal, his playing time figures to take a significant hit. He’ll still be a quality fantasy play, but owners should become accustomed to seeing less playing time, and as a result, a drop in statistics from Wallace.
Mike Bibby, G, WAS – Bibby was moved from the Hawks to the Wizards in Wednesday’s deal that sent Kirk Hinrich to Atlanta. The veteran point guard is reportedly seeking a buyout from his new squad, but whether he stays in Washington or signs elsewhere, it’s doubtful his role will be as sizable as it was in Atlanta. Deep leagues that were relying on Bibby’s production should start shopping for a replacement.