This article is part of our Centers of Attention series.
Since the All-Star break leaves us with a limited schedule for the next couple of weeks, we'll do something a little different for this week's column. Let's dive into the craziness that the trade deadline brought us the last few days and discuss the fallout for some of the big men involved.
Atlanta Hawks acquire Clint Capela
The trade that kicked off all of the madness was a four-team deal between the Rockets, Nuggets, Timberwolves and Hawks that went down late Tuesday night. The Hawks had been rumored to be pursuing a center, most notably linked to Andre Drummond. However, they were instead able to pry Capela from the Rockets, which probably works out better for them since he's under contract through the 2022-23 season.
After being able to dominate the boards playing with small lineups on the Rockets, Capela will now have to share the Hawks' frontcourt with John Collins. While that could impact Capela's rebounding numbers, at least the Hawks also play at a fast pace like the Rockets. Overall, don't expect Capela to receive much of a hit in production. Although, I wouldn't be surprised to see both him and Collins eat into each other's rebounding totals to a limited extent.
The aftermath that this trade had on the Rockets is that P.J. Tucker is probably going to continue to start at center for them moving forward. The Rockets were able to acquire Bruno Caboclo, but he likely isn't in line for significant playing time. Expect the Rockets to be active in the buyout market to try and add some size up front.
Cleveland Cavaliers acquire Andre Drummond
This trade might have been the most surprising of them all. Drummond is having yet another monster season for the Pistons and is on pace to average at least 15 points, 15 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks for the third straight season. However, he has a nearly $29 million player option for next season. Either he picks that up or whichever team decides to sign him is likely going to have to shell out an expensive long-term deal. That left him with somewhat limited trade value.
Still, the return that the Pistons received for him is almost laughable. The two players that came their way were John Henson and Brandon Knight, veterans who haven't been impactful players in a long time. The only draft capital that they were able to acquire was a 2023 second-round pick. Yikes.
From a fantasy perspective, this trade has a lot of ripple effects. Drummond will start at center for the Cavaliers, displacing the incumbent Tristan Thompson. Does Thompson reach a buyout agreement and go elsewhere? While that's possible, he doesn't hold much fantasy value as things currently stand. He could still be productive if he were to join either the Celtics or Rockets, so if you have a roster spot to hold him, that might not be the worst idea.
From the Pistons' side of things, this now leaves Christian Wood with a chance to shine. He still has to battle with Henson and Thon Maker for minutes, but he has the highest upside out of that trio. Across 21 games in which he has logged at least 20 minutes this season, Wood has averaged 15.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, one steal and one three-pointer. He's still available in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues, so grab him now if you still can.
Golden State Warriors trade away Omari Spellman
After being the most dominant team in the league for several years, the Warriors were in a unique situation of being sellers at the deadline a year after playing in the NBA Finals. Injuries will do that to you, especially when they are suffered by players the caliber of Stephen Curry (hand) and Klay Thompson (knee). The Warriors previously dealt Willie Cauley-Stein to the Mavericks a couple of weeks ago, then shipped out Spellman in a trade with the Timberwolves that also saw them trade away D'Angelo Russell while acquiring Andrew Wiggins.
The big names in the deal are obviously Russell and Wiggins. Both players are still in excellent situations with their new teams, leaving them as great fantasy options for the stretch run. If you are in a dynasty league, though, Wiggins' move to the Warriors is worrisome. Once Curry and Thompson are back next season, his usage rate figures to decline. The loss of Spellman, though, is also impactful for Marquese Chriss and Kevon Looney. They will likely fight it out for minutes at center for the rest of the season with Chriss expected to continue to start. Over the last six games in that role, he's averaged 11.3 points, five rebounds, 0.8 steals and two blocks. He also shot 59.6 percent from the field and 76.9 percent from the charity stripe during that stretch. Spellman is a more viable option for standard sized leagues while Looney is better suited for deeper leagues. He's been limited by injuries, but showed some promise against the Nets on Wednesday by recording 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and a block across 18 minutes.