The biggest deal of at the trade deadline was the one that didn’t happen, as Dwight Howard opted to pass up his early termination option and remain with the Magic for another season. Orlando reportedly had other deals lined up to improve Howard’s supporting cast, but none happened before the deadline. Expect them to be busy this summer.
As for the deals that did happen, and the fantasy implications thereof…
Obviously, the must-get player today is Ramon Sessions, who will be taking over as the Lakers’ starting point guard any day now. Sessions’ role became even more important when the Lakers dealt Derek Fisher to the Rockets; Fish might get a buy-out from the Rockets, but he won’t be able to return to the Lakers this season.
The other must-add is Golden State’s Klay Thompson, who will take over as the Warriors’ starting two now that Monta Ellis is a Milwaukee Buck. Andris Biedrins will return to the starting lineup too… but even with 20-30 minutes a night I have little faith in his ability to produce fantasy-worthy numbers.
I imagine that Richard Jefferson will get 25 minutes or so off the bench for Golden State – he shouldn’t cut into Dorrell Wright’s playing time. Stephen Jackson could be surprisingly effective with the Spurs – Gregg Popovic reportedly loves the guy.
I’m interested to see if pairing Monta Ellis with Brandon Jennings works any better than pairing him with Stephen Curry… it might, because Milwaukee is a much better defensive team than the Warriors. (Of course, that’s sort of like saying, "I’m much taller than my four-year-old daughter.) Ekpe Udoh should continue to get regular minutes and be a good-to-great play for blocks and boards for the rest of the season.
I’m cautiously optimistic about JaVale McGee as a member of the Denver Nuggets. McGee is one of the league’s… uh, how do I say this nicely?… most unique personalities. But he’s also tremendously talented; don’t forget – he very nearly made Team USA for the 2010 FIBA World Championships. And after seeing what George Karl has done for Al Harrington‘s career, I’m inclined to think the Denver coach is a miracle worker. The trade also means that Kenneth Faried is a worthwhile long-term investment; it looks like the rookie will be Denver’s regular starting four for the duration.
Nene’s value probably won’t change a whole lot in Washington.
The deal sending Leandro Barbosa to Indiana makes the Pacers a lot deeper in the backcourt… but could hurt the fantasy numbers of several players, Darren Collison in particular. Meanwhile, Jerryd Bayless should have a larger role in Toronto’s offense for the rest of the year.
The Nets’ acquisition of Gerald Wallace is a bit of a head-scratcher. Billy King doesn’t really think Wallace’s presence is going to help him re-sign Deron Williams, does he? From the Portland side, Nic Batum gets a boost from extra playing time at his natural small forward position.
Marcus Camby won’t hurt Samuel Dalembert‘s production; at this stage of his career, Camby is strictly a (very good) backup.
The Knicks didn’t make any deals at the deadline, but they did make a pretty substantial change, replacing coach Mike D’Antoni with assistant Mike Woodson. That change could hurt the fantasy values of several players, including Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields, as Woodson moves to feature Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemore more heavily and shift to more of a halfcourt offense.
There have been suggestions that Baron Davis will take over the starting job for Lin before long, but that may be over-stating the case.