Fantasy Basketball Buy/Sell: Post-Trade Deadline
Well, that was a fun trade deadline. I went to lunch and came back to a Cavalier roster overhaul. The former heart of the Celtics is now a Laker, which is weird as bleep. LeBron James is surrounding himself with a bunch of shooters that don’t do a whole heck of a lot elsewhere.
Not quite sure what he was thinking with these moves. And yes, it was James making these moves and not the Cleveland front office. We all know James bullies that front office around like they’re his puppets. Even his good buddy Dwyane Wade is gone.
There might not have been any colossal blockbuster deals, but there were several deals that changed the fantasy value of many players involved.
Players to Buy
Donovan Mitchell (PG/SG – UTA)
This Hood trades raises the already high fantasy value of Donovan Mitchell. Please, tell me who else on this Utah Jazz roster can score the ball consistently outside of Mitchell?
On the season, Mitchell is averaging 19.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.5 steals, and 2.3 three-pointers on 44.6% from the field and 53.6% from the line. Those numbers are good for top-50 fantasy value. Mitchell’s scoring continues to rise, too, as he averaged 23.1 points in December and 22.2 in January.
Don’t be surprised if Mitchell scores 25 a game from here on out. Mitchell is a phenomenal offensive talent and appears poised to thrive as the lone offensive weapon left on this Jazz team. If you asked me who I’d rather have for the rest of the season between Mitchell and Klay Thompson, I’m taking the rookie.
Elfrid Payton (PG – PHO)
The revolving point guard door in Phoenix has gotten a temporary solution, at least for the remainder of the 2017-18 season. For the low price of a 2018 second-round pick, the Phoenix Suns acquired Elfrid Payton from the Orlando Magic. Phoenix had gotten so desperate at the point, that they had turned to their best shooter and starting shooting guard, Devin Booker, lately to play some point.
Already a top-100 player on the season, Payton’s fantasy value gets a decent boost in Phoenix. Orlando was a sinking ship this season, and with Nicola Vucevic on the shelf, Payton only had one offensive threat to pass the ball to in Aaron Gordon. Now he has Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, T.J. Warren, and a slew of big men to feed the ball to in an up-tempo offense.
Payton should see his scoring and assists rise with his new team. If you need a boost in assists, Payton is a solid trade target.
Larry Nance Jr. (PF/C – CLE) & George Hill (PG – CLE)
In the span of basically an hour, the Cleveland Cavaliers overhauled half of their rotation. Gone are Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, Wade, Jae Crowder, Iman Shumpert, and Channing Frye, while Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, George Hill, and Larry Nance Jr. are welcomed into LeBronville.
Nance Jr. gets a substantial rise in value for the next two months while Kevin Love is out with his hand injury. Nance might not start full-time during Love’s absence, but he’s the most talented big man currently on the active roster and should have no problem getting around 30 minutes a night. If that happens, expect averages around 13 points and nine boards to go along with a strong field goal percentage and defensive stats.
The other beneficiary here is George Hill. The upside isn’t overly high, but he should step in as the starting point-guard and provide borderline top-100 fantasy value the rest of the way. This Cleveland team now has a lot of bodies, but Hill will still benefit because he’ll be starting and playing minutes next to James.
Jonathon Simmons (SG/SF – ORL) & D.J. Augustin (PG – ORL)
With Payton gone, the two biggest fantasy beneficiaries are Jonathan Simmons and D.J. Augustin. The starting point guard role now belongs to Augustine, and he’s shown potential in the past when given extended minutes.
He’s been limited to a bench role thus far in 2017-18 but his per 36 minutes are appealing at 15.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.4 steals, and 2.3 three-pointers. He shouldn’t have any issue seeing 30+ minutes a night for the remainder of the season and makes for a solid pickup in all leagues.
While he might not get a big bump in minutes like Payton, Simmons should see his usage rate rise with Payton out of the picture and could be a 20 point per game scorer down the stretch with this Orlando team needing an offensive punch.
Michael Beasley (SF/PF – NYK)
There’s one thing Michael Beasley can do very well when given the opportunity, and that’s score the rock. With Kristaps Porzingis now out for the season with a torn ACL, Beasley is going to become a much larger part of this Knicks’ offense.
Beasley wasted little time scoring 21 points with seven rebounds, three steals, and one block Thursday night against the Raptors. More importantly, he was on the court for 31 minutes, which should be the norm going forward.
Make sure Beasley isn’t sitting on your waiver wire. There’s a chance he might get bought out, but as long as he’s with the Knicks, he needs to be owned in all leagues going forward.
Players to Sell
Rodney Hood (SG – CLE)
The biggest loser from all of Cleveland’s wheeling and dealing is Rodney Hood. He helps you in three categories and likely will take a hit in two of them. On the season, Hood is averaging 16.8 points and 2.6 three-pointers with an 87.6 free throw percentage.
Hood now goes from being the #2 scoring option on the Jazz to at best the #3 option in Cleveland. After James and Love (once he returns), Cleveland has a slew of seven players all fighting for shots and points.
And unfortunately, there’s only one basketball on the court at a time. If you can get some value in return for Hood, great, but he’s barely a fringe player now.
Boban Marjanovic (C – LAC)
For anyone that listened to me and added Boban last week, I sincerely apologize. I wasn’t planning on the Clippers having no freaking idea how to rebuild. They traded their franchise star player, then keep everyone else and even sign Lou Williams to a contract extension?
Have fun toiling in mediocrity for the next several seasons. That is unless LeBron James decides he wants to be a Clipper.
Anyways, the non-deal of DeAndre Jordan all but squashes any value Marjanovic could’ve had. He can safely be dropped in all fantasy leagues and left on the wire for as long as Jordan is on the team and active.