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11 NBA Trade Deadline Winners and Losers (2020 Fantasy Basketball)

Feb 7, 2020

Christian Wood will now be unleashed as the primary big in Detroit’s frontcourt

The NBA trade deadline tends to be a huge game-changer for fantasy owners. Some players who had limited value before now get the opportunity to be unleashed, but the inverse is true as well, as there are others who lose value as a result of a deal. The deadline isn’t kind to everyone.

It’s not easy to see how those who were dealt fit in with their new teams or project how their value is affected before seeing them play. Fortunately, our featured pundits have already done that for you. They’re here to give you the lowdown on who the biggest winners and losers are. Here’s what they have to say.

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Q1. Which player has gained the most fantasy value thanks to a trade that took place near the deadline and why?

Christian Wood (PF/C – DET)
“Wood stands to see his value increase in the wake of the Andre Drummond trade to Cleveland. With Drummond gone and Blake Griffin out for the season, Wood will operate as the main man in the Pistons’ frontcourt. On the season, Wood is averaging just 10.5 points and 5.3 rebounds, but that’s only in 18 minutes per game. His per-36 numbers of 21 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.3 treys show what he’s capable of if/when he’s unleashed. Pistons coach Dwane Casey recently said he sees Wood as ‘one of [the Pistons’] core young guys to develop,’ so we should expect plenty of opportunities to come Wood’s way the rest of the season.”
– Seth Klein (Fantrax)

“We’ve been screaming #FreeChristianWood, and he’s finally free with Andre Drummond being traded to Cleveland. Jonas Nader on Twitter, who is the co-leader of the Christian Wood fan club, put it perfectly: “Christian Wood’s per-36 stats without Andre Drummond this season: 22.9 points, 12.0 boards, 1.4 dimes, 1.1 steals, 1.9 blocks, and 1.1 treys on a 60/36/75 shooting line.” You’re looking at a potential league-winning player here.”
– Michael Waterloo (FantasyPros)

De’Anthony Melton (PG/SG – MEM)
“I expect Melton to be a big fantasy winner following the NBA trade deadline. He’s shown flashes this season, including 10 points, nine rebounds, and five assists across 28 minutes on Wednesday night, and the departures of Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder, and Solomon Hill should free up consistent playing time for Melton on the wing alongside Dillon Brooks. Melton has a per-36 stat line of 15.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 6.0 assists this season, along with 2.5 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.0 three-pointers made. He should be a nice fantasy asset moving forward.”
– Jason Willan (The Fake Basketball)

Juancho Hernangomez (SF/PF – MIN)
“In Denver, Hernangomez was buried on the depth chart and averaged a paltry 12.4 minutes per game on the season. With Minnesota trading away all of their power forwards, a vacuum exists that Hernangomez will likely fill. He stands 6’9″ and has 7’0” wingspan. He shot poorly from three-point land this season (25%), but in his brief career has converted 35% of his long-distance opportunities. Minnesota plays at the seventh-fastest pace and the defense will likely be dreadful, so point chasing will be the norm. The James Johnson acquisition does give me a little pause because he is a better defender and contributes in all the categories, but he’s 32 years old and may have been just a salary relief move.”
– Stan Son (Razzball)

Damion Lee (SG – GSW)
“If we’re ignoring the obvious (Christian Wood) and the older deals (the Trevor Ariza trade was more than two weeks ago), then Lee is my biggest trade deadline winner. In two deals the Warriors shipped out four guards/small forwards in D’Angelo Russell, Glenn Robinson III, Alec Burks, and Jacob Evans and brought back only Andrew Wiggins. Russell, Robinson, and Burks led the team in minutes, combining for 92.7 per game. Wiggins is more of a small forward than a shooting guard and it’s literally impossible for one person to fill up that many vacated minutes. Lee had already been averaging 31.4 minutes since he entered the starting lineup, but now the job is safely his and his minutes should tick up even higher. If nothing else, his floor has been significantly elevated.”
– Alex Rikleen (RotoWire)

P.J. Tucker (SF/PF – HOU) 
“Since Christian Wood is the obvious (and perfect) choice, I’ll go a different direction here with Tucker. As odd as this may sound, it is now a reality that Houston will be starting a 6’5″ center in Tucker. While he won’t suddenly morph into a great rebounder, there is no denying that Clint Capela moving on will open up more opportunities for boards for the entire Rockets team. Think of it this way — If Capela got 22% of the boards while he was on the floor, that’s one in five extra rebounds Tucker will have a shot at and you can bet he’ll get 12% of them or an extra two boards per game.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Q2. Which player has lost the most fantasy value thanks to a trade that took place near the deadline and why?

Tristan Thompson (PF/C – CLE)
“After speculation that he would be moved ahead of the trade deadline, Thompson ends up being a big fantasy loser in Cleveland. He was held out of the Cavs’ last two games to protect his trade value, but had already seen a dip in production over his previous 10 outings, averaging 7.3 points and 9.8 rebounds in 26.6 minutes per game compared to 13.1 and 10.6 in 31.4 minutes on the season heading into mid-January. The arrival of Andre Drummond and the expectation that he will not be bought out of his contract in Cleveland should be a crushing blow for Thompson’s fantasy value over the balance of the season.”
– Jason Willan (The Fake Basketball)

“I was considering Larry Nance Jr. and Alec Burks, but they both will still receive around 20 minutes of playing time. Tristan Thompson, on the other hand, will likely go from playing 30 minutes to less than 15 minutes per game. The Cavaliers’ new acquisition, Andre Drummond, averages 34 minutes per game.”
– Stan Son (Razzball)

John Collins (PF/C – ATL)
“Collins is the biggest loser. He still has fantasy value, but gets bumped down a tier or two in overall rankings. With the addition of Clint Capela, one of either he or Collins is going to have to develop a mid-range game — and it’s not going to be Capela. I put the minimum attempts of 10-to-14-foot range jumpers to 25 attempts (Collins has 26) and there were 136 players who were ranked. Collins came in at 135th with his 23.1 FG% from that range.”
– Michael Waterloo (FantasyPros)

Alec Burks (PG/SG – PHI) | Glenn Robinson III (SG/SF – PHI)
Marcus Morris is going to be too popular and too obvious of a pick here, so I’ll go a little outside the box and say the players to lose the most value will be the former Warriors and new Sixers’ duo of Burks and Robinson III. Thanks to injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Burks and GR3 managed to post career years during their time in the Bay Area, with Burks averaging 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.8 threes, and Robinson III dropping 12.9 points and 4.7 boards per contest. Most recently, Robinson III had averaged 15.6 points on a 53.5 FG% over his last 15 games. The pair will certainly get to play in the postseason, which they wouldn’t have with the Warriors, but their minutes and usage will take a drastic dive. The Sixers run a pretty tight rotation and while Burks and GR3 are great real-life acquisitions for a team that was lacking depth, they won’t likely make an impact on a consistent enough basis to warrant holding in shallower fantasy leagues.”
– Seth Klein (Fantrax)

Bruno Fernando (C/PF – ATL) 
“I’m worried about what the Justise Winslow addition will mean for Dillon Brooks’ role if Winslow ever gets healthy, but that’s a big “if.” The arrival of Clint Capela and Dewayne Dedmon in Atlanta, on the other hand, is less appealing for John Collins and Fernando. The Hawks’ two moves made it very clear that they view Collins as a power forward and not a center and that they do not share my optimism for Fernando. Collins should remain an important part of the rotation, but his minutes should drop and his block rate will probably plummet as his role shifts. Fernando, who I and many others viewed as a potential second-half breakout candidate, especially in deeper leagues, can now be ignored entirely.”
– Alex Rikleen (RotoWire)

Kyle Kuzma (SF/PF – LAL) 
“Kuzma’s value lost the most in my book because the idea that he’d likely be dealt by the deadline was baked into his value. Since he wasn’t dealt, he’ll continue to take a major backseat in terms of usage to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Had he been traded, we would have almost certainly seen his fantasy production go through the roof.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)


Thank you to the experts for giving their biggest trade deadline winners and losers. For more great fantasy advice, please be sure to follow them on Twitter.

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