While the NBA all-star weekend brings immeasurable excitement for some, for others, it’s just a milestone – marking the frenzy that is the fantasy basketball (and real-life) trade deadline.
Well, the NBA’s yearly showcase of its finest talents thoroughly displaying their unwillingness to even attempt to play slightest degree of defense, while settling for nothing less than 26 foot 3-pointers and sticking to a strict, “lob-pass only” diet has come and gone.
So too, have the contests which feature the world’s greatest shooters putting up an inordinate number of 3s, and the nonsensically athletic dunkers attempting (and missing) the same dunk a gazillion times.
At least we got to choose our restrooms.
In any case, the deadline deals are upon us, and in a deal which wouldn’t even make sense in NBA2k, the Kings went all out delirium, and decided to part ways with 3x time all-star DeMarcus Cousins for a box of crayons. Not even the 120 pack Crayola joints. They gave him up for the 24 pack Cra-Z-Arts.
Then, in the much more typical, tame NBA, shed bad/pick up good contracts, accumulate assets, and/or try to find that one missing puzzle piece that the dog probably ate years ago manner, the 2 Plumlee brothers you’ve heard of have new homes, as does Serge Ibaka, and a litany of far more minuscule moves I’d rather not take the time to list.
Not the point I’m going for here.
*Edit: Lou Will to Houston is kiiiiind of intriguing. I guess the Rockets favor the Crocs business model – one product only. No need to diversify. No need to posses any defenders. BRING IN MORE GUYS WHO CAN LIGHT UP THE SCOREBOARD!*
Much like real GMs, if your squad isn’t quite moving the needle, sometimes a trade is all the juice you need to turn things around. And, much like real GMs, you can either find yourself on the Boogie side, or the Cra-Z-Arts side.
With a flurry of offers sure to hit your inbox in the next few days, I figured I’d run down all 30 teams, and give you a player to buy, and a player to sell, from each. I don’t want you to get jobbed for a box of wax. Turned out to be much more difficult than expected, but alas…
Fantasy Basketball Trade Deadline – Buy 1 Sell 1 For All 30 Teams
Buy: Dwight Howard
When it comes to sports, some players are just polarizing. Dwight Howard is one of these players. People either love him, or they hate him. They’re either Dwight apologists, or Dwight detractors. Rarely, if ever, will you hear someone say, “He’s aite…”
I’m that rarity.
So, when looking at Howard, all I see is him averaging more rebounds this season (13) than he has in any since his last in Orlando (’11-’12), and him sitting 6th in the league with 36 double-doubles. You’ll just have to hope his owner isn’t a part of his fan club in order to make the deal happen.
Sell: Tim Hardaway Jr.
When the Hawks traded away Kyle Korver, the first thing that came to my mind was “they must really like Hardaway”, and we’re starting to see why. And, while Hardaway has shown he’s more than capable of putting up points in abundance, he doesn’t do much else.
Sure, his assist numbers have increased with his increased minutes. That kind of thing happens by default, but it’s hardly at a point where it matters for your fantasy squad. Then, there’s this guy named Thabo Sefolosha, who should be back for the Hawks any day now, and when he does return, Hardaway is the most likely to lose minutes.
He’ll still have his moments, but good luck projecting when. The mindless scoring rampage that we’ve seen over the past month or so is probably the height of his production this season. Hope you enjoyed the ride, but sell high.
Buy: Al Horford
His rebounding numbers are still fairly underwhelming for a 6’10” cat, but he’s averaging 7.7 per game in February – which would go down as his highest rebounding total of any month this season. Round of applause. The reason to buy Horford (if you can), however, is everything else.
Few guys give you points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and threes on a consistent basis, and while this holds true, his numbers really don’t jump off the page. He’s just not one of those guys people go through extremes not to deal, so it shouldn’t be a tough sell, and you may even be able to Pelicans his owner.
Sell: Jae Crowder
Crowder is another one of those rare cats that does a little bit of everything. He’ll have his 20 point games sporadically, but he has just 2 double-doubles on the season. Again, he does a little bit of everything. The Celtics are starting to get healthy, which also diminishes his value. He’s more of a package player, though. His value straight up won’t bring much, but add him with a Tim Hardaway Jr. type, and you’ve got some nice trade appeal.
Buy: Bojan Bogdanovic
Someone other than Brook Lopez has to score in Brooklyn. Bogdanovic has been, and will continue to be, a consistent secondary option. His ceiling is capped, he’s not dropping 40 any time soon, but when it comes to fantasy basketball, there’s value in consistency.
*Update: Bogdanovic is the newest member of the Washington Wizards. Surely, he’ll come of the bench – which diminishes his value ever so slightly – I’d still buy.*
Sell: Brook Lopez
Yes, he is the Nets offense. He’s also averaging as many rebounds as Matt Barnes. The Nets would be smart to trade him in real life, and you should do the same if you own him in your league. Take advantage of his name value.
Buy: Nicolas Batum
His 15 points per game are good for 64th in the league. Not impressed? Me neither. But, on the real, he’s kind of like an old, French, knock off version of Russell Westbrook. Not in his style. At all. But, he’s averaging damn near a triple-double. He’s one of those undervalued, do-it-all guys that can change your season, and he shouldn’t cost you too much.
Sell: Marvin Williams
This one goes both ways. If you’re guard heavy, you can pick up Williams for the low (probably off waivers). However, outside of that, sell high on Williams.
Based on his recent performance, you can probably get more for him than he’s worth, or dump in in a package deal. Not only are the Hornets getting healthy, but they’re adding pieces. Plumlee will get minutes, and Zeller is close to returning. None of which equate to good omens for Mr. Williams prospects moving forward.
Buy: Taj Gibson
The Bulls frontcourt situation leaves much to be desired. Ever heard of a pet rock? That’s the concept here. Robin Lopez is Robin Lopez. Doug McDermott, and Nikola Mirotic have been about as impressive as this year’s slam dunk contest; they merely have their moments. Then, there’s Felicio, and Portis who may or may not actually have on jerseys beneath their warmups.
The only real constant has been Gibson, and there’s no reason to expect that to change.
Sell: Dwyane Wade
At 35, Wade has been impressive. Did I mention he’s 35, though? While durability hasn’t been a major issue – he’s missed just 9 games – would I be the slightest bit surprised if he missed more time in the 2nd half? Nope.
Now, I’m not saying to pull a Kings and dump Wade for the Cra-Z-Art 24 count crayons, but I have a feeling you could find yourself on the Pelican side of the heist based on the fact that he’s still DWade, and is averaging about 20 in 5. In the least, you could flip him in a 2 for 1.
Buy: Derrick Williams
Williams is averaging 9.8 points, and 3 rebounds since joining the Cavs. Far from 1st ballot Hall of Fame numbers, but Kevin Love is expected to miss another month, and Williams has averaged over 23 minutes since joining LeBron and co. I like it.
He figures to continue seeing heavy minutes, the Cavs 2nd unit possesses no real scoring threats, he’s proven he can put up points in a hurry, and he’s probably on your waiver-wire. Why not?
Sell: Kyrie Irving
This may sound crazy, but stay with me…
Player A – 20.3 points per game, 6.2 assists per game, and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Player B – 24.4 points per game, 5.9 assists per game, and 3.1 rebounds per game.
Player C – 21.6 points per game, 6.2 assists per game, and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Now, if someone offered you Goran Dragic for Kyrie straight up, would you take it? Probably not. What about Kyrie for Eric Bledsoe? Again, probably not.
A more reasonable offer would be Dragic/Bledsoe + Player X… But, why? Perception, and name value.
Kyrie is Player B above, Dragic – A, and Bledsoe – C… Dragic and Bledsoe offer similar production, but have different perceptions, and lesser name value. The list doesn’t stop with them. Take advantage, and flip Kyrie if you can.
Buy: Dirk Nowitzki
What comes to mind when you think of Dirk? Old… washed up… Germany? If you look at his season averages, you might be able to make a point for the 1st 2, but you’d be wrong.
He’s definitely German. Although, one could argue he’s black, but that’s an entirely different conversation.
Anyway, Dirk looks to be fully recovered from his achilles injury, and averaged 20 points, and 7 rebounds over their last 5 games heading into the break. Dirk will have to be a major key down the stretch, if the Mavs hope to snatch the 8 seed. And, they do.
Sell: Yogi Ferrell
Remember Lin-sanity? Well, the only things which kept Yogi from a similar reception are the facts that he plays in Dallas, and Ferrell-sanity doesn’t quite have the same ring.
Deron Williams is back, as is Devin Harris, and then there’s J.J. Barea who isn’t too far behind. I like Yogi, but sell high.
Buy: Mason Plumlee
The obvious answer here is Nikola Jokic, but good luck with that. Plumlee is a good fit in Denver’s system, and should continue to put up numbers similar to those he put up in Portland. Sometimes, you have to settle for silver.
Sell: Wilson Chandler
Chandler is nice, and he’s shined in Gallinari’s absence. The questions are: how much time does Gallo miss? Will Chandler even be in Denver if he does miss more time? Then, if he gets traded, where does he end up?
Sure, he may see a boost in value depending on where/if he’s traded, but there’s too many moving parts. Sell high out of paranoia.
Buy: Tobias Harris
It’d be easy to assume Reggie Jackson leads the Pistons in scoring. Wrong. Andre Drummond? Wrong. Whichever Morris twin? Also wrong. It’s Tobias Harris.
He’s always overlooked, and definitely undervalued. You should be able to get him for the low, and he produces consistently.
Sell: Reggie Jackson
With KCP back, and working his way into shape, you can expect Jackson’s numbers to fluctuate. Sure, he’ll have his 20 point nights like we saw in the Pistons’ last game before the break, but don’t expect to see them consistently. And, at 5.6 assists he’s not offering too much value elsewhere. Try to move him if you can. Otherwise, he’ll probably either waste away on your bench, or frustrate the hell out of you.
Golden State Warriors
If you can get Curry, Durant, Green, or Thompson – do it. Nobody else really matters.
If you can sell Curry, Durant, Green, or Thompson for a nice package – do it. Nobody else really matters.
Buy: Clint Capela
If you need help with your bigs, Capela is a solid option for the low. Since returning to the lineup, he’s averaging about 13 points to go with 7 rebounds. He’s 3, 24 ounce Miller Lites for $6, instead of dropping $9 for the 6 pack.
Sell: Eric Gordon
All he does is shoot 3s. Granted, he shoots them extremely well, but you’re not getting much else from him. Capitalize on his 3-point title, and flip him for a well-rounded, mid-priced player. Think Jrue Holiday.
*Update: The Rockets now have the 1st (Gordon), and 2nd (Williams) leading scorers off the bench. This could hurt Gordon, also could help. The more likely scenario would be less shots for Gordon*
Buy: Jeff Teague
Remember Dragic, and Bledsoe from the sell Kyrie reasoning above? Teague isn’t too far behind them. And honestly, what he lacks in points, he makes up for with assists (15.4 ppg, 8.1 apg, 4.2 rpg). An argument could be made that he’s of the same ilk. He’s a nice stat sheet filler, and you should be able to grab him on the low.
Sell: Myles Turner
Turner’s 7.2 rebounds per game rank 36th in the league – behind guys like Trevor Booker, and Bismack Biyombo. Sure, neither has the talent, or scoring prowess of Myles, but just a little perspective. Don’t be scared to flip him, if the price is right.
Los Angeles Clippers
Buy: Chris Paul
Good luck, but the injury route is the angle to take; as he’ll be out for a couple more weeks. If you can get him, you’ll get a good month and a half to close out the season, and maybe at a discount if you play it right.
Sell: Austin Rivers
As mentioned, CP3 will be sidelined for a couple more weeks. While Rivers has filled in admirably, the key words there are filled in. The clock is ticking. Rivers is a prototypical sell high. Pull the trigger.
Los Angeles Lakers
Buy: Julius Randle
Randle gets the nod by default. He’s looked good in his return, and should continue to be a consistent 12 point, 8 rebound guy with the occasional 20+ point, 10+ rebound game. Nothing special, but I committed to one from each team, and already put up a suspect effort with Golden State.
Sell: D’Angelo Russell
The talent is obvious. So too are his inconsistencies. In his case, the inconsistencies outweigh the talent. For now, at least.
He’s like that ex you can’t live without, but also just so happens to be crazy as eff. If you trade him, sure, there will be a few nights you regret letting him go. But, in the grand scheme of things, those few regrets will be well worth staying out of county, and the multitude of headaches. Just let it go.
Buy: Zach Randolph
Speaking of consistency, Z-Bo is about as consistent as they come. You can pencil him in for a double-double every night, and while he may fall short, it won’t be by much. His minutes are limited – coming off the bench – so you might just be able to get a steal, or add him as a throw-in in a deal.
Sell: Chandler Parsons
He shouldn’t be owned. If he’s on your roster, drop him. Immediately. Go, do it now. I’ll wait…
Buy: Goran Dragic
See Kyrie Irving.
Sell: Dion Waiters
See Yogi Ferrell.
Buy: Khris Middleton
He’s back, and Jabari Parker is done for the year. It might take him a few more games to knock the rust off, and get his legs fully under him, but he’s a 20/5/5 kind of guy, the Bucks need scorers, and you might even be able to pick him up off waivers.
Unless you’re pulling a 3-for-1 involving Giannis, good luck selling any of these cats. You’d have better odds selling vacuums door-to-door.
Buy: Andrew Wiggins
Again, good luck. But, if you have the roster construct to throw together a package which brings Wiggins, do it. With LaVine out, he’ll continue to score. In bunches. He’s well worth offering up 2, maybe 3 players. And, your 1st born.
Sell: Ricky Rubio
There’s a lot of speculation surrounding a Rubio/Rose swap, and if that happens, his value drops. Sure, he’d fit Phil Jackson’s ideal triangle offense, but if you’ve seen the Knicks play this season, the only shape their offense resembles is a L.
Now, if he stays in Minnesota, we know what he is, and it’s underwhelming. Either way, I don’t want any part of it, but someone surely will.
New Orleans Pelicans
Buy: Jrue Holiday
I’m interested to see how the Boogie/Brow combination plays out, but one result should be definite, more open looks and assists for Holiday. Who’s quietly been balling, by the way – 19.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, and 8.3 apg in February. Look for a big 2nd half from Jrue.
Sell: Anthony Davis
I wrote this before the Cousins trade, and it still applies, just with an added dimension. The obvious, most logical thought here is that the Brow will see a decrease in production. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where that’s not the case with Boogie added to the mix. Then, there’s that part where he gets banged up seemingly every game.
He’s still averaging damn near 30 points and 12 boards. So, really, what’s a decrease in production to him?
Put simply, he’s one of the most valuable assets in the league, real or fantasy, and if you play your hand right, you can hit the lotto by flipping AD. *Having flashbacks to the Knicks trading away their entire starting 5, 3 bench dudes, and the water boy for Melo*
New York Knicks
Buy: Willy Hernangomez
Who knows what’s going on with Joakim Noah, and remember that Rubio/Rose swap? Well, another name being mentioned is the Knicks’ Kyle O’Quinn. Hernangomez has been playing well with increased minutes, and from the looks of things, he may be in line to continue to see 25+ minutes on a nightly basis.
Not a trade, but you’ll want to pick him up off waivers if you’re light in the bigs department.
Sell: Kristaps Porzingis
KP is another guy who tends to be overvalued based on perception. Sure, his numbers are impressive for a 21 year old, 2nd year player, but not untouchably impressive. Throw out some feelers, you may be surprised by what you can get in return.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Buy: Steven Adams
When it comes to the Thunder, you can safely bet on two things: Russell Westbrook, and Steven Adams. He’s not a big time scorer, but he’s almost guaranteed a double-double on a nightly basis. And, with Kanter out, you can expect the inflation in the points column to continue for the foreseeable future.
Sell: Victor Oladipo
Oladipo has been the biggest beneficiary of Westbrook’s once in a lifetime season, but it’s been a gift and a curse – it’s kind of hard to do anything other than score when Westbrook is on the court doing ev-er-ree-thing! His rebounding and assist numbers have dipped, and he’s seemingly one-dimensional. I like options.
Buy: Aaron Gordon
The addition of Serge Ibaka forced the Magic to play Gordon out of position for most of the season. Well, Ibaka is in Toronto, so Gordon can now shift back to the 4. Expect an uptick in his rebounding, and scoring numbers.
Sell: Elfrid Payton
His numbers have dipped since Fournier returned, and he has that D’Angelo Russell disappearing act quality about him. Thankfully, his numbers have been good enough, for long enough, where he should pose some decent trade value.
Buy: Dario Saric
At 6’10”, Saric has the skills of a guard, rebounds well, oh and he’s put up double-digit points in 9 of 10 games. Who knows when/if Embiid returns, but regardless, Saric has carved out a nice role, and will continue to produce.
Sell: Joel Embiid
The process is one of the best bigs in the game. Absolutely no denying that. However, until he plays consistently, it may be in your best interest to sell him.
Catch an owner desperate for bigs, and I’d imagine you could land damn near anyone in the league – for a part-time player.
Buy: Eric Bledsoe
See Kyrie Irving.
Sell: Devin Booker
Booker is one of my favorite young players, and my man gets buckets! Problem is, he doesn’t do much else. He’s a more prolific, light skinned Victor Oladipo. His value is about as high as it’s going to be, take advantage.
Buy: Jusuf Nurkic
Ed Davis, Meyers Leonard, and Noah Vonleh stand in his way… Tough crowd. He’ll get minutes by default.
Landing in Portland gives Nurkic the perfect opportunity to showcase why he went 16th in the 2014 draft, and he has the talent to make the most of the opportunity.
I wish I could make an argument to sell Lillard, or McCollum. I can’t. Unfortunately, nobody else on the Blazers has much value to spin. Trust me, I tried.
Buy: Ben McLemore
With Garrett Temple, and Rudy Gay out, McLemore has seen an increase in minutes and has averaged about 13 points during the month of February. The addition of Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, and Langston Galloway may eat into his minutes, but who knows, it’s the Kings…
Never mind, don’t buy him. That ridiculous “trade” ruined any point I was trying to make.
*Update: I just saw a report that McLemore could see some time at the 4. Nothing the Kings organization does makes sense, which is exactly why, this would make sense.*
Sell: Darren Collison
The Kings now have eleventy guards. I doubt they even know what they’re doing. If you can get rid of Collison, or anyone else donning Kings garb, do so immediately.
San Antonio Spurs
Buy: Pau Gasol
Gasol should return after the all-star break, and maybe you can catch an owner sleeping – as he’s missed the past 15 games. It may take him a few games to get back, but if you can steal him, pull the trigger.
Sell: Dewayne Dedmon
He played well in Pau’s absence, but Pau’s return will dead all of that. For all 12 of you that own him, if you can pull off a trade, more power to you, but he’s droppable.
Buy: Jonas Valanciunas
The arrival of Serge Ibaka may actually boost JV’s value. While not the prototypical stretch 4, Serge has the range to stretch the D, which should open things up inside for Valanciunas. An increase in his rebounding numbers wouldn’t be the least bit surprising, and I’d expect his scoring numbers to remain in the 12 range.
Sell: Norman Powell
He had a nice run, but DeRozan is back, so too is his cheerleader role on the bench. Chances are, he’s already on the waiver wire, but if not, you may be able to throw him in a package deal as fluff. He’s that coleslaw nobody wants but comes with the chicken by default.
Buy: Rudy Gobert
Gobert may be the most underrated big in the league. He entered the all-star break riding a streak of 5 straight double-doubles, is 5th in the league in rebounds per game (12.6), and leads the league in blocks per game (2.49). I think he might be able to help bring you a championship.
Sell: George Hill
It’s just been one of those seasons for Hill. When he’s played, he’s been solid. Problem is, he can’t stay on the court. It’s impossible to project injuries, but given his history, it may be best to capitalize on his recent output before he goes down again.
Buy: Markieff Morris
Wall, and Beal are playing at ridiculous levels, and Morris is balling his ass off by association. The Wizards are averaging 108 points per game (7th), so there’s plenty to go around, and Morris has carved out a consistent role in the offense. Look for him to continue to put up big numbers in the 2nd half.
Sell: Otto Porter Jr.
There’s plenty to go around, but it’s hard to imagine Wall, Beal, Morris, and Porter continuing to average above/at 20 points per game. Wait, not really, but if I had to bet on one guy to drop off a bit, it’d be Porter.
He’s been shooting the lights out, leads the league in 3-point percentage (47%), and will continue to get open looks as long as Wall and Beal are healthy. Oh, and he boards well too. I’ve talked myself out of it, you might want to hold on to him… But, I had to pick someone.
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