|ESPN.com: Boxscore Basketball||[Print without images]|
Obviously, no matter how interesting the actual basketball games were on Thursday night, the story right now is all trade deadline all the time. In complementing John Cregan's detailed team-by-team deadline analysis from Thursday, let's take a look at the fantasy-relevant players who will be affected by the deadline-day moves.
Baron Davis, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers: He's still going to get an opportunity to put up the numbers he's been putting up all season, but it's hard to imagine Baron staying motivated given his new digs in Cleveland. This trade is a major blow to his fantasy owners.
Mo Williams, PG, Los Angeles Clippers: As bad as this is for Baron, it's great for Williams. He'll have to hold off Eric Bledsoe for minutes, but Bledsoe's a lot less ready to be a full-time starter than Williams' backup in Cleveland, Ramon Sessions, was. Williams should get a lot of open looks spotting up opposite Blake Griffin, too.
Shane Battier, SF, Memphis Grizzlies: Back in Memphis, Battier was brought in to help the Grizzlies make the playoffs, so he should continue to see lots of playing time, especially until Rudy Gay returns. I have to imagine this trade means fewer minutes for Sam Young, who had been playing well of late. It could mean a reduced role for Tony Allen as well.
Aaron Brooks, PG, Phoenix Suns: Bringing in Brooks seems like the first suggestion that the Suns are looking beyond Steve Nash. For now, though, I can't really see a lineup with both Brooks and Nash on the floor together. Brooks will still probably hover around 24 minutes per game, but unless he can regain his shooting form (he's been under 30 percent on 3s for three straight months now), he'll be an end-of-your-roster afterthought in most fantasy leagues.
Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, Portland Trail Blazers: He probably won't be playing 39 minutes per game on a Blazers team that is finally starting to get a little healthier, but playing with other competent offensive basketball players should help boost his field goal percentage. He's going to a slow-paced team, but the Bobcats aren't exactly the Warriors. It's pretty much a wash for Crash.
Kendrick Perkins, C, Oklahoma City Thunder: He'll still be a starter, but he'll also probably get more minutes for the Thunder once he's healthy than he did for the Celtics. He should remain a good source of rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage, but keep in mind that he's had knee problems in the past and is currently out briefly with another one.
Jeff Green, SF/PF, Boston Celtics: Green's a big loser in terms of his fantasy numbers, as he was playing 37 minutes per game for the Thunder and won't get close to that with the Celtics. He might get a little more efficient going up against more second-string guys, but this deal puts Green on the fringe of fantasy worthiness.
Serge Ibaka, PF/C, Thunder: Ibaka's been getting more minutes of late, but dealing away Green and Nenad Krstic should put him into the starting lineup, which just means more minutes, blocks and rebounds. This is definitely good for Ibaka, the Thunder and fantasy owners.
It was a great night for the Bulls, as they fought back for a nice home win against the Heat, who now, by the way, are 0-5 against the Bulls and the Celtics this season. Luol Deng finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, and is now averaging 19.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists in his past five games. Mario Chalmers got nearly all of the point guard minutes for the Heat, and if that trend keeps up, he's going to be a great source of steals and 3s, and a decent source of assists, too. The Celtics struggled with their shortened roster against the Nuggets, and ended up falling apart at the end. Most notable in fantasy terms, however, is probably the return of Delonte West, who should continue to see somewhere around 24 minutes per game as long as he can stay healthy. As always, he'll provide small contributions in 3s, steals and assists, and should be useful in deep leagues. As for the Nuggets, for now it seems that George Karl is going to play a lot of guys, and while that mitigates the fantasy value of individuals, it means that eight or so players will be fantasy-worthy most nights. Only Nene and Arron Afflalo played more than 30 minutes in the win against the Celtics.
It should be interesting to see how the Pacers handle Josh McRoberts, who has been their starting power forward of late. After nearly dealing him to the Grizzlies for O.J. Mayo on Thursday, the Pacers still have McRoberts on the roster, and Tyler Hansbrough pushing him for playing time, after putting up 21 points and 12 rebounds in their Wednesday night win against the Pistons. Conventional wisdom would say that Hansbrough would be the one to start getting bigger minutes, but time will tell. Until Kendrick Perkins returns from his most recent knee injury, the Thunder might have to rely on the newly-acquired Nazr Mohammed, especially going up against the struggling Magic on Friday night. Mohammed had 12 points and five rebounds in just 22 minutes the last time he faced the Magic, and could be a decent option until Perkins returns (assuming he's ready to go a day after the trade). I'm extremely excited to see Kirk Hinrich in his new role as starting point guard for the Hawks, and he'll be going up against a porous Warriors defense on Friday night; he immediately becomes a viable fantasy option in all leagues, and should be in your lineup as long as he's ready to play.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.