Will trade help Thomas Robinson?
We had our first trade of the deadline season on Wednesday, but only one part of it needs to concern you for the moment in fantasy leagues, and that's the fact that the Houston Rockets got Thomas Robinson. We'll get to that in a moment, but here are the other details: First, the Rockets traded Patrick Patterson (who actually has had a bit of value this season, even if it is difficult to imagine what his role will be in Sacramento), Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas and $1 million in cash for Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt. Then the Rockets went ahead and shipped Marcus Morris to Phoenix for a second-round pick.
The fallout here is that the Rockets' power forward rotation probably now begins with Robinson, the fifth pick in the 2012 NBA draft. If you're confused about this, you're right. I understand that the Kings are looking to cut costs, but one would imagine there might be better ways of getting there than giving up on a top-5 pick just a few months into his career. Robinson has struggled so far, but given that the Rockets lead the league in pace by a mile, I like his chances to contribute -- at least as a rebounder -- for the remainder of the season in fantasy leagues. That's more than you can say for any of the other players included in these two deals.
• All eyes in Cleveland are on Kyrie Irving, and that's great, because he's playing out of his mind and just had a pretty nice little All-Star break for himself. His backcourt mate is looking pretty good lately, too, if you haven't noticed. After a disastrous first two months of the season (at least in terms of efficiency), Dion Waiters is picking it up so far in February, cutting the 3-pointer out of his arsenal and shooting 52 percent from the floor. Waiters has the potential to be an elite attacker on the offensive end, so these are positive developments. If he ever improves that 3-point shot, he's got a chance to be special.
• After missing four games with a back injury, Larry Sanders has now strung together two really good games in a row for the Bucks against the Nets. He blocked 11 shots altogether in the home-and-home and averaged a double-double as well. He should be fine moving forward.
• I know we've been down this road a few times already this season, but Jeremy Lin has been really good lately, and it deserves a little bit of attention. Yes, James Harden's 46 points was the big story Wednesday night, but Lin threw up 29 points and eight assists in the win over the Thunder and is now averaging 17.0 points and 7.0 assists in his past five games. Lin's fantasy value has been high all season because of what he provides in steals, but he's got a ton of talent, and if everything's going well, he can be a top-30 fantasy player in the long term.
• Moe Harkless had the first 20-point game of his career for the Magic, and while his production hasn't been great at any point this season, he's certainly getting enough minutes that it's worth paying attention. Harkless is playing nearly 35 minutes per game so far in February, with modest averages of 10.6 points and 6.9 rebounds. Where he has a chance to be really good in fantasy leagues, however, is in steals and blocks. He's averaging 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks per game this month, and those numbers are good enough that it would have been worth playing him every night if you knew they were coming. It's probably worth doing so now in deeper leagues.
• The last time the Heat faced the Bulls, it was a huge night for Carlos Boozer, who had 27 points and 12 rebounds in a Bulls win. There might be something to that: According to 82games.com, the Heat have given up a higher PER to opposing power forwards than they have to any other position. That could mean another big night for Boozer.
• The Clippers and Spurs both look to be pretty close to full strength for Thursday night's game, but they haven't played each other since November, so I'm not inclined to put much stock in the previous outcomes. One of the constants, however, was Eric Bledsoe, who averaged 12.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals in those two wins. Normally, I'd say you should get him into your lineup, but there's a chance he won't be a Clipper anymore by this evening. I say go for it: Things are more likely to stay the same than they are to change.