Wheelin’ & Dealin’ Part I
There’s always that one guy in a league who’s ready to make a trade even before you’re done drafting. In a couple of my leagues, that guy might be me… on the flip side you don’t want to be the other guy who never trades, doesn’t even reject and not even sure he knows how to check his trades. C’mon at least just reject my friggin’ trade… anyway…
Any trade or fantasy hoops questions in general feel free to hit me up on Twitter @FantasyHoopsMat
*Preface Twitter doesn’t have enough characters to fit the extra “T” in my name, so this was the best I could come up with (here’s lookin’ at you @Jack, PS congrats on the IPO).
With the NBA season in full swing, fantasy owners are already thinking about how to improve their team. Maybe you missed out on a guy you were targeting then choked and grabbed the wrong guy. Maybe you missed the draft altogether and need to put your stamp on the franchise, or need that one move to finalize a monster squad. Whatever drives your reason to trade here’s some guys (and reason) to actively target in trades.
Danny Green, SA SG/SF
Window may have shut the other night, but worth a try anyway. I still have Green pegged to finish the season top 5 in three pointers made, and should continue to get enough minutes to follow through. Even with the new additions, Green is still a big part of the Spurs core needed to spread the floor for Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, play some D (1.2 steals 0.7 blocks last year) and bring energy. If/when coach Pop decides to randomly bench the Big 3, Green should be in line for some big nights.
Derrick Rose, Chi PG
Might be tough to pry him from whatever owner drafted him. Surely they had lofty expectations (as did I) for the NBA’s youngest ever MVP winner. But if you can move some players currently producing above expectation (Iguodala, MCW) or via a multiplayer deal for Rose, they might bite.
Larry Sanders, Mil PF/C
While relieved from any legal trouble, he’s still dealing with a sore thumb from an “incident” over the weekend. The emergence of John Henson shouldn’t dip into Sanders’ minutes. The Bucks seem determined Henson is too thin to play much time at the 5, so Sanders and good ol’ Zaza Pachulia will eat up the majority of the 48 minutes at center. The thumb thing doesn’t look to linger, but his slow start is more concerning. It might be a little bit of contract payday hangover, but I think he’ll get it in gear sooner than later and will finish among top 3 in blocks this year.
Kawhi Leonard, SA SG/SF
If you can get Leonard for someone around 6th round value, do it before Kawhi goes off. The Spurs as a whole don’t quite look right. Their record is deceiving, as the Spurs know how to manufacture wins during the regular season. But they will click eventually, and when they do, they’ll look for Leonard to step up and be a strong second or third option on offense. He will be asked to guard the best wing player on any given night, so the defense will be there as well.
Isaiah Thomas, Sac PG
The Kings’ spark plug is the real deal. If you’re working on a trade and looking for other guys to even things out, try stealing IT2 with whoever else you’re targeting. He’ll likely come cheap and should be a constant in the rebuilding Kings’ lineup all season.
If you need a point guard, and not looking to do a multiplayer, try going after Thomas as he’s likely someone’s fourth or fifth point man. He’s a Nate Robinson type with pretty much guaranteed minutes.
Bradley Beal, Was SG
Those who drafted him with high expectations were a little uneasy to start the season. If he can get his current field goal (32.9%) on par with his career average (40.3%) Beal would be scoring over 20 points per game, after you factor in 40% of his shots are three’s, where he’s hitting at a higher clip of (39.3%). He and John Wall could be All-Star running mates one day if the two stay on course. In addition to raising his FG%, Beal will need to curb his current rate of turnovers (3.8) and start knocking down his freebies to earn a top 50 rank.
Derrick Favors, Uta PF/C
His usage rate is among the lead leaders, hence the 3.2 turnovers per. But I’ll take that. And I’ll even eat the lower than expected free throw inefficiency of 62.5%; which was trending upward since his rookie season ending with 68.8% last year. Personally I just figured the trend would continue. Either way, I’m banking that will go up along with his field goal which is currently 43.8% – the lowest by far in his career. Opponents are bottling up the more explosive Favors, leaving frontcourt mate Enes Kanter free to do his thing. Once Favors puts it together, you’ll see the monster 20-20 games, and his defense should show a little more in the box score as well by season’s end.
Rajon Rondo, Bos PG
I highly doubt he’ll pull a Derrick Rose this season. That is unless his doctors don’t clear him to return until after All-Star break, by which time the Celtics should be long out of playoff consideration. Then I could see him pulling that or demanding a trade, but probability has it-he plays. I’m not sure if Rondo has improved any part of his game (free throw shooting, jump shot) and with some misfit squad out in Boston, he’ll have a tough time replicating previous statistical seasons.
Andrew Bynum, Cle C
Would you really trade a proven commodity for the injury-riddled Bynum? He recently admitted that his explosiveness might never return, and even hinted at the thought of retirement. He looks like he’s playing in slow motion. Just saying, if you have the faith and guts to pull the trigger, by all means and please let me hear about it if he ends up beastin’.
Kobe Bryant, LAL SG
I know he’s a physical beast and fights off pain like no other. But this is the first time in Kobe’s career where it’s left him powerless. He may have the drive and recovery regimen to return by Christmas. I think he could return and be solid for a while. But if/when things sour and the Lakers don’t make a major move come February, I don’t think Bryant has the patience to put up with a losing season and will most likely not risk further injury to his body as he is in a contract year after all.
Ryan Anderson, NO PF/C
A 1-3 week timeframe is pretty sketchy to me. What does that mean? Either he’ll be back earlier than expected and ball out the gate, or the injury may be more serious than alluded to by the Pelicans. No new additions to the Pelicans will take more away from Anderson’s production than already existing teammate Eric Gordon. And with Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday in town, I’m not sure the ball will make it all the way to Anderson as much as previous years.
I’ve fielded quite a few questions on Nate Wolters this week. If you are in need of a PG or in a dynasty/keeper league grab him without hesitation. His play and situation reminds me a lot of Ramon Sessions and his time in Milwaukee where he “broke out” (look up pretty much all of April his rookie year). The Bucks have no true PG on the roster, and would do no harm in giving Wolters some more run. Complicated and crowded situation-yes, but certainly worth a stash if you can afford the roster spot.
Anderson Varejao is healthy. So is Eric Gordon.
Not sure who will finish the season logging more minutes Andrew Bynum or Amar’e Stoudemire. If I had a gun to my head I’d say STAT.
Although Michael Carter-Williams is off to a historic start to his NBA career, I think Victor Oladipo will finish the season strong to win the Rookie of the Year award.
Speaking of future ROY winners, who said the Sixers and Suns were in the Wiggins sweepstakes? Utah is winning that race. I think it will come down to the Jazz and Celtics for worst record. Doesn’t mean there won’t be fantasy gold, there always is, on some of the worst NBA teams as of late (Orlando, Charlotte, Washington).
Danny Green photo credit: Mark Runyon | BasketballSchedule.net