The Orlando Magic made a huge splash over the weekend by dealing for Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark. In exchange, the Magic dealt Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards; they also dealt Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, Marcin Gortat, a 2011 first-round draft pick and cash to the Phoenix Suns. This will cause significant waves in fantasy basketball. Here’s a quick look at the fallout:
The Magic’s starting lineup is yet to be decided, but it’s likely to be something along the lines of Jameer Nelson, Richardson, Turkoglu, Brandon Bass and Dwight Howard. Arenas volunteered to come off the bench, which would resolve potential position conflicts if he started. Real-life intrigue aside, Richardson’s value will take a slight hit with his move to Orlando. He’ll still be a rich source of three-pointers, which is where most of his value will be, but he’s set to see fewer than the 15.6 shots per game he was getting in Phoenix. Turkoglu is an interesting mystery here. The simple expectation would be that he will find the comfort zone that he had in Orlando the last time he was there, and while that’s possible, he won’t recover all the value he had back in 2008-09. Nevertheless, he has only up to go from his dreadful stint with the Suns and is set to see a nice bump up in value. Bass is a big winner here, and he should be picked up in nearly all leagues. Arenas should continue to be a solid three-point maker, but he’s set to see his minutes and shots decline. However, the minutes will be a positive for his long-term health. Nelson could take a hit with this deal, since Arenas could eat into his minutes at point guard on nights when he looks like Hibachi. Howard’s value remains intact, and though he might see fewer shots, his rebounding could see a small uptick. Clark isn’t relevant at this point. Quentin Richardson‘s minimal appeal is now dashed to the rocks, and J.J. Redick will only have appeal if Nelson or Arenas goes down with an injury.
Carter’s value should remain steady, since his minutes (30:11) will likely remain the same in Phoenix. He’s essentially taking over Richardson’s spot and could actually benefit from the quickened pace. Gortat should now be on all owners’ radars. He’s always been a productive center when given proper minutes, and he stands a good chance of getting 20+ minutes a night in Phoenix. Don’t be surprised to see him play himself into either a timeshare with Robin Lopez (whose ceiling is lowered) at worst, and a starting gig at best. Pietrus remains a marginally attractive fantasy player if you need threes, but he’s not a must-own right now.
It’s clear that the Wizards didn’t make this deal because they thought Lewis would fit their rotation. His arrival creates some crowding at the SF spot now with Lewis, Al Thornton and the recently returned Josh Howard vying for minutes there. Lewis goes from playing with an attention-getting center in Orlando to an offensively challenged center in Washington, which doesn’t bode well for his chances at getting nearly as many open looks as he did with the Magic. He’s been a huge disappointment this season and there’s little reason to think he can turn things around in D.C. Though he remains worth owning, Lewis remains an unappealing starter in most leagues. Howard and Thornton’s ceiling are lower than they were before the deal. The big winner in Washington is Nick Young, who appears to be that squad’s starting shooting guard now. His 30-point performance on Saturday is a bit misleading given his 45:38 of run, but he now looks like a lock to get a healthy dose of minutes and shots each night. Young still doesn’t have much appeal outside of points, threes and steals, but that’s better than nothing. With John Wall apparently set to sit out for a while longer, Young should be owned in all leagues now.
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