Though that horrible “L” word has finally slammed the NBA’s doors shut, fantasy basketball fans can rest assured that this young (and abruptly suspended) offseason has already offered morsels of activity to chew on. Old faces have landed in new places, which means there’s some fantasy analysis to be had. Here’s a look at how these early-summer trades will impact fantasy basketball once this real-life mess gets sorted out.
*** *** ***
– Sacramento Kings get John Salmons, draft rights to pick No. 10 (Jimmer Fredette); Milwaukee Bucks get Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston, Beno Udrih and draft rights to pick No. 19 (Tobias Harris); Charlotte Bobcats get Corey Maggette and draft rights to pick No. 7 (Bismack Biyombo)
Salmons averaged 18.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.5 threes in 37+ minutes per game in 2008-09, the last time he was in a Kings uniform. The problem is that he’s returning to a Kings squad that is drastically different than the one he left back then. He’ll have to share the ball with the likes of Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and, potentially, Marcus Thornton (if the team re-signs him), not to mention Fredette. Salmons is coming off of a disappointing campaign in Milwaukee where he struggled with his shooting from the field and finished with averages of 14/3.6/3.5. He’ll remain a decent all-around option, but the diminished role he’ll have in Sacramento really lowers his ceiling.
Jackson will arrive in Milwaukee as the team’s starting shooting guard, which is decent news. The question is how well Jackson will be able to adjust to being on a team where he won’t be handling the ball as much as he did in Charlotte. With Brandon Jennings manning the point and Andrew Bogut anchoring the paint, the Captain may have trouble adjusting to a smaller role on offense. Don’t write him off completely, but be wary of letting your expectations get the better of you when you see his name on the draft board.
With Salmons out of town, Carlos Delfino figures to get a bigger role for the Bucks. In 40 starts last season, Delfino averaged 11.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.4 threes per game. If he can stay healthy and maintain around 32-35 minutes a game, he’ll be a strong fantasy asset.
Udrih’s fantasy value takes a big hit, but he’ll have his moments in Milwaukee. Coach Scott Skiles has already said nice things about Udrih and what he brings to the Bucks, but that probably won’t translate into huge minutes. Give him a look in the last round of your draft.
Livingston remains mostly irrelevant for standard-sized leagues, unless Jennings or Udrih gets injured.
Maggette figures to get a nice boost in fantasy value thanks to this three-team tango. He goes averaging fewer than 21 minutes a game for the Bucks in 2010-11 to a Bobcats team that must now turn to Maggette as their primary option on offense. Expect him to have no trouble getting playing time and shots. Maggette will be a solid source of points, some rebounds and strong free-throw shooting. The only concern is his shaky health, which will only get shakier with heavier loads of minutes and on-court burdens coming his way. Maggette’s arrival also puts a dent in any kind of benefit a Jackson departure would’ve had for Gerald Henderson‘s fantasy value. He’s in the early stages of rehab from hip surgery anyway, so owners shouldn’t get too excited about him next season.
– Minnesota Timberwolves get Brad Miller, draft rights to pick No. 23 (Nikola Mirotic), pick No. 38 (Chandler Parsons) and a future first-round pick; Houston Rockets get Jonny Flynn and draft rights to pick No. 20 (Donatas Motiejunas)
Miller remains irrelevant for fantasy basketball purposes.
Flynn goes from a miserable sophomore campaign in Minnesota to being a backup to Kyle Lowry â€“ a backup that has to contend with Goran Dragic for minutes. Don’t expect much to transpire from that situation for Flynn.
– Denver Nuggets get Andre Miller, draft rights to pick No. 26 (Jordan Hamilton) and a future second-round pick; Portland Trail Blazers get Raymond Felton and draft rights to pick No. 57 (Tanguy Ngombo); Dallas Mavericks get Rudy Fernandez and draft rights to pick No. 30 in 2007 (Petteri Koponento)
Miller will have a diminished role in Denver, where he’ll back up Ty Lawson. He sounds ready for that role, though we’ll have to see how it pans out in reality. In short, Miller’s days of getting 30+ minutes a night are done. Expect him to chip in some assists and solid shooting percentages, but not much beyond that.
Lawson’s stock does get a little boost from this deal, but not as big of a boost as one would have hoped from a Felton trade. He should still be chalked in as a top 50 pick next season.
Felton’s stock rises with his move to Portland. He’ll have full command of the point guard spot for the budding team and will have an easy time getting around 35 minutes a night. Expect his scoring and assists to increase from their marks in Denver.
Fernandez is much more intriguing in Dallas than he was in Portland. He’ll have a good shot at starting at shooting guard for the Mavs, though his minutes will still be limited by the presence of Jason Terry and DeShawn Stevenson. In four games as a starter last season, Fernandez averaged 14 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.7 threes. That’s probably around his ceiling in Dallas, though his averages will fall under those gaudy marks.
– Cleveland Cavaliers get Omri Casspi and a future first-round pick; Sacramento Kings get J.J. Hickson
Casspi will have a lot more playing time in Cleveland, where he’ll have a shot at a starting gig and a prominent role in the Cavs’ offense. In 27 games as a starter last season, Casspi averaged 10.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.6 threes in a little more than 31 minutes a game. He shouldn’t have much trouble approaching those averages in Cleveland, though his weak free-throw shooting (67 percent in his two seasons in the league) puts a damper on his overall fantasy appeal. Casspi’s arrival leaves Antawn Jamison‘s fantasy value next season a bit puzzling.
Tristan Thompson is a big winner here, as the power forward spot is his for the taking. He’ll get a healthy dose of minutes and should be good for boards and blocks. However, his free-throw shooting (48.7 percent in his only year in college) is a big downer.
Hickson joins a full-fledged youth movement in Sac-town, which should be fun to watch at the very least. He was a bit of a roller coaster for much of last season, but finished strong and seemed to have finally figured out how to bang the boards. Hickson will have a smaller role playing alongside Cousins up front for the Kings, and his lack of blocks and steals seriously limits his fantasy value next season.
Cousins shouldn’t be too impacted by Hickson’s arrival. He’ll continue to develop next season and should still be a decent mid-to late-round pick in most leagues, especially now that Samuel Dalembert‘s departure seems inevitable.
Throughout the offseason, feel free to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.
Follow Jason on Twitter at @fbasketballblog.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.