There are a lot of non-sporting events in sports that are great, such as the NFL Combine and free agency. The NBA’s trade deadline is arguably the most fun.
Last week’s record-setter saw 37 players get moved, leaving owners’ heads spinning. When the dizziness stopped, we had some guys get a serious boost in value:
Unhappy and buried in Oklahoma City, savvy owners were stashing Reggie Jackson for his inevitable move toward greener pastures. He couldn’t have landed in a much better spot than Detroit, as Stan Van Gundy encourages up-tempo play and likes aggressive point guards. Jackson is certainly that, as evidenced by his career averages of 15.9 points, 5.8 assists and 4.2 rebounds as a starter. With Brandon Jennings (Achilles’) done for the year, R-Jax is going to return top-50 value the rest of the way.
LOAD THE CANAAN
The Sixers badly wanted Isaiah Canaan in the 2013 draft, but instead Sam Hinkie’s mentor (Daryl Morey) snagged him one pick ahead of their spot in the second round. So Hinkie had to wait, but he got his man at the deadline by giving up a talented prospect in K.J. McDaniels. Canaan was not a throw-in – this is a player the franchise thinks can develop into a long-term asset. Most importantly for our purposes, Canaan is an excellent 3-point shooter (2.9 makes per 36-minutes in his NBA career). It’s been a rocky start, but he’s going to help owners significantly as a core piece that plays 30-35 minutes nightly for the Tankers.
The Nuggets are among the bigger train wrecks in the NBA right now. One thing they knew they wanted to do was move Arron Afflalo and go with a big starting lineup that featured Danilo Gallinari at the shooting guard spot. That’s opened up plenty of room for the 6-foot-10 Italian to fire away from the land of trey, as he made eight of them in the first three games after the trade. When a player can dominate one category so profoundly, he can win us weeks with ease. Head-to-head owners should be assembling playoff rosters with specialists like Gallo in their five “go-to” categories.
NBA Pickups of the Week
Aaron Brooks, PG, Bulls – Brooks will have to share time with Kirk Hinrich, but there’s room with Derrick Rose down again.
Ersan Ilyasova, PF, Bucks – For now, Ersanity is in Jason Kidd’s good graces and has a starting role locked up.
Terrence Jones, PF, Rockets — Finally healthy again, Jones is a double-double waiting to happen. He’ll keep starting even when Dwight Howard returns.
The star of the Combine was West Virginia WR Kevin White, who smoked a 4.35 at 6’3/215 and benched 225 pounds 23 times. He drew comparisons to Larry Fitzgerald and Julio Jones, putting himself in position to go in the top-5 of the draft. It’s a salivating situation for Dynasty owners, as receivers’ careers last far longer than running backs and White appears truly special. If doing a rookie-only draft today, White is the pick.