The fantasy values of NBA players rise and fall like dominoes, with one move setting off a chain reaction in rotations. The trade deadline provides us with an annual chance to capitalize.
This year’s deadline falls on Thursday, Feb. 20. Lazy owners will wait to see what trades happen and then try to make an add. Winning owners will make proactive moves to prepare.
Anyone keeping the tanking Sixers from getting ping-pong balls in the 2014 draft has to go. That’s especially true for Evan Turner, who is in the final year of his rookie deal and highly unlikely to be re-signed anyway. Look for the Sixers to dump him for an expiring contract or some other dust, therefore crippling the reasonable fantasy value he’s held all season long. On a good team, Turner is a seventh or eighth man— not the No. 1 option he’s been in Philly. Fantasy owners need to sell now.
Jameer Nelson will turn 32 next week, is in the final year of his deal and the Magic are rebuilding. In other words, a trade is very possible. It would open up room for the Magic to start Victor Oladipo and Arron Afflalo every night, thus handing the reigns to their blossoming future star. Over the last 15 games, Oladipo is averaging 15.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Only Michael Carter-Williams has been more impressive among rookies.
The Pelicans would probably like to trade the oft-injured, one-dimensional Eric Gordon. But will anyone be willing to bite on the four-year, $58 million contract he signed in July 2012? We’ll see. If they do, talented Tyreke Evans would take his rightful place back in the starting five as a scorer and distributor capable of a big fantasy impact. He’s worth throwing into some buy-low offers.
1. Ronny Turiaf, C, Wolves – Nikola Pekovic’s resume is littered with injuries. Now he’s on the shelf indefinitely again.
2. DeMarre Carroll, SF, Hawks – One of fantasy’s best glue guys has stepped up his game since the Al Horford injury.
3. Steve Nash, PG, Lakers – He is finally close to a return. Just realize he won’t be playing true starter’s minutes or on back-to-backs.
Start getting these guys on your radar:
1. Tyson Ross, SP, Padres – He’s a talented arm, playing at Petco Park and locked into the rotation. Yes, please.
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies – His disappointing rookie year was fluky. He is capable of tons more, as shown by minor league numbers.
3. Drew Smyly, Tigers – Detroit traded away Doug Fister and will move Smyly into the rotation. He’ll do damage.
Follow Metro fantasy writer Adam Levitan on Twitter @adamlevitan.