Adam Levitan

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Fallout: Carmelo is a Knick

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One of the biggest trades in NBA history is expected to become official Tuesday -- as long as all physicals are passed. Here is a quick-hitting look at the potential fallout for the key players:

Projected starters:
PG Chauncey Billups
SG Landry Fields
SF Carmelo Anthony
PF Amare Stoudemire
C Ronny Turiaf

Carmelo Anthony: Value holds
Anthony was attempting 19.3 field goals per game on the Nuggets. It's logical to think that number will drop now that he's playing with Amare Stoudemire, but don't forget coach Mike D'Antoni's rabid offensive style. The Knicks attempt the fifth-most shots in the league while the Nuggets rank 21st in that category.

Chauncey Billups: Value holds
Coach Mike D'Antoni's offense is built around point guards. Raymond Felton was having a career year as a top-30 fantasy player and Billups will be no different.

Ronny Turiaf: Upgrade slightly
The Knicks gave away starting center Timofey Mozgov and two small forwards (Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari) that could play some power forward for them. Turiaf projects as a starter on most nights, but note how inconsistent he has been in that role. In 13 starts this year, Turiaf has averaged just 5.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 21.5 minutes. Always a good bet for an in-game injury, Turiaf is only worth the headache in deep leagues.

Corey Brewer: Downgrade slightly
Brewer is a poor bet to unseat Landry Fields at any point this season, but will get minutes because he actually plays defense. The Knicks are going to need this with so many swiss-cheese defenders in their new lineup. Think 24-28 minutes of a high steal rate and poor shooting.

Projected starters:
PG Luke Ridnour
SG Martell Webster
SF Michael Beasley
PF Kevin Love
C Darko Milicic

Anthony Randolph: Upgrade
Despite gobs of otherworldly talent, Randolph has been dumped by two teams in the last year. If that's not a red flag, he has questionable work ethic and hasn't sniffed the floor in 37 of the Knicks' games this year. Still, he projects to eventually get 20-25 minutes as a big off the Wolves bench. That's enough burn to take a flier on the upside, especially if you need blocks.

Martell Webster: Upgrade
Corey Brewer had started 19 straight games for the Wolves, averaging 25.2 minutes over that span. That slack will be picked up by Martell Webster, who started at shooting guard ahead of rookie Wes Johnson last time out. Webster's troublesome back is a major concern, but he makes 2.1 treys per 36 minutes in his career. Worth a deep-league add.

Projected starters:
PG Ty Lawson
SG Arron Afflalo
SF J.R. Smith
PF Kenyon Martin
C Nene

Ty Lawson: Upgrade big
The Nuggets plan on moving Raymond Felton along to a team to be determined. That's because Lawson is ready to play right now. In 14 career starts, he has averaged 16.4 points, 5.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.2 treys and 1.1 steals. There is room to grow on those numbers as well. He's a must-own and must-start.

Aaron Afflalo: Value holds
Afflalo is the kind of player that benefits from playing with a superstar like Carmelo Anthony. He knocks down open 3-pointers while struggling to get his shot off. Yes, there are more attempts to go around now, but Afflalo's game isn't suited to capitalizing on that opportunity.

Danilo Gallinari: Downgrade
Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni has been in Gallinari's corner almost to a fault. It's unlikely that George Karl will stand for Gallo's atrocious defense and inconsistent focus. Karl also isn't a fan of jacking up treys early in the shot clock like D'Antoni is. Gallo is no lock to stay in Denver -- and if he does he will be fighting with Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith for minutes. Gallinari would get a boost if a trade to New Jersey goes down.

Timofey Mozgov: Downgrade
For now, the Nuggets say they are not trading Nene. And they say Mozgov isn't headed to New Jersey. That could be a bluff as Thursday's deadline approaches. Either way, Mozgov is more of a project than an NBA starter right now. Leave him on waivers.

Wilson Chandler: Downgrade
There is simply too much clutter here for Chandler to get enough minutes/shots to be reliable. That could all change if Gallinari and J.R. Smith are traded, but we can only take a "wait-and-see" approach with Chandler for now. Hold through the deadline.

J.R. Smith: Upgrade
There are reports out there that the Nuggets will not be trading the hot-headed Smith. We are not really buying that, but we must upgrade just in case the reports are true. In five starts this year with Carmelo sidelined, Smith averaged 13.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.6 treys. If locked in as a starter, his confidence and those numbers will rise.

Adam Levitan is in his seventh season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
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