Adam Levitan

Rotating Rotations

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Rotations After Deadline

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Last week's trading deadline was a wild one in terms of rotations -- and it wasn't just about the players that were traded. Even though youngsters like Chase Budinger, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and Gerald Henderson weren't dealt, they were given a huge vote of confidence by their respective teams. As they would say in the NFL, next man up.

Now that we have had some time to digest the new rotations, we can draw some conclusions about coaches' plans. Let's start off in Boston, where Jeff Green and Troy Murphy are in while Kendrick Perkins is out.

* Note that lineups listed reflect the starters in the team's previous game. Stats are through Monday's games unless otherwise noted.

BOSTON
PG Rajon Rondo
SG Ray Allen
SF Paul Pierce
PF Kevin Garnett
C Nenad Krstic

Jeff Green's fantasy game wasn't all that exciting when he was playing 37.0 minutes a night for the Thunder. Now relegated to 20 minutes a night with the Celtics, there is little upside here. He will need a Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce injury to regain any real value.

The impending addition of Troy Murphy is interesting. Murphy has barely played since December and back woes ruined his training camp. The Celtics are just taking a minimum salary flier here -- it's not like they'll feel a financial obligation to give him minutes. Still, we can't ignore the fact that Murphy averaged 14.6 points, 10.2 boards and 1.8 treys per game for the Pacers last season.

Look for the starting lineup listed above to stick, meaning Murphy will be battling Jeff Green, Glen Davis and eventually Shaquille O'Neal for minutes off the bench. It's not an ideal situation for fantasy value, as expecting anything near 30 minutes a night is unrealistic. Consider Murphy a speculative add more than a must-own.

ATLANTA
PG Jeff Teague
SG Joe Johnson
SF Marvin Williams
PF Josh Smith
C Al Horford

The Hawks certainly did well to dump Mike Bibby's contract and get Kirk Hinrich. Bibby has to be in the bottom 1 percent of defenders in the NBA right now. But at the same time, there should be concern that Jeff Teague just is not the long-term answer.

Teague has started seven games in his career and averaged just 9.0 points, 4.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds. He shot 37.7 percent in those games and only managed 26.1 minutes. Jamal Crawford, Joe Johnson and Hinrich can all handle the ball, meaning if Teague does not play well he will ride the pine. Look for Hinrich to eventually become the starter and provide low-end value as soon as he gets over that calf injury. Crawford's role is the same.

CHARLOTTE
PG D.J. Augustin
SG Gerald Henderson
SF Stephen Jackson
PF Boris Diaw
C Kwame Brown

While Larry Brown had little confidence in Gerald Henderson, Paul Silas has plenty. Now locked into a starting role and 31-34 minutes nights, Henderson is certainly a viable add in the wake of the Gerald Wallace trade. However, in seven starts this year he has averaged just 9.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He is better than that, but the main concern from a fantasy perspective is that Henderson's range does not extend to the land of trey. He's a low-end option, kind of like DeMar DeRozan -- big minutes/points upside, but not much else.

Kwame Brown won't be threatened by Joel Pryzbilla or Dante Cunningham. Michael Jordan wants Brown to start and get a chance, and that's what he'll do. But with 7.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 0.7 blocks over his last 11 games, we can do better than the former No. 1 overall pick.

Another interesting name here is Tyrus Thomas (knee), who is expected back in about two weeks. Although he does not project to start at any point this year, Thomas' blocks upside is huge. As leagues come down to the wire, category hunting will be key.

CLEVELAND
PG Ramon Sessions
SG Anthony Parker
SF Christian Eyenga
PF Antawn Jamison
C J.J. Hickson

I was pretty surprised that coach Byron Scott said that newly acquired Baron Davis would eventually start over Ramon Sessions -- but I probably shouldn't be. No matter how well Sessions plays -- and he's been great as a starter this season -- the Cavs are always looking for an excuse to put him back on the pine.

Still, consider Sessions a hold until Davis proves his knee and motivation to play for the Cavs can hold up. Remember that Scott and Davis butted heads severely in New Orleans last time around. I'd be surprised if Sessions doesn't regain his job and value sometime soon. In the meantime, look for a pretty even timeshare once Davis' knee allows him to play.

Owners can not recover from Antawn Jamison's finger injury. New starter Samardo Samuels is just too raw to trust in most formats despite some decent per-36 minute numbers: 13.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.1 blocks. Consider him a wait-and-see kind of add.

DENVER
PG Ty Lawson
SG Arron Afflalo
SF Wilson Chandler
PF Kenyon Martin
C Nene

What looked like a promising trade deadline for Ty Lawson owners has turned into a nightmare. Now dealing with the flu and clearly not comfortable looking over his shoulder at Raymond Felton, Lawson has turned into a risky play. And with minutes likely split around most nights, Felton can't even really be trusted either. There is no reason to think this timeshare will disappear.

Meanwhile, George Karl took to Danilo Gallinari much better than I thought he would. If it wasn't for this toe injury, Gallo was looking at some really huge minutes/value. Now he'll have to work his way back in after watching Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith log heavy minutes for the next 7-10 days. Hold all three swingmen.

HOUSTON
PG Kyle Lowry
SG Kevin Martin
SF Chase Budinger
PF Luis Scola
C Chuck Hayes

The Rockets' treatment of Aaron Brooks makes sense now. They clearly had no intention of re-signing the impending free agent and see Kyle Lowry as their point guard of the future. Lowry is locked and loaded as a top-40 fantasy player.

Count me as a believer in Chase Budinger. I know he struggled against the Hornets Sunday, but a lot of players struggle against the Hornets' third-ranked defense. Budinger is averaging 16.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 treys and 0.9 steals per 36 minutes this season. I'd expect him to hover around 30-32 nightly.

Editor's Note: For weekly projections, daily pickup advice, exclusive columns and much more, check out Rotoworld's Season Pass!


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Adam Levitan is in his sixth 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.
Email :Adam Levitan



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