Believe it or not, we’re only one week away from the NBA trade deadline. It’s been quiet on most fronts compared to seasons in recent memory, but we all know that there will be a plentiful amount of value changing hands from player to player before February 21 at 3:00 p.m. EST. Today we’re going to continue our coverage and discuss players that may be viewed as sell-high assets based on some rumblings about the approaching deadline.
While assessing a player’s value on rumors and speculation can be dangerous territory, it’s vital to stay abreast of the threat of what could ultimately lead to one of your must-start guys moving to a secondary role of your fantasy roster. It’s really all about risk management since beat writers may just be hitting their monthly quotas.
If the rumors are persistent about a player that tends to be a product of his system, then obviously owners should see whether someone else might be willing to gamble. Secondly, when players are on teams that have as much depth as a kiddy pool, their values will undoubtedly take a hit as they learn to mesh with teammates owning higher usage rates and more presence on both ends of the floor.
There are players that fit one or both of those descriptions. Before we get into some specifics, allow me to just remind some of you that “selling high” can have a lot of inherent attributes. Selling is all about the perception of the other party. One owner might think the world of a guy and another owner knows it’s clear as day why you’re trying to ship a player. One guideline I always have when it comes to a player you want to trade is to target owners and not specific NBA players. If your desire is to trade away a rebounding power forward, the fantasy team that needs that player the most should trump how you really think that Bradley Beal is going to break out.
As stated above, it’s all about risk management. Even though there’s a strong possibility that someone like Josh Smith may be traded, it isn’t a guarantee. Since fantasy has a lot to do with calculations, how about we try to look at this idea in a simple multi-variable equation?
Current trade value= (current value) x (chances of a trade impacting value) x (potential magnitude of trade impact)
As you can see, the largest variable factors that should be incorporated into the evaluation are the chances a trade goes down and the potential impact. If a player is highly likely to be traded and that impact could cripple his value, then he is obviously a prime candidate to try and dump on an unsuspecting owner. Conversely, if a player is unlikely to be dealt and his role might not change much, then who cares?
Let’s take a look at some guys that will have some larger risks than others:
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1. Josh Smith- What a way to end his unofficial first half on Wednesday, right? J-Smoove shot 13-of-20 from the field for 30 points with 10 boards, five assists, two blocks, two threes and no turnovers in just 30 minutes. On the downside, he shot 2-of-7 from the line, which has been a real bugaboo with a season free throw percentage of 50.0 percent.
Smith wants a max deal and he’s probably the biggest name in the NBA that is rumored to be on the trade block. Despite his worst field goal shooting since his rookie year, Smith has tried to be a one-man wrecking crew for the Hawks. He doesn’t really do much without the ball and only has 60 percent of his field goals via an assist – his lowest since his rookie season. His shot selection has been terrible too with he and Rudy Gay as the only two players in the NBA to shoot below 30 percent from 16-23 feet while taking at least 3.6 attempts from that range per game. Mid-Range Shawty? I think not.
Those stats certainly are not going to translate to teams that have solid passing point guards. There’s no doubt that Smith’s value is the most volatile, but the problem is his owners would have to find a patsy that is unaware of his potential demise. A trade for a guy with fourth-round value seems like a good way to limit your risk for a big-name guy and coming off a nice Wednesday.
2. Andrea Bargnani- He’s certainly not a sell-high guy right now. In his four games since returning from an elbow issue, Bargnani averaged just 8.3 points with 1.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.3 blocks and 0.0 triples in only 20.8 minutes. Although, the Raptors could go into showcase mode against the Wizards on Tuesday.
3. J.J. Redick- He’s been nothing short of incredible to this point. On the year, he’s hit 2.4 triples per game and still managed 46 percent from the field thanks largely to converting 76 percent of his attempts at the rim. Those numbers are rare and Kyle Korver, Kevin Durant, Kevin Martin and Redick are the only four in the NBA to average at least 2.0 triples while shooting at least 45 percent from the field. He’s also adding a career-high 4.4 dimes per game to go with his 88.7 percent from the line.
Unfortunately, there’s absolutely no way he will be able to sustain most of those numbers on any other team. He’ll likely just be a spot-up shooter, so the shots at the rim will go down and consequently drop his field goal percentage. His assists will also take a sizeable hit. Despite Orlando refuting that Redick is going to be traded, their team doesn’t really have a lot to build around and some contender may be willing to part ways with a prospect to get a guy with arguably the prettiest jumper in the NBA.
Redick isn’t as likely to be traded as some of the other guys, but the magnitude of impact could really cripple him.