Aaron Bruski

The Step-back 3

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2014 NBA Trade Deadline Guide

Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Tony Allen, Tayshaun Prince, Zach Randolph


Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Small forwards, J.J. Barea, Chase Budinger, Harrison Barnes, Trevor Ariza, Martell Webster, Otto Porter Jr.


Commentary: Multiple reports hit mid-day Wednesday identifying a deal sending Prince and Allen to Minny for Barea and Budinger, but after talk was ratcheted up and then down it become fairly clear that Minnesota pushed out the information to improve their odds elsewhere, as mentioned by Sam Amick.  Ken Berger pushed out the initial report, it was corroborated by Woj and local reporter Darren Wolfson, and then shot down by local beat writer Ronald Tillery whose source called it a “fishing expedition,” adding that Allen’s inclusion killed the deal. Trade deadline, folks. 


All of the Twitterati agree now that the deal has cooled off, which interestingly might have taken the Wolves off of Jameer Nelson and onto Andre Miller.  David Aldridge keeps pushing for a deal with the Wizards, but hasn’t reported any specific interest by either party.  Allen said he will return Friday against the Clippers from his injury and that he doesn’t mind coming off the bench, saying he doesn’t want to be “disruptive.”  That sounds like a guy that doesn’t want to be traded and it’s also good for Courtney Lee’s value.  Right now it doesn’t appear that the Grizzlies have the assets to make a deal for Barnes work.   Talks about Randolph are all-but dead at this point and probably didn’t exist. 


Bottom Line: The Grizzlies will likely continue to hunt for a small forward upgrade, but mostly it sounds like they want to get out from Prince’s deal without sacrificing depth.  They will go into the tax to pursue an upgrade according to Aldridge, but even that is dubious with what non-tax paying teams are going to be getting from Moneybags Mikhail Prokhorov.  James Johnson owners are the only threatened bunch and after a sub-15 minute outing due to foul trouble, he could even be on waiver wires.  As I mentioned in Wednesday’s Dose, I’m hanging on there given his body of work over the past few months. 




Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Norris Cole


Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Caron Butler, Emeka Okafor


Commentary: The Heat aren’t seriously entertaining moving Cole and they’re probably more likely to buy out Butler rather than trade for him.  Okafor might not be able to play this season.  Not a lot going on here.


Bottom Line: Butler might have more consistent value in Miami but it’ll likely be limited to deeper leagues if he eventually ends up there.   




Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Caron Butler, Gary Neal, Luke Ridnour, Ersan Ilyasova, John Henson


Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Omer Asik, Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers, Ramon Sessions


Commentary: This list has to make Bucks fans sick and they have had the look of a Maloof-owned team that is purposely acquiring bad players to keep attendance down Major League style so they can try to hijack a team and move it to Seattle.  Maybe that’s not fair given Herb Kohl’s roots in the community, but what a mess.  Gary Neal is looking like a foregone certainty to be traded, not that it matters.  The Suns, Bobcats, Thunder, Wolves and Kings were mentioned by beat writer Gery Woelfel, who is slinging an awful lot of mud on the wall lately, and the Thunder and Bobcats are two teams that had made the cut with other reporters until Sam Amick reported that the Thunder had no interest.  The would put the Bobcats in the lead, as they are trying to get Milwaukee to go for a Ramon Sessions-for-Neal swap according to Marc Stein. 


Luke Ridnour is also attracting attention with the Wizards reportedly being interested for their struggling backup PG slot.  Austin Rivers is reportedly of interest (according to Woelfel), and that’s precisely the type of deal the Maloofs would have gone for in the past.  Woelfel threw out the talk of Eric Gordon earlier in the week which was shot down by Basketball Insiders and hasn’t been reported by anybody else.  Larry Sanders is all-but untradeable after his recent injury and down year. 


Henson is reportedly available (again, Woelfel) and in particular as a carrot for the Bucks to get rid of O.J. Mayo’s deal.  The Warriors and probably a handful of other teams are interested, but without much smoke there isn’t much to go on right now. 


Butler is likely to be traded or bought out after the deadline, with the latter being the most likely of the two scenarios.  Despite hitting seven treys on Tuesday there isn’t much reason to give him fantasy consideration under those circumstances in standard formats.  Take one look at his game log and you’ll know why. 


Bottom Line: There’s no real point in speculating on Neal or Ridnour outside of the deepest of leagues, and though the Bucks probably want out from under Ilyasova’s contract that sounds like a heavy lift, especially after a late Alex Kennedy report that Kohl loves the guy. Kennedy may have unearthed the reason for all of the Ilyasova madness.  Henson’s value is actually pretty good right now in Milwaukee with Sanders' season all but over, despite Larry Drew’s ongoing Keith Smart reprisal.  Rivers is fantasy garbage and owners shouldn’t move the needle here on Milwaukee assets in general until something more substantial pops up. Sessions to Milwaukee is probably an upgrade when it comes to getting rid of Neal, but a mess from a fantasy perspective no matter what. 




Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Kevin Love, J.J. Barea, Chase Budinger, Shabazz Muhammad


Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Tayshaun Prince, Tony Allen, Andre Miller, Jameer Nelson, Gary Neal


Commentary: The Kevin Love rumors from earlier in the day were a waste of ink and as it turned out so were the rumors involving Barea, Budinger, Prince and Allen.  Andre Miller is considered the best bet to arrive in Minny at this time, and Nelson might replace Miller as a target if Miller can’t be acquired.  The Wolves have been contacted about Muhammad but he’s raw and doesn’t appear to be in the greatest shape.  The Nuggets aren’t interested in a 1-for-1 deal for Miller and Barea, and the overall story is that the Wolves are trying to improve to appease Love but aren’t finding any real traction in the market for now. 


Early Thursday morning Darren Wolfson reported that the Wolves were in "3rd or 4th" position to obtain Neal.  That's just funny considering we're talking about Gary Neal. 


Bottom Line: The Wolves wanted Allen and Prince to help shore up the defense, and in the case of the latter we will all question that, but Rick Adelman does love him some veterans.  We could throw Pau Gasol in the incoming list but those talks fizzled quickly and Dante Cunningham and Alexey Shved’s names were thrown out a few weeks back but haven’t hit the wire since.  Not a whole lot doing in Minnesota and owners can sit on their projections.  Until there is more than one lone report on Shabazz, there’s no reason for owners to pay him any attention. 




Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Austin Rivers, Anthony Morrow, Pierre Jackson


Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Jordan Hill


Commentary: For all of the talk about New Orleans being players at the deadline nothing has emerged to truly get folks excited.  They want to trade Gordon and Evans because they’re clearly not worth the deals they got, which everybody in the league also knows.  Rivers has been begging to get out of New Orleans and the Bucks and others may be interested in spending little to nothing on him, while Anthony Morrow is the much better asset and could be moved for a low pick.  Pierre Jackson is on the Cavs’ radar if they move Jarrett Jack and he was held out of his D-League game on Wednesday. 


Hill joined the list after the Lakers traded Steve Blake.  He's all but certain to be playing somewhere other than L.A., though it's unclear where that will be at this time. 


Bottom Line: There’s nothing to glean here for fantasy purposes, though Jackson has been tearing up the D-League and may be worth a look in 30-team leagues if he can get freed up.   Hill would be more interesting in New Orleans than in most places but there's still not enough to go on in standard formats. 




Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Beno Udrih, Tim Hardaway Jr., Metta World Peace


Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, Jeremy Lin, Kenneth Faried, Jordan Hamilton, Darren Collison, Reggie Bullock, Jared Dudley, Glen Rice Jr., Andre Miller


Commentary: Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Clippers/Knicks deal dead following the Shumpert injury.  Currently only Chris Broussard has reported that deal isn't dead and Hamilton for Udrih is alive as a standalone deal.  But then again, Broussard says a lot of things.  Marc Stein reported that Faried to the Knicks was getting pared down to just the smaller components of Hamilton for Udrih, but that was before the Knicks lost their deal with the Clippers.  I'll start pulling a lot of names down from the chart when it becomes clear what the Knicks are going to do after a brutal blow last night. 


On the whole, this list is pretty hilarious when you consider the Knicks’ lack of assets.  The Knicks are that guy in fantasy leagues that send out a million crappy trade offers and then tell every single person that they don’t know what they’re talking about.  You’ll notice that Carmelo Anthony is not on this list.  That should be old news, but if you’ve been under a rock you should know that everything is pointed toward 2015 and the hopes they can use their cap space and a trade right now to entice Melo to stay. 


The easiest thing to say about the Knicks’ trading situation is that Rondo and Lowry are all-but ruled out, though Lowry isn’t expected to re-sign with Toronto at this time and by virtue of that Masai Ujiri could be slowplaying his hand there.  Still, the only scenario that was even remotedly close to delivering Lowry to the Knicks was a three-way deal including Jeff Teague to Toronto, Lowry to New York and Atlanta getting Iman Shumpert.  Obviously that's dead now. 


Udrih has been linked to the Wizards and Spurs’ backup jobs and those are realistic reports, though he’s not exactly in demand so nothing is imminent. 


The Jeremy Lin to NY rumor also fell apart with the Shumpert news, but he jumped on the block pretty quick the other day and it's possible another team doubles back to check him out.  


Bottom Line: Felton’s value is dwindling and he has late-round upside if he stays in New York.  Owners can move along if they want.  Shumpert is hands off for owners following his sprained MCL. Kenneth Faried has been playing at a late-round value and his value would be solidified in New York, but we'll have to see what direction the market heads for him now. 


Collison loses his stash appeal with the New York deal seemingly dead.  Andre Miller has some low-level stash appeal for the chance he is the Knicks’ booby prize, and the rumors about him landing in Philly while unlikely don’t hurt.  Lin's status stabilizes now that there are no active trade rumors for him following the Shumpert injury. 

Until there are more credible rumors surrounding Rondo or Lowry, I’m not moving the needle based on their respective situations. 




Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: None at this time.


Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Gary Neal


Commentary: The Thunder have their own pick in this year’s draft so they could theoretically make a deal, but right now Gary Neal is the only player in the rumor mill and that got shot down by Sam Amick on Thursday morning.  Charlotte is also hot on his tail, among other teams, so there isn’t much going on for OKC except puff pieces about what a great defender Kendrick Perkins is.  So things are pretty normal. 


Bottom Line: The needle isn’t moving for fantasy assets in OKC.   




Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, Glen Davis


Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: None at this time.


Commentary: The Magic were a popular trade deadline team during the preseason and throughout the year, but almost all of the talk surrounding them has been ice-cold for the last few weeks.  Basketball Insiders, who spends a good amount of time reporting on the Magic in general, has changed that stance by implying they could be slowplaying the deadline and that talk about “sitting out the deadline may be overstated.”  Conversely, Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted at 8 p.m. ET that the Magic are “strongly inclined” to sit on Afflalo and revisit deals after the season.  They want a big piece back in return for Afflalo by all reports, and Nelson and Davis are more likely candidates to be traded – though it’s been quiet on that front.  Davis left Wednesday’s game early and that’s going to cause speculation and is the most we’ve heard on him all week. 


Charlotte reports for Afflalo have crept into play now that the Evan Turner deal went south, but with no explanation out of the Sporting News for how the Bobcats intend to do that it’s hard to put much stock in what is going on.  For what it’s worth, Basketball Insiders also reported that Afflalo calls were getting turned away, indicating the interest from other teams is probably limited to the easier-to-move assets. 


A late report that the Wizards are interested in trading for Nelson hit the wire on Wednesday, but the idea that the Magic would take back a second round pick as state is a hard to believe.  Nelson’s salary next season is only partially guaranteed and other teams would gladly get in on that action. 


Bottom Line: Owners can hold onto Afflalo with relative confidence at this time and risk-takers can try to take advantage of trade concerns with a buy low offer.  Victor Oladipo was starting to look like a guy that might be a trade deadline casualty like Derrick Favors last year, though his role almost has to improve or Jacque Vaughn will start to catch serious heat.  I still like him as a buy low candidate after a slow week, and the talk about a loosened approach to dealing help that along a small amount.  Tobias Harris is a decent buy low guy with the chance that his role stays similar or grows in the event of a Big Baby trade.   




Players traded IN:

Players traded OUT: Spencer Hawes

Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner


Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Omer Asik, Andre Miller


Commentary: For the team most synonymous with this year’s trade deadline, the rumor mill has churned out different versions of the same thing for just about a month.  With the exception of a lone Andre Miller rumor, the story is pretty simple for Philly.  They want first round picks for each of Young, Turner and Hawes, though CBS Sports reported early Thursday that the Sixers would take two second round picks for Turner.  That's what they got for Hawes in a Thursday morning deal, and details on what Philly got back are not available just yet. 


Young is the most likely to be dealt but Philly isn’t exactly dying to move him, and one has to think that the Hawes trade lessens the percentage chance that either Young or Turner gets dealt -- but mostly Young.  A deal with Charlotte for Turner which was heavily pined by well-sourced reporters basically blew up on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.  The Warriors were linked to Young and about six other players that any team looking to make a splash would want, but we need to see more there before moving the needle there. 


The fact that Houston's Omer Asik has been linked to Philly helps, but both teams have the same goals of accumulating picks and Houston doesn’t strike me as a team that’s willing to give up a pick to get Hawes as a rental.  The Sixers could also absorb Asik’s salary. 


Bottom Line: Hawes' value is crushed by this news, though it's theoretically possible he maintains some low-end value while in Cleveland.  Along the same lines of Young and Turner's chances of staying improving, their value increases somewhat with this news.  Turner could lose all of his  value and he has been sell-high candidates for a while, and his value is so threatened by the trade deadline now that he may actually be buy low candidates for the savvy reverse psychologist. 




Players in the Rumor Mill Heading OUT: Emeka Okafor


Players in the Rumor Mill Heading IN: Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Gary Neal, Thaddeus Young


Commentary: The Suns have backed off on the Gasol deal even if there is at least one report from Basketball Insiders indicating that he will likely land there.  Their record on reporting a trade of that magnitude is unknown at this time, while heavy hitters like David Aldridge said it was “dying on the vine.”  The groin injury has played a factor but as I mentioned in the Lakers writeup and in other places, the Lakers probably need to get a mid-first round pick to get Kobe Bryant to buy in.  The Suns turned their attention to Hill briefly but apparently they’re out of those talks for now according to Woj.  The Okafor contract is a nice asset because it’s partially insured and also expiring.  Neal has been linked to at least six teams throughout Wednesday and the Suns aren’t on the top of that list right now.  Young was linked to the Suns two weeks ago but there has been no smoke at all on that front. 


Bottom Line: Gasol’s theoretic value would crush the waning value of Miles Plumlee and also dent guys like Channing Frye and Markieff Morris, though it wouldn’t destroy them.  Frye would still be a standard league guy in 8-cat leagues and a must-start player in 9-cat formats.  Morris would be a deep league guy.  Hill wouldn’t have the upside he has in L.A. in a Pau-less scenario, but he’d be a good bet to get 20 minutes if the Suns reverse course there, which doesn’t look like it’s happening.  Owners shouldn’t speculate on Young in Phoenix unless there is more smoke.   


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Aaron Bruski has covered hoops for Rotoworld since 2008 and has competed in national fantasy sports competitions for nearly two decades. In 2015 he was named FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year. You can also find his work over at ProBasketballTalk, where he received critical acclaim for his in-depth reporting of the Kings' relocation saga. Hit him on Twitter at Aaronbruski.
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