Thursday was deadline day in the NBA, and it didn’t fail to disappoint, with Cleveland pulling off some blockbuster deals in an attempt to appease their disgruntled King. Some of the bigger names that were rumored to be on the block such as DeAndre Jordan and Tyreke Evans ended up not getting moved, but we did have some surprises, like Dwyane Wade getting sent back to Miami.
Here are all the deals that went down:
Chicago --> Jameer Nelson --> Detroit
Chicago <-- Willie Reed <-- Detroit
No fantasy impact with this move
Miami --> Okaro White --> Atlanta
Miami --> Luke Babbitt --> Atlanta
No fantasy impact with this move
Memphis --> James Ennis --> Detroit
Memphis Brice Johnson
Ennis will remain irrelevant in Detroit, but Johnson could potentially crack the rotation in Memphis. To be clear, I view Johnson as a wait-and-see guy, but he is on the deep league radar.
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The Blockbuster (Trades 4 & 5)
Lakers Isaiah Thomas+ Channing Frye+ Cleveland's 2018 first-round pick
Cleveland Rodney Hood+ George Hill
Cleveland --> Iman Shumpert --> Sacramento
Sacramento Joe Johnson
Cleveland --> Dwyane Wade --> Miami
I see Clarkson having a similar role in Cleveland to the one that Dwyane Wade had, providing a spark off the bench and running the second unit, but his value does take a hit here. Clarkson was rocking a 27.5 usage rate as one of the primary options in the Lakers’ offense, but that’ll likely come down to around 23, which is where Wade’s usage was. Clarkson owners should give him a few games with his new team to see what his role looks like, but I won’t be clinging to him if he’s unproductive after about a week.
Larry Nance and George Hill were probably the biggest winners in the blockbuster deal, as Hill will immediately start in Cleveland and is no longer in danger of getting shut down, and Nance also has a great chance to start as the only true power forward on the roster with Jae Crowder getting shipped out of town. Nance derives most of his value from the defensive numbers, so it doesn’t really matter that he’ll be last on the pecking order in that offense. He was providing late-round value in just 21.9 minutes per game with the Lakers this season, but he’ll have an excellent opportunity to jump into the mid-round equation in Cleveland as he should be able to flirt with around 30 minutes a night. Both Nance and Hill need to be owned everywhere.
On Sacramento’s side, De’Aaron Fox gets a massive boost with Hill no longer around to mess with his minutes, and Buddy Hield will have the opportunity for more playing time.
Isaiah Thomas should see a boost with the Lakers, as he’ll be going from the No. 13 ranked team in pace to the No. 1 team in pace, and he’ll no longer need to share the rock with LeBron James. On paper, he looks like the obvious No. 1 option in that offense, although I can’t ignore the fact that he just hasn’t looked quite right this season working his way back from the hip injury. So yes, he is in a better spot to produce, but he’ll need to round into form for that to happen. His arrival is terrible news for Lonzo Ball (knee) and Josh Hart.
Channing Frye probably won’t play very much in Los Angeles.
The Jazz are expected to waive Derrick Rose, and Tom Thibodeau is rumored to have interest in signing his former point guard on the buyout market. Rose’s non-existent value wouldn’t improve in Minnesota, but he would mess with Jeff Teague’s minutes.
Jae Crowder was having a terrible season in Cleveland, but it might not get much better in Utah, as I see him backing up Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors. Maybe the change of scenery will help him, but I just don’t see him earning much more than 25 minutes a night in Utah. He’s a wait-and-see guy in most leagues.
It’ll be interesting to see if Rodney Hood starts or comes off the bench in Cleveland, but there’s no way he’ll be able to match his Jazz 27.9 usage rate with the Cavs. His value figures to take a hit.
Iman Shumpert could get bought out in Sacramento, but regardless of the name across his jersey, he won’t be an impact player in fantasy hoops.
Joe Johnson is already working on his buyout. He’ll sign with a contender and remain irrelevant in fantasy hoops.
Dwyane Wade figures to see a boost in Miami, as I see him going from reserve to starter with Flash starting at the two and Josh Richardson shifting over to the three-spot. I’d say Wade is worth a speculative add if you’ve got someone to cut. His arrival isn’t great for the rest-of-season outlook of Wayne Ellington and Tyler Johnson.
Toronto --> Bruno Caboclo --> Sacramento
Toronto Malachi Richardson
The Kings are expected to cut Caboclo, and Richardson has no shot of getting into the rotation with the Raptors.
Orlando --> Elfrid Payton --> Phoenix
This is an incredible landing spot for Payton, as he’ll be joining the No. 3 ranked team in pace and he should be locked into big minutes for the banged-up Suns. Phoenix has seemingly given up on Tyler Ulis and Josh Gray isn’t a realistic threat to Payton’s playing time, so he’s good. Payton’s per-36 numbers this season give us a glimpse of his upside: 16.4 points, 5.0 boards, 7.9 dimes, 1.8 steals and 3.3 turnovers per game.
On Orlando’s side of the equation, D.J. Augustin looks like he’s locked into big minutes as a starter as he finished Thursday’s win over the Hawks with 18 points (5-of-14 FGs, 6-of-6 FTs), nine assists, three rebounds, two triples, two steals and zero turnovers through 35 minutes as a starter. I seriously doubt he’ll be this good on most nights, but DJA is in an incredibly favorable situation, making him worth a speculative add in most leagues.
Washington --> Sheldon Mac (Achilles) --> Atlanta
The Hawks ended up cutting Mac, who is done for the year with the Achilles injury.
New Orleans --> Dante Cunningham --> Brooklyn
New Orleans Rashad Vaughn
I don’t expect either of these guys to make much of an impact on their new teams.
Portland --> Noah Vonleh --> Chicago
Portland Milovan Rakovic
Rakovic drafted in 2007, but he never left Serbia, and probably never will.
I don’t expect Vonleh to see meaningful minutes in Chicago.
Denver --> Emmanuel Mudiay + second-round pick --> New York
Denver Devin Harris+ Knicks’ second-round pick
New York --> Doug McDermott --> Dallas
Mudiay could eventually start for the Knicks, but I think the most likely scenario here is that the point guard spot in New York devolving into a three-way timeshare between Jarrett Jack, Frank Ntilikina and Mudiay. Ntilikina basically lost all his stash appeal with this move, so he’s safe to send to the waiver wire in all re-draft leagues.
McDermott might be able to establish himself as a 3-point specialist in Dallas, but that’s about it, and I don’t see Harris having much of an impact with the Nuggets.
Moose Makes his Debut
Greg Monroe was rather unimpressive in his Boston debut on Thursday, scoring just five points on 2-of-5 shooting (1-of-3 from the stripe) to go with six rebounds, two assists, two steals and one turnover in 20 minutes off the bench. Monroe needs at least 25 minutes a night to make a low-end impact in fantasy hoops, but it’s tough to see him consistently getting in that range with the Celtics. Aron Baynes and Daniel Theis aren’t just going to fall out of the rotation; Baynes is a huge reason why the Celtics sit on the No. 1 ranked defense in the league, and there’s just too much competition for minutes for this to work out favorably for Moose.
Enes Kanter (mouth) did not play Thursday and should be considered questionable for Sunday’s game in Indiana. Kyle O’Quinn got the start in his place, but it was Luke Kornet who made the most noise, tallying 11 points, 10 rebounds and four swats in just 22 minutes off the bench. Kornet could certainly get into the rotation with Kristaps Porzingis (knee) done for the year, so he’s on the radar as a speculative add in deep leagues.
Nikola Vucevic (hand) did not play Thursday, but his return is right around the corner, as he’s now being listed as day-to-day. He should be owned everywhere, whereas Bismack Biyombo owners should start perusing the waiver wire for other options.
Aaron Gordon (hip) is still dealing with pain in his hip and did not play on Thursday. The Magic have zero incentive to rush him back, so we might not see him back on the court until after the All-Star break. Mario Hezonja should continue to start in his absence with Evan Fournier and Jonathon Simmons doing the heavy lifting on offense.
Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) did not practice Thursday and is doubtful to play Friday vs. the Bucks. James Johnson and Bam Adebayo will pick up the slack in his absence, with Johnson offering a bit more upside.
Wayne Ellington (shoulder) got some shots up Thursday and he’s probable to play on Friday. He’s been an elite source of triples this season, but his value took a big hit with the arrival of Dwyane Wade.
Kris Dunn is no longer on the concussion protocol, but he will remain on the sidelines for Chicago’s Friday-Saturday back-to-back set. Maybe he gets back out there for Monday’s game against the Magic, although it wouldn’t be surprising if the Bulls hold him out through the All-Star break.
Harrison Barnes (ankle) missed his second game in a row on Thursday, although he was able to practice in full on Wednesday, so maybe he’ll be able to get back out there for Saturday’s game against the Lakers.
Carmelo Anthony (right ankle) and Russell Westbrook (left ankle) did not play Thursday, and they should be considered questionable for Sunday’s game against the Grizzlies. Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson started in their place, and I’d expect the same results on Sunday if Westbrook and Melo are out.
Evan Turner (calf) returned from a one-game absence on Thursday, posting 13 points, one 3-pointer, two rebounds and one assist in 20 minutes off the bench. He was wincing a bit, but overall he looked fine, so I’d expect him to be out there on Friday in Sacramento.
Milos Teodosic (foot) and Austin Rivers (ankle, heel) are questionable to play Friday vs. the Pistons. Rivers has been targeting Friday’s game for a while now, so he should be able to get back out there, but Teodosic’s status is a bit more dubious. If Teodosic sits, Lou Williams and Avery Bradley would pick up a majority of his minutes.
John Henson (hamstring) was a full participant at Thursday’s practice, which is a great sign regarding his status for Friday’s game in Miami. Owners can expect to get another update following Friday morning’s shootaround, but if he does get back out there, Thon Maker will most likely return to the bench.
Torrey Craig (hamstring) is probable to play Friday vs. the Rockets.