Oct 19, 2013; Greensboro, NC, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis (11) stands on the court during the game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Greensboro Coliseum. The Mavericks won 89-83. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Fantasy Basketball Trading Bible

The Fantasy Basketball Trading Bible

Oct 9, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) is introduced before the game against the CSKA Moscow at the AT

I really hate to say this, but most people do not know how to trade in fantasy basketball leagues.  I hope that statement doesn’t apply to you, but the odds are not in your favor.  All fantasy basketball trades profoundly depend on the rest of your roster.  It is impossible for me to answer if a DeMarcus Cousins for Dirk Nowitzki trade is in your best interest if I don’t know the rest of your team.  Whether you are a wonderful or wretched trader, you should find the Fantasy Basketball Trading Bible information helpful regardless of your status as a fantasy player.

I become slightly agitated (and by slightly, I mean extremely) when someone refuses to trade with me because he thinks that he must get the best player in the deal or some other lame excuse.  That’s completely foolish!  If a trade improves your team, it IMPROVES your team.  If a better deal can be made with someone else, that is a completely valid reason to cease the trade talk.  However, if all options have been explored and you have an opportunity at improvement, in most cases you should take it.  If your league is even semi-competitive, you will not be able to win the league with only your drafted squad.  You have to make trades throughout the year!  I want to arm you with a trading framework to ensure that every exchange you make is a successful one.

You must ask yourself these 3 questions every time you are considering a trade.

1.       What do I statistically gain by acquiring this player or these players? 

Simply analyze what statistical categories will increase and which ones will decrease.  Basketball Monster’s trade analysis tool is extremely helpful in this process.

2.       Do I gain any positional advantage in this trade? 

For example, if I trade a SG/SF and a C for a SG and a PF/C, I lose a SF but gain a PF.  A position acquisition is a very big deal in fantasy basketball…more about this in a bit

3.       How do the players I am obtaining mesh with my existing roster?

It’s highly unlikely that I will trade for Dwight Howard if I have Kevin Durant and other good free throw shooters on my team.  A common, advanced strategy is to keep a well-balanced lineup throughout the regular season and start specializing in certain categories as the playoffs approach.  There are pro’s and con’s to this methodology, but we will save that for another article.

Let’s analyze an extremely simple example to clarify my lesson.

This is a real trade that I made with my friend, Nene, who suffers from the newly discovered Grass-Is-Always-Greener Syndrome.  I traded Monta Ellis for Kawhi Leonard a few days ago.  I had Monta at #24 in my overall rankings list and drafted him in the 3rd round.  I had Kawhi at #31 overall, and he was picked in the 4th round.  Soooo…why in the world would I make that trade?  Let’s immediately go to the questions.

1.  I gain FG%, FT%, 3 pointers made, rebounds, blocks, and less turnovers.  I lose points, steals, and assists.  This is crucial information because I must know how the increases and decreases impact my team’s categorical strengths and weaknesses.

2.  Monta is PG and SG eligible.  Kawhi is SG and SF eligible.  Therefore, I lose a PG and gain a SF.  I desperately needed another SF eligible player because Andre Iguodala and DeMarre Carroll were the only small forwards on my roster.  Consequently, if I was to keep my originally drafted team, DeMarre Carroll or a pickup would be in my lineup every time Iguodala wasn’t playing.  That was a scary thought, so I looked to deal with a team with depth at the SF spot.  Nene’s squad had 3 solid SF’s, so the negotiation began.  He happened to need a PG, and I had Monta, Bledsoe, Lowry, and Reggie Jackson.  I could definitely afford to give one up because I had depth at the PG and SG positions.

3.  How would Kawhi mesh with the rest of my roster?  This is the most important question.  Monta’s big draws are his steals, assists from the SG spot, and points.  His major drawbacks are FG% and turnovers.  I drafted Kevin Love, Anthony Davis, Monta Ellis, Eric Bledsoe, Andre Iguodala, Jonas Valanciunas, Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Tyson Chandler, Reggie Jackson, Alec Burks, Markieff Morris, DeMarre Carroll, and Robin Lopez.  The majority of my guys are very strong in the steals category.  Eric Bledsoe might lead the league in steals this year.  Therefore, if I give up some steals in the trade, it is no big deal.  As a whole, my percentages should be strengths as well, and Kawhi would add to those assets.  Lowering my turnover rate is just a bonus.  Kawhi meshes with my team perfectly even though I might have given up a slightly better player.

Kawhi is only in his 3rd year, and he possesses breakout potential.  Therefore, I thought the deal worked out well for both of us.  Trading is a very subjective art.  Some advanced traders will even trade for greater talent even though it hurts their team in the short term.  Then, they parlay that talent into players that actually suit their team’s needs at a later date.  You can always improve your craft, so start with my 3 questions.  Chapter 2 in the Bible will be revealed next week.  If you are deliberating and struggling to pull the trigger on a deal, send me an email at [email protected], or leave a comment below.  I’ll try to help as much as I can.  4 more days!!!

Tags: Draft Fantasy Basketball Kawhi Leonard Monta Ellis NBA Trading

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