Fantasy Basketball: NBA Trade Deadline Impact

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Carmelo Anthony

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching.  This Thursday at 3 pm ET to be exact.  By all accounts, it’s set to be one of the busiest deadlines in recent memory.  But where are all the whispers?

All-Star Weekend is traditionally a time for GMs and team executives to get together and ‘talk shop’, hash out last minute deals, when they are unencumbered by the day-to-day running of an NBA franchise.  But nary a whisper was heard over the weekend in New Orleans.

Could it be that there truly are a lot of deals in the works and there’s no time for the usual bluster that is leaked to media outlets?  Everyone loves a trade, so as NBA fans, we can only hope so.

As big an impact as a trade can have on the remainder of the NBA calendar, it can also change the fortunes of many fantasy teams in your league, including the team you have so meticulously managed throughout the season.  So looking at what few rumors we’ve heard, I’ll analyze them from a fantasy perspective and point out where you may be able to glean some value for your squad.

» Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo

Let’s get the big names out of the way early.  It’s bordering on impossible that any of these guys change teams before Thursday, but the whispers have been around all season.

For Love and Anthony, the motivation would be getting some value for a player who could possibly walk for nothing when their respective contracts expire.  In Rondo’s case, it’s been rumored that Danny Ainge may not see Rondo as being in his prime when his rebuild is complete and is apparently targeting Australian Dante Exum in the 2014 NBA Draft as a replacement.

If any of these three guys move — which is extremely unlikely — their value remains as is.  Wherever they go, they will automatically become the best player on that team and their fantasy value will remain steady.

But what about their former teams? For the Timberwolves, Dante Cunningham would get a big boost and would be a 12-team league guy.  In New York, I can see more minutes going to Tim Hardaway Jr. and he’d become a must-own.

The Celtics are a little trickier.  Depending on what comes back in a potential Rondo deal, Phil Pressey may have sneaky 12-team league value, but that is very dependent.

As I said, it’s not going to happen, but it’s worth keeping it in the back of your mind.

» Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes

In one of the worst kept secrets in the NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers are looking to shed talent and acquire future assets.  Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young represent starting caliber players that aren’t part of the Sixers future plans and can be had by teams willing to offer a first round pick in exchange.  Now with the 2014 NBA Draft predicted to be a huge windfall for teams, a lot of GMs are hesitant to part with that valuable pick, but don’t be surprised if a desperate team makes a move to win now.

Young has had the best season of the trio and would continue to be the best option if he were to be traded.  Most likely if Turner or Hawes were to move, it would be to a stronger squad and possibl7 land them in a sixth man role, hurting their fantasy value appreciably.

Depending on who was to come back in a trade, James Anderson and Lavoy Allen would gain the most value and may be worth a speculative pick up for a few days until we see what happens.

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