Fantasy Analysis of the NBA Trade Deadline

Kevin Reyes
NBA Analyst

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. 

JD Yonke
College Football Analyst

With the NBA Trade Deadline well over, a lot of players changed destinations, which brings forth a lot of change. Not only for the long-term of these franchises, but for the short-term of your fantasy squad! Need some help in figuring out if some of your players were negatively affected by a move, and want to see if there are better options in the Waiver Wire? We did the work for you, so feel free to check out our fantasy analysis of all the major moves made.

Instead of the usual Waiver Wire, we’re taking this week’s fantasy article to talk about the *fantasy* implications of the significant moves made before this year’s NBA Trade Deadline.

Miami Fleeces Their Way Into an Oladipo Trade

Miami Heat receive: Victor Oladipo

Houston Rockets receive: Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, 2022 first-round pick swap

Kevin: Oladipo’s value should be skyrocketing. Not only will he be one of the main options on what figures to be a contending team, but he is where he’s wanted to be for a while (if some reports are true). A player being happy and comfortable where he’s at is something not many take into account, and will be very big for Oladipo in South Beach. If healthy, he can easily be the third or second option on this team, and can play any role for the Heat, with and without the ball. And he’s also their best defensive guard, which does him more favors. Having said that, be wary of rest days for him, and for Goran Dragić and Jimmy Butler. Tyler Herro’s value also takes a dip, unless any of the aforementioned three rest.

In Houston, nothing changes much. Both Bradley (when healthy) and Olynyk might get minutes now, but not late in the season while the Rockets develop their youth, which is the fantasy playoffs, though I’m high on Olynyk being a very solid streamer in the next couple of days (a lot are dropping him, so take advantage). With Oladipo gone, Kevin Porter Jr. is a must-add, with other wings like Danuel House, Ben McLemore and Sterling Brown being players to monitor.

Vuc to the Windy City

Chicago Bulls receive: Nikola Vucevic, Al-Farouq Aminu

Orlando Magic receive: Wendell Carter Jr, Otto Porter Jr, 2021 first-round pick, 2023 first-round pick

JD: This is definitely a downgrade for Vucevic’s fantasy outlook for the rest of the year, as he goes from the unquestioned alpha in Orlando to the second fiddle alongside Zach Lavine in Chicago. It’s only a slight downgrade, however, as he’ll now be surrounded by better ball handlers and play makers that can give him looks in a variety of situations — most importantly in the pick and roll. Owners knew the risk of Vuc being traded when they drafted him, so this shouldn’t come as a shocker. He’s been on the trade block for what seems like years at this point. The impact isn’t as great as it would’ve been if he had been traded to a contending team — there are still plenty of looks to go around to keep Vuc producing as a top-20 player. His days as a truly elite option are probably gone, though.

Carter should see a significant boost in value in Orlando. He was recently benched in Chicago and was only seeing about 20 minutes per night. He will now be considered a key part of Orlando’s future, so they’d be wise to give him as many touches as possible in order to aid his development. I wouldn’t hesitate to grab Carter in 12+ team leagues, and I’d at least consider it in 10 teamers. Monitor Otto Porter’s health — the Magic might opt to not play him in order to more effectively tank, but he’s in for a large role if healthy and active. Expect a lot of DNPs, though.

AG to the Mile High City

Denver Nuggets receive: Aaron Gordon, Gary Clark

Orlando Magic receive: Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, 2025 first-round pick

Kevin: There weren’t many contenders where Gordon made perfect sense, but Denver was one of them. He easily slots in as their starting Power Forward, and will be a big piece on both ends. Sure, he won’t have the ball on his hands nearly the same as he did in Orlando, but the times he does while playing off Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray primarily, which will be great opportunities for him to finish or create. He’ll be their best defender in the process, which will keep him on the court and should make his value pretty high. Paul Millsap’s value is destroyed with the arrival of Gordon. Denver also added JaVale McGee in a separate move, which gives McGee a little more value (will get consistent backup minutes).

In Orlando, the youth movement has begun. It will be intriguing to see how Hampton plays with extended minutes, so he’s a speculative add at the moment. Even with all his injuries, Harris is still young, so he will also get opportunities in Orlando, possibly as a starter. Chuma Okeke is also a must-add in deep leagues, along with Terrence Ross and Dwyane Bacon, who will all have more opportunities on a team who’s priority right now isn’t to win games.

Portland Upgrades at the Wing

Portland Trail Blazers receive: Norman Powell

Toronto Raptors receive: Gary Trent Jr., Rodney Hood

JD: Powell’s value should stay about the same, with only a slight decrease. He was firing shots up at will on the Raptorsand will now have to contend for usage with Dame and CJ. Still, he’ll be locked into a starting role and will get all the minutes that he can handle for a wing-hungry Blazers team. Expect similar, albeit slightly less, production.

Trent’s value was decreasing daily after the return of CJ McCollum a week ago, so I’m not sure this is a devastating move for him. Now that he’s in Toronto, he won’t be asked to let-fly at will like he was earlier in the season, but he’ll still hold value as a scorer who knocks down plenty of threes.

Mavs Get a New J.J.

Dallas Mavericks receive: J.J. Redick, Nicolò Melli

New Orleans Pelicans receive: James Johnson, Wesley Iwundu, 2021 second-round pick

Kevin: The Mavs added more shooting, and these shooters will get their fair share of minutes. Redick will get consistent minutes as a backup, while Melli is a wait-and-see situation given the Mavericks’ crowded frontcourt. Nonetheless, they’ll get consistent opportunities at some point, and should see solid adds whenever that is. Johnson’s value also stays the same, considering he’ll probably have the same role he had in Dallas as a backup defender and occasional ball-handler. The one I’m most intrigued by in this package is Iwundu, who might be a speculative add at this point. He could get some chances as a backup wing who can play good defense, something coach Stan Van Gungy is desperately looking to improve. Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis Jr. also see their value go slightly up, since now they don’t have to compete for minutes with Redick.

“Don’t Google” Heads to Boston

Boston Celtics receive: Evan Fournier

Orlando Magic receive: Jeff Teague, two second-round picks

JD: Fournier’s value takes a hit here. He’ll still hold value as the Celtics are thin behind Tatum, Brown, and Kemba, but he won’t get as many looks as he did in Orlando. Expect his points and assists to take a hit, which are two of his better categories. He was averaging nearly 20 PPG in Orlando, which can be expected to drop to the 14-17 range given the additional scoring options for his new team.

If Teague actually plays for the Magic (big if — see: tanking), he’ll hold value in deeper leagues as a ball-handler on a team without many of them.

Delon Wright Goes to the Kings

Sacramento Kings receive: Delon Wright

Detroit Pistons receive: Cory Joseph, two second-round picks (2021 and 2024)

Kevin: Delon’s fantasy value was a rollercoaster all season: he started being a backup and not playing that good, became a must-have later on due to injuries in Detroit, and was playing solid prior to the Trade Deadline. But now? His value just landed on the floor and exploded. Playing behind De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield, there’s little reason to have him unless you’re in a deep league. Sure, he might slot in and play some minutes at either guard position and contribute, but it’ll be more or less what he did last year in Dallas. On the contrary, Joseph’s value has a slight increase, as the Pistons add a veteran in the guard position a month after they lost that with the Derrick Rose trade. While I still expect the priority to be on the young guards (Frank Jackson, Dennis Smith Jr. and Saben Lee), Joseph will get his minutes to still help them compete. He could very well be a starter (the role Wright had recently), and is someone that Pistons coach Dwane Casey already trusts and knows (coached him with the Toronto Raptors).

Bulls Make More Upgrades

Chicago Bulls receive: Daniel Theis, Javonte Green, Troy Brown Jr., cash

Washington Wizards receive: Daniel Gafford, Chandler Hutchison

Boston Celtics receive: Moritz Wagner, Luke Kornet

Kevin: A point JD made in various recent columns is one I’ll reiterate now: Robert Williams III is a must-add. The move opens up a massive door for Williams to get playing time, especially with Tristan Thompson still out (and even when he’s healthy, either as a starter or backup-playing starters minutes). Theis himself was playing great in Boston, but there’s so many minutes to go around when you’re playing the same position as an All-Star like Vucevic. He’ll be okay in deep leagues and some shallow formats, but you can find better beyond that. Brown Jr. is an intriguing speculative add, assuming he gets consistent minutes in Chicago, as well as both players the Wizards received (though I’m more confident in seeing Gafford on the floor consistently).

Playoff Rondo for Sweet Lou

Atlanta Hawks receive: Lou Williams, two second-round picks (2023 and 2027), cash

LA Clippers receive: Rajon Rondo

JD: It’s become a running joke in this column where I implore readers each and every week to drop the living hell out of Lou Williams. He was ousted from his ball-handling role of seasons past and held little to no value, but that didn’t stop fans from waiting on a turn-around that never came. Will it come now that he’s in Atlanta? I wouldn’t be too confident. Atlanta has a sneakily deep roster with a lot of shooting and secondary ball handlers (Trae, Bogdanovic, Huerter, Gallinari — not to mention Reddish and Dunn, once they return). Hopefully this is the last time that I have to say this: DROP LOU WILLIAMS!!!

Rondo has been one of the least effective players in the league when on the court this year (single digit points and assists per 36 minutes), but his value certainly increases here. I wouldn’t go out of my way to add him, but he’ll hold some value in deeper leagues when the Clippers are down players (as is frequently the case).

George Hill Goes to Philly in a Three-team Deal

Philadelphia 76ers receive: George Hill, Ignas Brazdeikis

New York Knicks receive: Terrance Ferguson, Vincent Poirier, Emir Preldžić, 2021 second-round pick, 2024 second-round pick (Miami)

Oklahoma City Thunder receive: Austin Rivers, Tony Bradley, 2025 second-round pick, 2026 second-round pick (both from 76ers)

Kevin: When he gets back to the court, Hill will be a big piece for the 76ers second unit, primarily as a veteran, shooter, and someone that can organize the offense. His value has a slight increase, because he’ll have a bigger role than he had in OKC, but not the point where he’s a must-add. Other bench player’s value, such as Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz, take a slight decrease in the process, given the less on-ball reps and shots they’ll have. However, you can still stash them until Hill gets back, which might still take a week or two.

The other pieces involved in this trade aren’t priorities unless you’re in a extremely deep league: Ferguson might get some chances in New York and shine here and there, Rivers is a drop (whether he stays in OKC or not), and Bradley won’t be seeing nearly as much action as he was getting in Philly post-Joel Embiid injury.

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What other gems have you found available in your league? Tweet at JD or Kevin and let them know! Be sure to hit them up for any fantasy NBA basketball related questions you have.