THE rumours of big names being moved left and right as the trade deadline neared turned out to be just that. Rumours. All the superstars stayed at home with the exception of Demarcus Cousins. There were however plenty of fantasy relevant players that changed teams before the 3pm deadline, so let’s break down who will benefit and suffer most from a change of scenery.
AS I talked about the other day, I think the biggest beneficiary of the Cousins trade, from a fantasy perspective at least is Cauley-Stein. The second year pro is going to slot into the starting line-up and absorb the majority of Boogie’s minutes at center. While he hasn’t showcased a lot of talent offensively yet, he is still very young and more minutes means more opportunity.
DOUGIE Buckets was ready to move on from Chicago. After being traded to the Bulls on draft night he hasn’t really blossomed into the player we expected him to become in his three seasons in the league. McDermott will emerge as the top option off the bench for the Thunder and give OKC another shooter they desperately needed. His fantasy value isn’t extremely high, but hopefully this restart in a new city can help him develop into the better scorer/shooter he showed flashes of in college.
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With Cousins gone Darren Collison is now likely to be the teams main source of offense. Rudy Gay is out for the rest of the year and Tyreke Evans/Buddy Hield will provide some more scoring, but the reigns of the team have been handed to Collison. For now.
FINALLY! It was no secret that the 76ers wanted to move Nerlens Noel for the better part of a year and they found the suitor in the Dallas Mavericks. This move is fantastic for Noel, who can step out of the shadow of Embiid and Okafor and should thrive as Dallas’ key big man. Expect his ownership and his output to jump considerably in the second half of the year.
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AFTER starring for the 76ers throughout their front court issues, Ilyasova is packing his bags for Atlanta. Unfortunately for owner this will have a negative impact on the Turkish forward’s fantasy output. After being traded five times in less than two years, Ilyasova once again finds himself as a bench option behind All-Star Paul Millsap.
LOU Williams was the leading scorer off the bench this season, and he is joining a team that currently owns the 2nd best bench scorer too. The minutes for Williams are bound to go down which will affect his fantasy numbers, however, he is a capable scorer and could still carve out a niche as a reliable ball handler/playmaker off the pine for the Rockets. Don’t expect him to replicate his Lakers numbers though.
FANTASY wise New Orleans trading for Cousins impacts Jrue Holiday the greatest. The Pelican was in career best form heading into the All-Star break and with Cousins in uniform the amount of time he has ball in hand will decrease significant;y. He still may chip in with steals and assists, but expect somewhat of a decline.
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INJURY NEWS – OWNERS of Chris Paul and Jeremy Lin rejoice! After extensive layoffs both should return to the court in the very near future, with Lin a confirmed starter against Denver. Paul has progressed much faster than many though and will slot back into running the show at the Clippers. Thaddeus Young is still questionable after missing eight straight leading up to the break and Evan Turner appears about half way through his rehab problem from a wrist injury. It is expected that Joel Embiid will miss at least the next four Philly games and Avery Bradley is still a ways away from a return to the hardwood.