Navigating Midseason Trades

Part 2 of 2

(Originally published on 11/5/18)

Last week we discussed how a midseason trade can unravel a fantasy team. As promised, this week we'll speculate on who will be traded this season and the potential fantasy implications of the move. 

Jimmy Butler 
Jimmy is going to get traded this season. I was hoping it would have already happened by now so I wouldn't have to discuss studio gangster number one. The sooner the better for everyone involved, especially Karl Anthony-Towns. KAT looks wounded. He's currently ranked 15th this season in fantasy. Five of KAT's 14 shots per game are coming from the three-point line. He's only averaging 14 shots per game! For context, Buddy Heild, Thad Young and Josh Richardson are each averaging more shot attempts per game than KAT.  

This is all Jimmy's fault. He's an abuser. Thibs the enabler. Wiggins the unwanted child of the three. Everyone needs to move on here. This isn't working.   

Fantasy benefactors of the trade: Josh Okogie,  KAT's sanity and the state of Minnesota, the future of the franchise. 

Marc Gasol / Mike Conley 
The modern day equivalent of Stockton / Malone are on life support. Yes, they are 5-3 to start the season but they've also already lost to Phoenix and Sacramento.

It feels like we are delaying the inevitable here and I'm okay with that. I still want to see them sneak into the playoffs one final time to see if they can execute their way to the second round. 

It's difficult to remember now but this iteration of the Grizz almost ended this Warriors dynasty before it even began. I use "almost" very liberally here but still. The Warriors were down 2-1 to the Grizz in the second round of the 2014-15 playoffs with Game 4 at home. They beat the Warriors the old fashion way -- by going over screens, keeping one hand on the cutter's hip and with an efficient post presence. Somehow, that version of the Grizz had also loaded up on the wing by acquiring the trade deadline all-star team of Courtney Lee, Jeff Green and Vince Carter. 

Of course, the Warriors won the next three games by an average margin of 16 points and then multiple championships followed. I don't remember what adjustments the Warriors made. Like all Warriors win, the details are irrelevant. But I do remember that the Grizz almost had them. So close.

Fantasy Benefactor of a trade: Jaren Jackson Jr.

Anybody on the Wizards
They should all be traded. Every single one of them. But nothing will happen here because the Wizards think the Wizards are great. The Wizards are in love with the Wizards. They are the 24th team in the league to consider Jeff Green and Dwight Howard as the vital final pieces to the roster. The Wizards think the Wizards should keep this team together indefinitely. 

Fantasy benefactor of a trade: Wizards  

Non-LeBron Lakers 
Remember when the Lakers passed on trading for Kawhi Leonard? When confronted with this very question last week, Lakers fan and fantasy general manager FLINT BOOZERS replied: "I don't think Kawhi was on the table. Not for the Lakers." I don't have LeBron's photographic memory, but I'm pretty sure the opposite was true. Now, they are likely going to make a paniced mid-season trade to appease LeBron (Zydrunas Ilguaskas still available?) and compete for the eigth seed in the west. Meaningful implications of a Lakers trade are unlikely because the roster is fantasy-neutered unless you have a fetish for Lonzo Ball's crooked game.  

Fantasy benefactor of a trade: Christmas Day game versus Warriors. Need to maintain the integrity of Christmas. 

Other fantasy players to watch for: 
Nikola Vucevic - Expiring deal. Sad. He's having a monster year, currently ranked 5th overall in fantasy. Will be a tough break for FLINT BOOZERS. Need to stash Mo Bamba now as insurance.

Deandre Jordan/Wesley Matthews - Mavs off to a bad start. Expiring contracts. 

JR Smith  - This might be the first time in history that JR isn't getting blamed for a team's dysfunction. For once, JR is the victim and not the instigator. 

Eric Bledsoe - Has no impact on the game. Haven't seen empty numbers like this since the Ricky Davis era. Hollow.