And the trades keep coming in the NBA. Yesterday's NBA headlines involved a few trades with fantasy implications. Let's discuss the fantasy impact before we get into this week's box scores.
Trade # 1: New Jersey Nets trade PG Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and 2 first-round picks to the Jazz, Troy Murphy to the Golden State Warriors for Deron Williams of the Jazz, Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric of the Warriors.
As I touched upon yesterday, Williams and Harris shouldn't see much of a change in their values as Williams remains an elite PG and Harris is among the better PG's in the league when healthy. Murphy will probably be either traded or bought out so he can sign with a contender. It looks like this season is a lost cause for him. Favors lands in an unfortunate situation for the time being as he lands in a Utah Logjam at PF. The athletic Wright may contribute for New Jersey, but Gadzuric assumes another backup position. Kris Humphries benefits most from this trade and should post double-double numbers for the remainder of the season.
More trades and box scores after the jump...
As I discussed yesterday right before the trade occurred (Waiver Wire Wednesdays), the Kings found themselves a potential Tyreke Evans replacement while Evans nurses his foot injury. Thornton should step into the starting lineup if he can out-seat Jermaine Taylor. Taylor did play well in the Kings' win over Orlando on Wednesday with 21 points and 5 rebounds. I have a feeling Thornton will become the starter sooner than later. Landry will presumably back up David West in New Orleans and get some extra burn while Emeka Okafor is out.
Bibby only contributes in one category (3-pointers made) and is way past his prime. The other players the Wizards received are reserves. Thus, the only fantasy impact is Kirk Hinrich becomes the starting PG for Atlanta and will provide them with excellent defense. Expect him to return to his career norms of 6 or so assists and about 1.5 SPG. This is a huge upgrade for Hinrich. It's bad news for talented PG Jeff Teague as he still can't crack the starting lineup.
The Cavaliers, the NBA's worst team, are clearly re-building while Davis goes from one crappy NBA team to another. Los Angeles has been without the injured Davis and felt it needed another injury-prone PG. Williams should be excited to play with one of the league's most exciting players, Blake Griffin. Once Eric Gordon returns to full-strength, the Clippers will field one of the league's most exciting teams. Mo Williams has an upgrade from Cleveland to Los Angeles, but I'm not so sure it's a huge upgrade for Los Angeles. I'd pick up Ramon Sessions immediately while Davis is hurt. Sessions might even remain the starting PG for Cleveland when Davis is healthy.
I'm sure more trades are brewing, and the latest rumor has the Minnesota Timberwolves & Houston Rockets swapping Point Guards. Jonny Flynn and Aaron Brooks would switch teams. With Brooks falling out of favor in Houston, this would be beneficial to both Houston and Brooks. Both he and Flynn would become the starting PG's. This is just a rumor for now, but stay tuned to see if it has any legs.
Onto the box scores of the shortened week...
Sunday Night February 21st: the Western Conference beats the Eastern Conference 148-143.
Even though hometown star and game MVP Kobe Bryant led the West to victory with an incredible performance of 37 points and 14 rebounds, another peformance stuck out more to me. LeBron James is out of his mind. He scored 29 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists on his way to only the second triple double in All Star Game History. A man by the name of Michael Jordan has the other. You may have heard of him. I know there is hardly any defense in these games, but a triple double is incredible.
Charlotte Point Guard D.J. Augustin has been struggling as of late, even splitting reps with backup Shaun Livingston. Augustin went out Tuesday Night and proved all of his doubters wrong (myself included - I recommended picking up Livingston a week ago) and left Livingston on the bench for most of the night. August had 23 points (8-15 FG & 5-5 FT), 8 assists and zero turnovers. The aforementioned Livingston only played 12 minutes. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come as Augustin has showed signs of a breakout season all year long.
If F/C Greg Monroe is still available in your leagues, please pick him up. Chances are he is available; the rookie is streaky and is coming off of a relatively cold streak. Monroe has been starting on a regular basis for the Pistons since January 12th. During that stretch, he's shown glimpses of his potential that made him the 7th overall pick of the 2010 draft, even going 20-11 with 2 blocks on Feburary 4th against the Nets. Unfortunately the following game, Monroe only went 7-7. Last night against the Pacers, Monroe scored a career high 27 points and pulled down 12 rebounds (6 offensive) to go along with a steal. The key things to note here are that Monroe is averaging a steal per game for the season, and half of his boards were offensive, giving him ample opportunities to score on put-backs. The big man from Georgetown had gone 12-12-1 the night before, so perhaps he can keep this streak up.
I will be out of town and away from a computer all day tomorrow, so I will not have a Friday Column. I'll see you guys on Monday, and please let me know if you'd like to see anything else covered in Fantasy Basketball in the comments.