With this being the NBA All-Star Weekend, our typical weekend streamer options post will take a backseat to some fantasy implications of any trades that have (and will) occur with the trade deadline coming next week. There’s been a couple of trades that already happened. I was hoping to get a glimpse on all of them but looks like the players involved in the ORL-TOR trade didn’t suit up for their new teams.
I said fantasy implications, but let me just add to the growing voices that are asking the Magic management-WTF?! You trade Victor Oladipo, a near solid (at the very least pretty darn serviceable) stretch 4 in Ersan Ilyasova, the #11 pick (Domantas Sabonis) for Serge Ibaka which you in turn trade for Terrence Ross and TOR’s 1st round pick which is probably no earlier than the 20th pick. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that ORL traded away all those essentially for Ross and that 1st round pick. No disrespect to Ross but seriously?! </rant>
So, with both Ibaka and Ross not playing last night, we can only speculate as to see how they could initially be utilized in their respective teams.
Let’s start with Ross: I think he will end up being the starting SF. The way I see it the starting lineup will be this:
Nikola Vucevic – C
Aaron Gordon – PF
Terrence Ross – SF
Evan Fournier – SG
Elfrid Payton – PG
Bismack Biyombo backs up Vooch but they won’t share the floor. Jeff Green gets almost all the back up minutes from PF and most of the backup SF mins. Fournier plays most of his minutes at SG with a sprinkle of SF minutes. Jodie Meeks (inj), Mario Hezonja, C.J. Watson basically share the remaining SG minutes. D.J. Augustin only plays PG minutes.
From a production standpoint, I think Vooch is a winner here, although I worry about his efficiency as Gordon isn’t Ibaka when it comes to spacing the floor. This should also be a slight positive for Fournier as it could solidify him as a scorer for the team. Gordon should see more playing time and while the scoring won’t necessarily be attractive, it should at least be consistent and the defensive stats should come around as well.
So is Ross a pick up? Again, we haven’t seen him suit up but he could find a decent role, but more of a specialist 3 and light D stats if he’s the 3rd scoring option in a team where the 1-2 punch is a guard and a big unlike in TOR where the offense is revolving around the PG and SG positions.
Green started the game last night where ORL got blown out by the SAS. We don’t know if Green remains a starter or if he was just filling in for Ross.
In any case, this small sample size stat I pulled should at least temper any expectations on TRoss. Here’s his performance in the past 2 weeks in games where Demar Derozan was a DNP.
There was a slight bump in usage (season avg is 19.6) and FGA (season avg is 8.9). There was a couple of nice scoring game but those were on way above average FG%. I picked him up in 1 league where I had dead weight and all I’m for is that a minutes bump can have him average around 2-2.5 3s provide 1-1.3 stls and don’t drain my FG%.
Onto the other part of this trade – Ibaka. I think it’s fair to say that when you go from a team with Vooch and Fournier as your competition for touches to Kyle Lowry and DeMar Derozan, fantasy prospects aren’t that great. While it’s not exactly like his Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant OKC days, it’s certainly a lot closer to that than what he got used to in his short time in ORL.
I don’t have Ibaka on any of my teams this year, but I’d be intrigued to see how TOR’s staff positions him offensively when he shares the court with Jonas Valanciunas. As you can see in the breakdown of his FGA, all those areas are occupied by either JV (Restricted Area, In the Paint), Derozan (Mid Range), Lowry (Above the Break 3). I’m not saying that Ibaka purely needs to be a corner shooter, but I’d have to think numbers on those areas mentioned will have to take a hit and it has to be replaced by corner shots (Patrick Patterson role anyone?). TOR could obviously play a lot more lineups where Ibaka is playing C depending on the opponent.
What does this leave us with some other players? Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira is probably going back to the fantasy waiver wire along with Patterson and probably Jared Sullinger. Norman Powell is probably going to remain in the streamer role when one of their wing players get a DNP.
Let’s wrap this up with the center swap between POR and DEN: Mason Plumlee and Jusuf Nurkic. Plumlee played 34 minutes last night vs MIN and had himself a nice 11/9/3 game on 50% shooting. If I have Plumlee, I’d be holding onto him until a couple of games when the rest of the DEN SF/PF players are back from their respective DNPs. Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur are all on the shelf for various reasons. Any or all (however unlikely) of those could still be traded and if so, it will open up enough minutes for Plumlee assuming Mike Malone will continue to play him PF minutes after any (if) trades occur to those guys occur. Otherwise, I’m not sure he can play enough minutes to justify a hold. Of course if there is another trade happening that has obvious implications for certain waiver wire players, feel free to drop Plumlee if he’s at the end of your bench.
Lastly, Nurk going to POR is a positive for him. Heck, him probably going anywhere and not having to play behind probably 1 of the top 5-7 centers in the game is going to be a positive for him. I didn’t get to watch the game which he didn’t start in, but judging from the box score, he had himself a pretty good game in only 21 mins. 13/7/1 with 3 stls and 1 blk on 5-5 shooting. It was a blowout though so I’m not sure how many of those 21 minutes were garbage time and not having to go against Monsieur Rudy Gobert. I haven’t trusted Terry Stotts’ big men minutes once LaMarcus Aldridge left Rip City. I’m a Nurk fan but I have to believe that it will be a rotation between Nurk, Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh at C and much will depend on matchups and how well POR’s 1-2 punch are performing that night. However, Nurk is a per minute beast so he doesn’t really need a consistent 35 minutes to provide some stat stuffing numbers. Just beware of the percentages. If Stotts will be Stotts, then I can see Davis being a decent stream for some blks and rebs against certain teams. I haven’t watched enough of Vonleh but based on what I’ve heard, there is upside. Wanted to also note that Al-Farouq Aminu was a DNP for this game.
That’s it for this edition. Let’s all enjoy the All Star Weekend. Hoping for more trades that have fantasy implications. Would love to hear your comments on these trades and some players I may have overlooked.