The universe got jokes. In 2014, Jerome Dobson and Joshua Campbell from the University of Kansas published a paper called “The Flatness of the US States” back in 2014. Their motivation? To clap back on the general perception of Kansas being flat. NERDS!!! Anyways, I’m not going into to the technicalities of the study but they deduced that Florida, Illinois, North Dakota, Lousiana, Minnesota, Delaware, Kansas, Texas, Nevada, and Indiana are the flattest states in the US. On Sunday, Kyrie Irving was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Dallas Mavericks, so from New York to Texas, where he should automatically feel a oneness with the terrain.
Let’s break it break it down for what this trades means for fantasy.
So Kyrie and Markieff Morris go to Dallas while Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie go to Brooklyn.
We don’t have to worry about Mehkieff Mehris. He could get a few minutes if Jason Kidd wants more size but he played a total of 298 minutes last season and has only received 285 this year. He does have size and the ability to space the floor but I’m not sure his defense is good enough to get in the good graces of Kidd. We shall see but I wouldn’t expect much.
Finney-Smith gets downgraded because he’s going from starting and playing 32 minutes a night to a reserve role. He could start in the short term with all of the injuries for the Nets, but he’s essentially another Royce O’Neale.
Dinwiddie should see a slight uptick. He’s going from a team that is 29th in offensive pace to one that is 21st in pace. Luka Doncic was garnering close to a 40% usage on the season as well. While Kevin Durant has a massive usage rate too, it’s more in the 35% range. And Durant is out, so Dinwiddie should really feast while he’s unable to go.
While Durant is out, all of the periphery pieces see a downtick since Dinwiddie just doesn’t have Kyrie’s ability to single-handedly break down a defense.
Cam Thomas is a professional getter of buckets and is now getting his opportunity to shine. He went for 44 points while garnering a 45% usage rate in the first game without Kyrie. He should continue to be a usage monster and hucker/chucker while Durant is out with injury.
Kyrie takes a hit. The Mavericks play super slow and grind out possessions. While Kidd will likely stagger Kyrie and Luka, allowing Kyrie to do his thing at times, when both are on the court, Luka will still predominantly have the ball in his hands.
Luka will lose some usage, which is probably a good thing for him from multiple perspectives. It should lighten the offensive load for him, which could preserve him and not force him to expend as much energy. The presence of Kyrie will open up the floor for him and make it a little easier to provide those fantasy goodies. He should still play a ton of minutes but we likely won’t be seeing too many of those 45% usage nights while Kyrie is in Dallas.
All of Tim Hardaway Jr., Reggie Bullock, and Christian Wood should benefit. The primary focus of defenses will be on Luka and Kyrie, so teams will likely be choosing on a nightly basis for one of THJ, Bullock, or Wood to beat them. They should all get plenty of good looks. It will be interesting to see how Kidd decides to operate things now.
The NBA Trade Deadline is this Thursday, so get your popcorn ready.
Here’s what else I saw yesterday:
Man, Banchero is good. Like really freaking good. The things he can do at 6-foot-10 and 249 pounds are rivaled by few in the league. He eats up smaller defenders down in the post but can embarass defenders out on the perimeter, either with his handle package or step-back J game. He’s going to be a star. No doubt about that. The shooting efficiency isn’t great, as he’s shooting 42/30/75 on the season, but this is his rookie season. I have a not so sneaky suspicion that those numbers are going to improve to close out the season.
Wendell Carter Jr.
This Carter Administration has been fraught with tumult, particularly of the injury variety, but at least throngs of people weren’t carrying pitchforks and torches trying to take him out of office. WCJ is a smoother operator, who cleans the glass and has a silky smooth offensive game. He can make it rain from downtown while operating proficiently in the paint. The 0.6 blocks per game are disappointing, though. Turn those frowns upside down, though, as he shoots 76% from the line.
In 19 minutes off the bench. In the prior 11 games, Bol has played over 20 minutes only twice. He’s blocking 1.1 shots per game but he’s droppable in shallow leagues, as he’s likely going to be mired in the 18 minute range.
Ball launches some horrific shots, worse than what I see from some of the kids at my son’s 11-year-old basketball games. As a result, he’s shooting 39% from the field this season and is a career 42% shooter in his first three seasons in the league. Dude is a freaking baller, though.
For the first 22 games of the season, Rozier was shooting a scary 39% from the field and 31% from downtown. In the last 22 games, he’s shooting 43% from the field and 35% from downtown. Last year, I remember when people were freaking out about Jayson Tatum’s efficiency early on. He bounced back and ended where he normally does. Now, Rozier isn’t on Tatum’s level and we shall never forget how scary he was in the first three seasons of his career, but he’s made improvements and been pretty, pretty good over the last two seasons.
In 17 minutes. In the last game, he received 2 minutes of run. Since he entered the rotation, there have been two other games that he played less than 10 minutes. In the others, he’s been in the 17-minute range. That may not sound like a big deal, but it is because he has entered Steve Clifford’s circle of trust. Once Mason Plumlee is dealt….
Eric Wong, who is essentially the GOAT for fantasy hoops, called Mobley the closest thing to Kevin Garnett since Kevin Garnett.
The production has been inconsistent up to this point in his career, but he’s shown flashes of what he can do and….
Once he puts it all together and delivers on a consistent basis….
Okoro was drafted by the Cavs with the 5th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He played 67 games in each of his first two seasons in the league and was meh: under 10 ppg with 3 boards and little under 1 spg. Coming into the league, he was known as a project from an offensive perspective but the field goal percentage improved from 42% to 48% while from downtown it went from 29% to 35%. Entering this season, he was a forgotten entity and looked to be out of the rotation. He entered the starting lineup around 20 games ago and, over the last 16 games, he’s shot 56% from the field and 46% from downtown while averaging 1.1 steals per game. I’ve read plenty of stuff about how hard he’s worked on his shot, and it looks like it’s paid off. He’s always been a good defender and has the NBA physique, so he may be cementing himself as the small forward for the Cavaliers going forward. We shall see, but he checks a lot of the boxes: high draft capital, physical gifts, work ethic, good defense, improving production, and playing time.
Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner has agreed on a two-year, $60M contract extension that includes an additional $17.1M renegotiation on his 2022-2023 salary, his agent Austin Brown of CAA Sports tells ESPN. pic.twitter.com/17nSSwN14z
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 28, 2023
Turner is a top 20 player on a per-game basis this season. He’s averaging 2.4 blocks, 1.6 treys, 17.7 points, and 8.1 boards while shooting 54% from the field and 77% from the line. I would walk a million Myles for Turner.
Barnes got off to a slow start this season, as he was dealing with new offensive responsibilities and injuries. The dreaded sophomore slump?
He’s all good now, as he looks spry and, over the last month, he’s been a top 30 player. Barnes only garners a 20% usage rate, which is surprising because he’s involved a lot in the offense. Regardless, he’s close to being a 1/1/1 player while dishing out close to 5 dimes and getting his board on. It’s only a matter of time before he starts dropping 20 a game on the regular.
Toronto went into Memphis out came out with a 106-103 victory. Only eight players were in Nurse’s rotation, yet seven of them scored in double figures. That’s the epitome of a team win. Malachi Flynn only scored 5 points. Off with his head!
In 27 minutes off the bench. Boucher is a per-minute beast and has been a fantasy nerd’s wet dream for many years. He is what he is, though. Skinny and inconsistent yet tantalizingly attractive, and shows enough leg to keep us coming back for more, and more, and more, forever and ever.
In 32 minutes. Aldama has been starting in place of Steven Adams as Jaren Jackson Jr. has slid up to center and played 34 minutes in the other start. Aldama is definitely intriguing, from both a fantasy and real-life perspective. He’s 6-foot-11, 224 pounds, can make it rain from downtown while showing some skills of finishing in the paint. He moves well without the ball and finds the open man when available.
Got the start and played 34 minutes because Ja Morant was out. Jones feasts when Morant is out, but also has some utility as a guy off the bench.
Usually, there is absolutely no reason to write up or even acknowledge Tucker. But, but, but….HE SCORED!!!
Tucker has bageled in 16 games this season. He’s scored double digits once. ONCE!
Now he’s done it twice which deserves two videos.
Is Embiid the perfect player for both fantasy and real life? There are plenty of candidates for sure but he’s up there. The usage rate is 38%, he’s converting 85% of his free throws on a ridiculous 11.8 attempts, he’s a 1/1/1 player, he averages 0ver 30 points and 10 rebounds, he dishes out 4 dimes….The turnovers are close to 4, so that’s no bueno, and the injury risk. Those are the only two things.
Come and see what God has done
The story of amazing play!
The light of the world, given for us
Randle catches the ball and shoots from beyond the arc. NO! NO! NO! NO! Good shot! The three-point prowess has been up and down throughout much of Randle’s career. To be fair, it was never a big part of his game early on, as he attempted fewer than 1 per game for the first four seasons. When he got to New Orleans, that’s when things started to get spicy, as he was hoisting around 3 per game. Once he got to New York, he was making it rain over 5 times a game. This season? He’s at 7.8 per contest and converting at a 34% clip. YES! YES! YES! Last night was a NO! NO! NO! NO! game, but it happens from time to time.
The center rotation with Mitchell Robinson out continues to have Jericho Sims starting with Isaiah Hartenstein coming off the bench. Sims played 22 minutes last night while Hartenstein received 26 minutes. Hartenstein has been the better fantasy asset, especially in the rebound department, pulling down 14, 11, 10, and 13 over the last four games.
No Nikola Jokic, Aaron Gordon, or Jamal Murray for the Nuggets on Sunday. As a result, they got smoked by Minnesota by the count of 128-98. You know what that means. No blurbs for them!!! I will mention Christian Braun, though. He got the start and played 34 minutes, putting up 19 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block. I like him a lot. He has good size and athleticism, the IQ at both ends of the floor has been good, he can score, and the coaching staff has been raving about him from Day One. Unfortunately, when everyone is healthy, the playing time is difficult to come by, but as they say, the cream rises to the top. It’s only a matter of time that he becomes a significant contributor.
There’s a lot to hate about Russell. He’s not the most fleet of foot or athletic. He’s also a snitch. That said, the dude can score and initiate offense. Over the last 16 games, he’s been a top 40 player, averaging 20.9 points, 3.9 treys, 2.9 boards, 5.5 dimes, and 1.1 steals while shooting 47% from the field and 90% from the line.
The Kings were down by 8 after one quarter. They were down by 18 at halftime. They were down by 28 after three quarters. They lost by 36 points. No blurbs for you!!! No one played 30 minutes as a result and only one player scored more than 12 points.
As a result of the Pelicans turning the Kings into Queens, Willy was freed for 28 minutes off the bench. The dude has always been able to play. He just never gets consistent run. The defense, or lack of it, is the likely reason but there’s no questioning his ability to score.
Murphy was drafted for his length and ability to make it rain from downtown. He converted 43% of his attempts from downtown in college and an impressive 38% in his rookie NBA season. So far this season, he’s at 39% on 5.5 attempts. But, but, but…..
Uh, yeah. Murphy just ain’t a 3-and-D player. His bag is filled with more goodies than Penn and Teller.
My team is Garland, DeRozan, Anunoby, PJ Washington, Chris Paul, Myles Turner, Brogon, Keldon, Kuzma, Fultz, Jokic. I also just picked up Zubac off waivers.
I need help in rebounds and 3s mostly, and could also make up a bit of ground in blocks and points. I have the ability to trade for Christian Wood, Valanciunas, and Middleton. I can only take two due to salary limits. Which two are you taking?
Wood and JV. You may wanna wait until the trade deadline dust settles though
Wow that was quick, thank you. That is the way I was leaning. My league can get fairly active so I’m hesitant to wait too long, any thoughts on which of these guys is likely to be impacted?
Funny. That’s what my wife says every night.
No idea. I find most speculation for trades is a waste of energy.
You are a man of many talents.
Got it, thanks again.
Would you rather stash S Adams for the playoffs or grab M Williams in hopes Plumlee goes (per your comments)?
So I was actually able to do both – grabbing Adams putting him in my IR slot and then adding M Williams while dropping Clarke. Surprising.
I am keeping that powder dry for the next two days trade actions as I have four more moves to make.
Gafford is now on the wire somehow but we can’t claim him until Friday. My position is deep so not likely I get him by one never knows. The best options are Gafford, Huerter, Sochan, Ayo and KCP. Please identify my top three adds and drops from this squad noting I can drop Adams and put Portis in IR if need be.
Jrue, Fox, FVV, McCollum, Cam Thomas
Middleton, Ingram, Slo Mo,
PJ Washington, Portis
Jokic, Embiid, Hartenstein, M Williams
For fun, here is where I am leaning:
(Gafford, Sochan, Huerter…KCP if I need steals)
1. Hartenstein…bad playoff schedule and MRob coming back some day.
2. M Williams has a bad opening week playoff schedule so unless he is clearly the new center – bye bye.
3. Adams….If I get Gafford I can put Portis in IR and drop Adams perhaps picking him up later when he is closer to a return…tied with Sac for best playoff schedule.
Great time of year!
Ohh. That’s nice. The gods have looked favorably upon you. Sochan is the only priority
Thank you. He was rolling right before the injury. If we an have them shut down Vassell, it would help!
How about Cam Thomas? Perhaps the most unlikely trio of games ever. The lesson: all NBA players are amazing just some more than others.
Cam has always been a bucket getter. Needs to be THE guy to thrive. When the Nets get healthy, the role is going to change. Agree, NBA players are freaking amazing. Usually comes down to opportunity