The trade winds are blowing! After some smaller pieces were moved over the last few days, Tuesday brought about the most significant player shuffling to date ahead of Thursday’s Trade Deadline. Indiana sent All-Star Domantas Sabonis and friends to Sacramento for a package headlined by Buddy Hield and second-year stud Tyrese Haliburton. As someone who has dipped their toes into Kings fandom, it’s hard not to feel like the Kings are screwing things up all over again. Haliburton is arguably the best draft decision the Kings have made since taking DeMarcus Cousins at pick five in the 2010 draft, and his high basketball IQ, passing prowess, and ability to sit down and defend sure seem to be things that would be valued in Sac, especially considering the defensively leaky and largely clueless roster the Kings have assembled. In shipping out Hield and Hali, the Kings have kinda nuked their three-point shooting and Sabonis’ presence largely neutralizes the value of Richaun Holmes, a player they just handed a four-year deal. But hey, with Sabonis at least there’s an All-Star on the roster now (De’Aaron Fox grimaces at this). Longtime Blazer CJ McCollum was also given his walking papers on Tuesday. He’s headed down New Orleans way to play for the Ples, who might have something cooking now, even without Zion.

Oh, and there were actual basketball games played yesterday too, but you can be forgiven if you checked out. Only one contest — Suns/Sixers, the first game of the night — ended up being competitive, as blowouts ruled the day. Given the uncompetitive nature of the games played, there were some juicy lines on Tuesday, but one stands above the rest, as I think Giannis Antetokounmpo might have played a perfect game?

Giannis Antetokounmpo

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
44 14 8 1 2 2 17/20 8/13 0

 

Here’s what else I saw on a busy and largely non-competitive Tuesday night in professional hoops…

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Chris Paul

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 4 12 2 0 1 7/18 1/2 6

CP is so good that I almost considered not blurbing this line. Six turnovers? Is he sick or something? If not for Paul coughing it up seven times against Utah in January, this effort against Philly would be the low point on the season. Getting 12 assists to wash it down isn’t so bad, but when it comes to Paul, the standard has been set extremely high.

Devin Booker

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
35 4 3 1 0 3 11/23 10/11 0

How locked in is Book as a scorer? Dude has cashed in at least 32 points in four out of five February contests. His profile is a bit too points and threes tilted to be a category monster, but this much offensive talent locks him into a third-round floor.

Mikal Bridges

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 4 2 0 1 1 9/14 4/4 0

Philly’s favorite son came home, and boy did he seem to enjoy himself. A little home cooking might have been all he needed to get the scoring binge back on. After ripping off four straight with 24+ points, Bridges slipped a bit before turning it back on tonight. The 3-and-D template for the modern NBA is essentially a cutout of Mikal.

Tobias Harris

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
30 7 3 0 0 2 13/18 2/2 4

I understand that Harris has a pretty hard ceiling when it comes to the ability to impact winning in actual basketball, but he really is a steady, reliable fantasy hooper. You’ll pretty much always want more stocks out of him, but efficient scoring and bankable boards create a paved path to productivity. He’s a top-50 player on the season. Again.

Joel Embiid

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
34 12 3 3 0 2 13/25 6/6 2

Another great night from the MVP candidate. While the turnovers were minimal, one of them was fatal. After ripping CP3 down by three, Embiid overthrew his outlet pass to Seth Curry with less than 30 seconds to play. Still, it only counts as one in the box score, and that’s all we care about here.

Chris Duarte

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 2 4 1 1 2 8/16 7/7 4

I don’t think the additions of Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton should take too big of a bite out Duarte’s share of the Indy offense. Malcolm Brogdon seems to be approaching a return, but even with the full complement of guards, Hield is used to being a sixth man and Duarte can slide to the three. He’ll get dinged for sure, but he shouldn’t disappear entirely.

Lance Stephenson

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
24 9 8 0 0 0 7/15 10/12 1

Lance’s prognosis, on the other hand, seems a lot less rosy. The new faces on the roster should open up a bit more time for Stephenson to focus on his music.

Rocking Regular Season GIF by NBA

John Collins

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 3 1 0 1 2 9/14 0/0 0

Trae Young

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
34 1 11 0 1 6 13/20 6/9 5

Without the newly-acquired Kings to come bail them out, the Pacers got thumped by Trae Young pretty much by himself. After disappointing last year, Young has vaulted himself back to being a viable first-rounder, mostly on the strength of his long-range shooting. JC has been having a renaissance himself, though a less-profound one than Young. Collins’ is fueled by more defensive contributions, but he’s still a ways off from the pre-Capela glory days of 2020.

Jaylen Brown

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 7 9 0 0 1 9/12 3/4 3

Marcus Smart

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 1 3 1 1 6 8/16 0/0 1

Robert Williams III

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
12 11 1 1 3 0 6/9 0/0 0

Jayson Tatum

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 5 4 1 0 2 7/11 3/4 0

The Celtics beat the Nets in Brooklyn by about zillion. The Nets were especially toothless without Durant, Kyrie, or Harden, and Coach Nash ended up turning the game over to his reserves well before the final horn. Boston recognized an opportunity to eat and cleaned their plates. It will be an interesting few days for Brooklyn and the deadline. There’s a lot of smoke about Harden, but we’ll just have to wait to see if there’s fire.

Norman Powell

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
16 2 2 1 2 1 6/12 3/3 2

Robert Covington

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 6 1 1 2 1 4/10 5/7 1

Well, the Portland imports certainly weren’t the problem, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Grizzlies were in control from the jump and won by 26. Coach Ty Lue has a lot of names he can call on as the Clippers continue to hang tough in the Western Conference play-in mix. Powell and Cov are proven vets, so I’d imagine their chances (and production) will be relatively safe as the rotation begins to sort itself out.

Isaiah Hartenstein

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 7 4 1 2 1 7/11 4/4 1

Ivica Zubac’s production and playing time have been in free fall lately — his last double-double was on January 23 and JJJ was punking him all night long — and while some of that can be attributed to a calf injury, Hartenstein has shown flashes that are hard to ignore. I don’t think Isaiah is moving past Zu any time soon, but he’s definitely worked his way into a timeshare at the pivot. No immediate add here, but keep an eye on it.

Terance Mann

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 6 7 2 0 1 5/10 3/4 1

Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to how the Clippers are distributing minutes between Powell, Mann, Coffey, and Kennard on any given night. Hell, even Brandon Boston Jr has gotten run this year. Norman will get the lion’s share, but all these other players have been productive at different points of the season. Mann is the only one with strong assist upside in this group, but it’s still a situation I’d avoid if I could.

Ja Morant

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
30 7 5 1 0 1 12/19 5/9 5

Over the course of the season, we’ve seen a huge upswing for Morant as an efficient scorer, pushing him to top-50 production. At 6.5 FTA attempted, Ja is just outside the top 10 league-wide, but he’s only converting 76% from there. The lack of triples is an obvious weak spot in the young stud’s game, but growing as an offensive player isn’t limited to being able to connect from the long line. There’s room aplenty for Morant to continue to develop.

Jaren Jackson Jr.

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
26 11 1 1 1 1 8/14 9/9 0

Remember what I said about JJJ punking Zubac and co.? Well, here’s your proof. Remarkably, the single swat registers as a bit of disappointment, as he’s turned back two or more shots in five of his last seven contests and has racked up 19 rejections all told during that span. This kind of production puts Jackson Jr. on the fringe of first-round value, and the arrow next to his name is pointing straight up.

Brandon Clarke

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 7 3 0 3 0 9/12 0/0 0

One day Brandon Clarke will get 30 minutes a night for a whole season and it will absolutely rule. Until then, we’re forced to rely on spot starts and blowouts (like this one). He’s a fringy play in standard leagues, but there’s more there if he ever gets steady run.

Kevin Porter Jr.

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
27 3 5 1 0 7 9/16 2/3 7

It’s not like we haven’t seen nights like this before with KPJ, but until he proves that there’s some consistency with the scoring, he’ll remain a poison pill.

Christian Wood

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 9 1 1 1 3 5/15 6/10 2

It feels like forever ago that Wood was a stash in Detroit just waiting for Drummond to get moved. Times they are a-changing, and not necessarily in a good way. After making good on the promise flashed in the Motor City, Wood turned in one solid year with the Rockets before starting to slide again. At his zenith, Wood was blocking shots, rebounding well, and scoring efficiently with a splash of triples. Now? The scoring and blocks have come down and the FG% has tumbled south of .500. A top-100 player, but it sure feels like it shouldn’t have gone sour so quickly.

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Brandon Ingram

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
26 2 2 0 3 1 11/17 3/4 5

The line is still going up for BI. Even with the dimes drying up and the turnovers swelling a bit against the Rockets, Ingram has been excellent for the last two weeks, seeing a sharp uptick in scoring, shooting, and swats. I’m kinda in on this Pelicans group? It seems weird to say that, but I think I’ve seen enough of Ingram this year to conclude that he’s good. JV is a beast, McCollum is on the way, and a couple of the young guys are playing good ball in NOLA…

Jaxson Hayes

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 7 3 1 1 0 4/9 6/6 5

I guess the arrival of Larry Nance Jr. could throw a little cold water on Hayes, but given the way the third-year big has been producing of late, it would be a bit of a surprise to see his wings clipped. About that production: Hayes has been a top-15 player over the last week and a top-50 contributor over the last fortnight. As long as he’s starting, the opportunity is there. Grab him if available.

Herb Jones

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
10 11 3 3 0 0 5/11 0/0 3

For the season, Jones has provided more value in steals than two-time First Team All-Defense and NBA champion Jrue Holiday. No stranger to blocking shots either, Jones is basically the younger version of Matisse Thybulle except that Herb doesn’t tank your percentages. I know it can be hard to pay attention to the Pelicans, but Jones is a name worth remembering. He’s a top-75 player as a rookie.

Hamidou Diallo

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 5 1 1 0 1 6/14 5/6 1

In yet another blowout, the Pistons lost by a cool 30 to the Mavs. Hami-did his thing, but without Cade and, well, any other difference-maker, the road loss sure felt like a forgone conclusion. Isaiah Stewart double-doubled again (14/15), and if Jerami Grant was playing in his last game as a Piston, he didn’t exactly wow anyone on the way out the door (15/4/1/1/0).

Luka Doncic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
33 7 11 1 2 5 9/18 10/14 5

Considered Luka for the lede, as it’s not that often that Doncic produces three stocks, but the turnovers eventually sunk his chances. He’s still cashing in top-35 value on the season and has taken his game to an even higher level recently. I don’t know if he’ll ever be efficient enough to justify a first-round pick, but when it comes to compiling counting stats, he doesn’t have many peers.

Jalen Brunson

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 1 4 0 0 2 7/11 5/5 1

Not exactly a robust line for the burner, but when Luka is cooking and the opponent is the lowly Pistons, you really don’t need too much.

Julius Randle

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
28 10 6 3 0 3 11/22 3/4 1

Credit where credit is due: the Knicks were on the second night of an altitude back-to-back (Salt Lake to Denver) and fresh off having their hearts ripped out by Donovan Mitchell, so Randle’s efforts here are certainly admirable. Still, it’s another loss for New York, this one by 17. That’s the sixth double-digit loss of the night for those keeping track at home. As for Julius, the last week or so has seen a decent stretch of play, pushing him into the top-60 for that time span. Still nowhere near the heights we saw last year, but we’ll have to take it.

Evan Fournier

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 7 2 3 1 4 8/16 1/1 2

Like Randle, Fournier too has been hot. Much of that is driven by an uptick in threes and steals, as seen above. He’s trending up after a frosty start, but still is hovering around the cut line in standard leagues.

Nikola Jokic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 11 7 0 0 0 8/14 5/7 6

Without looking it up, I’m going to say this was one of Jokic’s worst games this season. No stocks or trips, a handful of turnovers, and no triple-double? This guy is a joke.

Will Barton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
20 7 5 1 0 4 8/12 0/0 2

Aaron Gordon

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 8 4 0 1 3 8/12 0/0 1

Fortunately for Jokic, he got a little help from his friends last night. And the Nugs were playing those heavy-legged Knicks, so the A-game wasn’t needed to secure a double-digit W. Barton is quietly turning in a productive season again, continuing the trend of trading off years of being on the right side of the top-100. Gordon, on the other hand, has been consistently a cut below that. There’s been a good run of counting stats for AG over the last two weeks, but he remains a kind of meh option in 12-team leagues.

Cole Anthony

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 7 9 2 1 3 9/18 2/2 4

I wouldn’t get too used to all those stocks, as Anthony has managed to hold his season-long position in the top-100 with just break-even production defensively. Still, considering the pre-season potential for Jalen Suggs to squeeze Cole’s productivity a bit, the 21-22 campaign can’t be viewed as anything other than a success for Anthony.

Wendell Carter Jr

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 8 5 0 3 2 7/10 2/2 1

Mo Bamba

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
13 9 2 2 0 1 6/8 0/0 0

Boy was I wrong about Orlando’s twin towers, as I really took the bait on Jonathan Isaac being a thing for the Magic this year. Isaac, of course, has yet to make his debut in 21-22, but WCJ (the 76th most valuable player) and Bamba (the 56th) have both been outstanding in his absence. I could see one or the other of these guys on a lot of league-winning rosters.

Franz Wagner

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
13 9 7 0 0 3 5/14 0/0 2

Still flirted with a triple-double, so the sky isn’t falling, but it looks like Franz is starting to hit the rookie wall a bit. He’s sitting just outside the top-100 (literally. He’s player 101) on the season, but the lack of stocks and a dip in efficiency — as seen above — is starting to erode those pristine figures he put up over the first two-thirds of the season.

Anfernee Simons

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
19 5 5 1 0 3 7/17 2/3 2

And so the Simons-era begins. I kid. Obviously, this is still Lillard’s team. Or it will be Lillard’s team next year since I can’t imagine that he’d come back this year to be a part of the tear-down. Though by then he also might be out of town, so maybe I’m not kidding at all.

Jusuf Nurkic

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
14 12 4 1 2 0 4/16 6/8 2

Some strong Last Man Standing vibes coming off of Nurk now. Who knows if he’s still here by week’s end, but it’s not like he’s going to be traded to a situation where he’ll get more minutes.

Justise Winslow

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
12 6 3 2 2 2 5/12 0/0 4

Looking at the rest of the roster, I could see it happening for Justise on Portland’s sinking ship. I’m not banking on it (or adding him to a roster just yet), but when the cupboard is this bare, strange things can happen. The new-look Blazers lost by double digits at home to an Eastern Conference bottom feeder, so if you’re inclined to change “strange things can happen” to “terrible and lifeless basketball can happen,” feel free to do so.

Karl Anthony-Towns

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
25 9 3 0 0 2 10/14 3/3 3

KAT was on cruise control, as the shorthanded Kings got smushed by 20 in their own building. Normally there are some defensive stats from Towns, but he got the night off since Sacramento is particularly adept at stopping themselves.

Malik Beasley

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 2 0 1 0 7 7/11 0/0 1

If you’re looking for triples, Beasley has been en fuego for the last week or so. If you’re looking for anything else, then you’ll need to keep turning over rocks. Malik is about as one-dimensional as they come.

De’Aaron Fox

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
29 7 6 1 0 4 11/22 3/4 5

If there’s a bright side to losing by 20 in your own building on the same day that you trade away a second-year player who could have been a foundational piece it’s this: De’Aaron Fox played 35 minutes after missing eight games with a bad ankle. The production wasn’t bad either, but Fox will have to put up a huge final third of the season to come anywhere close to our draft day hopes. Davion Mitchell, a defacto starter now, didn’t exactly make anyone forget about Tyrese with a sputtering 8/2/4/1 line on 3/11 shooting. Kings gonna King.

Harrison Barnes

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 6 3 1 0 1 4/7 12/12 0

Prior to the Haliburton deal, it would have made some sense to move Barnes to a contender and collect some assets for a team that clearly hasn’t solved their issues. Sabonis’ arrival clouds that thinking though, as it can only be read as a push to make the play-in now. Then again, these are the Kings we’re talking about, so who knows what the future holds for HB.

Damian Jones

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
18 6 5 0 2 0 9/11 0/0 2

Another bright spot on a bad day in the Kingdom, Jones has proven himself capable of putting up solid lines when Richaun Holmes has been sidelined. Now that Domas is in town and Richaun was held out of last night’s game for “personal reasons,” it seems possible the Holmes will be hitting the road ahead of the trade deadline, potentially opening up an opportunity for Jones. Don’t get blinded by the stupidity of the franchise, there is still some value here.

Jrue Holiday

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
15 7 10 2 1 1 7/12 0/0 3

A happy homecoming for the LA native. Holiday is nice, and once again the Bucks seem to be the cream of the East. Milwaukee has won four straight and eight of their last ten, narrowing the gap on Miami to just a half game.

Bobby Portis

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
23 7 1 2 0 5 9/18 0/0 1

I was talking with a Milwaukee buddy of mine about the Bucks and the word he used for what Bobby Portis has done after being pushed into the starting center spot was “heroic.” Honestly, yeah. I’ll buy it. Crazy Eyes has been a top-50 player on the season despite never being a top-100 player before. And while the opportunity that he’s gotten has facilitated a lot of this production, it’s not just the time that’s powering the uptick. Tasked with being the anchor for the Champs, Portis is turning in his best season ever in rebounds, blocks, and points. After re-signing on a discount this summer, Portis really is a bit of a cult hero up here.

Khris Middleton

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
21 5 4 1 0 3 8/19 2/3 4

Looked to be primed for a huge night when he scored 21 in the first half, but the production obviously tapered off following the intermission. It certainly feels like Khris has been a little flat this year, especially considering the amount of ball he’s played over the last 18 months, but his fantasy value is as steady as ever. Last season, Mids was the 41st most valuable player on a per-game basis. This year? He’s the 41st most valuable player on a per-game basis. How’s that for consistency?

Anthony Davis

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
22 9 4 1 3 0 8/10 6/10 1

It’s pretty remarkable that Davis, who obviously had a nice night from a fantasy perspective, is the 9th best fantasy player this season while Giannis (12th), who looked like a freaking demi-god against the Lakers, is looking up at him on the player rater. Davis has fewer holes, but Antetokounmpo essentially operates on another plane of existence.

LeBron James

PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG FT TO
27 5 8 0 0 3 11/19 2/4 4

He’s the number two player in fantasy hoops and the Lakers are going to need every drop of production from him if they’re going to make good on their title aspirations. I don’t know how much more he can give, but we’re getting another peak year from one of the greatest ever.

 

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William Hung
William Hung
9 months ago

Caesars has a +120 bet today that both DeRozen and LaMelo will score 21 points. I’m hearing from discord that Charlotte is running a 2 man bench… is that true, and if so, is this worth taking a stab on?