March 26, 2021, 2:29 am
While the league was predictably busy on Thursday with the trade deadline passing, a number of prominent names in the rumor mill ended up staying put.
The Raptors held onto franchise icon Kyle Lowry as the Sixers, Heat and Lakers balked at a high asking price.
The Hawks, on a big win streak, decided to hold onto John Collins with the team meeting expectations.
Orlando decided to trade their top veterans except for Terrence Ross, for some reason.
The Pelicans dabbled in talks but decided to keep Lonzo Ball, while the Bulls did the same and ended up holding onto Lauri Markkanen.
The Thunder held onto Al Horford, much to the chagrin of GMs speculating on Moses Brown and Isaiah Roby.
There were plenty of actual trades to go through, but it wasn’t the sort of roster-demolishing day that it has been in years past. We’ll get to all of those down at the bottom of the page. As for the other significant news of the day, it comes in the form of un-traded veterans who will now hit the market as free agents. Yahoo’s Chris Haynes brought the late-night heat with info on the two biggest buyout fish.
LaMarcus Aldridge is set to meet with the Lakers, Heat, Clippers and Nets before making his next steps. The Blazers and Celtics have previously been connected here, but it sounds like the could be out of the running. Aldridge is probably just a late-round fantasy player at his best right now and GMs in 12-team leagues are probably pulling for the Heat, Lakers, Clippers and Nets in order. Brooklyn’s just too stacked. The Heat might not offer a huge ceiling given that LMA will have to share the paint with Bam Adebayo, but the Heat have no real center or power forward depth to speak of right now. Aldridge could have a few weeks of throwback value on the Lakers while their superstars are out, but the fade would be in the distance. The Clippers could certainly use his scoring punch but it’s a tough fit with two high-usage players already in the starting five.
Andre Drummond, meanwhile, has long been expected to end up with either the Lakers or the Nets. Haynes reports Drummond’s list as the Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, Celtics and Hornets. Again, no Brooklyn. The Lakers and Clippers get a similar rehash here, though Drummond’s rebounding prowess might earn him a longer leash than Aldridge would get. The Knicks are rumored to be willing to offer a multi-year deal, and Drummond might like that security after the couple of years he’s had. That’s the last place fantasy GMs want to see him, however, as he’d be a major thorn in the side of Mitchell Robinson, Nerlens Noel and maybe even Julius Randle. Boston could use a center after trading away Daniel Theis for peanuts, but at this point Drummond is just a souped up version of Tristan Thompson, who the fans all seem to hate.
Drummond being swayed by the Hornets would be a massive, massive win for fantasy purposes. They have a dire need for a starting-caliber center and are a young team on the rise. If Drummond wants a ring this is just a courtesy call, but if he wants to play? Charlotte’s the spot.
Obviously all of the transactions get top priority tonight, but we’ve got to shout out De’Aaron Fox for dropping a career-high 44 points on 16-of-22 from the field and 9-of-10 at the line. The Kings are suddenly close to a play-in spot and rolling, and while it’s debatable about whether or not they should be going for it, it’s going to be fun to watch their young core get after it. Let’s get into the rest of the night.
Add(s) of the Night
Danny Green, G/F, Philadelphia 76ers
Green had 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting tonight, hitting eight 3-pointers while also reeling in five rebounds, a steal and two blocks.
Please add Danny Green. He’s top-50/25 (8/9-cat) over the last month. Yeah, he’ll shoot 1-for-8 some nights, but the math is the math. Don’t overthink it.
Talen Horton-Tucker, F, Los Angeles Lakers
Horton-Tucker got tons of buzz before the season and looked like a surefire pickup in the wake of LeBron James’ injury, but it’s been tough sledding with an eye-catching line mixed in every so often. In the last two weeks, THT is posting just top-190/225 (8/9-cat) value, and most fantasy GMs should be able to do better than that in standard leagues. He had three points on 1-of-6 shooting in 19 minutes on Thursday.
Fun fact: Horton-Tucker is rostered in 33% of Yahoo leagues and 16% of ESPN leagues. Green is at 37% and 24%.
Jimmy Butler (illness) sat out, joining Goran Dragic (back) and a few other Heat players who aren’t fantasy relevant on the inactive list tonight.
Nerlens Noel (shoulder) sat out but it was Taj Gibson, not Mitchell Robinson, who took advantage of the opportunity as the Knicks’ second unit led a massive comeback.
Kawhi Leonard (foot soreness) was a late scratch, joining fellow starters Pat Beverley (knee) and Serge Ibaka (back) on the shelf.
Draymond Green (illness) sat out on Thursday but is expected to play on Friday as the Warriors are going to try and go on a run.
Danny Green (left hip) and Seth Curry (left ankle) both suited up through questionable tags and ended up leading the Sixers to a big road win.
LeBron James (ankle) was given a 4-to-6 week timetable that was revealed today; he’s got 3-to-5 left. Anthony Davis (calf) is “a ways away” from returning. Not great.
James Harden (neck) is questionable for Friday vs. Detroit.
Terrence Ross (knee soreness) is the old man in the Magic locker room now and will have an ungodly amount of shots headed his way if he can suit up through a questionable tag.
Lonzo Ball (hip) is questionable to play on Friday.
Kevin Porter Jr. (quad) is questionable for Friday but went through practice on Thursday, which is a good sign.
Mikal Bridges (right heel) is probable to face the Raptors tomorrow.
Dennis Smith Jr. (lumbar spine soreness) is questionable to play on Friday, but if he can go he’s right back on the standard-league radar now that Delon Wright has been traded away. Hamidou Diallo (groin) is now probable after the last report on him was “no timetable,” and deep-league GMs should keep an eye on him.
Jusuf Nurkic (wrist) announced that he’ll be playing on Friday against the Magic, and though he’s on a minutes limit you can feel free to get him into starting lineups. The injury shouldn’t have prevented Nurk from keeping in good cardio shape, theoretically.
T.J. Warren (left foot stress fracture) has been ruled out for the rest of the season, so he’s safe to drop from your IR spots in redraft leagues.
We’re going to take a spin through the day’s activity, with a quick TL;DR on every trade that was made today. There might not be as much fantasy waiver action as hoped for, but there’ still going to be plenty of changing values as a result of all the moves.
Nuggets get JaVale McGee; Cavs get Isaiah Hartenstein, two second-round picks
The Nuggets needed to do something today and kicked it off by filling an important void, securing McGee to help boost the team’s faulty rim protection. It had been reported that the Cavs would likely end up buying out McGee, but they held strong and were able to get a young big with upside and two draft picks (top-46 protected). Everybody wins.
Fantasy spin: McGee’s going to play backup C and might hold value as a blocks specialist. Hartenstein’s put up crazy numbers at the G League level and should get a fair crack at the backup C work in Cleveland, making him someone to monitor in deeper leagues.
Bulls get Nikola Vucevic & Al-Farouq Aminu; Magic get Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter, two first-round picks
The Magic were obviously going to trade Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier on Thursday but ripped the biggest band aid of all off first, trading franchise player Vucevic in an early stunner. They’re going to a full-on rebuild now and were able to clear out some future salary commitments while adding a former lottery pick, two firsts and an expiring 3-and-D forward to help support a thin roster. The Bulls look ready to rock now and while the new core’s ceiling is questionable, Vucevic is a significant pickup.
Fantasy spin: Vucevic should still be a solid early-round guy but the presence of LaVine might mean he’s more top-25 than top-12. Adding Vuc is also probably good for LaVine, who won’t be getting all the attention from defenses going forward. Lauri Markkanen and Thad Young also take hits here as they’re now mostly splitting the minutes at PF — no drops here, though. Carter might be the biggest winner from deadline day as he goes from bench player to presumed starter on a rebuilding team. Porter could play his way back into the 12-team conversation too, considering his competition for minutes on the bombed-out Orlando roster. Of the remaining Magic, everyone’s going to get more shots, and Mo Bamba and Khem Birch should have more opportunities to hit the deep-league radar.
Celtics get Evan Fournier; Magic get Jeff Teague, two second-round picks
After trading Vucevic the Magic should’ve been trying to trade anybody and everybody, and they dealt Fournier to Boston as Danny Ainge finally found a deal where he could underpay. That the Celtics could absorb Fournier into their $28 million trade exception probably appealed to Orlando, as it meant they didn’t need to absorb unwanted salary in return. Boston’s lack of wing depth has been killer all year and Fournier helps a few of the team’s biggest issues even if he’s not a perfect fit. Teague will be waived and isn’t even going to show up in Orlando.
Fantasy spin: Fournier probably loses some value here as he goes from one of the top three offensive players in Orlando to third in line at best in Boston — and that’s on nights where Kemba Walker isn’t super active. He’s unlikely to hold onto middle-round value but should avoid drop status in 12-team leagues.
Bulls get Troy Brown, Moe Wagner; Wizards get Daniel Gafford, Chandler Hutchison
This is one of the most confusing deals of the day by far, as two teams just traded around disappointing young players. Brown has the most upside of the bunch but is going to have to compete for playing time with Patrick Williams, Garrett Temple, Denzel Valentine and Al-Farouq Aminu. Gafford could get himself involved in Washington’s weak center rotation, but Scott Brooks’ haphazard lineup changes will complicate things in both directions.
Fantasy spin: Brown can go on watch lists in deeper leagues on the basis of him still being a good player who might actually get regular minutes now. Gafford’s the most interesting fantasy case here, as he could hold late-round fantasy value with solid rebounds, blocks and FG% if he earns a starting gig.
Nuggets get Aaron Gordon, Gary Clark; Magic get Gary Harris, R.J. Hampton, first-round pick
Gordon was the subject of intense speculation in the lead up to the deadline and ended up going to one of the less-mentioned suitors. The Nuggets clearly needed an addition to their current group and got an imperfect player in Gordon, but one who may also thrive as a high-end role player type rather than a lane-switching featured option. He’ll be filling a Jerami Grant-esque role and should have a more focused role with more talented teammates. That the Nuggets were able to add a very strong fit while giving up only a bad contract, a project rookie and a late first-round pick is a coup. The Magic should plug Harris in as Fournier’s replacement whenever he returns from his groin injury while Hampton shouldn’t have a ton of issues earning minutes in the backcourt considering he’ll be competing with Michael Carter-Williams, Chasson Randle and Dwayne Bacon.
Fantasy spin: There might not be an add in 12-team leagues here. Gordon has been more hype than production for his entire career so far and hasn’t been close to sustained stretches of standard-league value this season but it’s possible that a change of scenery and a more defined role can elevate his game. Chuma Okeke is a solid watch list play back in Orlando and a decent flier add in larger leagues. Harris and Hampton might be able to hold late-round value on a rebuilding Magic squad but they’re to be watched from afar at first in standard-sized formats.
Heat get Nemanja Bjelica, Kings get Moe Harkless, Chris Silva
The Kings have been working on a Bjelica trade for weeks now and getting anything back for him counts as a win, especially with Silva boasting some interesting per-minute numbers. The Heat get a stretch four to add to their quiver, though he should be situationally deployed with Trevor Ariza and Andre Iguodala taking most of the minutes.
Fantasy spin: Not much of note here unless Bjelica somehow takes the place of Kelly Olynyk in the starting five. Silva could be a blocks specialist in deeper leagues but that seems unlikely with Hassan Whiteside still in Sactown.
Blazers get Norman Powell; Raptors get Gary Trent Jr., Rodney Hood
The Blazers pushed their chips in a bit, getting one of the league’s most efficient and dynamic 3-point shooters to bolster their offense. Powell could either start or become the team’s sixth man but his scoring punch is much-needed and will help relieve the burden on Portland’s top-heavy offense. He brings a slashing element that Trent could not, despite profiling as a weaker defender. The Raptors get out of the upcoming free agency decision on Powell and pick up a cheaper player of a similar ilk in Trent, though again, he offers a higher defensive ceiling and a more narrow offensive toolkit. Hood’s next season is non-guaranteed but he can provide wing depth on a Raptors team that’s been undone by its thinness this year.
Fantasy spin: Powell can be downgraded from his current top-60 standing but he’s still a must-start player who will hold a prominent role. Trent looks like a nice add if he’s been dropped since C.J. McCollum returned to action. The Raptors need him to produce and we know that GT can be a top-100 guy in starter-level minutes. OG Anunoby is a sneaky winner here as well, as the Raptors need Powell’s shots to come from somewhere and it’s unlikely that Trent is a one-to-one replacement. Toronto’s been empowering OG gradually, and this is a nice natural window to encourage him as a scorer.
Sixers get George Hill, Iggy Brazdeikis; Thunder get Tony Bradley, Austin Rivers, two second-round picks; Knicks get Terrance Ferguson
The Sixers needed some extra depth and Hill, who is sidelined with a thumb injury, is a nice fit. He gives Philly added length and elite 3-point shooting prowess, as well as a playmaker who can take the pressure of Ben Simmons. OKC just continues to stockpile picks and also pick up an intriguing young center, while the Knicks were able to get out of Rivers’ deal and send him to a team that might have a use for him.
Fantasy spin: Hill is unlikely to hold 12-team value on a stacked Sixers squad, though he’s probably already been dropped in most leagues due to his ongoing injury. The lack of an Al Horford trade complicates things but Bradley could very easily factor into the rotation. Deep-league GMs will want to see how the minutes get split up, and standard-league players are hoping that Moses Brown and Isaiah Roby can survive his addition.
Jazz get Matt Thomas; Raptors get second-round pick
The Raptors clear out a roster spot while the Jazz get an emergency floor-spacer.
Fantasy spin: Nada.
Kings get Terence Davis; Raptors get second-round pick
The Raptors clear another roster spot while the Kings add a talented guard who is headed for restricted free agency. Off-court troubles make the acquisition questionable overall but there’s no doubt that Davis is a worthwhile young project if you can block out the personal issues. (Probably shouldn’t, but that’s another story for another time.)
Fantasy spin: Davis has intrigued in the past but the Kings are too deep in the backcourt for him to be a serious fantasy option, and the Raptors might be players on the buyout market (think bigs) with their two vacant spots.
Clippers get Rajon Rondo; Hawks get Lou Williams, two second-round picks
The Hawks found a taker for their bad offseason deal in the form of a guard-needy Clippers team, who surrendered more assets than what it would’ve cost to sign Rondo outright as a free agent. LA thinks they get what they needed while the Hawks got a get-out-of-jail-free card and a playoff-tested scorer to boot.
Fantasy spin: The PG spot in LA is a mess so Rondo might hit assist specialist value, but he’s not a great add until we get proof he holds down the lion’s share of minutes. Williams slides to a more egalitarian offense and should help run the second units to some extent, so his floor raises while his ceiling is also lowered. Sweet Lou is still not a must-roster in 12-team leagues.
Hornets get Brad Wanamaker; Warriors get cash considerations
The Warriors dump Wanamaker to clear space for their younger guards and trim the tax bill. Charlotte gets extra guard depth in the wake of LaMelo Ball’s injury.
Fantasy spin: Wanamaker might hit the radar if Terry Rozier or Devonte’ Graham gets hurt.
Spurs get Marquese Chriss; Warriors get draft rights to Cady Lalanne
Lalanne plays in Korea while Chriss is out for the season.
Fantasy spin: Nope.
Bulls get Daniel Theis, Javonte Green; Celtics get Moe Wagner, Luke Kornet
The Celtics shaved their luxury tax bill with this move and figure to be hitting the buyout market for help up front after dumping their most versatile center for basically nothing.
Fantasy spin: Theis is a big loser here, going from late-round value as a starter to a drop candidate. He’ll be backing up some mix of Nikola Vucevic, Lauri Markkanen and Thaddeus Young in Chicago so minutes will be much harder to come by even if it’s a good move for the Bulls. Robert Williams is a massive winner here, barring an add on the buyout market. Wagner and Kornet have been rotation afterthoughts on worse teams so they shouldn’t be serious players in Boston despite fun stat sets.
Heat get Victor Oladipo; Rockets get Kelly Olynyk, Avery Bradley, 2022 pick swap
While Oladipo hasn’t exactly done himself any favors with his play this season, this is still a shockingly small return. The Heat get a former All-Star who could become part of their core moving forward, shipping out an expiring deal and an injured depth veteran in return. Miami wasn’t comfortable meeting the asking price on Kyle Lowry but did manage to grab a potential difference-maker at a major discount.
Fantasy spin: Oladipo may not be The Guy as much in Miami as he was in Houston, but he shouldn’t go hungry for shots. Perhaps a better supporting cast can help him score more efficiently, and if so we could see him firmly return to middle-round territory. Downgrade Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn. In a vacuum Olynyk should start at PF in Houston, but he may not be in the team’s long-term plans. If he plays he’ll be a must-start option, but there are strong odds that he’s not as involved as he should be since the Rockets aren’t exactly trying to win. Hopefully Bradley, when healthy, doesn’t take much away from Kevin Porter Jr., Jae’Sean Tate, Sterling Brown, et al.
Mavs get J.J. Redick, Nicolo Melli; Pelicans get James Johnson, Wes Iwundu, second-round pick
Redick has been looking to get out of New Orleans for a while and gets his wish as the Mavs add a pair of capable floor-spacers to round out their bench.
Fantasy spin: Johnson, as always, remains an interesting fantasy guy because of his multi-cat skills, but is not a lock to be in the rotation. He’ll be a deep-league add if he plays regularly for the Pels.