February 14, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol (16) reacts after scoring a basket against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Post-All-Star Break: Fantasy Basketball Trade Volatility

In a recent podcast about trading in fantasy basketball, I discussed that it’s difficult to actually assess who are “buy low” or “sell high” candidates. If you’re not the podcast listening type, I outlined some key points in my latest contribution to Sports Illustrated. Armed with those loose guidelines, here are some players I project to do well after the all-star break and some guys who are best to be offloaded.

BUY

Pau Gasol, F/C L.A. Lakers – He’s not that easy to trade for as he’s doing quite well. His name is still being circulated in trade rumors and speculations. He’s a speculative acquisition. If he does change team, it is unlikely that he will be sharing the paint alongside someone of the caliber of an Andrew Bynum or be overshadowed offensively by someone at par with a Kobe Bryant. At the end of the day, IF Gasol is moved, it is likely that he will have the opportunity and free reign to outproduce his current averages in LA.

Marc Gasol, C Memphis Grizzlies – Yes, he’s in the middle of a career year and even is in the midst of his first all-star appearance. As I’ve mentioned in the SI article, “communicate”. Sell his owner on the idea of a decline when Zach Randolph (whose rehab is coming along well and ahead of schedule). Marc is still an expensive buy, but we don’t see his STL and BLK averages to get nailed by Z-Bo’s return to action. The key is to see if you can acquire Gasol at a reasonable discount.

Channing Frye, F/C Phoenix Suns – He was very erratic to begin the season, but has recently shown fantasy-friendly games more and more often. We know he’s capable of delivering 1.8 3PPG, 7 RPG, 1.5 BPG, at low TOs. It’s quite possible that the next step for Frye for the second half of the season is Consistency, and at this point that’s all his owners are looking/waiting for.

Gustavo Ayon, PF New Orleans Hornets  – He’s not so much a trade target (yet) as he is a “grab and stash” candidate. There are rumors that New Orleans is not yet done shopping Chris Kaman and there’s speculation that he may be bought out if there aren’t any takers. This frees up Ayon, who has very good per minute rebounding and blocking numbers. Emeka Okafor and Jason Smith may possibly cap his potential, but while both of them are injured Ayon has the opportunity to shine and show what he’s capable of delivering.

David West, PF Indiana Pacers – He started off the season producing at a very underwhelming clip. But the truth of the matter is that we can chalk that up to “an adjustment period” where West had to get used to his new team. Already as each game goes by, at this point in the season, we can see that his confidence is slowly improving. He’s a buy low target.

Ersan Ilyasova, F Milwaukee Bucks – He’s been not-so-quietly been playing well under the radar. I project him to remain solid for the remainder of the season. He’s coming off-the-bench and shouldn’t cost you too much as far as trade assets are concerned. He’s a good piece to ask for when you’re trying to put together a more complex two-for-two (or bigger) deal.

Luke Ridnour, G Minnesota Timberwolves – He’s been dropped by a lot of managers lately, mainly due to a four-game slump and Rubiomania, but overall he should even out those disappointing games with some very efficient and productive ones after he gets some rest during the break.

SELL

Kris Humphries, PF New Jersey Nets – His production is bloated by the fact he’s the only healthy front court Jersey has. Brook Lopez’ return to action is just around the corner and Humphries is still riding on some productive momentum. His scoring and rebounding should drop a few markers when Lopez becomes the primary low-post scorer.

Nicolas Batum, F Portland Trail Blazers – He’s coming off some explosive nights, while LaMarcus Aldridge has missed time due to injury. Selling him now, at an inflated price, could merit some longer term

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