I’m going to skip the detailed breakdown of all of the transactions that took place on the eve of the NBA’s trade deadline, we already did a fine job of tracking those transactions right here. Instead, I’ll jump right into the nitty-gritty of what matters to you, who you should own and why.
Klay Thompson - G/F, Golden State Warriors – He’s arguably the most acquirable asset in most fantasy free agent pools after deals done by GSW. He was the initial and early inheritor of the starting shooting guard job vacated by Monta Ellis, but was reasonably expected to eventually relinquish that role to Stephen Jackson. But with Jackson out of the picture, now reunited with Coach Poppovich and the San Antonio Spurs, Thompson has free reign to improved and develop at the rapid pace the Warriors are hoping he will keep. Thompson is a good source of points and threes, but it remains to be seen how his game will evolve now that he will be getting a foothold on a starter’s job and minutes.
Stephen Jackson - G/F, San Antonio Spurs – Yes he’s been known to be a headcase and a contributor of widely erratic shooting percentages in the past, but his move to San Antonio is probably the best case scenario there was for his slumping fantasy value. He was likely dropped in a few leagues due to his accumulation of DNP’s back in Milwaukee. He’s had a generally positive history with Poppovich and the Spurs are in need of the scoring punch he is capable of delivering from the wings. If you can stomach games with poor FG%, Captain Jack is capable of bringing some PTS, AST, 3PTM and STL to help your fantasy team down the stretch. The Spurs traded away Richard Jefferson who has been pretty much dead weight to them as a starter. Jefferson will likely be utilized as (hopefully) a scorer off the Warriors’ bench and retains very little value as he is now playing behind Dorrell Wright. While Wright, himself, has been a fantasy disappointment this season; it isn’t very probable that Jefferson will be able to challenge him for his starting job any time soon.
Wesley Matthews – G/F, Portland Trail Blazers: With Gerald Wallace now calling the New Jersey Nets his new NBA home, Wesley regains some fantasy relevance once again as he will likely get back his starting shooting guard role in Portland. He may have been discarded to fantasy free agency when he move to the bench to accommodate the emergence of Nicolas Batum. That is no longer the case as both players will start, with Batum sliding into the small forward position vacated by Wallace. Matthews will be a healthy source of points and threes in a rebuilding franchise that will be looking for offense wherever it can get it.
Ramon Sessions – G, Los Angeles Lakers: He’s projected to be the starter with Derek Fisher shipped off in a separate transaction. He will still be sharing some time on the floor with incumbent PG reliever, Steve Blake, but his situation is priming him to be able to ramp up his assist averages. Mike Brown’s offense is point guard driven and he’s been looking for a good passing PG to orchestrate it. Sessions won’t score much, but should be a reliable source of AST and STL moving forward.
Daniel Gibson – G, Cleveland Cavaliers: Gibson no longer has to split minutes with Session off the Cavaliers’ bench and is up for some back-up PG duties behind Kyrie Irving. With Sessions out of the picture, there will be more playing time to distribute across a tighter guard rotation in Cleveland. Gibson’s a proven source of treys, but we should see some slight upticks in his PTS and AST categories.
Nick Young – G/F, Los Angeles Clippers: He’s being projected as the eventual starter at shooting guard for the Clips. His scoring and ability to knock down shots from beyond the arc are characteristics that LAC has been looking for in a starter for some time now. Young’s presence gives them more options when defenses collapse on Blake Griffin in the paint. Young can also run and is a target for those Chris Paul dishes on the break. Randy Foye has already been slumping and has not lived up to par after inheriting Chauncey Billups’ starting SG gig. Foye should be dropped in almost any league depth at this point as the back court rotation will mainly consist of time divided by Paul, Young, and Mo Williams.
Jordan Crawford - G, Washington Wizards: In shallower leagues (8-10 man), Crawford may still be available. Young’s departure gives him a guaranteed license to shoot, and to keep shooting to his heart’s content. He’s not very accurate as his FG% bounces between the high 30s to the low 40s. He is now a lock as the team’s secondary scorer behind John Wall and can deliver 20+ points and 2+ threes with 1.5 steals on almost any given night.
Wilson Chandler - G/F, FA: While he was not part of any specific transaction during the deadline, Denver’s move to trade away Nene Hilario and decision to waive Ronny Turiaf indicates that Denver is freeing up salary room to accommodate signing Chandler to a multi-year deal. While the Nuggets are pretty stacked at the wing positions, George Karl likes Chandler’s versatility to be plugged in a variety of positions and sees him playing minutes anywhere from the high 20s up to 30+. Guys like Arron Afflalo, Corey Brewer, and Rudy Fernandez will be the heaviest hit in value when Chandler is inserted into the Nuggets’ rotation.
George Hill - G and Leandro Barbosa - G, Indiana Pacers: Nothing official has been announced, but there have been rumors circulated by Pacer beat writers that George Hill may replace the underwhelming Darren Collison and utilize Barbosa as the team’s “instant offense” off their bench. This situation means a bump in value for both players. Barbosa no longer has to compete with guys like Jerryd Bayless and Linas Kleiza for time on the floor, and Hill will be an efficient scoring combo-guard to run the Pacers’ offense.
Nate Robinson - G, Golden State Warriors: While Robinson was not technically affected by any of the deals that transpired during the March 15, 3PM deadline; rumors are abound that Warriors have given up on this season and may consider shutting down Stephen Curry. If these rumors indeed come to fruition, Robinson is locked to average 28-34 minutes as the team’s starting point guard. He is worth a temporary speculative stash while Curry and the GSW trainers are still working on his “recovery plan,” which purportedly includes him not getting time on the floor until he is at one hundred percent health.
You can follow Erik Ong on Twitter @Erik_Ong