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Doug Norrie

DFS Implications of NBA Trade Deadline Deals - 2/8/18

The trade deadline has come and gone; it didn't disappoint. We saw some major deals, mostly surrounding the Cavaliers, and have some things to wade through with players switching teams. Lots of players moved, but the DFS implications (again, outside of the Cavs) leave us with only a few things to consider. Following the trades, it's unlikely anyone makes a new-team debut on Friday. But we can start speculating how players will fit with their new squads and what it could mean for DFS production.


Cavaliers Reload

George HillGeorge Hill
Acquired from the Kings

From a fantasy perspective, Hill makes for possibly the most interesting piece of the insane amount of trades the Cavaliers put together on Thursday. He figures to slide into the starting lineup in place of Isaiah Thomas and play high 20’s minutes at the minimum. He’s shooting the best of his career from three at 45% (the best in the league this year) and offers a significant defensive upgrade over Thomas (which I understand isn’t saying all that much). He likely won’t make his debut on Friday, but the $4500 FanDuel price isn’t likely to change all that much for the next slate and he could be one of the better bargains around. He won’t be called on to facilitate much of the offense, but pairing with Lebron for sure will get him looks.

Rodney HoodRodney Hood
Acquired from the Utah Jazz

Rodney Hood could also enter the starting lineup and, if he can stay healthy (a big if considering his track record), has some upside in this offense. He’s good from beyond the arc (39% this season) on heavy volume (seven attempts per game in only 27 minutes) and figures to add floor-spacing to the first unit. Scoring (and his size) are his biggest attributes and Lebron's been known to get wings quality shots. He doesn't figure to add much else across the box score but could make for a decent mid-tier option if he touches high 20's-low 30's minutes.

Jordan ClarksonJordan Clarkson
Acquired from the Lakers

Clarkson showed major flashes of DFS upside when given outsized opportunities for the Lakers, but that won't likely be the case with the Cavaliers. He figures to take over Dwyane Wade's second unit scoring duties, but the minutes will be the biggest downside. Ty Lue does, at times, stick with hot hands and the Cavs will for sure experiment with different rotations. But after the additions of Hill and Hood, Clarkson doesn't figure to be much more than a bench scorer.

Larry Nance Jr.Larry Nance Jr.
Acquired from the Lakers

Nance could actually also enter the starting lineup to replace Crowder and offers the Cavaliers much-needed help on defense. They are dangerously thin in the frontcourt with Kevin Love on the shelf and could have to run Nance at the four (or even small ball five) for longer stretches. Nance is a clear athletic upgrade over what they had in that role now.  Like Hill, he's coming cheap and if he starts would be an interesting punt play for the interior scoring and rebounding. His per minute rebounding numbers, along with the steals and blocks offers significant upside. Nance's DFS struggles in the past were based solely on erratic minutes. If given the opportunity he could be an excellent short-term punt play.


Lakers Free Up Space

Isaiah ThomasIsaiah Thomas
Acquired from the Cavaliers

What a short (that probably felt long) trip for Thomas in the last eight or so months. He goes from celebrated in Boston to injured, to the Cavaliers, to kind of hated, to completely stinking, and now to the Lakers. This move almost definitely keeps him in the depths of short-term DFS obscurity. The Lakers have no real incentive to play him anything like meaningful minutes even if he starts (a big if). And when Lonzo Ball comes back they’ll likely run shorter guard sets as they continue a season built to tank. Cleveland had to press on Thomas to play even when not 100%. The Lakers don’t need any part of that and I’d be shocked if Thomas saw more than 25 minutes a game going forward the rest of the season.

For the Lakers, the DFS implications are a little less clear. The front court minutes thin out a little and Julius Randle and Kyle Kuzma should both see more run, soaking up most of Nance’s 22 minutes per game between the two of them. Randle was on pace for well over 30 minutes against the Thunder on Thursday night before the game turned into a blowout. He’s a fantasy dominant, per-minute scorer who’s just lacked the consistent opportunity.

The same can be said of Kuzma who was also cresting towards 30 minutes and would have likely played crunch time. The only question mark is what happens with the Lakers’ usage breakdown once Lonzo Ball is back and paired with Thomas.


Suns Add a Point Guard

Elfrid PaytonElfrid Payton
Acquired from the Magic

Payton comes to the Suns’ after an uninspiring run with the Magic where he was quickly falling out of favor in rotations. The Suns have been hard-pressed to get anything remotely like NBA serviceable point guard play so there’s reason to suspect Payton steps in and at least sees quality minutes. He’ll likely join a starting lineup with two high usage shooting guard/ wing types in Devin Booker and T.J. Warren. There’s some reason for optimism on Payton’s return to DFS semi-relevance in that the minutes should be secure (ish) if Ulis misses time. And even if not, Payton likely does start seeing 30 minutes on the regular as the Suns work out possible longer-term fits with him in the lineup.

For the Magic, D.J. Augustin steps into the starting role at point guard and will likely see a dramatic price increase in the short term. He played 35 minutes on Thursday and put up an impressive 18 point, nine assist performance. He was coming cheap in that game, but with the new opportunity should be able to support some inflation on his pricing.

Knicks Take a Chance

Elfrid PaytonEmmanuel Mudiay
Acquired from the Nuggets

The Knicks have long coveted a point guard even though they, you know, drafted one with the 8th overall pick in last year’s draft. They’ve relegated Frank Ntilikina to mop-up/ deep bench duty even though the youngster has shown flashes (especially on the defensive end). Adding Mudiay likely makes the entire point guard situation in New York a total and complete wash from a DFS perceptive. Jarrett Jack, at times, could be slotted in as a punt play. Those days are likely all but over as New York now has four point guards on the roster (even after losing Ron Baker).

Follow Doug Norrie on Twitter @DougNorrie and DFSR @DailyFantasySR

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