One of my favorite parts of fantasy sports, and especially fantasy basketball, is trading. Trying to fill a hole on your team by making a deal. The offer, counter offer process that you have to go through. It’s just fun and it makes the fantasy sports experience so much better.
That said I don’t advocate trading just to trade. You want to make smart trades. You want to make trades that will make your team better, not just keep you the same with a new and different player.
Part of making smart trades is knowing who to trade for and knowing who to sell on your team. When you’re making a trade you need to try and take advantage of where the market is at for a certain guy. If you own a guy who is really a 15 point per game player who has been scoring 20 points per game for the last two weeks, sell him while the market is high. Conversely if you really like a guy who is slumping, strike quick before he turns it around and the price goes up.
Here is one guy I am buying, one I am selling and one I am holding:
Buy: Dirk Nowitzki – PF, Dallas Mavericks: Sometimes when you make a trade you have to take a gamble, especially if you’re on a struggling team. You don’t want to take stupid risks, but I think this is one of the risks that’d be worth taking. The recent news about Dirk’s return being pushed back two weeks has to have owners frustrated and scared a bit so this is the best time to strike a deal for him.
The push back is concerning, but we’ve seen what an out of shape Dirk looks like, so I’m actually ok with him taking his time getting in shape. There is no timetable currently set, but there is optimism that Dirk can be back shortly after the first of the year. If this is what ends up happening that means there is still a lot of basketball to be played and lot of help to be given by Dirk still this season. A healthy Dirk is a top 15 players, a Dirk at 75% is still probably a top 30 player. If you can trade someone outside of the top 50 to get him, you almost have to take the gamble.
Sell: James Harden – SG, Houston Rockets: This isn’t an easy one for me to do, I’m a big fan of Harden’s game and the numbers he’s putting up are startling. Harden is averaging 23.6 PPG, 5.4 APG, 4.4 RPG, 1.6 SPG and 1.8 3PG. So why on earth would you trade this guy? While I think he’s on his way to being a stud top ten pick, I don’t think he is quite there yet and if I can get a real top ten guy for him I’m doing it.
Harden has some amazing games, but he also has some down games, and his down games hurt a lot. In two of his last three games he has shot below 20% and that’s a lot of shots missed when you putting up almost 20 attempts. I do like the fact that he brings more to the table than just points, but he wouldn’t be considered top ten if he wasn’t averaging this many points and I don’t know if it continues, and if it does it may push him under 40% shooting.
I’m not saying give Harden away for free, but if you can get a nice package deal for him you have to think about it. Or if you can move him one for one for someone like Deron Williams or even Stephen Curry in my opinion, I’d do it.
Hold: Anderson Varejao – C, Cleveland Cavaliers: A lot of people might think of Varejao as a sell high guy right now, but I’m holding on to him. Elite centers are very hard to come by in fantasy basketball and here’s a news flash, Varejao is an elite center now. We’re now 17 games into the season and the guy is still pulling down over 15 boards per game, along with 15 points per game.
If I were to sell Varejao it’d be based on injury risk over fear of his production falling off. He hasn’t played a full season either of the last two years so there is a concern there. But at this point I can’t give up Varejao unless I am getting another center back the likes of an Ibaka, Al Jefferson, Greg Monroe or someone in that class.