by Will Overton
The trade deadline is still a little bit over 24 hours away still, but the action has begun. Yesterday we had our first two trades of the week, one a pretty big move, the other smaller one. Both of them though have some kinds of fantasy repercussions attached though. We will look at both of these trades and give our take on who the fantasy winners and losers were:
The Detroit Pistons trade Ersan Ilyasova & Brandon Jennings to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Tobias Harris
This was the big newsmaker of the day yesterday as the Detroit Pistons are hoping they made the move necessary to lock themselves into the playoffs this season, and also setting themselves up for next few years as well.
We know Stan Van Gundy loves long, athletic forwards who can stretch the floor and step outside to hit some threes. While Harris has been having a down year in comparison to what he did last season, this could be the move that sparks something in him. The system that SVG runs is far more suitable to the talents of Harris then the one Scott Skiles was running in Orlando and we know from history that Skiles and Harris don’t have the best relationship. The Pistons should be using Harris at the four and he’ll play a bigger role on offense.
The longer reaching effects here I think are that Marcus Morris take a little bit of a hit. Morris and Harris have similar games, but Harris does it a bit better. They will play a lot of time together, but I think Morris will find himself sharing time with Stanley Johnson a bit more now. Morris isn’t droppable right now, but keep an eye on his production.
For Orlando, things will be interesting and it’s no guarantee that Ilyasova and Jennings stay on the team past Thursday. Harris’ departure opens up a lot of minutes in the frountcourt and while Ilyasova will get some if he stays, I don’t see him getting the bulk of them. The biggest winner is Aaron Gordon who the Magic need to see more of and certainly will from here on out. Gordon has been a monster on the boards lately and it’d be no surprise if he averaged close to a double-double per game from here on out. This could also open the door for Mario Hezonja to get more playing time too. Gordon is ownable in all leagues and Hezonja makes a nice deep league flier.
As for Jennings, his role remains to be seen. The Magic could choose to start Jennings in an attempt to take some pressure off of Elfrid Payton, but I am not convinced we’re going to see 30+ minutes per game from him. Add him just to see what does down in Orlando or see if he gets moved again, but he may not be a long term add.
The Memphis Grizzlies trade Courtney Lee to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for P.J. Hairston, Brian Roberts and two second round picks
With the season ending injury to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist the Hornets needed some help on the wing and Courtney Lee was the answer. Lee should step right in as the starter for the Hornets, but it’s hard to gauge whether or not this is going to make a difference as he was starting in Memphis too. Lee’s a strong three-point shooter and he’ll get a steal per game as well, but that’s about all you’ll likely get from him. Lee could see a slight bump in scoring, but it won’t be significant.
On the Memphis side of things I don’t know if Hairston or Roberts become fantasy worthy. I still really like the potential of Hairston, but Mario Chalmers and Tony Allen both should get Lee’s minutes ahead of Hairston, at least for now. Chalmers is probably the biggest gainer on the Grizzlies team. Chalmers has shown some flashes of offensive firepower this season, and now his minutes will be more consistent. Chalmers could wind up being worthy of a spot in all formats before it’s all said and done.