by Will Overton
The trade deadline was not as eventful and action packed as some expected it would be. And while the big names, such as Kevin Love or Blake Griffin stayed put, there were still nine trades in total and at least some fantasy impact along the way.
You’re going to find plenty of articles about which teams won and lost at the deadline, but this is a fantasy basketball website. We’re looking at who the winners and losers are from a fantasy basketball perspective only. So let’s start breaking down the value risers and droppers:
Fantasy Value Winners
Donatas Motiejunas – Detroit Pistons: There was a lot of buzz about how the Pistons had to give up a first round pick to get Motiejunas, but not Tobias Harris. While that does seem off, it says something that the Pistons were willing to part with that pick. Motijunas has struggled to get on the court this season because of injuries, but he’s working his way back right now from his latest back injury and should be on the court again soon.
The Rockets had a log jam in their frontcourt and couldn’t find playing time for Motiejunas when he was healthy. Last season though we saw a ton of promise from the big man, who shot 37% from three and scored 12.0 PPG. When he’s healthy he should be looking at 20 – 25 MPG in Detroit as the first big man off the bench and one of the more proficient offensive weapons on the bench. This is a big jump from what he was going to get minutes wise in Houston.
Matt Barnes – Memphis Grizzlies: Tuesday the Memphis Grizzlies traded Courtney Lee away and yesterday it was Jeff Green leaving town. While the Grizzlies are bringing in Lance Stephenson and P.J. Hairston, there are still a lot of minutes to be gained by Barnes. We should see Barnes in the starting lineup every night and even when Stephenson comes in we could see Barnes at power forward in a smaller lineup that the Grizz have been experimenting with. Barnes is a do a little of everything kind of player and with five categories of contribution he should be owned in all formats.
Markieff Morris – Washington Wizards: We were already starting to see Markieff Morris turn the corner from whatever was going on early in the season, most likely just disgruntled employee syndrome. Now that he has been traded, as he wished, we should see this recent run continue. I have to assume Morris comes right in and supplants Nene Hilario at power forward and sees 30 MPG or more. Morris won’t be getting kind of assists he was in Phoenix now. He should be a big part of the offense here though, have plenty of opportunities for threes and load up on rebounds. Morris has a ton of talent and hopefully in Washington he shows that off.
Fantasy Value Losers
Stanley Johnson – Detroit Pistons: While I really like the long term upside and potential of Stanley Johnson, who is certainly a big part of the Pistons future, the moves made by the Pistons aren’t helping his fantasy value for this season. Johnson was the team’s sixth man and got a lot of minutes off the bench. Now we are going to see Kentavious Caldwell-Pope coming back from injury, Tobias Harris inserted into the starting lineup and two new faces on the bench in Motijunas and Marcus Thornton. Johnson isn’t going away or anything, but his playing time will be affected by all these moves I have to think.
Dion Waiters – Oklahoma City Thunder: I’m not entirely sure how much value Dion Waiters had for fantasy, but he was playing a lot of minutes and still a contributor in steals and threes. If nothing else Waiters was a good value option in DFS games. With the trade for Randy Foye though we are probably going to see a decent size hit in Waiters value. Foye is a veteran who is not as inclined to make the same kinds of mental mistakes as Waiters. Foye won’t get a ton of minutes, but even if he is getting 15 MPG, that is probably going to cost Waiters 5 – 10 and that will make an impact.