Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Over the past seven days, up until yesterday's trade deadline, there were 11 deals consummated around the NBA. Let's explore a few of these to see how, or if, they will change the fantasy landscape.
The biggest trade as far as fantasy owners are concerned involved Miami and Toronto. The deal was a four-player transaction with forward Shawn Marion and guard Marcus Banks heading north of the border and center/forward Jermaine O'Neal and forward Jamario Moon flying to south Florida.
Marion had been disappointing in Miami for fantasy owners who got used to his great performances in the Arizona desert. With no Steve Nash to feed him the ball he was averaging 12 points and 8.8 rebounds. That's a far cry from the 21.8 ppg and 11.8 rpg he posted back in 2005-06 in Phoenix. But with his new team he has a more "traditional" point guard in Jose Calderon which may get Marion back on track.
Calderon is a "pass-first" guard, unlike in Miami where Dwayne Wade liked to shoot and drive before looking for a teammate. I'm not saying that's a bad thing because Wade is a great player, but Marion runs well without the ball and wasn't rewarded like he was when Nash would find him streaking to the hoop.
On the other side of the deal, O'Neal (13.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg) will fill in nicely at center, if healthy, and with Marion gone should allow for first-round draft choice Michael Beasley to get added minutes. Beasley was a borderline "fantasy- worthy" player before the deal (13.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.9 apg), but added minutes could make him a valuable member of your roster.
Brad Miller (11.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.4 apg) and John Salmons (18.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.7 apg) were traded to Chicago for four players. Chicago sent Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, Cedric Simmons and Michael Ruffin in the multi-player deal.
Miller, when healthy, will give the Bulls an inside threat, plus he is a very good passer. Salmons was averaging almost 38 minutes in Sacramento, but he might see his minutes drop in Chicago so be careful about starting him until you see how the Bulls use him.
Gooden (13.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg) has been struggling with injuries this year, but when healthy is a productive player. Nocioni (10.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.1 apg) can play guard or forward and should be flexible enough to get time in Sacramento at either spot, though his value as a fantasy player is minimal.
In a two-for-two deal between Sacramento and Minnesota, the Kings acquired guard Rashad McCants. McCants was Minnesota's second-leading scorer in 2007-08, but his numbers were way down this season (14.9 to 9.1). None of the players in this deal seem "fantasy-worthy" at this time, but McCants, a former first-round selection, has the talent to become one.
Guard Larry Hughes (12.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.0 apg) was traded from the Chicago Bulls to New York for Tim Thomas, Anthony Roberson and Jerome James. Hughes, when healthy which is a rarity, can put points on the scoreboard and in the Knicks' up tempo game could be worth something. But it's been four years and three teams since he averaged 22.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 4.7 apg for the Washington Wizards.
In a three-way deal between Orlando, Houston and Memphis, the Magic got the only fantasy-worthy player in guard Rafer Alston (11.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.4 apg). Alston should be able to get into the starting lineup pretty quickly and take over the point guard duties from Jameer Nelson who had season-ending shoulder surgery on Thursday. Alston hasn't shot particularly well all season (37%), but he won't have to in Orlando where Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis will handle the scoring load.
As the trade deadline neared, there were some interesting trade rumors, such as Shaquille O'Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but in the end, the above trades should be the only ones which matter to fantasy owners.