Fantasy winners, losers of the Rudy Gay deal
By Thomas J. Harrigan, Fantasy Sports Writer
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In the competition to win Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo's heart, Kyle Lowry got the final rose and Jose Calderon was shipped off unceremoniously.
Lowry was the big winner from Wednesday's blockbuster three-team trade that saw Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi go from Memphis to Toronto for Ed Davis and Jose Calderon. Calderon was sent to Detroit in a subsequent deal for Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye.
For his entire career, Lowry has had to share point guard duties. Whether it was Mike Conley in Memphis, Aaron Brooks or Goran Dragic in Houston or Calderon in Toronto, Lowry has always had another player eating into his minutes.
Of course, part of that has had to do with Lowry's inability to stay healthy. He was in the midst of a career year last season with averages of 15.9 points, 7.2 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.9 3-pointers in his first 38 games before a bacterial infection caused him to miss a month of the season.
Dragic excelled in Lowry's absence and held onto the starting job even after Lowry returned for nine games in April.
The same thing happened in 2012-13. Lowry suffered a partial triceps tear on Dec. 10 and had to miss seven games. In that time, he lost the starting job to Calderon. Lowry has only played an average of 24 minutes and produced 11.1 points, 5.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game in his last 15 contests.
Lowry also has missed time with a sprained ankle and back spasms this season, but his potential for fantasy success is great now that he's the lone wolf in Toronto. He averaged 18.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.9 3-pointers in 32 minutes over his first 13 games and had a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double with five assists in his return to the starting lineup Wednesday.
The other man smoking a victory cigar after the trade is Pistons center Greg Monroe. Monroe should benefit immensely from playing with Calderon because Brandon Knight just hasn't been getting it done.
According to basketball-reference.com, just 49.5 percent of Monroe's field goals have been assisted this season. Only 46.9 percent were assisted last season.
Meanwhile, Davis and Amir Johnson have both excelled when playing with Calderon. Davis averaged 15.3 points per 36 minutes in 757 minutes with Calderon and just 12.8 points per 36 minutes and 330 minutes with the point guard on the bench. Johnson was at 15.3 points per 36 minutes with Calderon and 10.1 without him.
Calderon should put Monroe in better positions to score as soon as he gets the ball, which should help the big man cut down on his turnovers and improve his field goal percentage because he'll have to do less to create offensive opportunities.
These two aren't the only players who will be massively impacted by the deal. Let's take a look at some of the other major components and their fantasy values going forward.
Rudy Gay, small forward, Toronto Raptors - While Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol were the focal points of the offense in Memphis, Gay still attempted 16.4 shots per game with the Grizzlies. We can't see how he takes more than that in Toronto, so he's simply going to have to shoot better than the 40.8 percent he put up in Memphis to improve his fantasy value. In any case, a change of scenery should work out well for him because he will be "the man" every night with the Raptors.
Jose Calderon, point guard, Detroit Pistons - Calderon is a high-efficiency player, basically the opposite of Brandon Knight. Knight will move to shooting guard to accommodate Detroit's new addition. Calderon averaged 12.6 points, 9.0 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 steals with .493/.439/.862 shooting percentages in 31 minutes over 30 starts with Toronto. He should be able to match that production and could get even more playing time while Knight and Rodney Stuckey split the shooting guard minutes.
Tayshaun Prince, forward, Memphis Grizzlies - Memphis is in desperate need of outside shooting to keep the paint clear for their big men. Prince is shooting a career-high 43.4 percent from 3-point range this season but only attempting 1.2 per game, so that percentage doesn't mean much. Still, Prince is likely going to be asked to take more 3s than ever before; his career-high is 2.6 attempts per game and he could easily eclipse that with the Grizzlies. At the very least, he should get more than the 10.8 field goal attempts he averaged in Detroit this season.
Amir Johnson, power forward/center, Toronto Raptors - The trade of Davis reduced the Raptors' stable of big men from four to three, with Johnson representing the only one who is currently healthy. Andrea Bargnani (elbow) could return from an extended absence this weekend, while Jonas Valanciunas (finger) will be out longer. That means Johnson will keep playing a ton of minutes. In nine starts this season, he is averaging 38 minutes, 15.8 points, 10 boards, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.9 blocks. A trade of Bargnani would ensure that Johnson will hold onto a starting job all season, so fantasy owners should hold onto the big man.
Andrea Bargnani, power forward, Toronto Raptors - As I said, Bargnani could return this weekend from an elbow injury that has kept him out since Dec. 12. Both Davis and Johnson flourished while he was out of the lineup, and he wasn't guaranteed to get his starting job back if both of them were still around. Bargnani might still be traded before the deadline, but at least he'll start for Toronto until that happens.
Ed Davis, power forward/center, Memphis Grizzlies - Davis is a burgeoning big man, but he might be stifled in Memphis. One thing's for sure: he won't get any starts with Randolph and Gasol around. Davis averaged 12.9 points, 7.7 boards and 1.0 blocks in 24 starts with Toronto this season, compared to 6.1 points as a reserve. Davis could jump into the Marreese Speights role but the Grizzlies were only able to get Speights 14.5 minutes per game prior to his trade to Cleveland. Memphis also has Darrell Arthur, whom Memphis executive John Hollinger is reportedly high on.
DeMar DeRozan, guard/forward, Toronto Raptors - It's a bit curious why the Raptors went after Gay since they have a similar player in Derozan. Both are scorers who also happens to be poor outside shooters. DeRozan will shift to shooting guard full time, but it's doubtful he'll see 14.9 shots per game going forward with Gay playing next to him.
Alan Anderson, guard/forward, Toronto Raptors - Unfortunately, Anderson's fantasy value will be a casualty of the trade. The swingman has been getting 27 minutes per game and averaging 14.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.1 3-pointers over his last 22 games, but he's due for a steep decline in playing time. Gay and DeRozan both play heavy minutes, and Anderson also will have to contend with Landry Fields and Terrence Ross as backup wing players.
Brandon Knight, guard, Detroit Pistons - Knight's career hasn't taken off in 112 career games. He's a low-efficiency player who turns the ball over a lot and doesn't set up his teammates well. Handling the ball less should help him cut down on those turnovers, but he'll also have fewer assists. Plus, Rodney Stuckey will need minutes as the backup guard and they will likely come at the expense of Knight, not Calderon.
01/31 12:58:14 ET