So, there were some trades that happened just as I was uploading the podcast in which Patrick and I talked about some version of these trades. I think for short, they should be know collectively as the LACTRO trade. Especially since I’m sure at least two of the players involved would like to claim that these transactions should bare their name without regard for the other parties involved.
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But whatever you call it, the Magic basically pulled the ultimate fantasy-style trade, sending underperforming players to crap teams in exchange for guys who are going to help them get to the top of the league. Erik would officially like to call Otis Smith a “Trade Rock Star,” and is now a very impressed fan, and would like to formally like to invite him to next season’s GMTR Fantasy League.
If you don’t want to read through all the brilliant commentary provided by three of the greatest fantasy minds of their time, you can skip down to the bottom for an executive summary.
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Nels says: When Patrick and I were talking about just Arenas, and maybe Turkoglu, having their talents traded to whatever cardinal direction beach Orlando has, I was certainly of the mind that Arenas numbers would hold strong. I’m afraid that throwing Jason Richardson into the mix raises some questions, though. I mean, here’s a guy whose career low in shot attempts is 12.6 per game. I estimate the Magic have attempted 82 shots per game so far this season. Add in Dwight’s 13 attempts (or even scale it back to 11) and you’ve got 23 already. Then go with Arenas at 15 and you’re up to 38. That’s 46% of Orlando attempts. Though, I guess when you’ve got those three guys taking the shots, maybe that’s okay. The inclusion of J-Rich in the deal means that there will be times (perhaps even a starting rotation) that consists of Arenas, Richardson, Turkoglu, Howard, and anyone else from the bench.
Patrick Says: I think we see a rotation of Arenas, Richardson and Turkoglu quite a bit since it allows the Magic to do what they do best; space the floor around Dwight Howard. However, the problem that Nels mention is true: Howard, Arenas, Richardson and Jameer Nelson all have usage rates above 24% (that is the % of plays used by a player while they are on the floor). That will not be even close to sustainable on the new Magic and of all four players will lose shots and touches. Nelson will probably be hurt the most by this trade since he’ll be the least talented of the new starting lineup, although Arenas and Richardson will see a decrease in minutes and shots as well (and Arenas will likely lose some assists). However, if more open shots from Arenas means his FG% can finally climb over 40% this season, well, I’ll take the decrease in scoring.
Erik says: Beyond the numbers, which both Nels and Patrick have discussed, I’m more concerned about Gilbert’s maturity. Will he do “an Iverson?” We know he’s boneheaded enough to do it. Shipping off problem teens from one high school to another does not necessarily solve their personality issues or that they’ll grow up into mature adults. This is just a new environment. Can he make nice with his new playmates or will we see him sent to the corner for a “time out?”
Nels says: I don’t think there’s any way Jason Richardson keeps scoring like he did in Phoenix. The 2.5 threes will still be there since Orlando’s offense is built around having 4 guys who can make threes. There’s also the need for a slasher to keep the defense honest, but with Arenas coming to the team, Richardson is not as likely to be the one on top of the ball even compared to playing with Steve Nash in Phoenix.
Erik says: I’m disappointed in J-Rich’s situation. He’ll be relegated to being a kick-out, three-point shooter moving forward.
Patrick says: Not a good move for Richardson’s fantasy value. I agree even more than Nels that he can be the slasher and cutter that this team has lacked, but like Arenas, Richardson’s usage rate WILL drop at least 5% on this team. Richardson is also moving from a team that is 6th in the league in pace factor to one that is 25th, meaning fewer possessions and fewer scoring opportunities. The threes will still be there for him, but he’ll be lucky to be a slightly worse 2009-10 version of himself: 17 points, 5 boards, and 2 threes.
Erik says: I know he’s not involved in the trade per se, but will suffer the biggest hit fantasy-wise as a repercussion of the deal/deals. He’s been on his way to salvaging a disappointing 2009 season. but these transactions (especially the Arenas component) just killed any chances his comeback will see it’s full projected potential.
Patrick Says: As Chris Bosh has showed us, the lesser players always get hosed in a situation with multiple alpha dogs. With Arenas, Richardson and Turkoglu all with the ball in their hands more often, expect Nelson’s assists to fall back into the 5/game range (he’s at 7.3 right now). Nelson will still be a low end fantasy PG, but his value will take a hit.
Erik says: Since owning Hedo lately has been as pleasurable as a bout with explosive diarrhea (while on a hot date), seeing any fraction of an iteration of his Orlando-self will be a welcome sensation. If you’re in a relatively shallow league and he was thrown to pool, he’s worth a grab. Whatever he’ll be doing with the Magic is likely better than whatever he’s managed to scrape up as the eighth guy off the Suns’ bench. Across the board, his numbers will see an uptick. Yes, even rebounds, as he’ll likely see some time at the four given Orlando’s new composition.
Patrick says: Have you been watching Dumb and Dumber recently, Erik? I agree that Turkoglu is worth a speculative add to see if he can regain the “magic” that he had the last time he played with Orlando. But this team’s personnel is a whole lot different than the 2008-09 Magic, which included Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee, and Keith Bogans getting significant playing time. Turk should be a good fit with this Magic team, but I personally feel that he’s going to be at a loss for playing time. I’d stay away.
Nels says: The chances that J-Rich and Agent Whoknows will keep up their stats is one in a million. … So you’re saying there’s a chance? How does it relate to Hedo? Well, he’s been playing pretty much as poorly as he can possibly play… No where to go but up! He should be able to easily insert himself into the Magic lineup to fill the hole left by Rashard Lewis. How’s that for innuendo? What what!
Patrick Says: The trade opens up a starting spot (at least for now) for Brandon Bass. Some fantasy sites are calling Bass a “must-grab.” I like him a lot less than that, although I would say pick him up if he’s available in your league. Just don’t expect too much extra from Bass since the Turkoglu will see time at the 4 and Ryan Anderson is expected back from injury soon.
Nels says: Wah wahn. Is Rashard going to stop the slippery slope that his game that started down as soon as he arrived in Orlando? Lewis is going to stand out like a Katy Perry Firework in the Wizards offense… Unless Nick Young decides to go all “I’m playing the Lakers” every game for the rest of the season. What are the chances of that? One in a million? JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche are certainly not going to draw defenses like Dwight Howard. Never have; never will.
Patrick says: It’s the perfect team for Rashard Lewis to coast through the rest of the year with minimal effort for his minimal game. From the Wizards’ perspective, this trade has nothing to do with Lewis, it’s about moving past Arenas to a brighter future. That being said, for the rest of this season Lewis should start at SF for the Wiz, pushing Al Thornton to the bench. Like Hedo Turkoglu, Lewis can’t possibly be any worse on his new team than he was on his old one. As long as he gets minutes Lewis should see an up tick in scoring and hit a lot of threes. I still don’t want him on my team, though.
Patrick Says: Arenas departure means an opening at guard for either Nick Young or Kirk Hinrich (and a bump in fantasy value for both). Young is the closest thing in the league to a points specialist, he can drop 30 on a team without making much of an impact anywhere else on the court (although his threes and percentages are decent). Although I’m not a fan of that kind of game, Young is worth adding in deeper leagues if you need a scorer. Hinrich is not a great scorer, but he has a better all-around game that will give you some assists, rebound and steals. For now, both are starting while John Wall is out with an injury.
Erik says: Given an assumption that Steve Nash (and of course Carter) is going to get back close to 100% health, Carter is going to be “Vinsanely” good in Phoenix. While other players involved in the Magic’s impressive overhaul get kind of nerfed due to their styles possibly getting cramped by being surrounded by talent, the opposite can be said about Carter’s situation. Nash will make him better. Period. Sorry. Strike that. Nash will make him better and give NBA fans a ton of highlight reels that will blow their minds outta this world. Period. We’re talking upwards of 24 PPG, 2.X 3PPG, FG% that should eventually even out to about 45 to 46-ish percent for the remainder of the season. Since Nash isn’t the picture of health and probably needs preserved like your grandma’s strawberry jam in order to last that much longer, there will be times when Vince and Grant (Hill) will share the floor and they’ll probably get into a pissing game to see who is the more unselfish failed “air apparent” of the late 90’s. What I meant to say, without being too rude, was that Vince will get a decent number of dimes in a system that favors an extra pass to find the open man. We’re looking at almost a 180-degree turn in Carter’s value. We’re not talking top 20 value, just yet, but the improvement in his production will bring momentum that will take him that direction. Sorry about the oversell folks, but I’m a hardcore believer in the “Nash Factor.”
Nels says: Look at what Jason Richardson was doing in Phoenix. Then adjust for slightly less rebounds and slightly more assists from Vince. If Carter stays healthy and doesn’t decide to go all “My team sucks” on the Suns, he gets a definite bump in fantasy value.
Patrick says: Sadly, I have to agree with you guys. Well, until the Suns trade Nash this season… The one concern about Carter is that he will be 34 in January, so injuries might stop or slow him, but we’ve seen the Suns training staff work wonders in the past.
Nels says: Phoenix has been struggling for a while to find a real center. Now they have one. As Patrick and I said in our podcast, Gortat is capable of delivering some nice rebounds and blocks in limited minutes. Even though Channing Frye has been playing really well of late, I can see Gortat and Frye co-existing easily for the Suns.
Erik says: Finally! Someone Robin Lopez owners can grab as a suitable replacement. Bah-dum-ching!
Patrck says: Out of all the players involved in these two trades, I think Gortat is going to surprise the most people. In the 5 games he’s started in place of Howard over the past three years (yeah, DH is a beast), Gortat has averaged 9 points, 11 boards and 2.5 blocks. Small sample sizes apply, but even watching him play limited minutes behind Howard it was easy to see that he has game. Gortat still has to contend for minutes against Robin Lopez and possibly Channing Frye, although the departure of Turkoglu means that Frye should see the majority of his minutes at PF from now on. Add in the Nash factor and Gortat is my must add out of this trade.
Nels says: Injured and now competing with not just Vince Carter, but Grant Hill for playing time. He might be able to hang on to his 22 minutes of playing time, but it will be like a Wile E. Coyote scrabbling at air when he realizes there’s no bridge over the Grand Canyon.
Patrick Says: Pietrus needs to show me he can stay healthy for any length of time before I worry about his fantasy value.
2011 First-round pick
Channing Frye’s job is a lot safer now that Hedo Turkoglu is gone. Hakim Warrick’s role is also solidified and his minutes should get a lot more consistent from game to game. Other than that, not too much changes.
Hedo Turkoglu: Pick up. He’s got no where to go but up.
Gilbert Arenas: Hold. Number down, but not much.
Jason Richardson: Hold or Sell. Going to need some Viagra for Stats to keep his numbers up.
Jameer Nelson: Sell. Not going to be able to compete with all the new weapons.
Brandon Bass: Pick up in case he sees an increase in time at the PF.
Rashard Lewis: Hold. If you’re still holding him, he’s not really going to get worse (but probably not going to get better either).
Vince Carter: Hold. Probably a little bump.
Marcin Gortat: Pick up. Seems like a good opportunity in Phoenix.
Mickael Pietrus: Na ga da.
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