After months of speculation, we can purge ourselves and our Twitter feeds of the nauseating(ly named) “Melodrama.” Late Monday night, a big-time three-team deal took place that finally sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, among other things. There are many cogs to this machine, the trade is awaiting league approval, and the wheeling and dealing for some of these players isn’t done yet, but here’s a quick look at what we can expect in the aftermath from a fantasy perspective.
New York Knicks get: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman and Corey Brewer
Anthony goes from being the No. 1 option in Denver to being 1a in New York, which isn’t too big a deal given the more open looks he’ll get with a force like Amar’e Stoudemire inside. The Knicks are putting up four more shots per game than the Nuggets this season, and since so many pieces were given up to acquire Anthony, his offensive prowess should remain mostly intact. He’ll also be asked to play more power forward. Expect a minor dip in points, and an uptick in rebounds, threes and turnovers. In other words, his overall value should remain pretty steady.
Billups goes from being limited to around 32 minutes a game in Denver to potentially playing upwards of 35 minutes a game in New York for coach Mike D’Antoni‘s high-octane offense. That said, Billups is a ripe 34 years old, and we’ve seen how D’Antoni’s short rotation has burned out his previous point guards in New York. While most of his stats should remain steady, fantasy owners should expect Billups to dish out more than the 5.3 assists he was averaging this season in Denver, but also more than his mark of 2.5 turnovers per game.
Stoudemire’s value remains mostly the same, though he won’t be the steady top-10 beast we’ve known him to be this season. His points could see a slight dip, but he should (and that’s the keyword) be freed up to do more work on the glass. The thing to watch here is whether Stoudemire will become less engaged now that he’ll have to share the spotlight and alpha-dog duties with ‘Melo.
Ronny Turiaf now stands to be the starting center for the Knicks, which is good news if taken in a vacuum. But given his frequent run-ins with injuries and D’Antoni’s inclination to play him limited minutes, Turiaf’s fantasy value remains limited.
Brewer should have his good streaks and his bad streaks in New York. Expect him to be nothing more than a waiver-wire yo-yo to monitor whenever you need a short-term fix.
Shawne Williams and Toney Douglas should be monitored and are decent speculative adds in deeper leagues.
Williams and Balkman will only have minor value if Stoudemire or Turiaf ever go down with injuries.
Denver Nuggets get: Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov
Felton will likely be dealt again before the trade deadline comes around, so keep an eye on his status. Wherever he lands, Felton’s fantasy value will suffer from playing in a non-Knicks offense.
Ty Lawson, consequently, stands to finally inherit the starting point guard spot in Denver. In six games as a starter this season, he’s averaged 15.5 points, 1.7 threes, 3.7 rebounds, six assists, a steal and 2.2 turnovers. Lawson also shot 52.2 percent from the field and 92.9 percent from the line in those starts. Assuming Felton is moved, Lawson is clearly a must-add player, and should even be a strong starter in most leagues.
Chandler’s ceiling is seriously lowered in Denver, assuming that frontcourt stands as is. Hold him if you own him and hope that some moves are made to free up some space for Chandler to produce on a consistent basis.
Gallinari, like Felton, is no lock to stick with the Nuggets. Regardless of where he ends up, his fantasy value is a bit deflated. If he lands in a favorable spot, he could retain much of his production, but his best fantasy days are behind him, for this season at least.
Arron Afflalo now has a chance to spread his wings in Denver. The jury’s still out on whether he can actually step into a more prominent role on offense, but at the very least the opportunity is there.
J.R. Smith also gets a shot at taking on a bigger role for the Nuggets, though expectations should be kept in check. At best, he’ll be an inconsistent fantasy asset. Smith could also be moved before the deadline passes, so monitor his situation.
Mozgov won’t be starting in Denver, which means he’s safe to leave on the waiver wire until further notice.
Minnesota Timberwolves get: Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry
Randolph returns to being an intriguing fantasy player and will probably cause some owners to make imprudent swaps. If you’re in a deeper league, feel free to take him on board and see how it plays out. Otherwise, leave him alone and let other owners waste a spot on him. He’s playing behind the likes of Kevin Love, Michael Beasley, Darko Milicic and Wes Johnson. The name of the game for Randolph, once again, is “potential.”
Martell Webster looks like a sneaky winner here. He started his first game of the season right before the All-Star break and could hold onto that gig. At the very least, he’ll see more minutes now that Brewer is out of town. He’s worth adding in deeper leagues and monitoring closely in others.
Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.
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