Though that horrible “L” word has finally slammed the NBA’s doors shut, fantasy basketball fans can rest assured that this young (and abruptly suspended) offseason has already offered morsels of activity to chew on. Old faces have landed in new places, which means there’s some fantasy analysis to be had. Here’s a look at how these early-summer trades will impact fantasy basketball once this real-life mess gets sorted out.
*** *** ***
- Sacramento Kings get John Salmons, draft rights to pick No. 10 (Jimmer Fredette); Milwaukee Bucks get Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston, Beno Udrih and draft rights to pick No. 19 (Tobias Harris); Charlotte Bobcats get Corey Maggette and draft rights to pick No. 7 (Bismack Biyombo)
Salmons averaged 18.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.5 threes in 37+ minutes per game in 2008-09, the last time he was in a Kings uniform. The problem is that he’s returning to a Kings squad that is drastically different than the one he left back then. He’ll have to share the ball with the likes of Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and, potentially, Marcus Thornton (if the team re-signs him), not to mention Fredette. Salmons is coming off of a disappointing campaign in Milwaukee where he struggled with his shooting from the field and finished with averages of 14/3.6/3.5. He’ll remain a decent all-around option, but the diminished role he’ll have in Sacramento really lowers his ceiling.
Jackson will arrive in Milwaukee as the team’s starting shooting guard, which is decent news. The question is how well Jackson will be able to adjust to being on a team where he won’t be handling the ball as much as he did in Charlotte. With Brandon Jennings manning the point and Andrew Bogut anchoring the paint, the Captain may have trouble adjusting to a smaller role on offense. Don’t write him off completely, but be wary of letting your expectations get the better of you when you see his name on the draft board.
With Salmons out of town, Carlos Delfino figures to get a bigger role for the Bucks. In 40 starts last season, Delfino averaged 11.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.4 threes per game. If he can stay healthy and maintain around 32-35 minutes a game, he’ll be a strong fantasy asset.
Udrih’s fantasy value takes a big hit, but he’ll have his moments in Milwaukee. Coach Scott Skiles has already said nice things about Udrih and what he brings to the Bucks, but that probably won’t translate into huge minutes. Give him a look in the last round of your draft.
Livingston remains mostly irrelevant for standard-sized leagues, unless Jennings or Udrih gets injured.
Maggette figures to get a nice boost in fantasy value thanks to this three-team tango. He goes averaging fewer than 21 minutes a game for the Bucks in 2010-11 to a Bobcats team that must now turn to Maggette as their primary option on offense. Expect him to have no trouble getting playing time and shots. Maggette will be a solid source of points, some rebounds and strong free-throw shooting. The only concern is his shaky health, which will only get shakier with heavier loads of minutes and on-court burdens coming his way. Maggette’s arrival also puts a dent in any kind of benefit a Jackson departure would’ve had for Gerald Henderson’s fantasy value. He’s in the early stages of rehab from hip surgery anyway, so owners shouldn’t get too excited about him next season.