By JUSTIN BAXLEY
Photo credit goes to CBS Sports.
The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching as teams move into buyer and seller mode. Another deadline is also on the horizon: the fantasy basketball trade deadline.
On Feb.22 at 12 p.m., the deadline closes for many leagues as teams look to make a push for bragging rights. In my league I am known as the trade guy. I am never satisfied with my team and make moves until I feel confident that I can win a title with my team. I want to help you do that, too.
Here are five deals/moves to start considering before the deadline.
1. BUY LOW ON REGGIE JACKSON:
Jackson has struggled for much of this season with Detroit and could be traded before the actual deadline. He is a score-first point guard who will also provide you with solid assists in a pick-and-roll offense. With Ish Smith at point guard, Detroit has been running a different brand of basketball and taken away the key pick-and-roll part that makes Jackson dangerous.
Jackson can fill it up when hot. It is a risk to deal for him, but if he gets hot then you have a weapon in the playoffs. If he never gets on track this season then you have wasted a roster spot if you currently own him. It might be best to get a proven piece back even if it doesn’t feel like you are getting the best part of this deal in return.
A deal I would make with Reggie Jackson is:
Jackson for Tyler Johnson (PG/SG Miami Heat).
Johnson has been solid for the Heat all season and has been more consistent than Jackson this season. If you own Jackson and are not locked into a playoff spot, then it is time to move on from him and land a piece like Johnson. This is not the ideal trade as Jackson is clearly the better player and has a lot more upside, but you can’t wait for him to get his legs under him any longer. If you have Johnson and are in the playoffs or right on the cusp, it can’t hurt to take a leap of faith on Jackson.
Photo credit goes to Fadeaway World.
2. TRADE DEMAR DEROZAN
DeRozan has been hobbled by an injury and seemed to jump right back into form upon his return. The last game before the break, it was like he was a shell of himself. If you can find someone willing to take him then now might be the time to move him. His injury has popped up a couple times this season, and you don’t want to be stuck with your best player going down with an untimely injury. It would not bode well for you. You should still target mid-to-top level deals for this as it isn’t a complete sell low situation.
A deal I would make with DeMar DeRozan is:
DeRozan for Bradley Beal (SG Washington Wizards)
Beal has an injury history, too, and could easily go down at any moment. This deal would make a lot of sense for both sides. DeRozan is the better player and will be the top option putting the ball in the basket in Toronto. The addition of Serge Ibaka also gives the Raptors a big man who spaces the floor and will open up holes for DeRozan.
DeRozan, if healthy, can easily help carry the scoring category for you in the playoffs. The key is: if healthy. You have to worry at least a little bit that he might go down with another injury. If you own Beal, this is clearly a risk and reward moment for your season. This deal will make or break your season. Both players could play at an All-Star level through the playoffs or go down with an injury. This is about as fair of a trade as you can get. If you want to get a return of two players, an option to consider is Victor Oladipo and Serge Ibaka for DeRozan.
Photo credit goes to Raptors Republic.
3. SELL HIGH ON MARC GASOL
Gasol had a massive run for the month of January but seems to be on the downside of that as he has struggled in his last five games. If you own Gasol you could be able to capitalize by moving him for a couple solid assets. If you need a center who can score and grab rebounds, it can’t hurt to at least see if Gasol is available for trade.
It might take two pieces or one top-level piece, but if Gasol can get back on that roll, then the sky's the limit for your team. I think this works best if you have one team that needs a couple pieces to get through some injuries and the other is one big piece away from having the ideal lineup.
A deal I would make with Gasol is:
Gasol for Steven Adams (center Oklahoma City Thunder) and Darren Collison (PG Sacramento Kings)
Collison provides a solid point guard option as he has really started to pick up his play since Rudy Gay went down with an injury. He helps provide scoring now that DeMarcus Cousins has gone to Boogie on the Bayou. Adams is in a similar predicament, as Enes Kanter couldn’t win a fight with an inanimate object, so Adams has seen an uptick in minutes.
Adams essentially replaces the rebounds and blocks that Gasol gives you, and that pair scores a couple more combined per game than Gasol. Gasol is clearly the best player in the deal, but if you need healthy bodies then selling down at center to upgrade your depth is the best way to do that. Getting an average center and average point guard for an above average center makes sense for both teams.
Photo credit goes to Panic Button Sports Blog.
4. BUY LOW ON DEANDRE JORDAN
Since Chris Paul went down with an injury and Blake Griffin has returned, Jordan has been practically left out on the offensive end of the court. Jordan is still rebounding the ball at such a high clip that he is still a top five center in fantasy. If you lack in rebounds, then Jordan is the guy for you. Once Paul returns, so should Jordan’s offense in the form of lobs and pin-point passes to the post. Paul should be back in the next two weeks and will give Jordan the boost and you the boost to win your championship. He showcased his ability with a 28 and 15 game just before the break, so he won’t be cheap, but his stock has dropped some.
A deal I would make with Jordan is:
Jordan for Nicolas Batum (SG/SF Charlotte Hornets)
I personally roster Jordan, and this is a deal I would make with very little hesitation. Batum is a Swiss Army knife for fantasy basketball. He does a lot of things well. He will provide a small uptick in scoring and assists while there will be a nose dive in rebounds and blocks. This is a deal that I understand is a low price for Jordan; I received much better offers when he was playing alongside Paul.
Those days of 20 and 20 are gone for now, and so are the deals of Brad Beal and Reggie Jackson. I can still salvage a solid deal out of Jordan. This isn’t a deal that I would do if I struggled at center or felt confident in my shooting guard position. But for me, I have arguably the best platoon of centers with Nikola Vucevic and Hassan Whiteside and struggle at shooting guard, as Devin Booker and Khris Middleton are my only options.
It wouldn’t be a bad thing if I hang onto Jordan and he returns to form once CP3 returns, but ideally I would like to sure up one of my weaker positions. On the reverse side of this, Jordan is set up to be a monster upon the return of CP3 while still giving you double-digit rebounds until then. Having a guy who could go for 20-20 on a given night is rare, and being able to land that is always nice. In short, if you have Jordan get as close to his top value as possible but know that it will be tough right now. If you don’t have Jordan then go after him with a mid-level offer.
Photo credit goes to Sporting News.
5. TRADE THE GREEK FREAK
Giannis Antetokounmpo is indeed a fantasy basketball freak. He is on another planet right now, and it might be time to cash in on that. He commands a lot in a fantasy deal, and you can easily grab two top 25 players for him if you find someone willing to part with that much to get him. He can do everything at an elite level outside of shooting the 3-ball. He gets blocks, steals and assists like no other player (and not to mention, he puts up 20 a game). He is one of the best all-around players. Why trade him? Simply because you can net back two top-tier players, and sometimes two is better than one.
A deal I would do with the Greek Freak is:
Giannis Antetokounmpo for Draymond Green (SF/PF/C Golden State Warriors) and Kyle Lowry (PG Toronto Raptors)
This pair of players is around the haul that you can net for a player like this. Green allows you to keep the blocks, rebounds and assists while Lowry gives you an upgrade in 3-point shooting and gives you a 20-point-a-game guy in return. This is a win-win for both sides. It also allows the person giving up two top-level guys to find the best available player on the waiver wire to fill the other positions.
While the waiver player will not be nearly on the same level, it does tend to even out the value or even tilt it in your favor. A guy like T.J. McConnell or Jeremy Lin could be seen as a replacement for Lowry, but remember, the Greek Freak counts as a PG. It might be easier to land a solid big man on the waiver wire like Zach Randolph who is a double-double machine.