Fantasy Basketball: Trade deadline preview, with Tyreke Evans, Avery Bradley and more on the market
With the trade deadline just hours away, let's take a look at the latest moves, and who might be getting shipped.
We're now mere hours from the NBA trade deadline, and as usual there's a lot of conjecture but little evidence to support the myriad of theories concerning players on the block and their possible destinations. There have been a few developments to report Wednesday, however.
We'll delve into those deals and also offer a few thoughts as to who might be packing up their locker tomorrow.
Charlotte gets: Willy Hernangomez
New York gets: Johnny O'Bryant, two second-round picks
Hernangomez had been rather vocal about his displeasure with his role in New York, but the trade is a bit of a surprise when you consider the ACL tear Kristaps Porzingis suffered on Tuesday.
The Knicks clearly had their minds set on dealing Hernangomez prior to the injury, and they got a decent return for a player who had been out of the rotation for most of the season. The move by Charlotte is a bit of a head-scratcher, as Hernangomez won't be much of a factor in an already-crowded Hornets frontcourt. If Enes Kanter hadn't been shipped to the Knicks, Hernangomez would have been a key component to New York's future plans, and there's no doubt that he could have the chops to start with a little more development.
Either Charlotte considers him a worthwhile project to focus on over the summer, or they plan to make a deal in the next 24 hours that could involve someone like Frank Kaminsky, Cody Zeller or even Dwight Howard to thin out the crowd inside. In any case, it appears the Hornets feel that Hernangomez is going to be better than any player they might get with those second-round picks.
Meanwhile, the Knicks get the picks along with O'Bryant, who was waived Wednesday afternoon and was just salary filler in the deal. It's likely that Kyle O'Quinn and Michael Beasley will absorb most of Porzingis' production, but Doug McDermott and Lance Thomas could also benefit.
Although trade rumors persisted regarding Williams as recently as this week, this deal gained momentum quickly and both sides seem happy with the outcome. The three-year deal is worth $24 million, which means Williams will finally enjoy a much-deserved multi-year contract. Locking down the 31-year-old has plenty of implications for what happens before the trade deadline.
As a result, dealing DeAndre Jordan away becomes a bit less likely, unless the Clippers get a deal that's simply too good to pass up. A deal for Jordan is further complicated by Jordan's option to hit the free agency market in the off-season. While many teams would like to have Jordan, the prospect of paying him next year isn't as palatable, and the return for Los Angeles won't be as sweet with the inherent risk of Jordan walking come July 1. Williams' contract also reduces the number of guards on the market, which means multiple teams will be scrambling to acquire the next-best option. Speaking of…
Multiple teams have expressed interest in Evans, and it's highly likely that Evans has played his last game in Memphis. Multiple reports suggest Memphis is looking for a first-round pick in exchange for the talented guard, and so far the Sixers, Celtics and Nuggets have balked at the prospect of giving away that much. The team that could make the most sense is the latest team to come to the table.
Miami was granted a $5.5 million injury exception for Dion Waiters, which means the Heat could certainly afford Evans, and he also seems to be the best fit as a Waiters replacement . The other teams in contention already have strong backcourts, and while Denver or Boston would love to add Evans, those teams likely wouldn't be able to offer the same role. Miami could be the ideal spot for Evans, but it's up to the Heat to provide the Grizzlies with favorable terms. He would likely lose value in the event of a trade, because any contender may not have 30-plus minutes per game to spare.
Even though Bradley improves the Clippers overall, they have a host of young backcourt depth and their deal with Williams means they've already committed to one veteran guard. Where does this leave Bradley? It makes him expendable, especially as an expiring contract who's unlikely to remain in Los Angeles long-term.
Floating a future pick and some filler could be all they need to get a deal done, but it remains to be seen if the Thunder, who already have future picks tied up in past trades, will be willing to give away that much.
Rodney Hood has been quoted as saying that his gut tells him his days in Salt Lake City are numbered, and there's enough evidence to support his theory. Utah has Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell, and Hood has been unhappy with his role. Injuries have also prevented him from making a significant impact consistently, but the 25-year-old could garner a starting role with the right team. Hood could be another option for Oklahoma City.
The final candidate to fill the two spot in OKC is Marcus Smart, who's been one of the most popular names bandied about in trade buzz. There's no question that the Celtics are anxious to make some kind of deal, and they might be the team that surprises us with some completely unorthodox and unexpected agreement. That said, for now, my money is on Rodney Hood to head to Oklahoma City.
The Thunder have expressed interest in Belinelli, as well, but the Sixers appear to be best prepared to make a deal for him. Belinelli has excelled when given opportunities off the bench, but the 3-point specialist has been largely underutilized, and the tanking Hawks, who reportedly have made virtually the entire roster available, will be willing to part with him for a fair price. The fact that he didn't play at all on Tuesday is the clearest indication yet that Atlanta is clearly talking to a few teams. Memphis has done the same with Tyreke Evans. As of Wednesday night, Belinelli feels like a safe bet to be dealt, but it's anyone's guess as to where he'll land.
Players like Kemba Walker, George Hill, Tony Allen and Aaron Gordon have often been mentioned in recent days, but there isn't enough evidence to make an educated call about any of them. When the dust finally settles Thursday, there are almost certainly going to be some surprises in store – and we'll react to those moves if and when they go down.
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