Trade deadline day! How exciting! Thrill as players saddled with terrible contracts get traded for each other in hopes that teams can free up enough money to sign new players to equally terrible contracts!
Pardon me while I exude cynicism but as exciting as the trade deadline can be for the NBA freaks out there, things are getting disturbing. How the heck are they going to avoid a lockout, the elephant in the backroom of all these deals? What are the Wizards doing? The Clippers? Even Houston made me scratch my head a bit as they moved the blossoming Carl Landry to Sacramento for the one-dimensional and slight Kevin Martin just so they could dump Tracy McGrady‘s albatross of an expiring contract. Really? They couldn’t find another taker who wouldn’t demand the beastly Landry?
So what does this all mean for fantasy? Too early to tell. We’ll have to see what else happens leading up to 3 p.m. EST today. Until then, I’m tired of chasing rumors and would prefer to focus on the actual games played last night. There were some interesting developments.
– In the wee hours, Golden State trounced Sacramento, 130-98, behind a 40-point performance from one C.J. Watson. Watson teased us earlier in the year as a deep-league waiver wire pickup, but he never approached 40-7-6 with two steals, two threes and 16-23 shooting. On the plus side, Monta Ellis is a candidate for a long rest with a shaky knee, and Watson would be the guy to benefit. Also keep in mind that Corey Maggette played just 12 minutes. I’m a Maggette owner and should have sold high on him a few weeks ago. I’m not counting on much the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Stephen Curry (24-6-15) and Anthony Morrow (25-5-5) are looking like must-owns right now.
– Sacramento has been awful since Martin returned to the lineup to try and co-exist with Tyreke Evans in the backcourt. With Martin gone and Landry in, things are looking up in Sac-Town, but be prepared for more movement here as the day progresses. By the way, Jason Thompson put up a weird 17 and 15 on 6-18 shooting in 28 minutes. I didn’t see the game; did he just miss a lot of layups and get his own rebound a ton?
– I did watch the end of Memphis’ 109-102 overtime win at Toronto. Toronto had them in regulation but this is still a team that can’t get stops when they need them. Jose Calderon saw 35 minutes to Jarrett Jack’s 18, and Jose finished with a respectable 12-6-9. Chris Bosh (32-10) was a monster, but Rudy Gay (29-8), Zach Randolph (24-11-5) and O.J. Mayo (22-8-4) were too much to handle.
– San Antonio won at Indiana, 90-87, despite Tim Duncan shooting 4-23 from the floor. I thought that was funny.
– The newer-look Wizards beat Minnesota, 108-99, and Andray Blatche rewarded my foresight in the Damn Lies league with 33 points and 13 boards in his first game after I picked him up. Oh wait, I started Andris Biedrins over him. JaVale McGee had 14 & 11 with five blocks in just 23 minutes, and Josh Howard added 14 points in 27 minutes off the bench. Washington will now import Al Thornton into this hodgepodge, and I bet Nick Young suffers for it. McGee and Blatche might be excellent fantasy plays the rest of the way, though, especially if the Wiz buy out Zydrunas Ilgauskas. They might as well let these two young bigs grow around Howard, Mike Miller and Randy Foye. Washington announced an attendance of 13,143, but they must have been showing Avatar in 3D on the Jumbotron or something.
– Dwyane Wade left Wednesday’s game at New Jersey seven minutes in after hearing a pop in his calf. Rut-roh. The Heat still beat the hapless Nets, but if Wade misses time that’s not a good thing. Is a lineup of Rafer Alston–Daequan Cook–Quentin Richardson–Michael Beasley–Jermaine O’Neal the worst in the league? Aside: what would Kobe Bryant be doing if these were his teammates? Firing up half-court shots on each possession? Kidnapping children and holding them for ransom?
– Shane Battier and Trevor Ariza must have known before their game with Milwaukee last night that Martin was coming to town. The two combined to shoot 12-13 from three-point land, and the Rockets shot 16-23 as a team from deep in a 127-99 blowout. Landry put up his typical 19 and 5 on 7-9 shooting in 24 minutes. Houston will regret jettisoning him. Meanwhile, Martin fits in here how? Battier to the bench? Does that make them better?
– Amare’ Stoudemire is probably staying in Phoenix and he played like a man with a weight off his shoulders last night, going for 30 and 14 at Dallas. The Suns still lost, 107-97, and new Mavs center Brendan Haywood had a 10-9-5 while Jason Kidd went bonkers with 18 points, seven boards, 10 assists, four threes and seven steals.
That’s all I got right now. Check back tomorrow and we’ll break down the deals that take place from a fantasy perspective.