One of my Sunday drafts went very well, picking third in a 20-team league. It was Chris Paul and a bunch of best-availables; never had to vary from my list and didn’t have anyone snatched from the top of my queue without a good alternative.
Barring some bad luck with injuries, I won’t be making (or accepting) many trade offers in that league. Maybe a small position-balance deal; most of my SF are PF eligible and I might offer one for a SG-SF type.
In another league, I took over a weak roster last season and finished far back. My keepers are slightly improved, I had an extra second-round pick as the result of a trade, and while there wasn’t a lot of talent in the draft, I’m content with my picks.
That team can benefit from trading, and I’m already scouting my opponents’ rosters. As Jeff pointed out in his Strategy Primer, you have to give up something to get something. I have Deron Williams, Raymond Felton and Darren Collison at PG, my strongest position, and could use a star at either wing spot. If Felton (who looks fitter than he has for about three years) and Collison (running a new team) get off to good starts, I can afford to shop D-Will for an equivalent SG or SF.
While I’m a strong believer in ‘win-win’ offers and don’t usually try to fleece opponents, one type of player to target is the ‘early season disappointment’ whose owner is getting nervous.
George Hill had a thumb injury at the start of camp and a hip pointer at the end. How much his fitness and timing were affected remains to be seen. Meanwhile, D.J. Augustin has done everything the Pacers could want. Especially if he starts slowly and it takes a while for Hill to win the starting job back, try to buy low.
Wilson Chandler is in a similar position. Between the season in China and hip surgery, it’s been a long time since he was fully healthy and playing regular NBA minutes. He didn’t have the greatest camp and buyer’s remorse may be a common symptom among his owners in a couple of weeks.
Often with players like that, I’ll avoid a 1-for-1 offer. Your interest is disguised somewhat by including them as a throw-in. Basically, any player who gets off to an uncharacteristically slow start, who you have reason to expect will improve, is worth considering. If his current owner is less optimistic, there’s an opportunity for a deal. You relieve him of his concerns, while picking up a potential bargain.