Fantasy Spin: Predicting Trade Deadline Winners & Losers

There isn’t much fantasy news this weekend. It’s all about having fun and the Rising Stars game showcased some (not all) of the best rookies and sophomores last night. Team Chuck scored 90 points — in the first half — and had nine of ten players in double figures.

Nobody got hurt, but why Andre Drummond played 36 seconds with a stress fracture in his lower back is a mystery. Obviously, the teenager is enjoying the atmosphere and deserves to be in Houston. Maybe, he will be back on the court for the Pistons sooner than expected.

The real-life trade deadline is just five days away. The ‘big name’ rumors are usually just that — speculation that gets fans buzzing. One reporter might mention one name in a throwaway note at the end of an article, often causing someone to issue a denial or a blogger to celebrate (or trash) the idea. Next thing you know, social media is fanning the flames where there was no spark to begin with.

This site has many experienced, well-connected journalists whose analysis of the real-life aspects of any NBA trade is far superior to mine. In this corner, you’ll get the fantasy fallout. A couple of weeks ago, the Grizzlies and Pistons were the big winners of a three-team deal, gaining some valuable financial flexibility. As we saw it, the move was huge for Rudy Gay’s fantasy owners and subtracting Ed Davis made Amir Johnson better to own.

Here’s a quick list of players I’m watching closely, but no matter what happens the next few days, you’ll get the Spin the next morning.

Hoping To Be Traded

Ben Gordon: Capable of being the third guard for many teams, an unhappy Gordon called out the coach because he’s not getting enough minutes on a bad team. It’s like a trade demand, as simple as A-B-C — anywhere but Charlotte.

Kris Humphries: Has fallen out of favor with two coaches this year and would welcome a change of scenery. Swapping him for Gordon could be a win-win in real life and I would pick them both up in medium-depth leagues if it happens.

Eric Gordon: We know about the knee issues, but we are pretty sure Gordon is not thrilled to be a Pelican. Probably not the most likely deal to happen, but if it does, don’t be surprised if he’s less injury-prone in a new situation.

Andrea Bargnani: Several other Raptors keep proving they are better without the former #1 overall pick. Toronto would have been a perfect fit if Bargnani had a hockey mentality, but fans are fed up with his apathy on the boards and his inconsistency. Needs a new start, where a stretch-4 is appreciated. The Sixers are the latest destination to me mentioned.

Hoping Someone Else Is Traded

Derrick Favors: If Paul Millsap is moved, Favors will become the starting PF and I expect him to thrive. Those rumors began before training camp, and they make sense. Utah is technically in the playoff race, but realistically no match for the top five teams in the West, so blowing things up now and playing the kids isn’t a terrible idea.

Enes Kanter: It might not be a completely seamless transition to starting center if Al Jefferson is the one to go. Kanter is vastly improved in his sophomore season but he’s started only one game and we have no idea how consistent he will be with a big boost in minutes. Obviously, it’s great news for the Swiss-born Turk if he gets the job. If you have a roster spot to play with, he might be worth picking up before the news breaks.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Josh Smith: Fantasy owners know what they are getting with Smoove. He’s not a model of consistency, but his huge nights are a lot of fun and his averages are just fine in most categories. In a new system, with new teammates, he would become harder to predict. If he ends up with the Nets and they ask him to score, he’s a first-round talent. Other landing spots might not be to his liking.

Will Bynum: Called a prime trade target  by Chris Sheridan, Bynum could end up on another team’s bench. If it’s the Thunder, he probably won’t play significant minutes quite as often as he has in Detroit. Though it would be great for the player to join a serious title contender, his fantasy value might take a hit.

The Fantasy Spin is here every morning by 10:00 EST. Mitch McClure previews the upcoming week on Sunday afternoon. Follow us on Twitter — @SheridanFantasy — for updates.

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