Commentary

Trade Spin: Trade deadline deals

Updated: February 22, 2008, 5:47 PM ET
By Eric Karabell | ESPN.com

Ron Artest stayed put. If there was anyone I figured was on the move on NBA trade deadline day, it was that troublemaker. The Sacramento Kings had already dealt Mike Bibby, and fantasy basketball owners hopped on board the Beno Udrih train. Udrih has been named the Kings point guard the rest of the season, and he's gone from 13.8 percent owned in ESPN leagues to 88 in a week since the Bibby trade.

Thursday wasn't really a big day for trading when it comes to fantasy hoops. It could have been had the Kings been involved. Eleven other NBA teams were, however, and we're here as always to tell you how this affects fantasy basketball. Are the Cavaliers legit contenders? Did the Trail Blazers help themselves? Are the Sonics that much worse? All fine questions, and my pal John Hollinger is there for you. This is fantasy hoops. Let's get going. I'll go team by team for clarity.

[+] EnlargeWally Szczerbiak
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty ImagesWally Szczerbiak's value won't change much in Cleveland.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Good for LeBron James. No, he didn't get a natural point guard to help out, but I don't think it would have helped fantasy anyway. James always has the ball in his hands. I don't see how Jason Kidd would have been able to garner close to the 10 assists per game he was getting. James is the point guard ... and the small forward. But he's no longer the shooting guard as well, because Wally Szczerbiak is a better shooter. He's one of the best shooters in the game. The problem is, I don't think this trade helps Wally's statistical world much. I expect him to get more open looks and hit more 3-pointers than he was with the Sonics, but the 13 points per game he's currently averaging seems about right, and it's not like he'll ever rebound or pass. He becomes the third scorer on this team, but everyone shouldn't rush out to sign Szczerbiak unless you need the 3s and free-throw percentage.

Likewise, this doesn't do a ton for Delonte West, though the unfortunate Daniel Gibson ankle injury means West could get a huge increase in minutes right away. West isn't a natural point guard, nor is he a particularly good shooter from the outside. Look for the occasional big assist game, like seven or eight or so, but ultimately no more than the 4.5 dimes he got as Boston's starting point the past few years. If you need that sort of thing, maybe he can help you.

Ben Wallace is on ESPN's most dropped list, maybe because his owners got tired of the 5.1 points per game he was posting, but if you need rebounds and blocks, Wallace will contribute in those categories. Playing alongside Zydrunas Ilgauskas shouldn't change his numbers, or those of Big Z. Wallace is not a good shooter, and he'll probably shoot even less in his new home, which is good for fantasy. (I don't think he shoots enough to damage a fantasy team's percentages.) The loss of Drew Gooden shouldn't hurt Cleveland; if anything, James and Ilgauskas might score a bit more, but not enough to change a fantasy team's fortunes. It is noteworthy, however, that Cleveland's Nos. 3, 4 and 5 scorers are gone (in Gibson's case, for a month). Look for Szczerbiak and West can make up for most of that. Ultimately, there's little change in fantasy value in Cavaliers land.

Seattle SuperSonics: Let's all give a hearty Pacific Northwest welcome to Ira Newble, Donyell Marshall and Adrian Griffin. Now get out. Maybe these guys stick around on their new team, maybe they get bought out in a week. Either way, they're not fantasy worthy. The loss of Szczerbiak does mean someone gets his playing time, and we should include Seattle's wise decision to dump Kurt Thomas on San Antonio here as well. On Thursday, the Sonics gave more minutes to Jeff Green. Smart. Damien Wilkins and Luke Ridnour are reserve guards, not very interesting in fantasy. Mickael Gelabale might see more time, too. Francisco Elson is new to the team, but the 7-footer has only 14 blocks this season. No real change for the Sonics, except it's time for Kevin Durant and Green to get more looks. These trades were about the future for Seattle, wherever that future might be. By the way, newcomer Brent Barry was already released by the Sonics, in case you were wondering. You know, NBA trades are kind of a joke, no?

[+] EnlargeTyrus Thomas
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesTyrus Thomas should get more playing time after Thursday's deal.
Chicago Bulls: Here's a place at which there could actually be fantasy finds. With the 32 minutes per night Wallace was wasting mercifully gone, we get to see what Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas can do with real playing time. My guess is fantasy owners will flock to each this weekend, and end up disappointed. Thomas should be getting double-doubles and blocking shots. I could see him start pulling in Al Horford numbers, minus some rebounds, but is that enough to move the needle for your team? Noah is even more raw, and, despite his size, not a great shot-blocker. Plus, Gooden essentially replaces the Wallace minutes and some of those Joe Smith was using. I'd take Thomas over Noah, but don't expect a smooth transition into fantasy stardom for either. This team gets so much of its offense from guards, and that shouldn't change. Let's see what that 7-footer from Pittsburgh, Aaron Gray, can do. That's what kind of March it will be for Bulls fans.

Larry Hughes just adds to this team's crowded swingman situation, and his addition probably will cost the emerging Thabo Sefolosha the minutes he was getting. That's a bit of a shame, because we know what Hughes is all about, and it changes from one game to the next. As a 76ers fan, I'm just happy he's not back on my favorite team as part of an Andre Miller trade. Hey, the 76ers are playoff-bound! I'd continue to deal for Kirk Hinrich in fantasy, and would take a gander at Thomas, but that's about it. You can have Hughes and now, unfortunately for Sefolosha.

Houston Rockets: Goodbye to Bonzi Wells and Mike James, hello to Bobby Jackson. Not much to see here. Wells wasn't getting more than 20 minutes a night recently, and James wasn't playing at all. Jackson is a capable 3-point shooter, but that's all he really does. With Rafer Alston playing so well as this team's No. 3 scorer, I can't see Jackson scoring in double-digits on a nightly basis. The Rockets have three good fantasy players, and in some leagues Shane Battier and Luis Scola can help, but that's it. Even the great Carl Landry performance from Thursday -- he scored 19 points -- isn't likely to be a sign of things to come. Gerald Green was acquired from Minnesota and seems to have a future in the NBA, but that future isn't likely to be now.

New Orleans Hornets: Wells helps the team's depth, but not yours in fantasy. In theory, the Hornets really needed a third rebounder, because Chris Paul ranks third on the team after Tyson Chandler and David West. I don't see Wells getting more than 5 per game, but he should have the occasional big game. He does have six double-doubles this season, and after his next one, he'll show up on fantasy's most added list. A week later, he'll be on the other side.

Memphis Grizzlies: Someday Marcus Vinicius is gonna be a star. OK, just making sure you're still reading. The news from Memphis after all the deals the team made is that Hakim Warrick is averaging 15.9 points and 6.6 rebounds this month. He should be safe from Vinicius' vicious game.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Trading Green for Kirk Snyder shouldn't make this into a winning team. Snyder has a chance to help a team, both real and fantasy, with his 3-point shooting, but there's no indication that Minnesota will give him minutes. Ignore him in fantasy.

Portland Trail Blazers: It's just fun to say the name Von Wafer over and over again. I probably just said it more times than coach Nate McMillan will in the next month.

Denver Nuggets: This team's fans thought they were in the running for Artest. Now they have backup point guard Taurean Green. I get the feeling Allen Iverson was hoping for more.

Detroit Pistons: Remember when Juan Dixon was owned in fantasy leagues? It was only last season when he scored in double-digits. He'll help the Pistons' depth more than your fantasy team's, and his addition makes Ronald Murray expendable. Good move for the Pistons.

Toronto Raptors: Remember when Primoz Brezec was owned in fantasy leagues? It was only two seasons ago when he averaged 12.4 points and 5.6 boards for Charlotte. Man, the Bobcats were desperate. Don't you follow suit.

Eric Karabell is a senior writer for ESPN.com fantasy games.

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ESPN.com Senior Writer