Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Being Proactive

It's trade rumor time! No one is safe, from aging superstars to underproducing youngsters, from expiring contracts to draft picks. Of course, everytime someone switches teams, their rotation spot is left open, and the good fantasy players will know enough about a team's depth to know who's going to get their minutes, points, etc. Let's take a look at some of the hottest trade rumors, and who stands to gain.

The Team in Disarray: Portland Trail Blazers
The Player Who's Probably Leaving: Shareef Abdur-Rahim
The Players Who Stand To Gain
Everyone on the roster has a chance. The problem with the Trail Blazers situation is that there are about 8 different teams that they are legitimately talking to. The one guy who seems to have the best shot at breaking out of his funk is Theo Ratliff. With so many players playing out of position in the current lineup, opposing teams have been able to play away from Theo in the middle, cutting down on his one source of fantasy value - blocks. Hopefully, whatever situation comes next will be better for Ratliff. Remember, last year in 32 games with the blazers, he averaged an amazing 4.4 blocks. So far this year, it's just 2.4. See if you can pry Ratliff away at a discount from his current owner.

The Team in Disarray: Toronto Raptors
The Players Who Are Probably Leaving: Vince Carter and Jalen Rose
The Players Who Stand To Gain
Nobody thinks that the Raptors are going to get much for this combo. It's more of a salary-clearing trade than anything at else, and it looks like the highest ceiling for what they'll get back is something like the aforementioned Abdur-Rahim. So somebody is going to be stepping up. Carter and Rose are the two leading shot-takers for the team. Fantasy players should hope that regarless of who the Raptors get in return, that Donyell Marshall sees more minutes and gets the ball more often. Marshall was an extremely valuable player last year, but due to injuries and lord knows what else, has seen his minutes nearly cut in half. His skills haven't deteriorated, however - over his last 3 games he's averaged 28 minutes, 15.3 points, 9 boards, 1.3 3's and 2 steals. Rafer Alston and Chris Bosh could also see their points increase by 3-5 per game or so.

The Team in Disarray: New Jersey Nets
The Players Who Are Probably Leaving: Jason Kidd, Alonzo Mourning
The Players Who Stand To Gain
Whoever they get in return. As we've discussed, outside of Jefferson, Kidd and Mourning, nobody on this team has any value. We've already seen that nobody seems to step up when Kidd isn't on the floor. The major minute beneficiaries if Mourning leaves are Jason Collins and/or Brian Scalabrine, with the latter maybe have a little value due to his 3's, but nothing to get excited about. Chad Ford lays out the trade possibilities for the Nets, and if Abdur-Rahim or Jason Terry come via trade, they instantly become the 2nd most valuable player on the squad behind Richard Jefferson.

The Team in Disarray: Chicago Bulls
The Players Who Are Probably Leaving: Eddy Curry
The Players Who Stand To Gain
First in line is undoubtedly Tyson Chandler, a recent addition to the "fantasy basketblog favorite" list. Chandler has only gotten 30 minutes in 8 games so far this year (thank you, crazy Scott Skiles) and has averaged 12 points and 13 boards, plus a block, two steals and 59.9 FG% when getting those minutes. If he gets regular minutes he can be a stud for you in rebounds, provided he stays healthy, which isn't a sure thing by any means. Antonio Davis could see some more minutes, but this isn't 1998. Even with 35 mpg, he's a marginal fantasy player at best.

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