Were you looking for fireworks at the NBA trade deadline? As things turned out, the pre-season James Harden deal and the trade that sent Rudy Gay north of the border, turned out to be the biggest deals across the Association. New, more stringent rules involving the luxury tax are trying to keep the NBA elite (Lakers, Knicks, Bulls, etc.) from dominating the transaction market and clubs are certainly more luxury tax sensitive. The biggest move ending up actually came on deadline eve, making for a very un-eventful Februuary 21st.
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Let's take a look at the trades that will actually have fantasy impact.
Thomas Robinson, Houston Rockets- I have to chalk this one up to another steal for the Rockets. Anytime you can get a lottery pick (#5 overall) in his rookie season for role players, you have accomplished something. Houston hit the jackpot with Harden and even tried to edge in to the Josh Smith sweepstakes at the last minute. Robinson and Terrence Jones figure to battle for minutes at forward with Chandler Parsons in what has become a much less crowded situation. Patrick Patterson could end up providing the same fantasy numbers in Sacramento, but the Kings present a much more volatile situation.
J.J. Reddick, Milwaukee Bucks- The Bucks acquired Reddick, Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith with Tobias Harris, Beno Udrih and Doron Lamb heading to the Magic Kingdom. Reddick's value may actually diminish, unless the Bucks go with a three guard offense. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis figure to continue dominating the ball and the scoring. There is an outiside chance that Harris could find additional minutes at small forward in Orlando, but it's a long shot.
Jordan Crawford, Boston Celtics- Doc Rivers has a new toy and the Celtics picked him up from Washington for essentially nothing. With John Wall and Bradley Beal the short and long term solution in the Wizards backcourt, Crawford demanded a change. Fab Melo was mentioned as a possible option, but in the end Washington ended up settling for an expiring contract. Crawford is an athletic combo guard that is just what the Celtics backcourt needs. As they continue to adjust to life without Rondo, Crawford is a nice option to help Jason Terry carry the perimeter scoring load not taken care of by Paul Pierce.
Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks- OK, so Smith was the megastar rumored on the move that ended up staying put. Sign and trade deals are much more difficult under the new CBA, but that is what the Hawks are left wiith, other than Smith just walking. Any chance Josh is re-upped by Atlanta? The well is too poisoned and the Hawks are probably not in position to give him the max deal he seeks either.
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Tom Blaz is a writer for Fantasy Alarm and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics.
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