I can barely keep up with the transactions happening around the league and it’s still January.
In the past few days, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith from New York while paying a steep price (two first round picks) to land Timofey Mozgov from the Denver Nuggets. Dion Waiters, too, went from Ohio to Oklahoma in the same deal.
(Mozgov is potentially more valuable now that he’s on a team desperate for a rim-protecting big man. He should be getting minutes as a back-up to both Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. Playing for coach David Blatt in the Russian national team doesn’t hurt, either.)
Now, it appears the Memphis Grizzlies are not putting down their guns just yet as they are trying hard to work out a deal for Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green. The Grindhouse has looked for solid production from the small forward spot for years now and it’s safe to say it’s a glaring hole from an otherwise very solid team.
Nothing has been finalized yet according to reports, but if indeed the Grizzlies are acquiring the former fifth overall pick, things can turn around quickly for Marc Gasol and company. The Grizzles are currently ninth in offensive rating (105.3) in the whole league and could use an 18-point scorer like Green.
In a separate move, the Celtics shipped newly-acquired center Brandan Wright to Phoenix for a $5 million trade exception and a protected future first-round pick which brings their grand total of future first-round picks to 63. That’s 64 if the Jeff Green deal pushes through. Yey, good job, Danny Ainge!
From a fantasy perspective, Green moving to a contender like Memphis will significantly hurt his value going forward. In a Celtics team that lacks weapons, Green’s 23.7% Usage Rate is a welcome sight for owners but those days are likely gone.
On the other hand, depending on how Jeff Hornacek utilize Wright, he could end up having the same value that he has while in Dallas. Hornacek’s pick-and-roll heavy offense could use a high-efficiency big man roller and Wright exactly provides that at the expense of Miles Plumlee‘s minutes.
NBA Fantasy Forecaster Players To Watch:
DeMar DeRozan, SG Toronto Raptors
One-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan is set to return next week after missing a month and a half because of a groin injury. He couldn’t have chosen a better time with the Raptors playing all four games at home against the likes of Philadelphia and Detroit. If an owner is foolish and impatient enough to let DeRozan go, snag him up before it’s too late. (More than 10% availability.)
Donatas Motiejunas, PF Houston Rockets
Don’t look now but it’s not Josh Smith who’s providing some value at the 4-spot for Houston. The Lithuanian scored in double-digits in the past six games and has played more minutes than Smith in most of those outings. If J-Smoove continues his trigger-happy and inefficient ways, Motiejunas provides enough value to be rostered in mid to deep leagues.
Andrew Bogut, C Golden State Warriors
The Aussie is back after missing forever and available in over 60% of the leagues. Bogut did not provide much in the last two games but it’s only a matter of time before he’ll get his usual dose of playing time and production.
DeMarre Carroll, SG/SF Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are playing so well right now and one of the more underrated performers for the team is DeMarre Carroll. The dreadlocked journeyman is good for 11.5 points, 6 rebounds, 1.8 treys and 2.3 combined steals and blocks in over 32 minutes a night for the past week. Such statistical diversity should enough to warrant Carroll a roster spot especially for a team that’s short of quality wing men. Apparently, almost 70% of league owners aren’t watching much Hawks basketball.
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