Omer you going?
THIS is shaping up to be a pretty interesting week in the US National Basketball Association. Dec. 15, Sunday, was a green light for general managers to start shuffling their rosters, as players who signed new contracts over the summer are now eligible to be traded. Then, players dealt before Dec. 19 (Thursday) are eligible to be shipped away again before the Feb. 20, 2014 trading deadline.
One name that has surfaced in the light of this scenario is disgruntled Rockets center Omer Asik, who has requested a trade from Houston (after the failed experiment of partnering him with Dwight Howard in the front court). GM Daryl Morey has reportedly given himself up until that Thursday to deal Asik to the Eastern Conference, with Philadelphia and Boston emerging as willing partners in a three-way deal.
Asik, of course, would be the biggest beneficiary fantasy-wise if this deal goes through—one possible variation of which, as far as your Fanatic can assume, would send Omer to the 76ers, Philly’s Thaddeus Young to the Celtics and either Jeff Green or Brandon Bass plus draft picks to the Rockets—as he would theoretically get more playing time and has simply put up a stinker statistically this year.
In 17 games for the Rockets this season, the big Turk has normed 4.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and little else in just 18 minutes per. It’s a far cry from last season when he was the starting center for Houston after being pirated from Chicago, averaging 10.1 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 54 percent field goal shooting, while playing 30 minutes per in all 82 regular-season games.
Another rumor has Asik going to Cleveland for the Cavaliers’ Sideshow Bob—er, Anderson Varejao—but the recent strong play of Andrew Bynum has negated that possibility (and, of course, Asik’s preference to play the 5 spot, not the 4 or power forward).
Other trade rumors have Knicks slotman Tyson Chandler moving from New York to Los Angeles for the Lakers’ Pau Gasol, New Jersey being the frontrunner for Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry (because Greivis Vasquez just arrived from the trade that sent Rudy Gay to Sacramento, which we wrote about last week), and Zach Randolph being shopped around by the Memphis Grizzlies.
As we all learned from the Gay trade last week, any deal’s fallout can affect players not involved in the trade itself. So your Fanatic will try to keep you posted, and offer my two cents’ worth on how the deals make or break your fantasy teams.
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NBA Week 8 Schedule (thanks to Rotoworld)
4 Games: BOS, CHA, CHI, DET, IND, LAC, LAL, MIN, OKC, SAS, SAC, UTA
3 Games: ATL, BRK, CLE, DAL, DEN, GSW, HOU, MEM, MIA, MIL, NOP, NYK, ORL, PHI, PHX, POR, TOR, WAS
Five for Fighting:
PG: Reggie Jackson, Thunder: Jackson has been tearing it up despite returning to his back-up role behind Russell Westbrook, averaging 18.5 points (with 1.3 triples and 47.5% FG), 5 rebounds and 4.3 assists over the last week. Oklahoma plays four games this week, so pick him off the waiver wire (he’s only 35% owned in Yahoo leagues) and get him in your lineups.
SG: Jimmy Butler, Bulls: Turf toe be damned, Butler looks to resume his multi-category production for Chicago. He had 11 points, four rebounds, a steal and a block in 30 minutes of an ugly loss to Toronto, but in two games back from injury has posted averages of 13.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.5 3-pointers on 44 percent shooting, making me look dumb when I dropped him in a competitive head-to-head league a few weeks back.
SF: Terrence Ross, Raptors: Another big beneficiary of the Gay trade (damn I can’t stop saying that phrase), Ross is now Toronto’s starting small forward and averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 0.75 blocks and 2.5 3-pointers over his last four games. Although the Raps play just thrice in Week 8, he’s arguably worth picking up in standard leagues.
PF: Amir Johnson, Raptors: Toronto gets two seats in this week’s five thanks to the recent explosion of Johnson, who normed a ridiculous 20.5 points (on 74% FG shooting and 77.8% from the line), 9.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.3 assists over the last week as he absorbed some of Rudy Gay’s minutes at power forward.
C: Brandan Wright, Mavericks: With his shoulder finally healed, Wright made his case as the most talented center in Dallas with 19 points in just 19 minutes, adding six rebounds and an assist in a win over Milwaukee. He’s still owned in just 15 percent of Yahoo leagues, so if you need better field-goal shooting with points, boards and blocks it won’t hurt to tack this Mav onto your roster.