Carmelo Anthony was not able to hold a LeBron James-like press conference upon leaving the team he'd spent his entire career with, but his departure from Denver to the Big Apple probably had more words written about it. While the trade certainly changes the landscape of the NBA going forward, it has less affect on fantasy owners than it would appear on the surface, unless you happen to be a Raymond Felton owner.
Anthony and Chauncey Billups should have no problem sliding into the fast-paced Knicks' offense and putting up numbers that we have come to expect from them. In fact, if his first three games are any indication, Anthony has already grabbed the reins of the Knicks' offense from Amar'e Stoudemire. Anthony has taken 23 shots per game over his first three games in New York and has averaged 28 points and 9 rebounds a game over that span.
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Other than Anthony and Deron Williams, Wallace was the best player to change teams at the trade deadline. While he certainly fits a need for the Blazers and will continue to produce at a high level with them, his arrival will likely put an end to any breakout potential Nicolas Batum had this season. Batum will eventually be pushed to the bench by Wallace, making his somewhat inconsistent numbers more consistent, but not in a positive way. Hold on to Batum for now to see how many minutes he gets once Wallace and Brandon Roy work their way into the starting five, but expect his fantasy value to decrease as a result of this trade.
As for Charlotte, Gerald Henderson was showing people what he's capable of with the Bobcats even before the trade. February has already been his best month as a pro, and since he looks to be in line for 30-plus minutes per game, things will just keep getting better for the second-year guard. In his first game without Wallace in the lineup, Henderson played 33 minutes and scored 21 points. While he struggled with his shot in his second post-Wallace game, Henderson is still a must add in all leagues.
Joel Przybilla joins a team where his competition at center is Kwame Brown, which can only mean good things for his fantasy value. If Przybilla can stay healthy and on the court, he stands a good chance of winning the starting center job away from Brown at some point. He has shown in the past that he can be a plus rebounder and shot blocker when he gets consistent minutes (granted, the last time that happened was back in 2009).
Green was a top 100 fantasy player before the trade, but going to Boston pushes him behind two of the Celtics' best players in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. That means his days of getting 37 minutes a game are over. He's likely to get around 20 minutes a game off the bench for the Celtics, and the big drop in minutes means a fall from fantasy relevance in short order.
Perkins has only played 12 games this year, and a strained MCL is going to postpone his first game with the Thunder for 2-3 more weeks. He's an intense defensive-minded player when he's on the court, but until he comes back, Serge Ibaka is the real fantasy winner. Ibaka will have to deliver on the potential he has flashed at times this year, but those who have hung with him this season should be in for a nice stretch of rebounds and blocks with Green out of the picture.
Battier has always been a quietly decent fantasy player, which he will continue to be on the Grizzlies while Rudy Gay is sidelined with an injury. The real breakout story here is Chase Budinger, who has taken over Battier's starting small forward spot for the Rockets. Before the trade, Budinger averaged 16.4 points, 1.7 threes, 5.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists in games in which he had played more than 25 minutes. Expect something along those lines going forward for Budinger, who's still available in about two-thirds of fantasy leagues. Add him if he's available.
Just when Ramon Sessions was starting to dominate at the point for the Cavaliers, they send the underachieving Williams to the Clippers for Davis. This trade is ultimately about the first-round pick the Cavaliers get from the Clippers to assist in their rebuilding process. But in the meantime Davis has the opportunity to become the face of yet another horrible team. He passed his physical on Sunday and should be in the lineup for the team's next game on Wednesday. Hold Sessions for now if you own him and wait to see just how much impact Davis has on his minutes.
The Clippers have a trio of talented guards in Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe and Randy Foye (who has been playing quite well in Gordon's absence), but Williams should slide into Davis' old spot in the rotation provided he has fully recovered from the sprained ankle he tweaked before the All-Star break. Williams was clearly going through the motions on the Cavaliers this season and should benefit more than any other player from a change in scenery. From the point of view of Donald Sterling, he saves money by getting rid of Davis' contract while adding a decent and still young point guard in Williams, although it took giving up a first round pick for what amounts to Jamario Moon.
This trade makes Hinrich a must grab in every fantasy league. In his best season as a starter for the Bulls, Hinrich averaged 16.6 points, 6.3 assists, 1.8 threes and 1.3 steals in over 35 minutes a game. While his ceiling is a little lower than that with the Hawks, he should get plenty of assists running the offense and be a decent source of threes and steals for the rest of the season.
For the Wizards, this trade is all about getting the Hawks' 2010 first-round draft pick, Jordan Crawford, as well as this year's first rounder. With John Wall running the show in Washington, Mike Bibby's days as a starting point guard are mercifully over unless he is bought out by the Wizards. Bibby has averaged 15 minutes a game off the bench so far with the team and can be dropped in all fantasy leagues.