The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and we’ve seen some big moves that have significant ramifications for daily fantasy sports. Let’s look at some of the bigger ones and how this affects the DFS outlook of the involved teams heading into the All-Star break.
James Harden To Philadelphia – Ben Simmons To Brooklyn
The most important aspect of this blockbuster deal is Philadelphia receiving James Harden and Brooklyn receiving Ben Simmons. Seth Curry and Andre Drummond also went to Brooklyn (in addition to a couple of first-round picks), while Philadelphia gets Paul Millsap.
We haven’t gotten a chance to really see how this will affect the Sixers in action since neither Harden nor Millsap has been activated. With the loss of Drummond, we will likely see Paul Millsap fill in the backup center role vacated by the former. This is a net negative for the team. Harden will clearly be an upgrade over a non-playing Ben Simmons, and the loss of Curry and Drummond should easily be offset by the addition of Harden.
From a pure DFS perspective, they should somewhat lower the value of Joel Embiid now that he has another legitimate superstar to share usage with. Unless his price immediately goes down, it may be wise to avoid expecting the same production level with him not carrying the entire team. Tobias Harris should also take a hit now that he will be playing third fiddle for this Philadelphia contingent. As should Tyrese Maxey. Ancillary guys like Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle, Danny Green, and Shake Milton may see a bit of a boost in the absence of Curry. All in all, this will likely decrease the DFS value of the Sixers, with two stars vying for usage in their own right and the rest picking up the scraps.
The Nets are left a bit of a complete mess with Kevin Durant still on the shelf. Yet, this is actually improving their DFS viability as there is a significant void to fill. We’re currently seeing a lot of value in games where Kyrie Irving is unable to play (New York games) due to his vaccination status. This comes in the form of the newly acquired Curry and Drummond and guys like Bruce Brown and Patty Mills. In games where Irving plays, he becomes the definitive alpha without having to vie for usage with Harden.
Derrick White To Boston – Josh Richardson To San Antonio
The Celtics receive a valuable piece here in starter-caliber guard Derrick White. San Antonio plans more for the future, obtaining an ancillary guard in Josh Richardson, deep bench asset Romeo Langford, and a 2022 first-round pick.
This gives Boston some needed depth. After trading Dennis Schroder, they need White as a capable sixth-man coming off the bench. White himself is somewhat valuable in DFS lineups, depending on price. Still, all in all, this doesn’t have a considerable impact since the healthy Boston team is so dependent on playing their starting five a lot of minutes.
The addition of Richardson does nothing but muddy an already deep and unpredictable Gregg Popovich rotation with yet another guard he can give less than fantasy viable minutes to. Yet, the loss of White is actually pretty vital since he was one of their primary offensive weapons and in the starting five. Devin Vassell’s role is more solidified, and Dejounte Murray gains even more dominance over the Spurs offense. Murray becomes more DFS viable, as does Vassell and the Spurs overall. That is until we see how big of a role Richardson takes, as he could cut into the minutes and usage for non-core Spurs pieces.
Kristaps Porzingis To Washington – Spencer Dinwiddie To Dallas
In addition to Porzingis joining the Wizards and Dinwiddie the Mavericks, Dallas also obtained Davis Bertans. The Wizards get a second-round pick in the deal. This one is a bit of a head-scratcher as Porzingis is by most accounts a superior asset to Dinwiddie. Still, there are reasons that it makes sense for them in the bigger picture in terms of salary considerations and Porzingis’ propensity for injury.
For the moment, Porzingis is on the shelf with a knee injury, and we’ve yet to see him in action for Washington. Much value has opened up on the Wizards. Bradley Beal was already out for the year, and Dinwiddie is now shipped out of town. Previously fringe guys like Raul Neto, Corey Kispert, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Ish Smith, Deni Avdija, and Rui Hachimura are now fantasy relevant at their current prices. Kyle Kuzma assumes full-on alpha duties and gains additional fantasy value even at his elevated price tag. For the moment, Thomas Bryant is handling the center position. We will have to see how things shake out when Porzingis is activated. He should most likely take on starting center duties from Bryant while Kuzma retains his power forward role. Porzingis will cut into Kuzma’s usage, in addition to all of the other Wizards. For the moment, this trade has made the Wizards a great team to target for DFS since they are thin and the guys picking up the slack are cheap.
We’ve yet to really see what role Dinwiddie will play and whether he will be in the starting lineup. He should affect the usage available for guards like Jalen Brunson and Reggie Bullock. Tim Hardaway Jr. is out indefinitely. Dinwiddie would cut into his fantasy value if he were to return this year. This is a team already highly dominated by Luka Doncic. All of these guys, including Dinwiddie, should be largely ancillary lineup fillers made more or less valuable depending on salary. The loss of Porzingis (even before the trade since he has been inactive) has already impacted Doncic since he has no other star to compete with for usage. It has also made Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, and Dorian Finney-Smith a bit more fantasy relevant in his stead.
There were a lot of trades at the deadline with broad-reaching DFS impact for their respective teams. Please stay tuned for part two, breaking down more of these moves and how we should adjust for fantasy purposes.
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