NBA ROTATIONS – Week of February 22nd, 2016
Hello folks! I’m excited to be writing my first article for DailyRoto. I look forward to writing many more and providing you with some informative content to help you in your DFS journey. I’ll be publishing a weekly article going over NBA injuries, lineups changes, and specifically this week, trades, and how they affect players in DFS.
One of the key things I look at when creating my lineups is the amount of minutes a player has played in recent games and is projected to play on any given night. This is a very important stat because without minutes, opportunity is limited. Some players will receive more minutes due to injuries on the team or changes in the rotations. Others may just be playing really well and being given more opportunity. Towards the end of the season, some of the worst teams in the league may also provide some of their young players with more playing time to get some experience under their belt. This is something we will cover for you the rest of the season.
To no surprise, the week after the All-Star game, a couple of teams made moves. While there were no huge players traded, several role players are now in new teams. These trades will impact players on both the receiving teams and the teams that lost a player. Let’s take a look at some of the trades and how it can impact each team.
Traded away: SF Tobias Harris, PF Channing Frye
Acquired: PG Brandon Jennings, PF Ersan Ilyasova
Please note, there were other players involved in the Magic trades, but I only listed the ones that will have some type of impact at this time.
Tobias Harris was a starter for the Magic and averaged 32.8 minutes per game. He attempted an average of 11.2 shots per game. His departure will open up the door for Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier. Harris did not play in Orlando’s three games prior to the All-Star break and in each of those games Gordon grabbed double-digit rebounds. He has seen a minor uptick in usage and is averaging 4.5 more minutes per game this month than he did in January. In the last five games, Fournier is averaging 40.6 minutes and 19.4 points per game (two games went to overtime). He has also attempted 11 or more shots in each of those games. These are all games that Harris did not play in.
Brandon Jennings came to Orlando from Detroit and has played 25 minutes in each game as a Magic. His appearance has and will likely continue to affect Elfrid Payton. Much like in Detroit where Jennings was coming off the bench and cutting into Reggie Jackson‘s minutes, it appears that the same is happening now in Orlando with Payton. Since Jennings joined the team (two games), Payton has played 51 minutes. He played 28 minutes in one game and 23 minutes in the other. He was averaging nearly 30 minutes per game, but chances are he’ll be playing 27-29 minutes per game moving forward. This hurts any value Payton had at his current price point. Ilyasova will be coming off the bench and should contribute anywhere between 18-25 minutes per game. His role will likely be that moving forward unless any of the forwards in Orlando suffer an injury.
Evan Fournier last five games (no Harris):
Traded Away: PG Brandon Jennings, PF Ersan Ilyasova
Acquired: SF Tobias Harris, PF Donatas Motiejunas, SG Marcus Thornton
The Pistons got rid of Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings and received Tobias Harris in one trade. In another trade they got Donatas Montiejunas and Marcus Thornton while parting ways with Joel Anthony (please note that this second trade has a chance at being voided if Motiejunas’ back evaluation does not come back positive (we will know more on Monday by 6pm). UPDATE: The Motiejunas/Thornton/Anthony trade has been voided. Needless to say, they added depth and got better. Harris has seen decent usage and minutes coming off the bench in his first two games in Detroit. He has played at least 30 minutes in each of those games and has attempted double-digit shots. As a Piston he is averaging 32.5 minutes, 18.5 points, and 4.5 rebounds per game. Granted this is a small sample, but this paints a picture as to what we can expect from him moving forward. The Pistons are shorthanded at the forward position as Anthony Tolliver is dealing with a knee injury and Motiejunas has been unable to play as he’s dealing with a back injury. Harris could actually move into the starting lineup as early as Monday night against the Cavs (UPDATE: Tobias Harris is starting tonight for the injured Anthony Tolliver). Since the trade with Thornton and Montiejunas can still be voided due to a medical evaluation, it’s unknown how the Pistons intend on using either of the two players if the trade stands pat. Chances are Thornton will play 14-18 minutes off the bench and Montiejunas’ role will ultimately be determined by his health.
Tobias Harris Pistons game log:
Washington Wizards/Phoenix Suns
Traded away: PF Kris Humphries, PF DeJuan Blair
Acquired: PF Markieff Morris
The Wizards are the obvious winners in this transaction as they add a player in a position that they lacked consistent production out of and gave away almost nothing. Markieff Morris was not a happy camper in Phoenix and did not give it his all most nights. He averaged 24.6 minutes, 11.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 2.1 assists per game. He has struggled with his new team and is not yet in the starting lineup, but once he gets acclimated with the Wizards, he should be part of the starting rotation. In his first two games in Washington, he’s averaging 21.5 minutes, 5.5 points, three rebounds, and one steal per game. Eventually his minutes and usage should see an increase and his fantasy value should do the same. This is definitely a situation to monitor moving forward as he could start seeing more minutes as early as Tuesday night. Once he starts receiving more minutes, he should have some DFS relevance, but until then we’re steering clear. As far as who this impacts the most, it’s possible that Gortat will see fewer boards now that Morris will help in the front court and Porter could see a minor decrease in usage. However, I don’t anticipate a huge impact made on either player.
On the Phoenix side of things, Kris Humphries was inserted into the starting lineup last game and is a short term source of cap relief. With Tyson Chandler out, there’s some value in this frontcourt (most notably Alex Len), but once he returns and Humphries’ price rises in lieu of a starting role, we’ll likely be avoiding this situation most nights.
Traded away: SF Jeff Green, SG Courtney Lee
Acquired: SG Lance Stephenson, SF P.J. Hairston, PF Chris Anderson
Memphis lost two wing players that played a decent amount of minutes. Both Lee and Green averaged 29 minutes per game. Their departure will open up more minutes for Matt Barnes and the newly acquired Lance Stephenson. Barnes has played more than 30 minutes in each of the last two games. He should continue to see 30+ minutes per game moving forward. The fact that he’s a streaky shooter doesn’t change. However, it does help that we don’t have to worry whether it’s Barnes or Jeff Green that receives the most minutes at the three. JaMychal Green has played 20 and 30 minutes in each of the last two games. He’s been efficient in those two games and could see a bigger role going forward if his production can sustain at that level. Lance Stephenson played 22 minutes in his Memphis debut. He scored 16 points. He should have an expanded role in his new team and see more minutes than he did in Los Angeles. He could provide some decent value in the upcoming days in DFS due to his low price and potential increase in minutes. Keep an eye on his status.
Jeff Green season averages in Memphis this season:
Courtney Lee season averages in Memphis this season:
Traded Away: SF P.J. Hairston, SG Brian Roberts
Acquired: SG Courtney Lee
Once Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was ruled out for the season, the Hornets had no choice but to add an experienced wing player. They got just that in Courtney Lee. In his debut, Lee played 21 minutes but only shot the ball four times, making two of those shots. He will likely play a similar role for the Hornets as he did in Memphis. We will monitor his impact in the rotation throughout the week and provide you with any updates. In the short term we’re not too interested in Lee for DFS purposes (lower usage player who relies on scoring for DFS value is not a good combination). Nicolas Batum will move back to small forward with MKG hurt and Hairston traded away.
The Bulls sent Kirk Hinrich to Atlanta for Justin Holiday. Hinrich will likely come off the bench and play limited minutes in Atlanta. His fantasy value remains limited and he does not affect anyone on the Hawks side of the ball. He was averaging just 15.9 minutes per game for the Bulls and is not DFS relevant. E’Twaun Moore will be the main beneficiary from Hinrich’s departure. He has played heavy minutes during Butler’s absence and will likely take over the minutes Hinrich played off the bench when Jimmy Butler returns.
The Cavs traded for Channing Frye to add some depth at the power forward position. Frye is a solid player coming off the bench that can provide points and boards. His presence will likely not make a significant impact to anyone in the starting rotation. Tristan Thompson could see fewer minutes on some nights with Frye in the picture. Frye has yet to pass his physical and has not made his Cavs debut.
The Jazz traded a future second round pick for one of Atlanta’s backup point guards Shelvin Mack. The Hawks had depth at the position so were able to let go of Mack. In his Jazz Debut, he scored 16 points and dished out six dimes in 24 minutes. He led all point guards in minutes in the last game and it’s something worth keeping an eye on. It’s uncertain if this trend will continue moving forward, but it looks promising for Mack as the coach did not waste any time plugging him into the rotation. His next game is on Tuesday against the Rockets who play up in pace.
Denver traded away Randy Foye to the Oklahoma City Thunder for D.J. Augustin, Steve Novak, and some draft picks. Foye will potentially have a similar role but slightly reduced role in the Thunder than he did in Denver. He did not do well in his debut as he shot 1 of 5 from the court in 14 minutes played. His presence should not have any major impact on anyone in the Thunder’s starting rotation. Augustin steps in to fill the void of the depth at point guard position for the Nuggets. With Jameer Nelson dealing with a wrist injury, the Nuggets needed help at point guard. In his first two games in Denver, Augustin is averaging 24.5 minutes, 10.5 points, five assists, and 1.5 steals. He played 30 minutes in his last game. He should continue to have a similar role than Nelson did when he was healthy. Novak is no longer with the team as he wanted a buy-out and the Nuggets agreed. He now plays for the Bucks.
The Clippers added Jeff Green and traded away Lance Stephenson. Green was having a solid season in Memphis prior to the trade. He wasn’t that effective in his first game with the Clippers. He played 20 minutes and scored five points. It’s unclear how he will be involved in this rotation as of yet. If his role increases moving forward, it could hurt the DFS value of Wesley Johnson.
That’s it for this week. I’ll be back next week to break down more on NBA Rotations as we’ll have a bit more data to point to and measure the impact of the trade deadline. Good luck to all!