Fantasy Basketball Impact of the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline

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The Cavaliers' Trade Deadline Bonanza

Deal #1

Cleveland Cavaliers receive: G Jordan Clarkson, F Larry Nance Jr.
Los Angeles Lakers receive: G Isaiah Thomas, F Channing Frye, 2018 first-round draft pick

Deal #2

Cleveland Cavaliers receive: G Rodney Hood, G George Hill
Utah Jazz receive: G Derrick Rose, F Jae Crowder
Sacramento Kings receive: G Joe Johnson, G Iman Shumpert

Deal #3

Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Second-round draft pick
Miami Heat receive: G Dwyane Wade

Fantasy Winners

Isaiah Thomas
He's the 266th-ranked player on a per-game basis through 15 games this season, but he's only one year removed from ranking 11th over a full campaign. He'll now be a focal point on offense for the Lakers like he was on the Boston Celtics, and he'll need the second half of this season to revitalize his market value in time to get a big payday this summer. It might continue to be a bit rocky at first as he continues to work himself into shape, but his outlook is definitively better in LA than it was in Cleveland.

George Hill
He was resting random games as a veteran on the lottery-bound Sacramento Kings, but now he'll play full-time for the Cleveland Cavaliers and likely start at point guard. When healthy with the Jazz last year, Hill was the 61st-ranked player in nine-category leagues on a per-game basis, with a healthy helping of points, threes, assists, and steals, to go with sterling percentages and manageable turnovers.

Jae Crowder
Crowder is the 195th-ranked player in nine-category leagues through 53 games with Cleveland this season, but he ranked 51st last year with Boston and 32nd the year before. He's still only 27 years old, and this change of scenery might be just what he needs to get back on track. He will probably come off the bench behind Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors in Utah, but he should still have no trouble getting his fair share of minutes with Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson out of town, which'll give him the chance to get back to filling up his owners' box scores with threes, rebounds, steals, decent percentages, and low turnovers.

Larry Nance Jr.
With Kevin Love on the shelf and Jae Crowder in Utah, Nance Jr. might very well be the Cavs' new starting power forward. He's not a great fit with Tristan Thompson, but even if Nance's minutes are limited, his low turnovers, high field goal percentage, and contributions in rebounds and steals are enough to keep him in the standard league mix. To wit, he's the 94th-ranked player in nine-category leagues this season after playing a mere 21.9 minutes per contest off LA's bench.

Brook Lopez, Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma
With Nance Jr. gone, there's a little less of a logjam in the Lakers' frontcourt, and Lopez, Randle, and Kuzma should all benefit from distributing his minutes.

Dwyane Wade
Wade's certainly past his prime at age 36, but his 183rd ranking in nine-category leagues this year represents his first time ever outside the top-100. There's a decent enough chance that he could reclaim his old starting spot with the Miami Heat and go back to putting up the scattered vintage performance with the increase in minutes, which makes him worthy of a speculative look.

Fantasy Losers

Lonzo Ball
Lonzo fills up the box score with counting stats, but his shooting marks of 35.6% from the field and 48.0% from the free throw line were killing his owners before he was sidelined with a sprained MCL almost a month ago. With Isaiah Thomas now on the team with a very good chance to start, it stands to reason that Lonzo won't be given quite as many minutes and such a long leash to chuck bricks going forward.

Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington
Dwyane Wade being back where it all began in Miami probably means that Johnson and Ellington will have to concede some of the guard minutes to the Heat's elder statesman. If Wade manages to take back his old starting position and a decent complement of playing time, Johnson's ranking of 124th in nine-category leagues and Ellington's of 127th could be in jeopardy of falling out of standard-league relevance.

Fantasy Neutral

Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood
These two new Cavaliers will likely have similar roles with Cleveland as what they had with the Lakers and Jazz, respectively, and should therefore continue to flirt with late-round value going forward.

Channing Frye, Derrick Rose, Joe Johnson, Iman Shumpert
You can continue to leave these guys off your standard-league fantasy rosters.