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Fantasy Fallout: NBA trade deadline

Matt Buser
Yahoo Sports

Breaking down the transactions leading up to Thursday's trade deadline:

LAC trades Baron Davis(notes), Rd1 pick to CLE for Mo Williams(notes), Jamario Moon(notes)

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These two teams swap oft-injured point guards, with the Cavs taking on the extra salary in order to get a lottery pick in the 2011 draft. Davis' knee is giving him problems currently and Williams, who has struggled all season, has been sidelined most recently by an ankle injury. When Davis can play, he'll start over Ramon Sessions(notes). How much he'll want to play for the NBA's worst team remains to be seen - Los Angeles is his hometown and the Clips are the league's darling thanks to Blake Griffin(notes), so Davis has got to be completely floored by the move. It's impossible to make any concrete assessments one way or the other, but I would not be surprised if Davis plays very little moving forward and am not divesting myself of Sessions as of yet. Moon's departure gives Christian Eyenga(notes) a bit more job security, notable for deep-league purposes.

Mo Williams wasn't a good bet to get and stay healthy for the Cavs and those chances don't increase in Los Angeles. The difference here is that Eric Bledsoe(notes) offers significantly less to fantasy owners than Sessions. In his 23 starts on the season, Bledsoe has averaged 9.1 points, 0.5 threes, 3.6 boards, 5.8 assists, 3.4 turnovers, 1.1 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 32 minutes. Those turnovers offset the assists and his line is pretty thin otherwise. Eric Gordon(notes) is now the clear star of the Clippers' backcourt, but he of course needs to get back from his wrist injury to reap the benefits. Expect the Clippers offense to struggle for as long as both Gordon and Williams are sidelined.

BOS trades Kendrick Perkins(notes), Nate Robinson(notes) to OKC for Jeff Green(notes), Nenad Krstic(notes)

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There were doubts that the Thunder could compete for a championship with Green as their "power" forward, and these trades establish a new direction for the Thunder. They move forward with Perkins and Serge Ibaka(notes) in the frontcourt, an elite defensive pairing. The move is essentially a wash for Perkins - he'll play roughly the same amount and be asked to do the same things. The one question with Perkins is his surgically-repaired left knee, as he's currently sidelined with a strained MCL, so the Thunder will give it extra attention during physical examinations. Serge Ibaka is the big winner here. He's now the team's starting power forward, and rightfully so, and his per-36 minute averages on the season include 13 points, 9.9 boards, and 2.9 blocks. There's no reason to think Ibaka won't be excellent the rest of the way with no real impediments to minutes.

The sudden upgrade on the defensive end also should create more offensive opportunities for James Harden(notes). He was already playing more minutes than Thabo Sefolosha(notes) lately (27 to 20 over the past month) and offense becomes more of a need with the swap of Green/Krstic for Ibaka/Perkins in the starting five. Look for Harden to be more prominently featured for this new version of the Thunder, and his career per-30 minute averages include 12.7 points, 4.3 free throws (82%), 1.6 threes, 4 boards, 1.3 steals, and 0.4 blocks.

The Perkins-for-Green swap looks questionable for the Celtics from a competitive standpoint and limits Green's fantasy potential. He'll certainly be a rotation regular for Boston, but there are only so many minutes available behind Paul Pierce(notes) and Kevin Garnett(notes). He'll have trouble cracking 30 minutes without either a major injury to one of the big three or the Celtics moving to a small lineup almost exclusively. And things will get trickier in terms of available minutes if the team brings in Troy Murphy(notes) after a likely buyout. My first piece of advice to current Green owners would be to see if you can pawn him to a KG/Pierce owner as a handcuff.

CHA trades Gerald Wallace(notes) to POR for Joel Przybilla(notes), Dante Cunningham(notes), Sean Marks(notes), two picks

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Portland's starting five gets an instant upgrade while the Bobcats shed salary. Justin Phan already covered the potential for Wallace to end up in Portland in his deadline primer, but we'll add a bit more clarification here with the deal now done. Nicolas Batum(notes) is downgraded the most in his return to a reserve role, while Wesley Matthews(notes) also loses some minutes and usage to Wallace. Matthews' long-term outlook is most directly tied to Brandon Roy's(notes) availability, but Wallace can't help but poach some stats from the Blazers' other regulars once he's settled in. Matthews remains in a position to help fantasy owners, but Batum is now a fringe option in standard leagues and Rudy Fernandez(notes) will have serious trouble keeping his recent roll going with Roy active, Marcus Camby(notes) back from injury, and Wallace on the roster.

Gerald Henderson(notes) figures to start for the Bobcats moving forward and certainly should be on deep-league rosters based on the scope of his opportunity (currently 3% owned). In the 11 games where he's played at least 25 minutes, Henderson has averaged 13.2 points on 49-percent shooting, 4.4 boards, and 1.3 blocks. A lack of most other supporting stats (0.1 threes, 75% FT, 0.5 steals) limits his overall appeal, however. Look for Stephen Jackson(notes), D.J. Augustin(notes), and Boris Diaw(notes) to see their respective roles become a bit larger, while Przybilla will take Nazr Mohammed's(notes) place in the platoon at center with Kwame Brown(notes).

HOU trades Shane Battier(notes), Ishmael Smith(notes) to MEM for Hasheem Thabeet(notes), DeMarre Carroll(notes), Rd1 pick

Battier returns to the Grizzlies and the Rockets shed some salary while getting a project center and a pick in the deal. Battier could end up starting for the Grizzlies at small forward and muddies the fantasy picture just a bit. The minutes at the wing spots will be divvied up between Battier, Tony Allen(notes), Sam Young(notes), and O.J. Mayo(notes). Allen and Battier have the ability to make a fantasy impact with around 25 minutes thanks to defensive stats, while Young and Mayo could end up losing out in the exchange because of the nature of their contributions. This trade could also be a signal that the Grizz don't have high hopes regarding Rudy Gay's(notes) return to the active roster this season.

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Chase Budinger(notes) will inherit Battier's starts for the Rockets and is not without offensive potential. In the nine games where he's seen at least 25 minutes of playing time, he's averaged 16.4 points, 1.7 threes, 5.1 boards, 2.2 assists, 0.6 turnovers, and 0.7 steals. Fantasy owners in need of a scoring boost should look here. The trade could also present Terrence Williams(notes) with a chance to join the Rockets' active roster, but he's a long ways away from regular minutes for Rick Adelman. Thabeet isn't going to challenge for playing time this season and can continue to be ignored in fantasy leagues - the Rockets will wait to see if he can eventually develop and are comfortable doing so.

HOU trades Aaron Brooks(notes) to PHO for Goran Dragic(notes), Rd1 pick

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Houston commits to Kyle Lowry(notes) as their starting point guard and gets a draft pick in the deal. Brooks could actually end up playing less in Phoenix than he was in Houston, with Nash playing 35 minutes on most nights and the Suns being loaded on the wing. Brooks is clearly droppable in standard leagues and will only have relevance in the current season if Nash suffers a major injury. Brooks' departure should mean more steady minutes for Courtney Lee(notes) - he was a popular name leading up to the deadline but now will be the first guard off the bench for this team. Over his past seven games, Lee has averaged 13.1 points on 58-percent shooting and 1.7 threes in 21 minutes.

Previously completed trades:

NYK acquires Carmelo Anthony(notes) [Buser analysis, Phan analysis]

UTH trades Deron Williams(notes) for Devin Harris(notes), Derrick Favors(notes), picks, and cash [Buser analysis, Phan analysis]

ATL trades Mike Bibby(notes), Jordan Crawford(notes), Maurice Evans(notes), Rd1 pick to WAS for Kirk Hinrich(notes), Hilton Armstrong(notes) [Phan analysis]

NOR trades Marcus Thornton(notes) to SAC for Carl Landry(notes) [Phan analysis]

CHI trades James Johnson(notes) to TOR for Rd1 pick [Phan analysis]

NJN trades Troy Murphy, Rd2 pick to GSW for Brandan Wright(notes), Dan Gadzuric(notes) [Phan analysis]

Other trades with little-to-no fantasy impact:

CHA trades Nazr Mohammed to OKC for D.J. White(notes), Morris Peterson(notes)
BOS trades Semih Erden(notes), Luke Harangody(notes) to CLE for Rd2 pick
BOS trades Marquis Daniels(notes) to SAC for cash

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