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Fantasy fallout of Victor Oladipo to Heat and more NBA trade deadline deals

·11 min read
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By Nick Whalen & Alex Barutha, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

Another NBA trade deadline came and went Thursday, shaking up the league with a handful of notable players changing teams.

The action began late Wednesday night when the Kings and Pistons swung a deal to bring Delon Wright to Sacramento, and that opened the floodgates, with trades rolling in right away Thursday morning

Perhaps the biggest name on the block coming into the day was Kyle Lowry, but the Raptors ultimately decided to hold onto the 35-year-old, who drew heavy interest from Miami, Philadelphia, and the Lakers.

With the dust finally settling on a busy deadline day, here’s a recap of every deal, as well as some notes on the fantasy implications:

Bulls land Vucevic, send Carter to Orlando

Orlando Magic receive: Wendell Carter, Otto Porter, 2021 first-round pick (top-4 protected), 2023 first-round pick

Chicago Bulls receive: Nikola Vucevic, Al-Farouq Aminu

Fantasy fallout: Going from the unquestioned No. 1 option to the co-No. 1 alongside Zach LaVine will probably be a slight downgrade for Vucevic, who ranks sixth overall in eight-category total value entering Thursday. He’ll likely remain an elite fantasy option, but by virtue of having a better cast around him, Vucevic will cede some touches and may have a difficult time maintaining his career-high mark of 24.5 points per game. With that said, Vucevic’s other contributions should be mostly sustainable, though he might not continue to launch 6.6 three-pointers per contest.

The roster Vucevic leaves behind in Orlando is now perhaps the least-talented in the league, so players like Terrence Ross and Dwayne Bacon will pick up a decent amount of value going forward. RJ Hampton (acquired in the Aaron Gordon deal) could also see extended run, while the Magic apparently intends to keep Porter for the remainder of the season.

For the recently benched Carter, the trade projects as a significant boost to his fantasy value. The No. 7 overall pick in 2018 never quite found his stride with the Bulls, but he’ll enter a zero-pressure environment and likely take over as the starting center from Day 1. With no expectations for the rest of the season, the Magic will likely extend Carter’s workload well beyond the 19.4 minutes he averaged off the bench over his final seven games in a Bulls uniform. In the 12 games this season in which Carter saw at least 27 minutes, he averaged 13.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 blocks, and 0.8 steals.

Celtics land Fournier for two second-rounders

Boston Celtics receive: Evan Fournier

Orlando Magic receive: Jeff Teague, two future second-round picks

Fantasy fallout: This trade probably has more real-life impact than fantasy impact. The Celtics add another playoff-capable player to a roster that’s probably relied too heavily on players like Payton Pritchard, Semi Ojeleye, Aaron Nesmith, Grant Williams, and the ghost of Jeff Teague. Fournier appears in line to come off the bench, but we shouldn’t be surprised if he still plays close to 30 minutes per game in a multi-position role. He probably won’t sustain the 19.7 points and 3.7 assists per game he was averaging in Orlando, but fantasy managers should still expect around 15 points and plenty of threes from Fournier on most nights.

Aaron Gordon to Denver as fire sale continues

Denver Nuggets receive: Aaron Gordon, Gary Clark

Orlando Magic receive: Gary Harris, RJ Hampton, 2025 first-round pick (protected)

Fantasy fallout: The Nuggets were in desperate need of starting-level talent, and that’s exactly what they'll get in Gordon. He’ll presumably start at one of the forward spots next to Michael Porter Jr., giving Denver a projected starting five of Nikola Jokic, Porter Jr., Gordon, Will Barton, and Jamal Murray.

Gordon’s three-point efficiency (37.5%) and assists per game (4.2) are both career highs, which should help him seamlessly fit into a Nuggets team that moves the ball well. He’s also one of the most explosive athletes in the league, and Nikola Jokic should be able to find him in transition and on cuts to the basket in the half-court. We shouldn’t be surprised if Gordon’s counting stats take a dip while playing with significantly more talent, but that could also come with an increase in field-goal percentage (43.7%). Fantasy managers rostering Gordon should brace for some uncertainty as he finds his footing in Denver, but the move shouldn’t have a drastic impact on his overall value.

Meanwhile, Porter Jr.’s value could take a slight hit, as could Will Barton’s. Barton was going to be due for some regression, anyway, once Monte Morris returns from a quad injury.

Managers holding Hampton in dynasty formats should be thrilled with the trade. Hampton’s path to consistent minutes is much clearer with the Magic, who are now officially all-in on a rebuild. Things could get complicated next season, however, with Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz, and another high-lottery pick in the mix.

As far as Harris is concerned, his contract essentially acts as filler in the deal. At age 26, he’s far from washed up, but he’s dealt with so many injuries over the years that he’s a virtual stay-away in fantasy.

Miami lands Oladipo

Miami Heat receive: Victor Oladipo

Houston Rockets receive: Avery Bradley, Kelly Olynyk, right to swap 2022 first-round picks

Fantasy fallout: Houston took it down to the wire but was able to find a deal for Oladipo after Miami backed off in its pursuit of Kyle Lowry. Oladipo still hasn’t looked quite like his former-All-NBA self for most of the season, but he’s been productive (20.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.3 SPG) for the struggling Rockets, who dropped 21 of their final 22 games before the deadline.

Houston Rockets' Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo is now a member of the Miami Heat. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Since the start of February, Oladipo has missed 11 games, but it’s difficult to say how many of those were due to legitimate injury, considering the Rockets’ standing as a lottery-bound team. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s on the floor more consistently in Miami, but his night-to-night upside won’t be as high on a roster that features Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and, potentially, LaMarcus Aldridge.

Overall, the trade is a win for Miami, which raised its overall talent level, but a net loss for Oladipo’s fantasy managers. Butler’s value should be safe, but Dragic, Herro, and Kendrick Nunn could all be set for fewer minutes going forward. Oladipo will almost certainly be a part of the starting five, and with Olynyk out of the picture, the Heat will have some interesting decisions to make.

As far as Olynyk and Bradley are concerned, being banished to Houston has to be viewed as a downgrade. Bradley has been hurt for most of the year, so he’s irrelevant in fantasy, but Olynyk had some deep-league value as an every-night starter in Miami. With the rebuilding Rockets, who have a star in Christian Wood installed at center, Olynyk’s workload will likely decline.

Raptors send Powell to Portland

Portland Trail Blazers receive: Norman Powell

Toronto Raptors receive: Gary Trent, Rodney Hood

Fantasy fallout: Powell was practically a co-No. 1 option with three Raptors teammates — he actually led Toronto in total points scored this season — so being sent to Portland means he falls down the pecking order behind Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Still, he offers more dynamic scoring and playmaking than both Trent and Hood and should find himself in the starting five with a high-minute role. Ultimately, the move could be a small downgrade for Powell’s value, but he’ll still be relied on by the Blazers to score 15-20 points per game.

Surprisingly, the Raptors opted to hold onto Kyle Lowry. Even so, Trent should still see plenty of action on the wing, essentially replacing a decent chunk of Powell’s minutes. If that’s the case, he should retain his current, post-McCollum-return fantasy value.

Kings get Wright from Pistons

Detroit Pistons receive: Cory Joseph, two future second-round picks

Sacramento Kings receive: Delon Wright

Fantasy fallout: The Kings didn’t have to give up much to acquire Wright, who still has another year remaining on his contract — as does Joseph. While Wright enters a moderately better basketball situation in Sacramento, the move has to be viewed as a negative as far as his fantasy value is concerned. Wright operated as one of the Pistons’ primary playmakers for much of the season, and he now joins a roster that already features a star point guard in De’Aaron Fox, in addition to Buddy Hield and high-upside rookie Tyrese Haliburton. While Wright figures to play a consistent role for one of the shallower teams in the NBA, he’ll almost certainly come off the bench and may be dropable in some leagues.

On the other side, Joseph was never really a fantasy consideration in Sacramento, and that won’t change in Detroit. He reunites with former Raptors coach Dwane Casey, but at age 29, Joseph is unlikely to be prioritized by the rebuilding Pistons.

George Hill to Philly in three-team deal

Philadelphia 76ers receive: George Hill, Ignas Brazdeikis

Oklahoma City Thunder receive: Austin Rivers, Tony Bradley, 2025 second-round pick, 2026 second-round pick

New York Knicks receive: Terrance Ferguson

Fantasy fallout: Close to none. Hill was already seeing 26.4 minutes per game with the Thunder before breaking his thumb. Even if he sees that much action with the 76ers, it will probably equate to less usage than he was getting with the rebuilding Thunder. Austin Rivers may gain some fantasy value since he was out of the rotation in New York, but OKC seems to like Theo Maledon and Ty Jerome — and the Thunder just traded for Svi Mykhailiuk — so it would be surprising if Rivers ends up being relevant in most leagues.

Clippers swap Lou Williams for Rondo

LA Clippers receive: Rajon Rondo

Atlanta Hawks receive: Lou Williams, two second-round picks, cash

Fantasy Fallout: Neither Rondo nor Williams has been fantasy relevant this season. Rondo probably has a better chance of reaching relevancy if he tries during the regular season and/or the Clippers stop playing Reggie Jackson. With that said, even when Rondo saw 29.8 minutes per game for the Lakers two seasons ago, he ranked just 99th on a per-game basis in standard leagues.

The Hawks have a ton of capable guards on the roster, so while Williams will be in the rotation, his role could vary on a night-to-night basis — especially once Kris Dunn and Cam Reddish are back from injury.

Wagner to Boston, Theis to Chicago in three-teamer

Washington Wizards receive: Chandler Hutchison, Daniel Gafford

Chicago Bulls receive: Daniel Theis, Troy Brown Jr., Javonte Green

Boston Celtics receive: Moritz Wagner, Luke Kornet

Fantasy fallout: Not a whole lot to see here. The three teams essentially swapped underperforming role players, except for Theis, who gave Boston plenty of good minutes this season. Theis started 37 of his 42 appearances for the Celtics, and while he likely won’t have the same opportunity in Chicago, he’s capable of backing up Nikola Vucevic at center and Lauri Markkanen at power forward. Chances are, he won’t meet the 24.5 minutes per game he averaged in Boston, so Theis will have a tough time staying relevant in standard leagues.

Wagner is an interesting add for the Celtics, who still have Tristan Thompson and Robert Williams as capable options at center. Boston is clearly intrigued by Wagner, but he probably won’t be asked to do much the rest of the way.

In Washington, Hutchison replaces the little-used Brown — a top-15 pick in 2018 — on the depth chart, while Gafford joins a crowded center rotation composed of Alex Len, Robin Lopez, and Rui Hachimura.

Heat acquire Bjelica from Sacramento

Miami Heat receive: Nemanja Bjelica

Sacramento Kings receive: Moe Harkless, Chris Silva

Fantasy fallout: Apparently Harkless wasn’t the poor-man’s Jae Crowder the Heat were hoping he’d be, as he fell out of the rotation quickly. He’ll presumably have a chance to play in Sacramento, as the Kings are in real need of a backup forward. That said, even if Harkless somehow gets 30 minutes per game (he won’t), he’s never been the type of player to put up fantasy-relevant numbers. Silva is just a gamble for the Kings and probably won’t see much action this season.

Bjelica made it known relatively early in the season that he was unhappy with his role in Sacramento. He’s played only 16.9 minutes per game this season after garnering 27.9 minutes per game in 2019-20. With Kelly Olynyk out of the picture, Bjelica will inherit some of those minutes, but if the Heat land LaMarcus Aldridge, it will be difficult for Bjelica to see enough run to warrant fantasy attention.