Fantasy Basketball: Dwight Howard traded to Los Angeles Lakers
The most anticipated move of the 2012 NBA offseason finally happened as Dwight Howard was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team deal. As expected, many players were involved; from a fantasy basketball perspective this changes how we have to look at the Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets rotations .
This is a fantasy basketball rankings changer type trade.
There were picks traded all over the place, but in terms of fantasy basketball we will focus on the players themselves. In light of this trade here is how I for see the players traded adjusting to their new teams next season.
Los Angeles Lakers
Howard will not have to change much of his game because Pau Gasol is more of a finesse player who stays out of the lane. This trade could work out better for Howard than we think because the pressure for him to make a move to the hoop will no longer be there as he will be working with more offensive dominant players in Gasol, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant.
Howard averaged almost 21 points per game last season and that is the only statistic that I see possibly dropping because he is not even the second scoring option on the Lakers. Howard scoring a few less points does not bother me, as long as he keeps his rebound and block totals high. I see Howard scoring a ton of put-back layups and dunks this season (as always). My one criticism of him has always been how raw he is offensively, but that does not faze me because he will not have to be a playmaker anymore.
The Lakers also received Earl Clark and Chris Duhon. Unless Steve Blake gets hurt, Duhon is irrelevant. Duhon and Clark should not be on your fantasy team.
The Nuggets received veteran small forward Andre Iguodala and, just like Howard, his role really does not change on this Nuggets team.
Wilson Chandler will most likely move to shooting guard making room for Iguodola. Last season Iguodala scored under 12 points per game, but shooting 45 percent from the field helps. He did average almost two steals per game last season. He also will grab you about five assists and five rebounds per game, further increasing his value.
It should be a smooth transition as he will be playing the same role on Denver as he did on Philadelphia. The Nuggets added more speed to their young lineup and the quicker pace might be the only difference between the two teams.
I guess you can say Andrew Bynum is a "slight" upgrade at c enter from Kwame Brown. Not only were the Sixers able to acquire an arguable top-three center, they were also able to fill Iguodala's spot by landing Jason Richardson. As is the commonality among players traded in this particular deal, Bynum's role does not chance as the Lakers and Sixers play a similar half-court style offensive game.
Bynum averaged almost 19 points and 12 rebounds per game last season while blocking nearly two shots per game. The only statistic I see potentially dropping for Bynum is his playing time because he has a very solid backup in Spencer Hawes. Unless, coach Doug Collins wants a twin-tower effect out there of Hawes and Bynum, Bynum will have to rotate out a bit more. He averaged over 35 minutes of playing time per game last season.
As Richardson has aged, he has shown signs of slowing down. In the lockout shortened 2012 season, he scored 11.6 points per game shooting under 40 percent from the floor, which were both career lows for him. He should be starting this season and maybe the change of scenery will motivate him to work harder to get back to original form. I see him and Evan Turner starting in the shooting guard and small forward positions, but Richardson is still a middle-of-the-draft pick unless he qualifies at small forward (which he should), then his value increases a little because of scarcity of that position.
As I said, the Sixers did a good job by filling Iguodala's spot, but it is a bit of a downgrade.
Let the rebuilding begin!
After trading both Howard and Richardson, the Magic have open starting lineup spots. Other than five draft picks, the Magic acquired two perennial starters in Al Harrington and Aaron Afflalo.
For Harrington, this is the ultimate chance to show what he has left in the tank and will most likely have combo forward eligibility. Harrington played 27 minutes per game last season scoring over 14 points per game and grabbing over six rebounds per game. I do not see these stats dropping. I think Harrington will have more opportunities to score as there are not as many mouths to feed as there were in Denver. Harrington is a great pickup in the middle of the draft; I see him getting even more playing time with such a depleted roster the Magic have.
In terms of value increase, I think Afflalo has a chance to really step his game up scoring closer to 20 points per game while still consistently shooting between 43 and 49 percent from the field. You want to look to draft him toward the early to middle part of your draft.
As for Maurice Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, Josh McRoberts and Christian Eyenga, you do not need to worry about drafting them, but watch out for them on your waiver wire because one of them is bound to accumulate playing time.
It is trades like these where you have to look at both the players individually and what system they are entering before determining their value. Make sure you are constantly reading pres eason reports, especially if you are targeting Orlando players because they do not have a system in place just yet.
About Justin "Fensty" Fensterman
Fensterman covers fantasy basketball for KFFL and joined the team in 2012. He is a Sports Radio Producer on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports Radio channel, the first channel dedicated solely to fantasy sports. An avid fantasy basketball player, Fensty's biggest accomplishment in the fantasy sports world was in 2004 when he had an undefeated season in a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy NBA league and was ranked in the top 30 among all players in the world.
A native from Oyster Bay, NY, Fensty left New York to study Broadcast Journalism at American University in Washington D.C. in 2005. Fensty has previously worked for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, MTV and News 12: Long Island. Follow @FenstySports
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