André’s five thoughts: Luka and Kyrie connection, New-look Nets and Zion-less Pelicans

Here are some thoughts on Monday from Hoops Lab as we gear up for Week 18 of the fantasy basketball season. Keep in mind that fantasy basketball rankings for the remainder of the season are also updated on Mondays, so check them out as you prepare for this week’s games. Between the rankings and this article, we will also help you identify some good buy-low/sell-high candidates. So, without further ado, let’s dive into it.

FBA reorganization after Deadline deals, after Super Bowl before All-Star Break:

“This is a story about how my life turned upside down, turned upside down…”. The New Prince of Bel-Air theme song is a fitting introduction to the week after the NBA trade deadline, especially this season. The Brooklyn Nets traded Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns just days after they traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers traded Russell Westbrook and brought in D’Angelo Russell, and a whole host of smaller deals could have quietly shaken up the fantasy hoop landscape without all the blockbuster fanfare.

It’s also an all-star break week, meaning a player with any kind of injury is unlikely to miss that week to rest before returning to the court after the break. With the end of the football season, an additional focus could be placed on the NBA and fantasy basketball. Add to that the turmoil and player movement still pending after the trade deadline, and this week should be time for FBA action from free agency deals/dealings to potential FBA deals. I will follow and cover all of the above. Here are a few points to explore a little deeper, from inside this umbrella… ella… ella… hey.

Luka and Kyrie

Dallas hosts one of the two biggest new superstar teams, with Irving joining Luka Doncic in the Mavericks. The other, Durant, who joined Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandra Ayton in Phoenix, will have to wait until Durant returns to the court after the All-Star break. However, we are seeing the first reviews of the Kairi and Luka show right now.

When Irving was traded to Dallas, I wrote about what I thought the new pair might look like. Over the past five-plus seasons, Irving has averaged about 20 field goals, four free throw attempts, just under six assists, and about two and a half assists. Meanwhile, Spencer Dinwiddie has averaged about 13 field goals, four free throw attempts, six assists and two turnovers in a game for the Mavs this season. Irving typically averages seven more possessions as a finisher than Dinwiddie when playing alongside Doncic. These seven things have to come from somewhere, but my theory is that Irving took these things from Tim Hardaway Jr., Christian Wood and other role players, not from Doncic. Irving and Doncic need to maintain most of their volume, but with more efficiency because they reduce the attention of the defense to each other, but this volume of some other players on the team will decrease.

Doncic came back from injury on Saturday, so we’ve only seen one game from the new pair so far, but it’s been inconclusive. We saw Irving almost reach his averages with 21 FGAs, 2 FTAs, 7 assists and 1 TO. Doncic had slightly less volume than usual with 20 shots, five FTAs, five assists and 6 TOs (he averaged 22.3 FGAs, 11.0 FTAs, 8.2 assists and 3.7 T/G over the season). ), but it’s unclear how much his foot injury could affect the result. affect his ability to get to the ring and generate both free throws and assists.

I’ll be watching two Mavericks games this week, starting Monday against the Timberwolves. I’m curious to see how Luka and Kairi’s relationship dynamic continues to take shape. Will it be more like when Irving was paired up with LeBron James in Cleveland, with Doncic as the alpha on the court and Irving as a secondary goal-scoring option? Or will it be more of what we often saw in Brooklyn, where Irving seemed to have carte blanche to move into the alpha slot when he was available and wanted to. I can’t wait to find out!

New network hierarchy

While the Nets helped create two new frontier superteams in the Western Conference, they also created a very interesting melting pot of potential production in Brooklyn down the road. The Mavericks deal brought back Spencer Dinwiddie and added Dorian Finney-Smith. The Suns deal brought back starting players Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson. They retained their previous starters/rotation in Ben Simmons, Royce O’Neal, Joe Harris, Seth Curry, Patty Mills and Nick Claxton. And we can’t forget Cam Thomas, who hit 40 three times in a row while the deals were being made. There are only five starting slots, when the dust settles, who will push the minutes ahead?

We saw the beginning of this response on Saturday when everything but Curry was available. The Nets have created a bizarre line-up with Dinwiddie at point guard and three forwards: Bridges plays two, Finney Smith and Cameron Johnson play three and four respectively, and Claxton plays center. All five participants played from 29 to 34 minutes. Thomas, O’Neal, Harris and Simmons came off the bench and played 16 to 18 minutes. Nobody played for more than seven minutes.

Brooklyn ran the attack through Bridges, who was leading in scoring with 23 points. He played a bigger role with the Suns before the trade and now has 21 or more points in seven consecutive games. Dinwiddie had an effective game with six assists and six rebounds, but he couldn’t manage to shoot 2-for-10 from the field and score just nine points. It’s most likely a fluke and he’s likely to be another top scorer in the starting XI. Johnson is a role player, striker and scorer, and should get his share of the eye as the top scorer in the starting XI. Claxton and Finney-Smith both play mostly defensively but can end the game when ready to hit (three for DFS, dunks for Claxton).

Thomas is the wild card and the most interesting to watch. On Saturday, he only played 18 minutes but made 12 shots, scoring 7 of 12 for 14 points. I find it interesting to bench a player who averaged 44.7 points per game at 56.0% FG, 90.0% FT and 56.0 3P% at 35.7 MPG last week, but this, looks like a short term plan. Thomas averaged 16.0 points per game, 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.53 slack from 24.5 mpg in the four games he played prior to his burst. This could be a more useful template for his value moving forward, unless there are rumors that he will return to the initial rotation.

Zionless Pelicans

The Pelicans weren’t heavily traded last week, but they got some bad news that Zion Williamson had failed in his recovery from a hamstring injury. He moved into 3-on-3 action and was close to returning to the court, but after a setback, he is expected to be out indefinitely. Pelicans executive vice president of basketball David Griffin said he would be suspended for a few more weeks after the All-Star break.

Williamson’s injury is tough on the Pelicans, whose winning percentage is approaching 59% when Williamson plays and 43% when he sits this season. They briefly held the top spot in the West last month with Williamson’s play, but have since gone on a 10-loss streak without him. In terms of fantasy and daily bets, Williamson’s injury means Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum will continue to be top picks for New Orleans and PPG’s 20-plus scorers when healthy. This also means that Trey Murphy III and Herbert Jones will keep their FBA higher than usual. Williamson’s injury is expected to be re-evaluated shortly after the All-Star break.

A buyout market is forming

As the trade deadline passed, several NBA musical chair veterans found themselves on young, rebuilding teams where they just don’t fit in. Reggie Jackson was traded from the Clippers to the Hornets, bought out and now headed to Denver. Danny Green, still recovering from a season-ending knee injury, was traded to the Rockets, bought out and is finalizing a move to the Cavaliers. The Magic have turned down Terrence Ross and he’s heading to Phoenix to play the Suns.

But by far the biggest name on the list of potential buyouts is Russell Westbrook. Last week, he was traded to the Jazz, who are not only at the epicenter of the youth movement, but also have a fan base that Westbrook doesn’t have a very good history with. It seems unlikely that Westbrook will ever play in Utah, but it’s unclear how his market will develop. The Clippers, Heat, Bulls, Nets, and Wizards are just a few of the teams that have been rumored around his name.

Other notable names on the list of potential buyouts include John Wall, Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Patrick Beverly and Will Burton.


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