No FFF today but we do have our first Woj trade bomb for the season so I’m just here to talk a little bit about that and the fantasy implications from the trade. So Kyle Korver got shipped to the Cavaliers, while Mike Dunleavy and a 2019 protected first round pick goes the other way to Atlanta Hawks.
This is only the first of many moves that we’re going to see before the trade deadline and many “sources” are telling reporters that this is only the first move that will create a domino effect. I believe that. When you’re trading a career 42.9 percent three-point shooter to the team that has LeBron and that you’re trying to beat, you’re kind of waving the white flag. Let’s talk about the Cavs first.
I think Kyle Korver could slide into the starting line up right away. Only because if you’re playing with LeBron, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, you only have the corner spot to wait for the ball to come for you [Edit: Tyronn Lue came out and said he’s going to come off the bench but I still think he’ll get his 24-26 minutes per game]. The Cavs offense isn’t that hard to understand and as it’s based on spacing for LeBron to do his thing and just shoot the ball when he passes it to you. The Hawks are 19th in three-point attempts as a team while the Cavs are 2nd, only trailing the Rockets. So are we expecting more threes from Korver?
Korver’s already making 2.0 threes per game this season on 40.9 percent, which is below his career average. Korver at his peak have hit 53.6 percent and 49.2 percent before and I believe playing next to LeBron would definitely increase his efficiency from the three-point line. He’s a 50 percent three-point shooter when he’s wide open and he’s going to get more of that on this team. I expect his threes be bumped up to 2.4-2.6 range but his minutes will take a slight hit. I don’t expect him to average 27.9 minutes per game even without Smith in the lineup. At the age of 35, you don’t play 30+ minutes per game and I expect his minutes to be in the 24-26 range. Korver is a top-120 player with averages of 9.5 points, 2.0 threes on 44.3 percent shooting from the field in 28.0 minutes. I expect the points to be around the same with more threes and better percentages, which could potentially bump his value up a little bit, maybe a top-110 but he’s not really a must-own.
Meanwhile J.R. Smith is still owned in 44% of the leagues and that number should definitely be lower. Korver is going to return the same amount of threes but with better percentages. Smith isn’t due to return until late March or early April and he’s going to have a lot of rust. This Smith season has been poor and he’s definitely suffering from a championship hangover. He can be dropped. DeAndre Liggins will probably get DNP’s from now on as he’s only inserted in the starting line up so they won’t mess up the second unit’s chemistry. Iman Shumpert’s value is around the same with no significant impact.
The Hawks situation is interesting because they definitely have more moves to make before the trade deadline. In the short-term, Thabo Sefolosha, Kent Bazemore and Tim Hardaway Jr. all get a bump up in value. I think Budenholzer is going to stick with a three-swingman rotation between the two spots. The Hawks are fourth with a 20-16 record and it’s going to be tough to start tanking all the way down for a draft pick. I think they’re just trading away Korver for some financial flexibility for the offseason and trying to remain competitive. Thus I don’t think the Hawks are going to have a youth movement and play guys like DeAndre’ Bembry or Taurean Prince. In the last two weeks with Korver off the bench, he averaged 26.6 minutes per game and that’s going to be divided evenly to the three swingmen, which could help them see 30 minutes per game for all three of them.
However, I strongly believe that Hawks are going to trade Millsap away and the likely suitors of that is the Kings and the Raptors with the Nuggets lurking behind. If it were the Kings, pieces like Rudy Gay would come to mind but it would be weird to trade an expiring contract for another expiring contract. The reason why Millsap is on the block is because the Hawks don’t want to lose him for nothing. If Gay is included in the trade then that means he’s going to occupy 32 minutes at the small forward position and as a result demoting probably Sefolosha but all three wings are going to take a hit in value. Other pieces such as Willie Cauley-Stein and Aaron Afflalo might be moved to the Hawks too. I don’t know what pieces the Raptors can offer for Millsap but maybe prospects like Norman Powell might also eat in the wing minutes for the Hawks.
Overall, Sefolosha is worth owning in standard league anyways and he’s going to get a bump. Tim Hardaway Jr. is going to be have a small bump up in value as well and may be worth owning in 14-team leagues. Meanwhile Kent Bazemore’s percentages are really bad and he’s only worth owning in teams that are punting field goal percentage. If anyone cares for Mike Dunleavy and owns him in a super deep deep league, he’s going to be traded away and the Hawks don’t really have any use for him. Woj said he’s going to be traded to a third team.
A bit lengthy but I feel that trades are going to keep coming and I’ll break down every trade then. Until then, follow me on Twitter and I’ll see you guys here tomorrow.