Special for Yahoo Sports
Christmas is over and the New Year is approaching. The latter often signals one of the two major turning points for NBA teams during the season: the second is the trade deadline. When the schedule changes, we see teams change focus.
Before it’s too late, now is the time to start exploring trading young players on bad teams. If you include veterans on those teams, look to sell high while you can. There are four teams worth focusing on:
The Spurs, Rockets, Hornets and Pistons.
These four teams are the bottom tier of the NBA, entirely in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. they do not I have to make a move to get rid of the veterans, they’re already bad, but there’s no point in keeping them around. They are worth trading with contenders for picks and good faith with agents.
Of this group, Charlotte is the hardest to read, but she has as much sales potential as anyone in the league. It’s 9-25 after losing LaMelo Ball for most of the season (he has played 10 games) and gordon hayward Unsurprisingly, she has appeared in just 17 pageants. But last week we were reminded why this team is struggling so hard to get started: bridges of miles it’s not there
The Hornets went 43-39 last year, but have missed Bridges’ 20.2 points as his restricted free agency this summer was derailed by felony domestic assault. However, he avoided going to jail and on Friday it was learned that he and the Hornets are trying to reach an agreement.
Whether or not Bridges actually plays this season is one thing, but the idea of him playing next year is another one. Management likely believes this team will be competitive next year if Bridges is around, which means they’re less likely to trade veterans at the deadline.
It’s probably better to keep selling high to guys like Hayward (32), mason plumlee (32), terry rozier (28) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (27) if possible, but if you decide to wait, it shouldn’t necessarily feel like a time bomb. But, the season-ending “injury” is always on the table for those guys.
Pistons management was hoping to make a playoff push this season by adding the 33-year-old. bojan bogdanovic to the mix It wasn’t working even before cade cunningham suffered a season-ending shin injury as the Pistons went 3-9 with the sophomore in the lineup and are now 8-28.
It’s possible they’ll keep Bogdanovic for next year, hoping the young players on the roster will progress and their new draft pick will make an impact, but that seems unwise. Bogdanovic has played well; The commercial value of it is high. Even if Detroit holds, don’t expect Bogdanovic to suit up every night in March and April. Sell now while you can.
Either way, it should be open longer for Sadik Bey. It may be worth adding speculatively if you have the space on the list. When he has played at least 30 minutes this season, he has averaged 17.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals.
Other veterans include cory jose, alec burks, rodney mcgruder Y nerlens noel. But even if they’re all spread out, it can mean more minutes for kevin knox II Y Hamidou Diallo. Neither player has shown the ability to be relevant to fantasy.
The Rockets don’t have much to sell. They have done a good job of keeping their roster young. But one name still looms large: eric gordon.
They’ve held on to Gordon for too long, three straight losing seasons, even though his contract isn’t desirable. Still, he’s averaging just 11.5 points on 42/35/85 shooting this season, and he’s often injured. Ideally, Houston can get rid of him, opening up more time for Kenyon Martin Jr., Rate season Y Mathews Garrison.
Eason is the sleeping giant on this team, but he’s nowhere near an out-of-the-box replacement for Gordon. His styles are totally different. Gordon is a sixth-man microwave shooting guard, and Eason is a defensively versatile, athletic, inside-focused forward, though his 39.4% 3-for-2.0 shooting per game mark makes his advantage seem much higher.
Still, do what you can to invest in Eason, especially in deep leagues. In nine category formats, he is the 34th ranked player per minute. Every 36 minutes he averages 16.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.3 steals, 1.5 assists and 0.9 blocks.
It also doesn’t hurt to buy relatively low in types like pull green Y Jabari Smith Jr.with the hope that they will light up after the break of the All-Star Game and in the final stretches of the season.
Of all the time bombs in tank crews, Jakob Poeltl is the most nuclear. He is 27 years old and has a contract of 9.4 million dollars, easy to trade and that expires. Contending teams would love to have him as a backup center. Get rid of him now.
Collins is the safer bet, though managers in nine-tier leagues who are averse to turnovers may not be able to stomach it. Watching at least 24 minutes, he’s averaging 10.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists…but 3.3 turnovers. His advantage is clear whether you’re clearing turnovers or in an eight-cat format.
Bassey looked good when given more time, averaging 7.3 points, 7.6 boards, 1.9 assists and 1.4 blocks when playing over 20 minutes. But he has a two-way contract. He’s played well enough to earn a standard contract, but Bassey is a risky addition until that actually happens.
Other veterans include Gorgui Dieng, Doug McDermott Y joseph richardsonmaybe Keita Bates Diop. If they are dealt, it can open up some extra time for romeo langford, great branham, blake wesley and others. However, unless you’re in a super deep league, none of it is actionable now.