Fantasy Hoops: Ibaka, Nurkic, Collison

Hoops Rumors is examining the fantasy basketball landscape in order to help you dominate the competition. Check back weekly for more analysis.


Breaking Down The Trades: Part 1

Magic send Serge Ibaka to the Raptors for Terrence Ross and a 2017 first-round pick

Ibaka was a top-50 player before the trade and his overall ranking doesn’t change that much. He was averaging 15.1 points per game, which ties the highest mark of his career, and while that figure will probably decrease, it won’t hurt his overall value too much. He’ll likely offset a dip in scoring with an increase in field goal percentage, as Toronto’s offense should get him better looks than what he saw in Orlando’s clogged sets.

Ross should see additional opportunities with the Magic and he should be on the fantasy radar by the time he settles into a role with his new team. He was scoring 10.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game while adding a steal per contest in Toronto. He was only seeing 22.4 minutes per contest before the trade. The Magic rank 29th in the league in offensive efficiency, so Ross will likely see an increase in minutes as coach Frank Vogel looks to improve the team on that end of the floor.

Aaron Gordon is the player whom could see his fantasy value rise the most as a result of this trade. By shipping Ibaka north, the Magic can give Gordon more run at the power forward spot, which is his natural position. The offense should be better overall and Gordon should be able to take advantage of the extra space in the post.

Blazers trade Mason Plumlee and a 2018 second-rounder to the Nuggets for Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first-round pick

The deal isn’t great for Plumlee’s stat line. He’s going to come off the bench for the Nuggets and it remains to be seen whether or not he can play meaningful minutes next to Nikola Jokic. If he can’t, his value takes a major dive, as he will likely go from a player seeing 28.1 minutes per contest to someone who sees about two-thirds of that figure.

The trade is good news for Nurkic. He didn’t see action in five of his final 17 games with the Nuggets and in the 12 he played, he only saw 12.5 minutes per contest. While there’s not much elbow room in Portland’s frontcourt, the team doesn’t have one future star soaking up all the center minutes. Nurkic will get his opportunity to prove he deserves court time and I suspect he’ll eventually settle into a role that’ll provide him with 20-25 minutes per night. That’s enough run to make him worth adding in most leagues, though I’d let the situation develop before dropping a productive player for him.

There was another trade this week: Cleveland shipped Chris Andersen to Charlotte, but that deal doesn’t have any direct fantasy impact. Here’s more fantasy notes and analysis from around the league:

  • Pau Gasol should be back on the court for the Spurs after the All-Star break and he’s a top-75 fantasy player going forward. If someone in your league dropped him when he injured his hand, pick him up now.
  • Trevor Booker, who I wrote about in the inaugural edition of Fantasy Hoops, has been taken out of the starting lineup in Brooklyn, but that doesn’t mean you should do the same with him in your fantasy lineups. Since becoming a reserve, he has a higher field goal percentage and he’s averaging more points and steals per game than he did as a starter.
  • Since the start of February, Darren Collison is sixth in the league in minutes per game. He’s taken on a bigger role on the Kings since Rudy Gay went down with a torn Achilles and he’s available in roughly 34% of ESPN leagues.

Fantasy questions? Take to the comment section below or tweet me at @CW_Crouse.

Statistics are current through Tuesday afternoon.

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