The Suns not only dealt Goran Dragic (more on that coming up in our next column), but they blew up almost the entire backcourt. Eric Bledsoe is the only one that survived the carnage. In this deal, they sent Isaiah Thomas to the rebuilding Celtics. The deal looks like this:
This is the first trade of the deadline that I have covered that seems to help both teams. The Suns move a piece of their crowded backcourt for an unprotected 2016 first round pick, which could be a high lottery pick with the way the Celtics are going. They also pick up a true SG in Marcus Thornton, which is what Thomas was trying to be when he was in games anyway. We won’t know what the true return is on Thomas until after next year, but this move makes a lot of sense for the Suns. They get what likely will be a nice pick, and a true SG in Thornton.
Isaiah Thomas goes from one crowded backcourt to another. The only difference here is that Thomas is likely to see most of the minutes over Evan Turner, Marcus Smart, and Avery Bradley. Smart is coming along slower than the Celtics had hoped, so they bring in an immediate impact player in Thomas. He is the playmaker that the Celtics have lacked at PG since the trade of Rajon Rondo to Dallas.
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Obvoiously, Thomas’s value increases exponentially. If he is still available in your league, go get him immediately. I would also float out trade offers if he is owned in your league. Try to use the crowded Boston backcourt to your advantage when trying to pry Thomas away. Between you and me, Thomas should see around 35 minutes per game.
Inversely, if you own Smart, Turner, or Bradley, you cannot like how this shapes up. All three of them lose value, though just how much remains to be seen. Smart should only be held in keeper or dynasty leagues. Turner is not worth rostering in 12 team leagues or smaller. Bradley may still have value, but see how Marcus Thornton’s minutes are divided first before you cut him.
The one thing that could help Turner and save his fantasy value is this following trade:
Another player making a homecoming is Tayshaun Prince. He had gained some value by playing well on a team of misfits in Boston, but he never figured into their long term plans. Now he returns to the Pistons, who will likely use him as the starting SF now that Kyle Singler is gone. He might receive a slight bump in value, but not enough to make him relevant in standard leagues just yet. However, in leagues of 12 or more, he is worth picking up.
The Celtics get two projects in Jerebko and Datome. Those two will fit right in on a roster that is looking to make names for themselves. What this means is that Evan Turner and Jae Crowder will likely see most of the minutes at SF in the short term. Neither is relevant in standard leagues, but it could make Turner worth hanging on to just to see if he can keep some value. Crowder should only be owned in deeper leauges.
The sleeper here is Jerebko. With the news coming down that Jared Sullinger is going to miss significant time, Jerebko finds himself in a situation where he can carve out some good playing time if he plays well. Brandon Bass will likely get first crack at the vacant PF slot, but Jerebko will likely still see 25-30 minutes a game. That makes both Bass and Jerebko worth owning in most leagues.
Bass is the only one to consider in standard leagues, and even that may be a stretch. Even when he has played a lot, his minutes have not been all that consistent. He is still risky in standard leagues, but if you have an extra slot, you could do worse.
Jerebko is worth picking up in all league with 12 or more teams. He could end up being the big winner of the trade since he is no longer behind Greg Monroe. Bass is hardly an immovable object. Just be ready to cut Jerebko if he continues to struggle in Boston.
Stay tuned for as our trade-by-trade rundown continues here at Fantasy CPR!