Fantasy Basketball 2013: Rapid Reaction; Rudy Gay Dealt To Sacramento Kings
I’ve never been so happy to see a trade regarding the Sacramento Kings in my entire life.
While everyone was submerged in the exciting finishes to the NFL games, a very significant fantasy hoops trade went down. Rudy Gay will no longer be taking 35 shots a game in Toronto. The 27-year old small forward was dealt to the Kings in exchange for a handful of players, including John Salmons, Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson and, thankfully, Greivis Vasquez. Nothing against Vasquez as a player, but I’m so excited that he is out of Sacramento. Meanwhile, Gay, an extremely fantasy relevant player, returns to the Western Conference. Many fantasy owners will have questions regarding this deal, so I brought in one of the most knowledgeable fantasy hoops minds out there to help me break down the fantasy implications.
Chris Towers of CBS Sports.com
AP: Isaiah Thomas is for sure the number one beneficiary of this deal. Coming off the bench, Thomas was averaging 17.8 points, 4.9 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. That stat line was good enough for 38th overall on ESPN’s overall Player Rater, making him the only non-starter to crack the top-40. Pretty impressive. We know how talented this kid is, especially after watching him down the stretch last year. If he can put up these numbers while coming off the bench, I can’t wait to see what he does with an uptick in minutes. A terrific set-up man who can also drive to the rim, Thomas is smart with the ball, only averaging 1.8 turnovers for his career. He’s also an outstanding spot-up shooter. Last year, among players with at least 200 spot-up jumpers, Thomas ranked 17th. This year? He’s shooting 45 percent on such shots. If you can trade for this guy, do it.
I also think dominant big man, DeMarcus Cousins will be more efficient the rest of the way. He may see a decline in shot attempts with Gay (18.6 field goal attempts per game) on the same team, but with Thomas running the show, he’ll see better looks. Last year, Thomas built a terrific chemistry with Cousins, assisting on 79 of his points last year. The two appear to be on the same page, and heck, if Gay continues to launch a ton of shots, Cousins should continue to see plenty of rebounding opportunities.
CT: Isaiah Thomas is an obvious winner, with Greivis Vasquez going to Toronto. He’s sporting a sky-high usage rate (28.7), a number that will almost certainly go down with Rudy around. Still, the increase in minutes will almost certainly make up for that with room to spare. He could be a top-20 Fantasy guard moving forward.
Amir Johnson & Jonas Valanciunas should get much more shots now that Rudy isn’t around taking 19 of them per game. He was using 30% of the team’s possessions while on the floor, leaving very little for the rest of the players who were on the floor with him.
Terrence Ross could be a winner, slotting in at either shooting guard or small forward with Gay gone, but I’m not quite ready to buy into him yet. He hasn’t shown much of an ability to do much beyond shoot threes and dunk, and I’m not sure how many opportunities will be there. If the Kings play Derrick Williams at power forward next to Rudy Gay, I think that could work out nicely. He’s quicker than most power forwards, and has decent shooting range if given space. I’m excited to see what he can do.
AP: Vasquez is clearly the biggest loser in this deal. Going from a starting job to a timeshare in Toronto will result in an astronomical decrease in fantasy value. Kyle Lowry will also go from logging 36 minutes per game to splitting work with Vasquez, and while he will most likely see more playing time than his teammate, he’ll always have to look over his shoulder. Rookie shooting guard Ben McLemore has been coming on as of late, but with a player like Gay in the mix, his already pedestrian shot total (9.6) per game will likely go down even more, as Gay is firing up almost 20 shots per contest. McLemore may receive better looks with Gay in the lineup, but not a ton.
CT: Greivis Vasquez is the most obvious lose here, given that he goes from one time share at point guard to arguably an even worse one. Raptors coach Dwane Casey has shown in the past he isn’t afraid to split time with Lowry and another point guard, but that was when Jose Calderon was around. Vasquez is solid, but he’s no Calderon, capable of playing off the ball.
You can follow Chris on Twitter @CTowersCBS.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.