The decks have been re-shuffled and its a race to the finish in the Association!
For months we heard rumors of the final destination of Carmelo Anthony. New York, New Jersey, back and forth, who would it be. As the world knows, the Knicks won the prize, but across the river, it was the Nets setting the bar with a shocking trade for mega point guard Deon Williams. The Williams deal surprised everyone, no rumors, mock salary cap experts making it balance. Simply done deal.
How did the projected playoff teams fare? We start atop the Atlantic Division with Boston. Not unlike The Deron Deal, The Celtics surpised the NBA world by shipping their big body in the middle, Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City. It was certainly no secret the C’s wanted a reliable swing man to back up Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, but not by parting with the blue collar glue that bonded the four All-Stars together. From a fantasy perspective don’t expect the numbers to change much. Perkins will continue to rebound and man the middle, while Jeff Green’s shots will be limited for many of the same reasons he had to share in Oklahoma. Atlanta was the other big mover in the East. The Hawks finally getting a point guard that can do it all. Kirk Hinrich brings leadership, a strong on ball perimeter defense and the ability to both distribute and score. Hinrich’s assist numbers should explode and Atlanta’s big three of Joe Johnson, Al Horford and Josh Smith should see increased scoring numbers across the board. Out West, watch out Lakers, yes that Thunder you hear in the distance is coming from Oklahoma. Not only did OK City acquire Perkins but another big body in Nazr Mohammed. Nazr won’t bring you any fantasy numbers, but does bring the body to help Perk bang the Duncan’s, Dirk’s and Gasol’s of the West. Portland pulls in best supporting actor out West, adding the mercurial Gerald Wallace. Wallace will continue to stash multiple fantasy categories and provides some insurance for the hobbled Brandon Roy. Like New Jersey in the East, Denver did what it had to do to salvage value for Deron getting a future fantasy stud in Derrick Favors. For now, Devin Harris assumes Williams’ assists while Favors continues to develop. The focus now shifts from the trade chat rooms to the court for what promises to be one of the more anticipated post-seasons in years.