Bulls send Deng to Cavs for Bynum’s contract and picks
The Bulls sent Luol Deng to the Cavaliers early Tuesday morning in exchange for Andrew Bynum and three draft picks. They’ll waive Bynum pretty quickly in order to avoid paying his $6.3 million salary for this season, and get a probable first-round pick via the Kings, as well as two second-round picks from the Blazers. They’ll also have the option of switching regular first-round picks with the Cavs if Cleveland is not in the Lottery in 2015.
Deng will start at small forward in Cleveland, sending Earl Clark to the bench, and should be able to help the Cavs get into the playoffs in the weak East. Bynum will likely end up signing with a contender once he’s waived, while Mike Dunleavy looks like the new starting small forward for the Bulls, in my opinion. Tony Snell is also worth a look in fantasy, and would start if Tom Thibodeau decides to keep Dunleavy coming off the bench, but for now, Dunleavy should be your primary target when looking to pick someone up in the fallout of this trade. The Cavs traded a guy who may not care about basketball for one who is the definition of class, and left the Lakers in the cold in the process. Yes, Pau Gasol is still a Laker.
The Bulls also intend to amnesty Carlos Boozer and his $16.8 million salary this summer, according to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, as they continue to clean house and rebuild. Boozer is currently nursing a sore knee, but hopes to play either on Tuesday or Friday.
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Monday’s Game News
Nets beat Hawks without Deron
Deron Williams missed Monday’s game with a sprained left ankle and will be questionable for Wednesday against the Warriors. Shaun Livingston started at point guard (instead of shooting guard) and Alan Anderson moved into the starting lineup. Livingston had 12 points, five boards, one assist, three steals and a block, while Anderson scored 14 points with five boards and two 3-pointers on 4-of-12 shooting. Paul Pierce was disappointing with nine points, but had a full stat line, and Joe Johnson bounced back from recent struggles with 23 points on 10-of-22 shooting. If Williams misses more time, look for Livingston and Johnson to continue to play well. Mirza Teletovic came off the bench to hit 6-of-12 shots and four 3-pointers in 24 minutes, and finished with 16 points and three rebounds. He’s been dropped in most leagues, and this is probably more fluke than reality. Andrei Kirilenko played 21 minutes and had eight points, three rebounds and four assists, but still isn’t doing enough to be owned in most leagues, so just keep an eye on him. Andray Blatche played just 12 minutes for three points and four fouls, and I have no idea what Jason Kidd is doing with him. Hopefully, foul trouble was the problem tonight, as there is no reason Blatche shouldn’t hold value with Brook Lopez out for the season.
For the Hawks, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague scored 16 points each, while DeMarre Carroll came through with 10 points and seven rebounds. Elton Brand was forced into heavy action with Pero Antic in some foul trouble and had 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 30 minutes. Keep a close eye on him in case he starts getting heavy minutes on a regular basis with Al Horford’s season over. Antic started and had eight points, three boards, a steal and two 3-pointers in just 18 minutes, and should be watched closely as long as he continues to start at center for the Hawks. Teague hit just 5-of-15 shots and committed seven turnovers, which are big reasons as to why the Hawks lost.
Timberwolves crush Sixers
The Wolves crushed the Sixers 126-95, led by Kevin Love, as usual. Love had 26 points, seven boards and four 3-pointers, while Corey Brewer, Nikola Pekovic (16 & 14), Kevin Martin, Dante Cunningham, Alexey Shved and J.J. Barea all scored in double figures. We saw bad Ricky Rubio last night, as he hit just 2-of-8 shots for four points, eight assists and one steal. His inconsistent scoring is a source of headaches for fantasy owners, but he can also carry an entire team when he’s hot. Ronny Turiaf finally returned from his fractured elbow and had zero points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes. If you’re desperate for big-man stats, give him a look, but don’t expect him to score many points.
Tony Wroten missed this one with the flu, while Michael Carter-Williams was able to play after suffering a head injury in his last game. MCW hit 6-of-13 shots for 13 points, four boards, seven assists, a steal and a 3-pointer, and will need to get himself 100 percent healthy for us to see the monster fantasy lines he teased us with prior to a knee injury last month. With Wroten out, James Anderson came through with 14 points, seven boards, three steals, a block and two 3-pointers off the bench in 22 minutes. Thaddeus Young cooled off with 20 points and two rebounds, but offered plenty of value with three steals, a block and two more 3-pointers. He also hit 9-of-16 shots and is as hot as any forward in the league over the last two weeks. Evan Turner was quiet with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, while the same can be said of Spencer Hawes, who had seven points, six boards, four assists, two blocks and a 3-pointer.
Clippers romp over Magic, Vucevic suffers concussion
The Clippers got monster games from DeAndre Jordan and Darren Collison in a 20-point blowout win over the Magic. Jordan had 14 points, 17 boards and eight blocks, none of which are even season highs for the big man. Collison added a season-high 21 points, seven assists, four steals and a 3-pointer on 8-of-11 shooting and is living up to the hype after the loss of Chris Paul (shoulder), who should be out until the All-Star break. Blake Griffin overcame foul trouble for 16 points, eight boards and six assists, while Jamal Crawford, Antawn Jamison and Willie Green all scored in double figures. Green is worth keeping an eye on, but Jamison isn’t worth owning in almost any league.
Nikola Vucevic returned from a sprained ankle and ended up on Blake Griffin’s back while going for a rebound, which resulted in him being dumped onto his head in an ugly fall. He suffered a concussion and should be considered doubtful for the rest of the week. He was out for 11 days when he suffered a concussion last March. Look for Glen Davis to continue to see plenty of run at center while he’s out. Davis had nine points, 11 boards and three steals in the loss. While they had been hot, Tobias Harris (1-of-9, 2 points) and Jameer Nelson (1-of-9, 3 points) were awful in the blowout, which allowed for Moe Harkless and Victor Oladipo to have big games off the bench. Harkless had a season-high 22 points with six rebounds, two steals and two 3-pointers, while Oladipo had 22 points, eight boards, five assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers. This might be the game Oladipo needed to get going again and he should be back in starting lineups. Harkless, on the other hand, can be ignored unless he starts playing well on a regular basis.
League News and Notes
The Nuggets are trying to trade guard Andre Miller, with the Warriors and Kings being named as possible landing spots. With Miller on the outs in Denver, Nate Robinson looks better as a fantasy prospect than he did a week ago. As for Miller, it’s hard to imagine him having much value, regardless of where he ends up.
Chandler Parsons suffered a knee injury in Rockets’ practice on Monday, although it’s not thought to be serious after a negative MRI. But it might be enough to keep him out on Wednesday against the Lakers. We should know more on Tuesday, and Omri Casspi and Francisco Garcia would benefit if he misses time with the injury.
Nicolas Batum says he is going to play for the Blazers with a cast on his left hand for the next six weeks as he deals with a broken middle finger. The good news is he’s going to play through it, but owners have to hope the cast doesn’t impede him too much.
Shawn Marion rode a stationary bike during Monday’s Mavs practice and is iffy for Tuesday’s game, so watch for updates on his ankle injury.
John Henson won’t play for the Bucks on Tuesday, but is getting closer to a return and could play Friday against the Bulls. However, given their depth and weird rotation, it would be tough to rely on Henson in fantasy leagues on Friday.
Knicks point guard Raymond Felton could return from his groin injury as soon as Tuesday against the Pistons. I’m not in love with Felton as a fantasy player going forward, but if you own Beno Udrih, you can probably forget about him until the next time Felton goes down. Pablo Prigioni also appears to be nearing a return from his foot injury, and will also spend time at point guard.
J.J. Redick is “very close” to returning to the Clippers from his broken hand, according to coach Doc Rivers, which I read as he could play by the end of this week. Pick him up if you have someone to cut. It also sounds like Stephen Jackson will be cut by the team on Tuesday, as they’re getting healthy again, outside of CP3.
Kris Humphries missed Monday’s practice due to a sprained left ankle and is iffy for the Celtics on Tuesday against Denver. He’s hot, averaging 11.6 points, 7.8 boards and 1.6 blocks over his last five games, but I benched him on Monday morning for the week after getting this news.
Amare Stoudemire took an elbow to his gluteus (butt muscle) on Sunday, leaving him a little iffy for Tuesday. Tyson Chandler is also a little iffy after leaving his last game due to his lingering upper respiratory infection.
The Spurs-Timberwolves game that was canceled earlier this season has been rescheduled for April 8 in Minnesota. The Wolves go from three games to four games for Week 24, while the Spurs jump from two to three games, which should have some positive fantasy playoff implications for players on both teams.
C.J. McCollum will be active for the Blazers on Tuesday now that he’s recovered from a broken foot. He’s not a player to pick up in most leagues, but keep an eye on him in case he ends up carving out a role for himself. But the Blazers' starting five are so good it’s hard to imagine McCollum doing much.