Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Murphy, Ariza, Collison Move in Four-Team, Five-Player Swap

A four-team, five-player trade went down today that has fantasy implications for all teams involved. Here's how the deal shakes out:

  • Houston Rockets: Received Courtney Lee from New Jersey.
  • Indiana Pacers: Received Darren Collison and James Posey from New Orleans.
  • New Jersey Nets: Received Troy Murphy from Indiana.
  • New Orleans Hornets: Received Trevor Ariza from Houston.

The Breakdown

Houston Rockets
:Lee will play behind Kevin Martin at shooting guard. Lee was a bit of a disappointment in New Jersey, but in Orlando he showed that he does have talent as he was a starter on a deep team that went to the NBA Finals. Given Kevin Martin's injury history, Lee is a decent sleeper pick. If Martin goes down once again, Lee could see significant playing time.

Indiana Pacers
: Indiana was finally able to acquire the starting point guard they've coveted this entire offseason. Collison figures to step right into the starting line up and, hopefully, continue putting up the stats he did last season while Chris Paul was sidelined. Collison is definitely a player to target come draft time as he'll be guaranteed big minutes with little competition for his starting spot. I would not be surprised if the Pacers buyout T.J. Ford now that Collison is aboard, leaving youngsters A.J. Price and Lance Stephenson to get the bench minutes. With the lack of offensive punch behind Danny Granger, Collison could end up having a huge year if he fits in with the Pacers.

In the deal, the Pacers also acquired James Posey. With the abundance of wings on the team, I'm not sure what the Pacers plan to do. For now, this move appears to hurt the value of Paul George. He'll have to compete with Posey for the few minutes available behind Danny Granger, unless Indiana is planning to make further moves. What will be interesting to see is who takes over at power forward for Troy Murphy. There's a shot the Pacers go with a smaller line up and use George there, but I think they may end up going with Tyler Hansbrough if he's healthy. Even Josh McRoberts is in the mix for a starting role, because that appears to be Indiana's weakest position now. This will be a situation that needs to be monitored before your draft, as the player who ends up getting the starting nod at power forward could end up being a steal in the later part of your draft.

New Jersey Nets: Troy Murphy figures to be about as valuable in New Jersey as he was in Indiana. Murphy's ability to stretch the floor and his unique skill set make him a good fit on any team. This move most effects rookie Derrick Favors, who will now certainly have a bench role. With the presence of a top power forward on the roster, Favors appears to be undraftable in standard leagues. Favors, though, could still end up being a factor late in the season if Murphy, who has an expiring contract, is moved by the trade deadline.

New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets filled a big hole at small forward with the acquisition of Ariza. With Peja Stojakovic on the downside of his career and the recently traded Julian Wright not playing up to expectations, Ariza will complete what now looks like a very good starting line up in New Orleans. Ariza has landed in a good situation for his fantasy value, as he'll have much less competition for minutes in New Orleans than he did in Houston.

While picking up Ariza was a good move, this trade leaves a hole at back up point guard behind Chris Paul. The Hornets will have to make further moves to fill in the void left by Collison, but whoever ends up getting the back up spot shouldn't be much of a factor next year anyway unless Paul has another injury riddled season.

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