Mike Gallagher

Offseason Beat

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Chris Paul Trade Breakdown

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


The NBA season is where amazing happens, but the NBA offseason is where madness happens.

 

On Wednesday, the Rockets acquired Chris Paul in exchange for Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker and a first-round pick. It was a Woj nuke.

 

There is a ton of fantasy analysis here with a lot of value changing on both teams.

 

Let’s start with Chris Paul. If you want to talk about pure fit, you could argue it’s an awful fit based on how CP3 gets his offense and how the Rockets operate. Paul led all NBA point guards with mid-range makes per game at 2.7. That’s actually more than the entire Rockets team had with their 2.4 per game.

 

Plus, there’s the question of who touches the ball the most. James Harden led the NBA with his 8.9 minutes for time of possession while CP3 ranked seventh. In other words, this isn’t exactly the same thing as Kevin Durant going to the Warriors because so many Warriors don’t rely on actually time with the ball — part of the reason they’re first in the NBA for assists per game.

  

Last year, CP3 averaged 18.7 points, 5.0 boards, 9.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 treys. It was actually a down year for the 32-year-old guard as he snapped a three-year run with a double-digit dime average and also was his first season below 19 points per game since 2012-13. Part of that was due to CP3 playing a career-low31.5 minutes per game, so he’s likely looking at around 31 minutes again. Plus, you would think coach Mike D’Antoni would stagger Paul with Harden a lot like how coach Terry Stotts staggers C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard. CP3 will have to make his money when Harden is on the bench, so he may not lose too much value.

 

For fantasy, we were likely looking at CP3 as a late-first pick in nine-cat leagues, but now he likely loses about a half round of value here. 

 

You would also have to think James Harden loses value. Harden was the best player in eight-cat leagues last year due to dominating the ball so much. He’s not used to playing with a ball-dominant guy, so there will be a huge adjustment playing off the ball. In fact, Pat Beverley ranked second on the Rockets for time of possession per game, which ranked just 70th in the league. You would think Harden’s touch time probably drops 30 percent and he almost certainly won’t lead the league there. Like Paul, Harden should still get around 10-15 minutes with CP3 on the bench, so he should be able to post 2016-17 Harden numbers in that time.

 

Scoring off the ball is not his game right now, too. Harden had just 2.4 catch-and-shoot attempts per game, which is nowhere near his 9.5 pull-ups per game. Although, Harden was really good in those catch-and-shoot attempts with his 58.4 effective field goal percentage (eFG%). In other words, he’s probably going to have a tough time matching his 3.2 treys per game, and he may be around 2.8.

 

There’s obviously the concern on the dimes. Harden led the NBA with his 11.2 dimes, so you can probably expect that to drop into the high single digits. He also likely won’t be going to the line quite as much and there’s even a chance Harden sees a dip in his sixth-ranked 36.4 minutes per game. You can also probably expect him to rest a bit, especially after he ran out of gas against the Spurs.

 

Harden still has to be viewed as a top-three player for eight-category leagues, but he’s likely moving down to 5-7 for those in nine-cat formats. He’s going to lose a lot of what he does so well, but again staggering him with CP3 does help his ceiling.

 

A sneaky winner here is Clint Capela. Houston should be Lob City South, especially with how Capela grew as a PNR roll man last year. He also should see a slight bump to his 23.9 minutes per game — he played 26.0 minutes per game in the playoffs last year. If you are punting FT%, Capela could be viewed as an early-mid round target. He’s in a great spot.

 

Everyone else on the Rockets is probably a slight loser here. Eric Gordon really fizzled out last year, making just 37.6 percent from the field in February, March and April. Yeah, he might not lose minutes now that Lou Williams is gone, but he should see a drop in usage and he really doesn’t do much outside of scoring. I wouldn’t draft him in a 12-team league. Ryan Anderson is more of a hold as a late-round guy with this news.

 

Don’t forget the Rockets are probably not done, so they could be adding another All-Star. July is going to be insane.

 

Moving west, the Clippers are a huge question mark right now. You would think this move makes it likely that Blake Griffin could be headed to OKC or Boston, so we’ll have to wait and see on changing value.

 

Lou Williams should be viewed as a big winner here, assuming the Clippers don’t trade him in his contract year. He was terrific last year in Los Angeles, averaging 18.6 points, 2.3 boards, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.1 treys as a Laker. That’s actually a fair expectation for him with the Clippers, which would make him an interesting target in the middle rounds.

 

Pat Beverley is also a winner in this move. Again, things could change, but you would think Bev is going to see a bump to his 14.1 usage rate. He probably doesn’t get enough credit for his 39 percent from deep in his last two seasons, so he may actually add to his 1.6 treys per game from last year. There’s an excellent chance he starts and gets minutes around 33 per game, which would make him a nice target in the middle rounds.

 

Sam Dekker looked to be coach Mike D’Antoni’s guy. Don’t forget about this quote from January 21. 

 

"I love him," D'Antoni said. "I love his game, but he has lapses, rookie lapses. What we're trying to do is, we're worried about the playoffs. You don't win a series when you make mistakes like that, so he's got to learn that and hopefully will."

 

He should absolutely get a chance to show what he can do, so he’s on the board as a late-round pick. Although, the system isn’t as favorable, so he’ll have to adjust his game to how coach Doc Rivers wants him to play.

 

Again, we’re still in a transition period for the Clippers, so it’ll be tough to gauge the rest of the guys until free agency is over. This is kind of bad news for DeAndre Jordan, who lives off CP3. DJ received 30.7 percent of his passes from CP3 and he had 1.3 assists per outing from the Point God, as well. He was assisted a whopping 72.3 percent of the time, so even a bump in usage is going to make it tough on him as a scorer. He’s pretty much a hold with a slightly higher upside due to more shots going his way. This would also change if Blake bounces.

 

For now, he gets a slight bump in value, but again I think he’s headed out of town. That would hurt his value. J.J. Redick is also probably a goner. 

 

Jamal Crawford is still under contract and the same goes for Austin Rivers. Those guys look like they’ll gain value with Rivers being the more attractive fantasy target.

 

Buckle up.



Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.



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