Rudy Gay's value improves in Toronto
In case you weren't paying attention, the rumors swirling around Rudy Gay finally came to fruition. Gay went to the Toronto Raptors in a three-team deal in which the Raptors also received Hamed Haddadi from the Grizzlies. The Memphis Grizzlies received Ed Davis from the Raptors and Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye from the Pistons, who picked up Jose Calderon and his expiring contract.
Gay has been a disappointment this season, but he should have a larger role in the Raptors offense than he's had this season with the Grizzlies. Unfortunately, Gay hasn't been very efficient this season, working on career lows in both field goal percentage and 3-point percentage. This trade makes him a bit more valuable, but I don't see him returning to his former top-25 status in fantasy leagues any time soon.
Prince isn't really an exciting fantasy option at this point, but the Grizzlies will need his production at the small forward spot, and it will be interesting to see whether he can parlay his 43.4 percent shooting on 3-pointers this season into a more than 0.5 made 3s per game. As for Davis, the minutes he was getting in Toronto filling in for Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas in the frontcourt are going to be a lot more scarce playing behind Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in Memphis.
The final piece to consider here is Calderon, who finds himself on a Pistons team with two point guards -- Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight -- already in the starting lineup. Calderon's having a nice season while playing just 28.3 minutes per game so far, but I'm skeptical that he'll play quite that much for a team that's not exactly in win-now mode. He probably loses a little value here when it's all said and done.
• The Celtics are averaging 23.1 assists per game this season, and they had 22 playing without Rajon Rondo against the Kings on Wednesday night. That's obviously not a huge difference, and it could be a sign that there won't be any one player benefiting from Rondo's absence in fantasy leagues. Rather, the production will simply be spread out among the usual contributors. Jason Terry played just 22 minutes, but looked pretty good, scoring 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting to go along with four assists. Terry was still a good fantasy player as recently as last season, and the C's would use him if he was able to find that form right about now.
• Amir Johnson had a rough shooting night for the Raptors, but he played 39 minutes and had 14 rebounds and four blocks. Given that they just traded away Ed Davis while Bargnani and Valanciunas are still out, we could be seeing a lot more of those kinds of numbers in the coming weeks unless the Raptors decide to start playing Hamed Haddadi all kinds of major minutes. Johnson is an extremely productive player, and he could be on the verge of some monster fantasy numbers in the near future.
• Michael Beasley has been playing really well of late, and Wednesday night against the Lakers, he came off the bench to post 27 points on 12-for-20 shooting from the floor to go along with six rebounds and five steals. He played the second-most minutes (34) of anyone on the Suns, and led the team in plus/minus. Anyone who has followed Beasley knows this isn't a situation where he's about to become a consistently great player overnight, but he has an immense amount of talent, and if he ever does begin to leverage that talent into a prominent role, he's going to be really valuable in fantasy leagues. He's got the opportunity right now, and we'll see what he does with it.
• There are only two games Thursday, and the first is a matchup between the Thunder and a Grizzlies squad that has undergone some major tweaks. Still, even if Prince, Davis and Daye are ready to go, I don't think they'll be good options in fantasy leagues for now. Instead, you may want to look at playing Tony Allen. With Gay gone and Quincy Pondexter out of the lineup, Allen will have to do a lot of work on both ends against the Thunder.
• In the other game, the Warriors face the Mavericks with a roster that is pretty banged up at the moment. Andrew Bogut is doubtful with a sore ankle after his recent return, and Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes and Carl Landry are all questionable. That means that in addition to Klay Thompson and David Lee, the Dubs will need a big night from Jarrett Jack if they're going to compete.
Fastbreak Player of the Night
It's easy to make arguments for either Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook, given that the Grizzlies' roster is in flux at the moment. So, I'll go with Marc Gasol. The Grizzlies are going to need stability tonight, and while Gasol wasn't great in his one meeting against the Thunder so far this season, he absolutely torched them last season, averaging 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks while shooting 55 percent from the floor.