Late Tuesday night a massive four-team trade went down in the NBA while most of you were asleep (unless you were on the West coast). The Rockets, Timberwolves, Nuggets and Hawks swung a huge 12-player deal that sent Clint Capela to the Hawks and Robert Covington to the Rockets. Those were the two big names, but there were 10 other players involved and a lot to cover. Here’s the general breakdown of the trade, first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Rockets receive: Covington, Jordan Bell
Hawks receive: Capela, Nene
Timberwolves receive: Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, Evan Turner and Jarred Vanderbilt, first-round pick (via ATL from BKN)
Nuggets receive: Shabazz Napier, Gerald Green, Keita Bates-Diop, Noah Vonleh, first-round pick (via HOU)
There’s a lot to digest here. The two core guys on the move are RoCo and Cap. There are also a decent amount of role players switching places, most notably Napier, Bell and Beasley. Let’s go over the fantasy basketball impact of the trade and whether you made out well if you’re an owner of any of these players.
Fantasy basketball impact
The two big names in the trade are Covington and Capela. Both of those guys get a favorable change of scenery that should boost their fantasy basketball value a bit. I like the fit for Capela in Atlanta. It gives them another big who can rebound and defend down low, something they’ve lacked for most of the season. Alex Len and Damian Jones could never really fill those roles and Len has been injured. Cap should take some attention away from Trae Young, who also could see his assist numbers rise after the deal.
Covington on the Rockets is the perfect fit for their system. He’s a 3-and-D wing who can guard multiple positions and is comfortable guarding the other teams best player. The Rockets have lacked a shutdown defender on the wing and he provides exactly that. Playing with James Harden and Russell Westbrook will allow RoCo to get plenty of open looks from downtown. Since Houston’s rotation is still pretty short, he should play around 34-36 minutes per game.
The Rockets are currently +1500 to win the NBA Title this season. I think adding RoCo only helps their chances, so Houston isn’t a bad team to consider making a run at this point. Houston is also -200 to win the Southwest Division with a 1.0 game lead over the Mavericks entering play Wednesday. This move should help the Rockets defend Luka Doncic using RoCo and the two teams play each other twice the rest of the season. Those games will be big.
The only other betting aspect this trade could affect is the Hawks win total on the season. Right now Atlanta is 13-38 and its win total for the preseason was set at 33.5. The Hawks would need to win 21 games down the stretch in order to hit that number, which is a long shot at best. That would be 21-10, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility if the team really takes off with Capela. Crazier things have happened.
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