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Centers of Attention: Post-Deadline Fallout

Mike Barner

Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. He currently focuses on the NBA. Before RotoWire, Mike wrote for

There were several centers rumored to be on the move leading up to Thursdayís trade deadline and while a flurry of moves were made, none of the noteworthy big men were dealt. Letís take a look at some of those players who are staying with their current squads and what it means for their fantasy value down the stretch.

DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers
Jordan was perhaps the biggest name on the market at any position, and it made a lot of sense for the Clippers to move him. Not only did they just trade away Blake Griffin, but Jordan can also be a free agent after this season.

The Clippers maintained that they wanted to compete for a playoff spot this year, though, ultimately deciding to hang onto Jordan just days after signing Lou Williams to an extension. Jordan is having another excellent campaign, averaging 11.5 points and 14.9 rebounds per game. He is also shooting a career-high 58.8% from the charity stripe.

Jordan should continue to provide plenty of rebounds down the stretch, especially with the Clippers playing small with Griffin out of the picture. However, the Clippers are also finally getting healthy and have some depth now, which could limit Jordanís scoring opportunities. He hasnít attempted more than six shots and has scored eight points or fewer in three straight games, so you might want to temper your already-modest offensive expectations for him moving forward.

Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors
There were rumors that the Raptors had inquired about Jordan, but in the end they did not make any moves at the deadline. As a result, Valanciunas will continue to be their starting center to close out the season.

Valanciunas can be a source of frustration for fantasy owners, largely because his minutes have been limited in recent seasons. Heís averaging a career-low 22 minutes per game in 2017-18, with the Raptors more frequently employing small-ball looks. Valanciunasí percentages are great, but heís averaging just 11.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

Valanciunas has played at least 30 minutes in a game only three times this season, though he hasnít disappointed when the opportunity has been there, as he holds averages of 19.3 points and 12.3 rebounds in those three contests. He would see a significant boost in value if he could at least approach 30 minutes moving forward, but there is nothing to indicate that a change like that is on the horizon.

Marcin Gortat, Washington Wizards
Things could be a bit awkward in Washington with the recent back-and-forth conversations through the media between Gortat and the injured John Wall (knee). There were some reports that Gortat could be on the trading block, with the Wizards possibly looking to send him to the Clippers in a deal for Jordan.

With Gortat now staying put, it will be interesting to see how things play out once Wall returns. Wall will be out for a while, so they do have some time to discuss things behind the scenes before they take the floor together again.

Entering 2017-18, Gortat had seen at least 30 minutes per game in six straight seasons, but heís averaging just 26 minutes per contest thus far, and his production has suffered greatly as a result. Gortat is averaging his lowest points per game (8.9) since 2010 and his lowest rebounds per game (8.0) since 2011. He should continue to have limited fantasy value down the stretch, especially without Wall around to spoon-feed him easy baskets.

Robin Lopez, Chicago Bulls
The Bulls were one of the clear sellers heading into the trade deadline, but the only significant move they could make was dealing Nikola Mirotic to the New Orleans Pelicans in the days leading up to the deadline. While they would have loved to move Lopez for the right price, contending teams looking to acquire players were clearly hesitant to part with valuable draft picks. It also doesnít help that Lopez is owed over $14 million next season.

Although dealing away Mirotic freed up some minutes in the Bullsí frontcourt, the team has made it clear they want to play their young players more down the stretch, which should not-so-stealthily help improve their chances of getting a high draft pick.

Lopez has seen his workload regress with each passing month this season, and thus far in February heís bottomed out at 25 minutes per contest. With that number likely to continue to decline, Lopez doesnít carry much fantasy value over the final 30-odd games of the season.

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