Who Is The Knicks Anthony Fantasy Trade Winner?
By Rocco Minsk In a previous article, I attempted to disprove the notion that Enes Kanter was the Knicks’ winner from the Carmelo Anthony trade. Now, I will endeavor to find who the real beneficiary is from the Knicks side of the trade besides the obvious Porzingis play, since I don’t see Porzingis stepping his scoring up to Anthony levels .and there are 22.4 PPG to replace. There are two candidates for biggest beneficiary of the trade: Tim Hardaway Jr. and Doug McDermott.
McDermott is already on his third team entering his 4th season in the league. He was starting to hit his stride for the Bulls when he was traded to OKC along with Taj Gibson. Here is an interesting stat – McDermott received over 30 minutes per game with the Bulls six times. In those games, he averaged 18.8 PPG. McDermott received a bunch of playing time early in his stint with OKC and did not produce as OKC was not a fit for a spot up shooter like McDermott. McDermott does not have much in terms of competition for playing time at the 3, as Lance Thomas is his backup so he could receive opportunities in New York. However, McDermott’s career PER of 10.4 will keep his contributions to your fantasy team limited beyond some scoring and 3-PT FG if he gets the playing time.
One of the more controversial moves of the offseason was the Knicks’ signing of Hardaway to a 4 yr $72mm deal. Once again, the Knicks were called profligate and wasteful. However, there is an argument to be made that Hardaway will be one of the breakout players of 2017. ESPN ranks Hardaway as the 94th overall pick in fantasy drafts, but ESPN is underranking Hardaway and I would be targeting him in the 6th round of your drafts.
My case for Hardaway revolves around the following reasons: First and most obvious is that there is more ball to go around with Anthony out of town and there are 18.8 shots per game to be replaced. Additionally, Derrick Rose is gone and the Knicks are bereft of backcourt talent outside of Hardaway. Remember that this is a team that gave Ron Baker heavy minutes down the stretch last year. Frank Ntilikina is intriguing, but is more of a project at this point.
Second, is that Hardaway figures to have the ball in his hands a little more this year and may get some time at the point. If Hardaway can increase his APG to around 4 from the 2.3 of last season, he starts to become a multi-category contributor, but his PER decreases to 10.3 when he plays the point.
Third, Hardaway out up some serious numbers towards the end of the season when he got starter’s minutes. In 30 starts last season, Hardaway averaged 17.5 PPG. In addition, after the All-Star break, Hardaway averaged 17.5 PPG and 3.5 RPG. My prediction for Hardaway is 19.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 3.7 APG, which should return solid value if he is picked in the 6th round.