Editor’s note: Jameer Nelson’s Trade Value is a guess post from Justin Becker of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. You can follow him on twitter at @NBAFantasyInfo, and for more information on the NBA visit Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues – your online source for anything about fantasy basketball.
Sometimes the trade block is like a Pawn Shop. For those of you who watch Hardcore Pawn, you’ve surely realized an item only has value if the buyer thinks it does. If Les, the Pawn Shop owner, doesn’t think an item has value, then it doesn’t. It is as simple as that. No haggling, no arguing, no nothing. The same holds true for trading a player in both reality and fantasy. The Orlando Magic’s Jameer Nelson is only worth as much as someone as willing to pay. If you’re looking to sell him, what price should you be looking for? That is the million dollar, or $8.6 million dollar (for the next two years so says his contract), question.
Doesn’t it feel like just yesterday you were watching Delonte West and Jameer Nelson lead St. Joseph’s to a deep tournament run? Well to me it does. That was over ten years ago! Now Jameer Nelson is 31 years old and the downturn of his career is likely near. However, his numbers in the past few seasons have suggested otherwise. Last season, Nelson averaged the second highest PPG of his career (14.7) which was his highest output since 2008-09. So far this season, he is right there yet again, averaging 13.7 PPG, 6.7 APG and 2.3 3PM. For fantasy purposes that is still a lower end PG, but the assists and threes are nothing to sneeze at. Points and rebounds are the easiest categories to find in fantasy basketball so I always look for someone who produces in the other categories. Nelson fits the bill. He has value in fantasy basketball but just how exactly do you quantify it?
Obviously, Nelson doesn’t factor into the top 15 PG conversation. Even players lower on that list like Tony Parker and Deron Williams have numbers that blow Nelson’s out of the water. If we’re talking about keeper/dynasty leagues, lower Nelson’s value right off the bat. Thirty one year old point guards typically aren’t an asset people target in that format. Also, something that needs to be mentioned: in the last five seasons, Nelson has missed 17+ games three times. Even in the two other seasons, he missed six (2010) and nine (2011) games. Add Jameer to the “injury prone” list of NBA players. If you believe otherwise, you are kidding yourself at this point with ten years of evidence. Nelson has maybe one or two solid years left before the inevitable drop off. In a dynasty format, I’d say he’s only worth another lower end, older player. Most likely if someone would trade for him, it’s because they need the assists. Someone like Nene is fair value for Nelson. In re-draft leagues, it’s not quite as simple.
Does Orlando really have any reason to keep Jameer Nelson past the trade deadline? Seriously, they have an up-and-coming young PG in Oladipo and a decent backup (E’Twaun Moore). Only the Milwaukee Bucks have a worse record in the Eastern Conference. What motivation do they have to keep Nelson who only has one year left on his contract beyond this season. If you are trading for Nelson, you must take this fact into consideration. Is Nelson better than many starting PGs in the NBA? Not really. If a contender trades for Jameer Nelson, he will likely immediately resort to a bench role. I know this goes without saying but that would hurt his value. For that reason, I would look to sell Jameer Nelson as soon as possible. The numbers he’s producing now are respectable. Like I said before, he scores, assists, hits threes and even rebounds well for a point guard. Approach the teams in need of guards and try to sell him for about face value. What is face value? I would take someone like Gerald Henderson for him if you needed a guard/points. What if you need a forward? Andre Iguodala has been so disappointing maybe you can swap him for Nelson. Maybe you can land J.J. Hickson for him…..or Jared Sullinger. I’m just throwing names out there at this point but this is about where his value is; barely top 115. If you get any player better than the names I have just listed then doggone it you sold high. If you end up keeping him, he will continue to hurt your FG% (40.8%) and you likely will end up with a bench player. You’re better off going out and actively shopping him, which is what I assume the Magic are doing too.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, Februrary 20. If I set the odds at 85% of Nelson getting moved, that means you probably only have another 20-some days until fantasy D-Day. For the Magic, they will likely just search out an expiring contract. His true trade value probably will return less than you can even get in a dynasty league. If I were Rob Hennigan (and I wish I were), I’d seek out a bum with a $8-9 million expiring contract and get a pick along with him. For me, that would be enough to trade Nelson. By trading him, you’d be committing to tanking even further and having a better chance at a top pick. Not only that but you’d free up that money to sign a free agent in the off-season. Orlando, like Miami, is an enticing place for free agents if only because of the weather. You can only give a player a max contract, so it’s not like you can outbid someone in the NBA. They can choose whichever city they want as long as the team offers them that same contract. Even if it isn’t a max deal, Orlando could use the financial flexibility (as every bad team could). So in terms of real trade value, Nelson’s is actually minimal.
There you have it. Whether you play in a dynasty league, re-draft league or you are Rob Hennigan, I have given you my suggestions for Jameer Nelson’s trade value. My work here is done. Now it is on you go actively go out and seek the right trade partner. As I mentioned earlier, getting rid of Nelson may save your season. He will most likely be traded so jump ship as soon as you can. By swapping him for another asset, it will allow your fantasy team to continue running smoothly. The whole process is like ejecting a customer from a Pawn Shop that decides to start screaming. Once that person has been removed, it makes life more enjoyable for all people involved, especially if the next customers to come in are that much more pleasant.
What do you think? What is Jameer Nelson’s Trade Value? Let us know in the comments section below.