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Jeff Teague trade fallout: Shabazz Napier gets nice boost in value

Timberwolves should feature Napier much more as starting PG now that Teague has been dealt to Atlanta.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Shabazz Napier warms up before the game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center.  Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves traded PG Jeff Teague to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The move was crucial for both sides as the Hawks were lacking in the PG depth department and the T-Wolves needed to shed and got rid of two expiring contracts in Teague and Treveon Graham. Teague was due $19 million and Graham $1.6 million, per basketball-reference.

Fantasy Basketball analysis: Minnesota Timberwolves

The move also has big-time fantasy basketball implications for Shabazz Napier. The Timberwolves had been starting Napier at PG the past 13 games. In those games, Napier is averaging 12.8 points and 5.4 assists while shooting 32.8 percent from 3-point range. He’s attempting 5.3 three-pointers per game in that stretch as well. That likely has more to do with Karl-Anthony Towns being sidelined, but also consider Napier is playing 26.9 minutes per game the past 13. With Teague out of the picture, the only PGs on the roster is, well, Napier. Rookie Jarrett Culver can handle the ball, and so can Josh Okogie, but neither are a true PG.

Right now, Napier is owned in just 6.6 percent of ESPN standard fantasy basketball leagues. That’s a very low number. He should be available in just about every league you’re in. If you need help at PG and assists, Napier is a decent waiver wire add. Once KAT returns to the lineup, the T-Wolves should be less embarrassing and Napier will have a chance to rack up more assists. Plus, we know Napier is going to have to play around 30 minutes per game now with Teague gone from the bench.

Fantasy basketball analysis: Atlanta Hawks

So Trae Young finally has a real backup PG, which should take pressure off the young soon-to-be All-Star. Teague has dealt with injuries this season, but he was still putting up 17.1 points and 7.9 assists per 36 minutes for the T-Wolves coming off the bench. If the Hawks use him in two-guard sets with Young, we could see Teague’s value come back to life a bit. He won’t be needed on offense much, but he can carry a team with Young off the court and run pick-and-roll sets with John Collins nicely. Teague is still shooting well form 3-point range at 37.9% this season despite limited attempts.

Brandon Goodwin’s value takes a nosedive, though he wasn’t a realistic option in season-long anyway. Teague is still rostered in 72.1 percent of ESPN standard leagues, so he won’t be readily available after the deal. But if he is, I don’t mind putting in a claim in hopes he can thrive a bit more in a better offense in a more prominent role.