Big trades can be godsends

JORDAN HEATH-RAWLINGS -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

Sometimes, the best part of a trade is the player who's leaving town.

Ask the Indiana Pacers, who dumped shooting guard Stephen Jackson on the Golden State Warriors Wednesday, losing free agent pickup Al Harrington in the process and taking back players -- Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy -- who have been mostly disappointing this season.

The problem was that Jackson has a tendency to start more than just games. He starts fights (or at least readily joins in), shootouts outside clubs (according to firearm charges) and had long ago started to try the patience of the Pacers brass.

The list of malcontents who have raged or sulked their way out of town, only to light up a new arena is as long as the 6'8" Jackson's arm. And by looking at a trade and determining which player stands to gain the most from a change of scenery, a smart fantasy player can reinvigorate his lineup.

Any Raptors fan could recount the most famous hometown example. They still wince when asked to recall Vince Carter's game in the months leading up to his departure, but in light of his inspired play upon his arrival in New Jersey, they're probably the only fans who even remember it.

In those dark months of 2004, any fantasy GM could have aquired Carter for a half-decent point guard and a couple of beers.

Sometimes a trade sparks a fire in a player at exactly the right time, it burns intensely for a short while and then goes out the instant the player moves again. (Raptors fans again, see "James, Mike").

In Jackson's case, he's moving to a team that's got some big bodies down low, a point guard having an all-star season and an injured Jason Richardson and Mickael Pietrus leaving a large hole in their swingman rotation. He's also got that perpetual chip on his shoulder and now Pacers GM Larry Bird has given him something to prove.

Jackson's probably fighting mad, and he's got a real shot to boost his value -- and you've got to figure he likes operating under those conditions.


Videos

Photos