Fantasy Basketball Offseason Review
EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlanta Hawks | Boston Celtics | Brooklyn Nets | Charlotte Hornets | Chicago Bulls | Cleveland Cavaliers | Detroit Pistons | Indiana Pacers | Miami Heat | Milwaukee Bucks | New York Knicks | Orlando Magic | Philadelphia 76ers | Toronto Raptors | Washington Wizards WESTERN CONFERENCE Dallas Mavericks | Denver Nuggets | Golden State Warriors | Houston Rockets | Los Angeles Clippers | Los Angeles Lakers | Memphis Grizzlies | Minnesota Timberwolves | New Orleans Pelicans | Oklahoma City Thunder | Phoenix Suns | Portland Trail Blazers | Sacramento Kings | San Antonio Spurs | Utah Jazz
IN Onyeka Okongwu , Skylar Mays, Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo, Kris Dunn, Solomon Hill, Bogdan Bogdanovic OUT Dewayne Dedmon, Jeff Teague, DeAndre’ Bembry, Charles Brown Jr., Treveon Graham, Damian Jones, Skal Labissiere, Khyri Thomas, Vince Carter FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk has been a’wheelin’ and a’dealin’. No team has been as active in free agency when it comes to “big" names than the Hawks. The additions of Gallinari, Dunn and Bogdanovic immediately make Atlanta a playoff team as they fill in holes around the roster and add necessary veteran depth to this young team. Whether they all start or come off the bench will not matter given how fungible the Hawks are as a whole. They have moveable parts across the board who can play multiple positions. While this may not bode well fantasy-wise for the likes of John Collins or their young guys not named Trae Young, it could help their development to play on a good team and win games. It is more than likely Gallinari and Bogdanovic retain similar roles/usage to recent years given hwo much was invested in them. Drafting Onyeka Okongwu might seem head-scratching after just trading for a similar archetype in Clint Capela last season but Capela is coming off of a serious foot injury and might be better fit for a more limited role in the league rather than the one he played in Houston given his offensive limitations. Okongwu offers upside for the center spot of the future with his versatile skill-set that can defend multiple positions, protect the rim, and potentially space the floor if his shooting properly develops. Okongwu is probably not a detriment to Capela’s current fantasy value.
IN Aaron Nesmith, Payton Pritchard, Yam Madar, Tristan Thompson, Jeff Teague OUT Vincent Poirier, Enes Kanter, Gordon Hayward, Brad Wanamaker FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS Losing Gordon Hayward is a huge boost for Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Both have come into their own to varying degrees recently and should find themselves in an even further expanded role this season. Tatum should be a sure-fire first-round pick while Brown remains solid at ADP. The team as a whole can absorb the Hayward loss and maybe even improve. Tristan Thompson can act as a high-energy bench big but this landing spot is brutal for fantasy given that they can operate without a true center and would probably prefer Daniel Theis on the floor while still navigating the trade marker for another big.
Reggie Perry, Bruce Brown, Landry Shamet, Jeff Green
Dzanan Musa, Garrett Temple, Jamal Crawford, Justin Anderson, Lance Thomas, Michael Beasley, Wilson Chandler, Chris Chiozza, Donta Hall, Tyler Johnson, Jeremiah MartinFANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS
A team whose biggest offseason addition is surely already on the roster is Brooklyn. With Kevin Durant on the court for the first time as a Brooklyn Nets player, this organization should take a leap forward to a top-seed in the East. Durant even on one leg is an elite player to a certain degree. He will make those around him better and remain fantasy-relevant in the games he does play. The biggest concern is how many rest days the Nets will provide which could frustrate fantasy owners.
Kyrie Irving is returning from injury as well, and his question marks are similar to that of KD despite not coming off as serious an injury. Players to still target are Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie given that this team’s stars could miss time, elevating secondary players to the forefront multiple times a month.
The additions/losses for the Nets are otherwise negligible. Shamet is the “biggest" name on either end and he will improve the team’s spacing to some degree when on the floor.
IN LaMelo Ball, Vernon Carey Jr., Nick Richards, Grant Riller, Nate Darling, Gordon Hayward OUT Dwayne Bacon, Willy Hernangómez, Kobi Simmons, Ray Spalding, Nicolas Batum FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS This offense has improved significantly over the course of this offseason not only by virtue of their additions, but also, the departure of Nic Batum. Batum’s presence on the floor was an absolute drain in recent years for Charlotte and they are not free of his albatross deal (after eating the final year and waiving him). The Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade was smart for a young team like Charlotte who can afford a massive deal for a good player, especially given that all that was given up was a trade exemption for Boston in return. Hayward gives the Hornets a savvy veteran presence in the middle of the court to operate their offense through. Everyone in the young corps from Devonte Graham, Miles Bridges, and P.J. Washington will benefit from playing with a healthy Hayward. As much as I want to get my hopes up about the prospects of LaMelo Ball carrying an NBA franchise on his back, the realistic situation is that Ball is still not fully NBA-ready and could be a detriment on fantasy rosters when it comes to field goal percentage, free throw, and turnovers. He could be like a low-end Caris LeVert in that sense. Ball’s passing does offer a tremendous addition to the Hornets offense but having him on the floor could be a downgrade as a whole if he is not ready. This is a wait-and-see though given how much of an unknown he is.
Patrick Williams, Marko Simonovic, Devon Dotson, Garrett Temple
Kris Dunn, Shaquille Harrison, Adam Mokoka, Max StrusFANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS With Kris Dunn gone, expect much more out of PG Coby White, who showed promise as a rookie but might need the ball in his hands more to grow. Right now, White is probably better off-ball as a shooter/scorer but the Bulls want to develop their young guard and have the ball in his hands as much as possible. White’s fantasy value is great for teams that can take the hit in field goal percentage. The selection of Patrick Williams probably suggests that Lauri Markkanen‘s time in Chicago is running out. While Williams is “capable" of playing 3 in the NBA, he is probably better off at the 4 or even as a small-5 due to his size and ability. Williams is a fantastic athlete and could be fantasy-friendly as soon as this season if one of the starting bigs were to miss time. He does not necessarily improve the roster much by himself just yet, that could come with time. Any improvements in Chicago are going to be a result of the new head coach Billy Donovan and the continued development of their young corps.
IN Isaac Okoro, JaVale McGee, Matthew Dellavedova, Damyean Dotson, Thon Maker OUT Tristan Thompson, Matt Mooney, Ante Zizic, Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS The Cavaliers actually have some pieces! Not that they’re winning anything significant anytime soon, but drafting Isaac Okoro was solid given their young guard duo’s limitations defensively and desperate need for talented wings. Okoro has his own problems on offense but can go as far as his shooting takes him. The loss of Tristan Thompson means much more Andre Drummond this season. Drummond is set for another monster year even if Kevin Love spells him at the 5 on occasion (although both are potential mid-season trade candidates).
IN Josh Green, Tyrell Terry, Tyler Bey, Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Wes Iwundu OUT Seth Curry, Delon Wright, Justin Jackson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Courtney Lee, Josh Reaves, Antonius Cleveland FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS The loss of an excellent shooter like Seth Curry is not easily replicable but Josh Richardson is a good wing whose defensive prowess and ability as a complementary ball-handler will come in handy. The Mavericks did a great job in the 2020 NBA Draft by acquiring several players who not only can come in to contribute in limited roles now, but also that possess a good bit of potential as plus rotational pieces. Their losses in the offseason can be further mitigated as these young players become more involved.
Zeke Nnaji, RJ Hampton, Facundo Campazzo, JaMychal Green
Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, Torrey Craig, Tyler Cook, Troy Daniels, Noah Vonleh
FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS
Jerami Grant was a decent contributor for the Nuggets, and his role will be taken over by JaMychal Green who is less versatile but a better shooter. Losing Mason Plumlee might be addition by subtraction given that the Nuggets spacing will improve with him gone and they can play Paul Millsap at the center position more to navigate the loss. Plumlee’s screens will be missed but it is fair to say the Nuggets could improve without any significant offseason additions. Nnaji and Hampton are interesting for the future but are stuck at the bottom of the depth chart for the near future.
Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey, Saben Lee, Delon Wright, Dzanan Musa, Rodney McGruder, Dewayne Dedmon, Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, Jahlil Okafor, Josh Jackson
Bruce Brown, Luke Kennard, Khyri Thomas, Tony Snell, Christian Wood, Langston Galloway, John Henson, Brandon Knight, Thon Maker, Jordan McRae, Derrick Walton Jr., Jordan Bone, Louis KingFANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS What the HELL is this?? The Pistons signed every available big man on the market and perhaps got worse?? General Manager Troy Weaver must be pulling our leg because there is no clear path for this roster. Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin are still around, they did not re-sign budding big Christian Wood to a reasonable deal and lost him to Houston and they whiffed on each first-rounder past Killian Hayes. Now, Hayes might just be a star and soften the blow of selecting Bey and Stewart but that probably won’t be found out in year one. Hayes will have a significant role as a rookie but he is still so young and this team is not built to win…anything. Jerami Grant could be fantasy relevant once more if the organization moves on from Griffin but until then he’s in no-man’s land. Forget about their centers and probably expect more of the same from Derrick Rose. This team is B A D and will not be much more than a team to stream on occasion.
Golden State Warriors
IN James Wiseman, Nico Mannion, Justinian Jessup, Kelly Oubre, Brad Wanamaker, Kent Bazemore OUT Dragan Bender, Ky Bowman FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS The biggest loss for the Warriors is Klay Thompson. His achilles injury is a killer for a roster that was seeking to get back-on-track after Klay’s ACL tear and the loss of Kevin Durant. A team starting a healthy Steph Curry will be good but how good is the question when starting Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr., a used-up Draymond Green, and some mish-mash at center? Steph at presumed full-health could be a fantasy monster this year solely off usage and the offensive of Wiggins and Oubre will improve to a certain degree (Oubre more-so than Wiggins). The addition of James Wiseman is fascinating given the Warriors disinterest in featuring a traditional 5 throughout their championship run. Wiseman is still largely an unknown given that he only played three college games but a savvy organization like the Warriors picking him could mean that there’s maybe more than meet’s the eye with this potentially hollow pedigreed prospect. The Warriors offense will be much better than last year just by virtue of having Steph but could take another step if Wiseman can shoot from three at a respectable clip.
IN John Wall, Kenyon Martin Jr., Christian Wood, Jae’Sean Tate, DeMarcus Cousins OUT Robert Covington, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green, Bruno Caboclo, DeMarre Carroll, Tyson Chandler, Michael Frazier, Gerald Green, Luc Mbah a Moute, Austin Rivers, Thabo Sefolosha, William Howard FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS This team is in complete flux and until James Harden’s “situation" is figured out, there is not much that can be said. As of right now, only Christian Wood should be appealing in fantasy on this torn-down team.
IN Cassius Stanley OUT Brian Bowen II, Alize Johnson, Naz Mitrou-Long, TJ Leaf FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS Getting Victor Oladpio back to 100% is the real addition here. The roster is interesting given the level of talent and depth but with a new, more modern coach in town, rotations may change for this good team in need of an identity. Maybe a mid-season trade clarifies the fantasy production for talented big-men Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis?
Los Angeles Clippers
IN Daniel Oturu, Jay Scrubb, Luke Kennard, Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum OUT Landry Shamet, Rodney McGruder, Montrezl Harrell, JaMychal Green, Johnathan Motley FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS Losing Montrezl Harrell will sting given that he is the reigning 6th-man of the year but he was seemingly disgruntled in the locker room and Serge Ibaka is a solid addition as a starting center who can shoot. Luke Kennard is an improvement from Landry Shamet given that he is not just a catch-and-shoot guy. Kennard can move around a bit and act as a secondary ball-handler/creator which makes his fantasy value intriguing if an injury or two hits the Clippers back-court. For the most part, the rest of the team remains unchanged by these offseason moves.
Los Angeles Lakers
IN Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews, Marc Gasol, Dennis Schroder, Alfonzo McKinnie OUT Danny Green, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard, JR Smith, Dion Waiters FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS The Lakers have somehow gotten better on paper after winning their league-leading 17th NBA Championship. While the loss of Danny Green on the perimeter is not easy to replace, the addition of Wes Matthews should provide a decent 3-and-D option on the floor. Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee are upgraded to Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol and Rajon Rondo’s loss is much softer with Dennis Schroder in the building. All-in-all, the Lakers have added to the peripherals of their roster by upgrading scoring/passing while marginally losing out on their biggest strength, defense. At the end of the day, this is a two-man roster with LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the middle and they will benefit from the improved offense. However, outside of DFS and the two stars missing games, there is not much else to concern yourself with (no, Kyle Kuzma is not breaking out while in a Lakers jersey).
Desmond Bane, Xavier Tillman Sr., Killian Tillie, Jahlil Tripp, Mario HezonjaOUT
Josh Jackson, John Konchar, Jontay Porter, Anthony Tolliver, Yuta WatanabeFANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS NBA Twitter was absolutely buzzing with the Memphis Grizzlies rookie selections. All three of Bane, Tillman Sr. and Tillie were highly regarded by draftniks and should be solid NBA players eventually (Tillie must stay healthy first). Bane could find himself in the most immediate role given that you can never have too many shooters while Tillman’s spot could dwindle upon the return of Jaren Jackson Jr. from a meniscus tear. Nevertheless, the rest of Memphis’s roster will be largely unaffected by these additions/losses for now and their young roster will more-so naturally improve/progress.
IN Precious Achiuwa, Maurice Harkless, Avery Bradley OUT Jae Crowder, Derrick Jones Jr., Kyle Alexander, Solomon Hill, Gabe Vincent FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS Not much to be said here. The loss of Crowder and Jones Jr. is covered with their offseason additions, none of which will likely be fantasy factors this season. Achiuwa is an interesting offensive piece who would fit well next to Bam Adebayo but given his age and performance at Memphis last season, could be a year or two away from being a worthwhile roster addition. For the most part, nothing changes with Miami’s integral corps.
IN Jordan Nwora, Sam Merrill, Rayjon Tucker, Jrue Holiday, D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis, Jaylen Adams OUT Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, Wesley Matthews, Sterling Brown, Robin Lopez, Kyle Korver, Frank Mason, Cameron Reynolds, Ersan Ilyasova, Marvin Williams FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS The Bucks surely know that time is running out to appease Giannis before his current runs out. They made a major move in acquiring Jrue Holiday in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, George Hill and the next half-decade of first-round picks. Holiday is a perfect fit for this roster that is built to win now and is only 30 years old despite being in the league over a decade. Health remains a concern for Jrue but his efficiency should tick up playing next to Giannis and Khris Middleton on a now well-spaced offense. Most importantly, with a roster that is top-heavy, the Bucks could be forced to play their stars much more minutes than before, increasing their stats across-the-board. Giannis played just 30.4 minutes per game last year and 32.8 the season prior. With how talented and deep the roster around him was, Coach Budenholzer was capable of staggering his superstar and still winning. Khris Middleton even played just under 30mpg last season! Middleton and Giannis should be forced into a more typical 33-to-36 mpg role that will increase their numbers and make them as fantasy-viable as ever. Brook Lopez is nearly 33 and does not typically play close to 30mpg - meaning that new addition Bobby Portis could find himself in a significant role on a contender for the first time in his career. If he is not a defensive liability on the floor, there is potential for him as a waiver wire steal mid-season.
IN Anthony Edwards, Leandro Bolmaro, Jaden McDaniels, Ricky Rubio, Juancho Hernangomez OUT James Johnson, Allen Crabbe, Kelan Martin, Jordan McLaughlin, Evan Turner FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS Anytime a team scores the number-one overall pick in the draft, that is significant (unless their name rhymes with Manthony Mennett). Anthony Edwards is still a raw prospect but given how bad the Timberwolves were/are, he should see a good bit of run as a rookie. Fantasy-relevance is a question mark that might be best served holding off on for a year. The return of Ricky Rubio bodes well for the roster given how well he played last year in Phoenix. Rubio most likely comes off the bench and operates the second-unit and has a serious path to major fantasy production if the oft-injured D’Angelo Russell were to miss time. He’s somewhat of a handcuff in that aspect but the assists as always should be there along with steals, just to a lesser degree than recent seasons. The team as a whole should benefit from having another talented passer, namely, Karl Anthony-Towns who is set for a monster season with talented pieces surrounding him. The Timberwolves are going to leak points and be forced to run and score given their defensive limitations throughout the primary lineup, there is fantasy value to be reaped across-the-board.
New Orleans Pelicans
IN Kira Lewis Jr., Eric Bledsoe, Steven Adams, Willy Hernangomez, Wenyen Gabriel OUT Jrue Holiday, Darius Miller, Jahlil Okafor, Derrick Favors, E’Twaun Moore, Zylan Cheatham, Josh Gray, Frank Jackson, Kenrich Williams FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS The most notable move the Pelicans made was the Jrue Holiday for Eric Bledsoe trade which involved a massive haul of draft picks coming to New Orleans via Milwaukee. The loss of Holiday is not insignificant but the Pelicans are not in any sort of win-now mode and he is getting up there in age. Bledsoe is a fine guard who could hold his own fantasy-wise assuming the minutes are there. Lonzo Ball is in for an expanded role as a result but the fit next to Bledsoe is odd. Ball is better served running the second unit next to J.J. Redick in the back-court. Nevertheless, the Pelicans’ season and future hinges on Zion and his health/development. The surrounding pieces matter but nowhere near as much. Brandon Ingram took a step forward last season and should continue to perform at a high-level. The addition of Steven Adams, especially at his price-tag was head-scratching. He is a good defender and offensive rebounder who should see plenty of time with Derrick Favors out of town but his presence shrinks the floor for a team desperately in need of spacing. All-in-all, this team is not very good without a jump from Zion. While that is very much so in the cards, his shooting remains a huge cloud looming over the team’s head. Having non-shooters starting in your front-court is a massive mistake in today’s NBA. If he can run more small-ball 5 with Ingram or Nicolo Melli at the 4, then we might be cooking. Stan Van Gundy should improve the team defensively but it is going to be interesting to see how the rotations change throughout the year with all of the depth/movable parts.
New York Knicks
IN Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Omari Spellman, Jacob Evans, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, Austin Rivers, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist OUT Bobby Portis, Maurice Harkless, Kadeem Allen, Damyean Dotson, Jared Harper, Theo Pinson, Ed Davis, Taj Gibson, Wayne Ellington, Kenny Wooten FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS First and foremost, the Knicks are still bad BUT, if they’re smart, they will start Obi Toppin over Julius Randle and see what he’s got. Toppin is as NBA-ready a prospect as possible in the lottery given his age, build, and production in college. While I am wary of his upside, why not let the kid play and maybe win rookie of the year? This team needs some modicum of hope and Toppin is the shiny new toy who could make this team slightly better. With Tom Thibodeau as head coach, the Knicks’ pace will be slow given his preference for a grinding style but for fantasy purposes, he will play the guys he likes a TON. We’ve seen this with Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah in the past. Thibs does not believe in rest or normal rotations and some Knicks could actually be fantasy relevant in 2020-2021. Elfrid Payton could become a favorite of his and return to the near trouble-double performances of old. While everyone wants Mitch Robinson to finally break-free of his non-injury related minutes restrictions, Thibs could fall in love with Nerlens Noel and rotate the two in an annoying fashion. R.J. Barrett might quickly wear-out his welcome like Kevin Knox if he does not get his act together this season. However, even I, a major skeptic, can buy into a statistical jump if the Knicks stopped playing non-shooters at every other position. Barrett needs the ball in his hands to be effective and cannot operate without proper space around him. Opposing defenses do not respect the Knicks whatsoever (not a revolutionary claim but necessary to state) and for Barrett to play some form of efficient ball, they must offer him outlets to find on the perimeter. He will be playing major minutes this season and unfortunately, if his shooting percentages remain mediocre, he might be best left for someone else’s fantasy team.
Oklahoma City Thunder
IN Aleksej Pokusevski, Theo Maledon, Vit Krejci, Al Horford, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque, Vincent Poirier, Trevor Ariza, Justin Jackson, George Hill, Darius Miller, TJ Leaf OUT Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder, Terrance Ferguson, Abdel Nader, Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari, Nerlens Noel, Deonte Burton, Devon Hall, Kevin Hervey, Andre Roberson FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS This is…an interesting roster. The Thunder essentially gutted themselves for pieces and are non-competitive for the 2020-2021 season. It’s the right move but boy, things could get ugly QUICK. While there is a bright light in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander there isn’t much, if anything else to be hopeful about. SGA could take a Bradley Beal-like jump as a do-it-all guard with a backcourt to himself on a terrible team. Horford should perform much better than last year given that he will be in at the 5 more but it is also possible that father time has taken his powers. As of right now, he is an interesting draft selection around ADP given that he doesn’t really hurt you anywhere and provides all-around stats. Pokusevski and Maledon are fascinating young, foreign pieces but may be too raw to contribute year one. Bazley had a fantasy-relevant stretch last season and should be in line for more work as the leader of a glutted forward corps. George Hill is a solid sleeper pick with his shooting prowess and veteran presence. He could be a Chris Paul-extremely lite in the sense that OKC just runs him out as a starter to play 30-minutes per game as they look to their treasure trove of draft picks in the near future.
IN Cole Anthony, Dwayne Bacon OUT D.J. Augustin, Wes Iwundu, Melvin Frazier Jr., BJ Johnson, Vic Law FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS The biggest offseason “addition" for the Orlando Magic is 2019 first-round pick Chuma Okeke returning from a torn knee. Okeke will not be a major contributor from the jump but is a talented two-way wing whose role will be figured out as the season goes on. It is doubtful that he is very fantasy relevant this year but the real-life impact should be evident. Cole Anthony is intriguing given that he was arguably the top high school prospect and presumed top lottery pick coming into last college basketball season. A miserable season on a terrible North Carolina team tanked his stock along with a mid-season foot injury. Orlando was wise in not allowing him to fall further than their pick given that he filled a positional need and was arguably the best player available. If Markelle Fultz fails in the first-half of this coming season, Anthony could find himself playing major minutes for this low-key talented roster.
OUT Tyrese Maxey, Isaiah Joe, Paul Reed, Danny Green, Terrance Ferguson, Seth Curry, Tony Bradley, Dwight Howard, Ryan Broekhoff OUT Al Horford, Josh Richardson, Zhaire Smith, Alec Burks, Raul Neto, Kyle O’Quinn, Glenn Robinson III FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS Shoutout to Daryl Morey for coming in and recognizing what this 76ers roster is at face-value and making the moves necessary to work within its parameters. The Sixers need shooting, less of a clog in the front-court, and a faster pace. Getting rid of Al Horford was an obvious decision given his albatross of a contract but also managing to grab an elite shooter like Seth Curry and replace Josh Richardson with a comparable, if not better player in Danny Green is impressive. Tyrese Maxey is a fallen potentially lottery pick who should thrive with all of the talent around him. It is doubtful he is fantasy relevant without an injury-ravaged roster. The Sixers are still in no-man’s land fantasy-wise given that there is no clarity on the James Harden front. They are reportedly leading the pack given their possible packages but anything can change in an instant. For now, the Sixers as is will be much more efficient next season and all of their pieces will benefit from the new philosophies instilled via Morey and Doc Rivers.
IN Jalen Smith, Chris Paul, Abdel Nader, Jae Crowder, E’Twaun Moore, OUT
Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Kelly Oubre Jr., Jalen Lecque, Aron Baynes, Cheick Diallo, Frank Kaminsky, Tariq OwensFANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS The Pheonix Suns are in business. After losing DeAndre Ayton to a PED suspension early last season, they were mostly non-competitive until the bubble where the Suns shined as bright as anyone in the “regular" season portion. Even a geriatric Chris Paul replacing Ricky Rubio is an improvement given how effective Paul was in leading Oklahoma City in a transitionary season. Rubio, to his credit, is not a bum and did have a solid impact last season. Chris Paul is just the perfect fit next to a budding star like Devin Booker in the backcourt given that Paul is legitimately one of the smartest ball-handlers/passers of all-time who can still defend and shoot at a high-level. The Suns are a playoff team that will benefit across-the-board assuming health for Paul. The loss of Kelly Oubre Jr. stings but not as much as some might think. His statistical output is improving and should skyrocket with an expanded role in Golden State but he remains a slightly above-average impact player. Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, and Cam Johnson should do just fine in taking on the leftovers.
Portland Trail Blazers
IN CJ Elleby, Robert Covington, Enes Kanter, Derrick Jones Jr.
Trevor Ariza, Mario Hezonja, Jaylen Adams, Hassan Whiteside, Moses Brown, Wenyen Gabriel, Jaylen Hoard, Caleb SwaniganFANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS The loss of Hassan Whiteside is mitigated by a hopeful return to full-health by big-man Jusuf Nurkic along with Zach Collins’ development. Enes Kanter is largely a non-factor given his limitations on the defensive end but could get solid fantasy run if Nurkic were to miss time. Robert Covington is a significant addition for Portland given that they have been needing a player of his caliber/archetype for years. The back-court duo of Lillard/McCollum is fun but without savvy two-way wings or a “unicorn" big man, it causes too much overlap on the floor that is not easily covered. Covington can slide right in and play a swing role defending inside-out and helping across the floor while operating as a solid shooting outlet on kick-outs and whatnot. Portland will be a much tougher matchup moving forward.
IN Tyrese Haliburton, Robert Woodard, Jahmi’us Ramsey, Hassan Whiteside OUT Harry Giles III, Kent Bazemore, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Corey Brewer, Yogi Ferrell, Kyle Guy, DaQuan Jeffries, Alex Len FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS Well, the Kings keep doing Kings things and adding superfluous players to their roster. This time, it is in the mold of Hassan Whiteside, the former Sacramento center who blossomed elsewhere, flamed out, then burst back on the scene as a solid role player on a good team. No one looked at the Kings this offseason and said, “You know what they’re missing?? Another big!" Whiteside is an interesting fellow who thinks quite highly of himself (as he should being one of the ~400 best basketball players in the world). He is mostly a relic of the past whose defense is overrated by virtue of box scores. Whiteside struggles with switches and defending out to the perimeter but sure can rack up the block column. His rebounding ability is elite though and in the right, limited role should not be a detriment. Richaun Holmes is far-and-away the best center in Sac-Town and will remain the starter if healthy/effective but his ceiling is much lower given that Whiteside will get run. The biggest question is concerning Marvin Bagley III and how his role looks when healthy. As of right now, that is murky and probably best to avoid, even though the Kings might jam him into the lineup unnecessarily. Sacramento is not all incompetence though, the addition of Tyrese Haliburton is worthy of praise. Haliburton is a fascinating guard who was extremely valuable at Iowa State and offers a versatile skill-set that should play perfectly off of De’Aaron Fox in an off-ball scoring/secondary ball-handler role. He had a case as a top-6 pick and feel to the back-end of the lottery. Haliburton is an awesome stash who could contribute after the first month of the season for fantasy purposes and make up for the loss of Bogdan Bogdanovic. Buddy Hield probably remains unaffected in his role given how the Kings have utilized off the bench already.
San Antonio Spurs
IN Devin Vassell, Tre Jones OUT Bryn Forbes, Marco Belinelli FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS While I may be a huge Devin Vassell fan (man should have went top-5 smh NBA) and his profile is that of a multi-category stud fantasy wing, he is still a rookie playing for the San Antonio Spurs, a notoriously meticulous organization under Gregg Poppovich which refuses to play rookies significant minutes. Could Vassell be an exception and get thrust into a role out the gates? Maybe! Though, that is not the best bet at the moment unless he forces the issue throughout preseason. Keep an eye on him but don’t get your hopes up. Vassell is more-so a high-value add off of the waiver wire down the line, especially if the Spurs shake up the veterans on their roster.
IN Malachi Flynn, Jalen Harris, Aron Baynes, DeAndre’ Bembry, Alex Len OUT Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, Oshae Brissett, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Malcolm Miller FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS When you essentially lose your entire big rotation over the course of an offseason, there will be some semblance of an impact. Ibaka and Gasol are both in Los Angeles, leaving the Raptors with a re-signed Chris Boucher and new face in Aron Baynes to heed their 5-spot. Baynes is most likely the starter given preseason usage but is now 34 and has only once averaged more than 20mpg (last season). Baynes is not much more than a cheap DFS option. Boucher should be in line for an expanded role from his 13mpg in 2019-2020 with mid-20’s in reach. It is very likely that Pascal Siakam slides in to play the center spot in small-ball situations but the typical rotation will ask for plenty more Boucher making him an underrated draft pick this year.
IN Udoka Azubuike, Elijah Hughes, Derrick Favors, Shaq Harrison OUT Ed Davis, Tony Bradley, Jarrell Brantley, Juwan Morgan, Emmanuel Mudiay, Justin Wright-Foreman FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS Largely negligible moves made here for fantasy purposes. Derrick Favors returns to Utah as second-fiddle to Rudy Gobert and has no value unless Gobert misses time. Same old Jazz.
IN Russell Westbrook, Deni Avdija, Cassius Winston, Anthony Gill, Robin Lopez, Raul Neto OUT Admiral Schofield, John Wall, Jerian Grant, Ian Mahinmi, Garrison Mathews, Shabazz Napier, Gary Payton II, Jarrod Uthoff, Johnathan Williams FANTASY BASKETBALL TIPS Quite the shake-up in Washington. While Russell Westbrook in 2020 is a far-cry from the MVP Westbrook of old, he is still an impactful player in the NBA who will help the Wizards to the most success they’ve had since the healthy John Wall era. As we all know, Westbrook is ball-dominant and even through that does take some value out of fellow star Bradley Beal, it does also lighten the burden he’s had over the past few seasons. Beal and Westbrook can co-exist on the floor with Beal’s shooting ability and fluidity. Beal can operate very well off-ball and open the floor while navigating screens as Westbrook crashes. Beal’s scoring average will tick down to the mid-20’s and assists will dip as well but he should remain a high-usage player as a secondary ball-handler with Westbrook on and primary when off. The rest of the offense benefits as well having two talented creators leading the charge. This could mean another step-forward from Troy Brown Jr. and Thomas Bryant along with continued success for Davis Bertans. The Wizards first-round selection, Deni Avdija, was an excellent choice and could benefit as well if he sees more time as the season progresses. Avdija’s shooting troubles need to be ironed out but getting open looks within this potentially well-spaced offense should help as much as possible.
Get ready for 2020-2021 NBA fantasy basketball & bettingAfter checking our Fantasy Basketball Offseason Reviews and determining the value of NBA player movement:
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