04 October 2010
With an NBA off-season unlike any other we've ever experienced, we've never before seen so many high profile players in new teams and situations. Below I analyse how these players' fantasy outputs will be affected as a result of this, and I also look at how players in existing teams will be impacted (10 player leagues assumed for draft round purposes).
LeBron James, Mia, SF: The King will share his talents in South Beach with Bosh and Wade this year, and with the latter two both needing their touches, expect LeBron's scoring (29.7 p/g ‘09/10) to dip a few points this season. However, I don't see his assists and rebounds (7.3p/g ‘09/10) to suffer too much - great players inevitably find ways to stuff the stats sheet. Expected to be picked after Kevin Durant and Chris Paul in most league drafts, you'd be foolish to let him slide any further. Draft: 1st round 3rd pick.
David Lee GS, PF/C: for fantasy purposes, perhaps the best team Lee could have gone to was Golden State, a team built around the run'n'gun. With Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry around, Lee will no longer be his team's primary offensive weapon, so expect points and assists to dip slightly; however Lee will once again be a dominant fantasy performer this season. Draft: late 2nd to 3rd round.
Amare Stoudamire NY, PF/C: Lee's replacement in NY likewise finds himself going into an ideal situation under former coach D'Antoni, who he excelled under in Phoenix. STAT will find the ball in his hands on most possessions, as he is asked to carry the majority of his team's scoring load. I don't expect his stats (no pun intended) to change too much. Draft: 2nd round.
Chris Bosh Mia, PF/C: Miami's other main summer acquisition, Bosh is the one big man whose stats may alter significantly this season. With Wade and LBJ around, his points and rebounds will almost certainly drop. Draft: 3rd round.
Al Jefferson Utah, PF/C: I expect a big season from Big Al, as the move from the poisoned atmosphere in the Twin Cities to a winning environment in Salt Lake City will most likely rejuvenate the big man. Jefferson will take on Boozer's role as the team's primary frontcourt scorer and rebounder, and Okur's absence for a couple of months due to injury certainly won't hurt. Expect Al's performance to revert to ‘08/09's (23.1 pts, 11 rebs, 1.7 bl p/g) rather than ‘09/10's (17.1 pts, 9.3 rebs, 1.3 bl) It never hurts your fantasy stats to have an elite point guard in Deron Williams dishing to you either. Draft: 3rd to 4th round.
Carlos Boozer Chi, PF: Boozer's broken hand (out for 2 months) and chequered injury history will certainly put off some drafters, however, when healthy, there are few more consistent big men in the game. With other primary scorers (Rose) and rebounders (Noah) in town, one may argue that Boozer's points and rebounds will dip slightly, however I don't expect too much to change from prior seasons. The big question is when he gets back is, can he stay healthy? Draft: 3rd to 4th round.
Troy Murphy NJ, PF/C: Murphy finds himself in an ideal situation in NJ just as he did in Indy - a starting PF on a team low in frontcourt depth. With that in mind, don't expect his stats to change much from last season. The C status is an added bonus. Draft: 4th to 5th round.
Darren Collison Ind, PG: one point guard who will see plenty of attention in the lower rounds of the draft this year compared to last year, is the 2nd year man out of UCLA. If, like me, you were lucky enough to pick Collison off the FA list last year when CP3 went down, you will be no stranger to how damaging he can be in assists (5.7 ass p/g ‘09/10, 9.1 ass p/g as a starter), points and steals. Expect Collison to see starter's minutes this year as the answer to Indy's historical PG woes. I don't see him falling much further than the 5th round. Draft: 5th to 6th round.
Mo Williams Cle, PG: as much as I'm sure he would love to have a certain you-know-who around, one player whose statistics will definitely see an improved spike this year is Williams. He will be asked to carry a large extent of Cleveland's scoring and assists in the absence of LBJ - expect his performance in these categories to revert back to prior years as a result (17.8 pts p/g ‘09/10, 6.4 ass p/g ‘08/09). Draft: 5th to 6th round.
Jason Richardson Pho, SG. With Stoudamire skipping out of town, J-Rich will be the team's primary scoring option. Expect a small spike in points and 3's. Draft: 5th to 6th round.
Antawn Jamison Cle, PF: like Mo Williams, Jamison will be asked to carry a greater percentage of Cleveland's scoring and rebounding. Draft: 5th to 6th round.
Raymond Felton NY, PG: while some will see Felton's successful season last year as a one-off, there's no doubt that Felton has found himself in an ideal situation under Mike D'Antoni. If D'Antoni could make Chris Duhon into a serviceable fantasy PG, imagine what he can do with Felton! Don't expect his ‘09/10's FG% (.459) to continue, as he is a career .410 shooter, and he will likely be taking more pressured shots in NY. However, one can expect more assists (5.6 ass p/g ‘09/10) and points this season, and he could be a real late-round steal. Draft round: 6th to 7th round.
Gilbert Arenas Was, PG/SG: after last year's NBA imposed suspension, and no longer the face of the franchise with the introduction of rookie John Wall, who knows what to expect from Agent Zero this year? Coming off multiple knee surgeries, Arenas surprised some last year with his excellence in play (22.6 pts, 7.2 ass p/g ‘09/10). With Caron Butler and Jamison no longer around, and a youthful frontcourt, I expect Arenas' scoring will stay similar to last season. However, his assists will definitely see a dip, as he moves off the ball. Still, if Gil's starts the season fully focused, he may prove to be a real late-round steal. Draft round: 6th to 7th round.
Paul Millsap Utah, PF: with Boozer fleeing to the Windy City, and Okur injured to start the season, Milsap drafters will see the benefit of starter minutes this year finally. Even when Okur returns, Milsap may be firmly entrenched at the PF position, with Jefferson at C. His points and rebounds will almost certainly rise as a result - Millsap averaged 15.4 pts p/g, 8.4 rebs and 1.6 bl as a starter in ‘09/10 (all significantly higher than when he was coming off the bench), and you can reasonably expect similar performances this season. Draft: 6th to 7th round.
Kevin Love Min, PF: like Millsap, K-Love will enjoy starter minutes this season with Big Al shipped off, and his points (14 pg ‘09/10, 15.3 p/g as a starter) and rebounds (11 rebs p/g ‘09/10, 13.3 p/g as a starter) will increase in turn. Draft: 5th to 6th round.
Anthony Randolph NY, PF/C: I'm not as high on Randolph as some are, but there's no question that Randolph could be a breakout player in a new environment now that he's out of Nellie's shackles. However, bear in mind that we have yet to see how Randolph performs when playing major minutes in a season, so take this into account on draft night. On the positive side, if Randolph can secure starter-like minutes, expect a spike in blocks (an impressive 2.1 p/g as a starter in ‘09/10) and rebounds from prior season averages. Draft: 6th to 7th round.
Hedo Turkoglu Pho, SF: Toronto proved to be an ill-advised move for Hedo last year, and his output suffered as a result. I expect a bit of a bounce-back year in a favourable system in Phoenix, as Hedo is asked to replicate some of Stoudamire's scoring and rebounding. Performances close to Hedo's last year in Orlando is not out of the question. Draft: 7th to 8th round.
Luol Deng Chi, SF: consistent but not flashy, Deng's rebounds and scoring will most likely suffer with a certain new PF in town. Draft: 8th to 9th round.
Marcus Thornton NO, SG: if you were lucky enough to add the other of NO's backcourt rookies last year (me again!), you will know the damage he can do when he gets on the court. A starting position this year for his to lose, Thornton will be NO's primary outside shooter, despite the presence of Trevor Ariza on the wing. Thornton made an impressive 1.6 3's p/g last season as a starter. Draft: 8th to 9th round.
Leandro Barbosa Tor, SG: moving the other direction in the Turkoglu trade, the Brazilian Blur may enjoy extra minutes on his new team, especially with the lack of backcourt options north of the border. His points, 3's and steals may improve as a result. Draft: 9th to 10th round.
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