Fantasy Basketball: Impact of Free Agency Moves and Key Exchanges

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Tyrese Haliburton will likely be asked to carry a heavy load this season.

It’s been a quiet summer in terms of star free agents changing teams. Still, there was no shortage of trades that significantly altered the landscape of the league heading into 2022-23. For fantasy basketball managers, analyzing the offseason is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the competition. And since few rookies have an immediate impact, player movement through free agency and trades is usually the most important aspect of the offseason.

Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks

Murray thinks he’s stepping back given that he’ll be sharing the backcourt with a ball-dominant, pick-and-roll maestro in Trae Young. However, when Young is on the bench, Murray should be the main offensive creator. Murray’s point and assist numbers could be down, but having fewer offensive responsibilities could allow him to focus more on defense, which has helped him make a name for himself in the league. Ultimately, Murray remains a good bet to fill out the stat sheet every night and should still be heavily considered even in the early rounds of most drafts.

Malcolm Brogdon, Boston Celtics

Brogdon has missed 90 games in his three seasons with the Pacers, and he joins a stacked Celtics team that boasts absurd depth. It will come as no surprise that Brogdon is available beyond the middle rounds of most fantasy drafts. Although a reduction in playing time is almost inevitable, Brogdon may have a better chance of staying healthy now that he won’t be relied on as much as he was in Indiana.

Christian Wood and Spencer Dinwiddie, Dallas Mavericks

Wood projects himself as a superb pick-and-pop threat alongside Luka Doncic. In recent years, Wood has posted good stats on bad teams. This will be his first opportunity to show that he can make a positive contribution to a competitor. Although Dallas has several capable big men, such as Maxi Kleber and JaVale McGee, Wood is the only Maverick with the positive, potential and complementary skills to be Doncic’s offensive sidekick.

Following the departure of Jalen Brunson, Spencer Dinwiddie is also expected to play an increased role compared to last season. Doncic usually operates with the ball in his hands, and Dinwiddie is a ridged perimeter shooter, so the fit may not be perfect. Nonetheless, when Doncic rests, Dinwiddie will get plenty of rep on the ball offensively and could prove worthy of a mid-term pick, depending on the fantasy format.

Bruce Brown and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Denver Nuggets

One of the surest ways for role players to improve their fantasy stock is to play alongside Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. Brown is coming off his best season, having made notable progress as a perimeter shooter, and he’s a fantastic ball cutter. Expect another mini-jump from him in 2022-23. Meanwhile, Caldwell-Pope has long been a solid 3-D player. Fantasy managers should seriously consider Brown and Caldwell-Pope in the later rounds.

Donte DiVincenzo, Golden State Warriors

DiVincenzo is pretty inconsistent when it comes to filming. However, he projects himself as a quality fit in Golden State’s offensive system thanks to his keen passing and ball-handling acumen. Plus, he’s not afraid to go after it defensively. Fantasy managers in the deep leagues might consider signing DiVincenzo in the later rounds.

Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets

With Houston trading Christian Wood to Dallas, Sengun should post some impressive tally stats. Fantasy managers who had high hopes for Sengun last season should try to forgive and forget as he could have a stellar second season. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be available beyond the mid-towers of most drafts.

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers

Haliburton had already won Indiana’s car keys offensively. However, with Malcolm Brogdon no longer in the squad, Haliburton will likely have to carry a heavy load. On that basis alone, Haliburton could be worth a second-round draft target.

John Wall, Los Angeles Clippers

Wall has missed two of the past three seasons and played just 40 games in 2020-21. He will compete with fellow veteran point guard Reggie Jackson for a few minutes. If both players remain healthy, it could be an even split in terms of playing time, although Jackson will average 31.2 minutes over 75 games in 2021-22 and may be a slightly safer pick. Nonetheless, the fact that Wall found his way to a contending team in dire need of play bodes well for his chances of restoring fantasy relevance. Managers could do a lot worse than shoot Wall in the final rounds of drafts.

Thomas Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

Bryant is returning to the Lakers, the team that drafted him, after playing for the Wizards for the past four years. Even if Anthony Davis remains healthy for most of the campaign, Bryant could play long minutes alongside Davis, who prefers to play as much forward as possible before the playoffs. Los Angeles had several centers last year, none of which were reliable. If Bryant remains healthy — something he’s struggled to do lately, appearing in 37 games combined over the past two seasons — he could be a late (or undrafted) steal for fantasy purposes.

Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves

Gobert could take fewer rebounds since he will play alongside another seven-footer at Karl-Anthony Towns. Cities could also see its boards decline. Nonetheless, Gobert is leaving Utah, a team with minimal defensive talent but great offensive firepower, for Minnesota, another team that fits the same description. Based on what the Timberwolves gave up to get Gobert, it’s safe to assume he’ll be heavily relied upon as the club aim to evolve into a title contender.

Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks

After a scintillating playoff performance, Brunson was given a long-term contract by the Knicks. He will have to share playmaking duties with two other southpaws (Julius Randle and RJ Barrett), but Brunson is expected to play a bigger role in New York. Able to operate on and off the ball, Brunson is the complete package offensively. He is a breakout contender heading into 2022-23.

And then there’s Hartenstein, who acts as Mitchell Robinson’s backup at center. Hartenstein proved his ability to fill the stat sheet despite having modest totals in minutes. He should be a great source of tally stats across multiple categories, especially on nights when Robinson is in trouble.

De’Anthony Melton, Philadelphia 76ers

After a year in which he posted career highs in scoring (10.8 PPG), rebounding (4.5 RPG) and minutes (22.7 MPG), Melton was among the most underrated additions. estimated off-season. Philadelphia’s backcourt was a defensive mess last season, but Melton’s arrival should do a lot to change that. After showing he’s a solid three-point shooter by sinking 38.8% of his 4.7 attempts per game over the past two campaigns, Melton will likely get his fair share of open looks playing against star Joel Embiid. and James Harden. Melton could solidify as the team’s fifth most productive fantasy player behind Embiid, Harden, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris. He brings enough to the table defensively to make this a workable formation.

Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers

Grant won’t be a top offensive option now that he’s adjusting to Portland instead of Detroit. Still, he might stay involved enough to avoid becoming a mere actor again. The Trail Blazers haven’t had a wing to Grant’s level in years, and he’s likely to pick up some hefty minutes every night.

Kevin Huerter, Sacramento Kings

Huerter is coming off a solid season in which he finished with career highs in field goal percentage (45.4% FG) and 3-point percentage (38.9% 3PT). However, most of his other stats have stagnated over the past few years, and the Hawks have opted out of Huerter this offseason.

The change of scenery might be better for Huerter. He benefited from plenty of open looks created by Trae Young, but Huerter couldn’t show what else he could do as an attacking designer other than the occasional glimpse. Huerter won’t suddenly have the ball in his hands all the time in Sacramento, but he’ll almost certainly be used in more creative ways than he was in Atlanta, like dribble scenarios with Domantas Sabonis.

Devin Vassell, San Antonio Spurs

Vassell had a significant increase in sophomore minutes (27.3 MPG) and finished the year with 36-minute averages of 16.2 points, 5.7 boards, 2.5 assists, 2, 5 threes, 1.4 interceptions and 0.8 blocks. Dejounte Murray’s off-season departure means Vassell will be propelled into a more meaningful role this year and could earn a mid-round pick in the draft. In terms of breakout player candidates, Vassell is among the best bets.

Jarred Vanderbilt, Utah Jazz

It remains to be seen if the Jazz will trade Donovan Mitchell this offseason. But for now, Vanderbilt, a relentless rebounder and defender, looks like he could be the big winner from a fantasy standpoint. Already after a career year for the Timberwolves, he could end up playing more than 30 minutes per game.

Will Barton and Monte Morris, Washington Wizards

Barton is coming off a rebound season after struggling in 2020-21. Meanwhile, Morris took his game to new heights last season, hitting career averages of 12.6 points and 4.4 assists to 1.0 turnovers, 3.0 boards and 1.7 three on 29.9 minutes per game as a full-time starting point guard. . Morris and Barton can earn starting gigs. Additionally, Morris is one of the most stable and efficient point guards in the league. He should help ease Bradley Beal’s burden of ball handling, distribution and attack orchestration. Those looking for reliability in later draft rounds could do much worse than Morris or Barton.

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