In the NBA, change is constant. Fantasy basketball managers must stay updated on transactions to have the necessary edge to win their leagues. In this article, we’ll look at the biggest changes around the Association and how they affect fantasy value.
ADP Inside Top 100
Jordan Poole, Wizards (ADP: 49.0)
Poole averaged career highs in points (20.4) and assists (4.5) last season as Golden State’s sixth man. He’ll now be Washington’s No. 1 option, sharing some scoring responsibilities with Kyle Kuzma and passing responsibilities with fellow newcomer Tyus Jones. With Stephen Curry off the floor last season, Poole averaged 27.9 points and 5.6 assists per 36 minutes — marks he’ll have a decent chance to hit on his new squad.
Deandre Ayton, Trail Blazers (ADP: 49.1)
Ayton’s usage trailed off at the end of last season while playing alongside Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Chris Paul. Now, he gets a fresh start for a rebuilding Portland team, where he should have more opportunities for touches. He should be an even more reliable source of 20-and-10 performances going forward, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the center reached a career high in scoring.
Tyus Jones, Wizards (ADP: 80.8)
Jones has been one of the league’s best backup point guards over the past few years. He’ll get his first chance to be a true starter in Washington. In the 27-year-old’s 94 career starts, he’s averaged 12.1 points, 6.9 assists and 1.6 steals in 31.5 minutes. Managers in nine-category leagues should take extra notice, as those starts also produced just 1.2 turnovers per game.
Marcus Smart, Grizzlies (ADP: 87.6)
Whether Smart’s stock is up or down following his trade to Memphis isn’t 100% clear. However, while Ja Morant is suspended for the first 25 games of the year, Smart figures to see increased usage compared to his time in Boston last season. Fantasy managers could hedge their bets by drafting both Smart and Morant in the later rounds.
Damian Lillard, Bucks (ADP: 11.3)
Swooping in to crash the mutual interest between Lillard and Heat was the Bucks, who shockingly traded for the star point guard, giving up Jrue Holiday and Grayson Allen. Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player Lillard has ever been teammates with, and it seems likely Lillard’s usage will fall as he’s no longer the clear No. 1 option. Still, he’ll have plenty of playmaking and scoring responsibilities for Milwaukee and should be worth a second-round selection in fantasy.
Fred VanVleet, Rockets (ADP: 28.5)
VanVleet should still act as Houston’s primary playmaker as he did in Toronto, but it remains to be seen how egalitarian the Rockets’ offense will be under new coach Ime Udoka. Jalen Green, Jabari Smith and Alperen Sengun are all trending up, while Dillon Brooks isn’t shy about letting it fly. Minutes are another thing that may bring VanVleet’s fantasy value down. He’s been over 36.5 minutes per game over the past three seasons. Udoka might not be as willing to push him to that limit as Nick Nurse was.
Jrue Holiday, Celtics (ADP: 41.1)
Holiday was effectively the Bucks’ No. 2 option for the Bucks last season while Khris Middleton dealt with injuries for most of the season. Now in Boston, he’ll be behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the pecking order, fighting for third-option looks with Kristaps Porzingis. His usage may decrease, but don’t be surprised if Holiday’s defensive numbers are more potent with the chance to focus more on that side of the ball.
Kristaps Porzingis, Celtics (ADP: 43.4)
Porzingis is coming off his best season, considering his usage and games played. Both are already in question for this season, however. The big man sat out the FIBA World Cup while recovering from plantar fasciitis, and joining the Celtics means he’ll be the team’s third offensive option at best.
Bradley Beal, Suns (ADP: 60.6)
Like the aforementioned Porzingis, Beal is dropping in offensive priority and has dealt with injury issues lately. He hasn’t played more than 60 games since 2018-19, and he’s appeared in 63+ games four times in his 11-year career. Plus, he’s on the wrong side of 30 while playing behind Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.
Chris Paul, Warriors (ADP: 72.9)
Paul’s fit with the Warriors seems less than picture perfect. Golden State thrives off constant movement, with every player participating in an on-ball and off-ball role. Throughout Paul’s career, he’s been a staple on the ball, rarely giving up playmaking duties. And when he does, he does little more than stand on the perimeter and provide spacing. To an extent, talent will still win out, but fantasy managers also have age and injury history as concerns.
John Collins, Jazz (ADP: 103.0)
Collins is coming off his worst campaign since being a rookie, and Atlanta wasn’t shy about wanting to trade him over the past few seasons. Utah acquired Collins for just Rudy Gay and a second-round pick. Considering how coach Will Hardy re-ignited Lauri Markkanen’s career, he could do the same with Collins, who averaged 19.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks from 2018-19 through 2020-21.
Bruce Brown, Pacers (ADP: 119.3)
It seems likely Brown will start after being handed a two-year, $45 million contract by the Pacers, not to mention Indiana looking to trade Buddy Hield following failed extension talks. Brown had streaming value in fantasy leagues last season, and there’s leeway for him to have more touches with his new team.
Dennis Schroder, Raptors (ADP: 135.5)
Schroder has started 156 of his past 335 games with the Thunder, Lakers, Celtics and Rockets. While it’s not immediately clear if he’ll start for Toronto, he should have plenty of opportunities to be the team’s lead guard following the departure of Fred VanVleet. He’s had fringe fantasy value over the past half-decade, but Schroder is worth drafting as a flier in this role.
Obi Toppin, Pacers (ADP: 138.7)
Toppin has had little opportunity to prove himself since being drafted No. 8 overall in 2020. In New York, he was stuck behind Julius Randle — one of the league’s minutes leaders over the past three seasons. Now in Indiana, Toppin may start at power forward. He has little competition outside of rookie Jarace Walker. With upside of seeing 30 minutes per game, Toppin is worth drafting in most leagues.
Grant Williams, Mavericks (ADP: 144.2)
Williams’ role with the Celtics was inconsistent last season. Now, he joins a Dallas team that will presumably provide him with stability after giving him a four-year, $54 million deal. That said, Williams is a low-usage three-and-D player who doesn’t rack up significant defensive stats, so he can be avoided in most fantasy formats.
Dillon Brooks, Rockets (ADP: 142.2)
Ironically, for as much criticism as Brooks took for poor shot selection last season, he averaged his fewest points per game (14.3) since his sophomore season. There are plenty of mouths to feed in Houston, but it seems reasonable to expect more shots this season from Brooks, who was handed a four-year, $80 million contract. Either way, it’s unlikely he’ll be more than a streaming option in standard leagues.
Jusuf Nurkic, Suns (ADP: 104.7)
Replacing Deandre Ayton in Phoenix, Nurkic may struggle to see the kind of usage expected out of him in Portland with the assumption that Lillard would be gone. Nurkic should still be plenty involved in the offense, but he now drops to a clear fourth option.
Christian Wood, Lakers (ADP: 139.1)
It took until Sept. 5 for Wood to find a contract after wearing out his welcome during a one-year stint in Dallas. He now joins the Lakers but will presumably have trouble finding the 26.0 minutes per night he saw with the Mavericks. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are ahead of him on the depth chart, and Wood will also have to compete with Jarred Vanderbilt, Rui Hachimura, Taurean Prince and Jaxson Hayes. Even with that being the case, Wood has enough upside to be worth a gamble at the end of drafts.
Max Strus, Cavaliers (ADP: 142.4)
Strus is coming off a career year with the Heat, though his 3-point shooting (35.0%) dipped compared to 2021-22 (41.0%). Cleveland wasn’t concerned, pulling off a sign-and-trade to secure Strus on a four-year, $63 million deal. However, with Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell running the show, plus Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen getting plenty of touches, Strus may not be asked to do as much for the Cavaliers.
Donte DiVincenzo, Knicks (ADP: 141.5)
Last season, DiVincenzo benefited significantly from the Warriors’ injury issues, starting 36 of his 72 appearances. Now he’s joining a crowded Knicks backcourt featuring Jalen Brunson, Quentin Grimes, RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and Josh Hart. DiVincenzo will have chances to shine, but they’ll probably be fewer and farther between.
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Alex is RotoWire’s Chief NBA Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, VSiN and other platforms. He firmly believes Robert Covington is the most underrated fantasy player of the past decade.