NBA Fantasy: Implications of free agency, trades for 2023-24 –

RotoWire lists Kyrie Irving as a fantasy building block in his 1st full season with the Mavericks.

The NBA offseason is a pivotal period of roster adjustments, where teams make strategic moves to prepare for the upcoming season. This summer, the league witnessed a flurry of player transfers trades, and high-profile signings that have captured the attention of fantasy managers.

Let’s examine the key transactions that have the potential to reshape the NBA landscape and discuss their prospective impact on fantasy basketball.

Biggest changes

Phoenix trades for Bradley Beal

Seeing the potential to move off of Chris Paul’s contract and get a high-level player in return, the Suns sent CP3 to Washington — later traded to Golden State — in exchange for Beal. Previously the No. 1 option in Washington, Beal now sits behind Kevin Durant and Devin Booker in the pecking order. While Beal won’t see the volume he has in previous seasons, there will still be plenty of nights where he leads the team in points or assists.

Surprise trade sends Kristaps Porzingis to Celtics, Marcus Smart to Grizzlies, Tyus Jones to Wizards

Porzingis goes from being the No. 2 option in Washington to the No. 3 option in a crowded Boston frontcourt. He’s shown second-round upside, but his injury history and a reduced role means it may not be worth drafting him until the fourth or fifth.

Smart will fill the starting point guard spot for the first 25 games of the season while Ja Morant serves a suspension. The Grizzlies are a bit thin for offensive weapons, so he could see higher usage until Morant returns.

Jones has been lauded as one of the league’s best, if not the best, backup point guard. Washington has other backcourt options, and plenty of usage should still go to Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma, but Jones could be worth a top-100 pick if he plays 30 minutes per night.

Chris Paul, Jordan Poole swapped

The Warriors seem less concerned about fit and more concerned with veteran experience. Adding Paul to an egalitarian offense led by Stephen Curry and Draymond Green is an experiment. CP3 is talented enough to make something work, even if his role is significantly reduced. If he plays minutes in the mid-to-high 20s, he’ll still be worth rostering in almost every league.

Poole is going from being a microwave high-minute sixth man to leading an offense. Even surrounded by high-usage players in Golden State last season, he averaged 20.4 points and 4.5 assists. He’s one of this season’s fantasy breakout candidates and will probably do his best to lead the league in scoring.

Fred VanVleet heads south 

Another Toronto point guard is fleeing to a warmer climate. The Rockets are attempting to speed up their post-Harden rebuild by signing veterans while their drafted young players are rising. VanVleet should lead Houston’s offense, though Jalen Green, Jabari Smith, Alperen Sengun and Dillon Brooks will all want their touches. New coach Ime Udoka also may not play FVV 37.1 minutes per game, which he’s seen over the past three seasons. The point guard could see reduced usage overall, but he still figures to be an elite source of threes, assists and steals.

Fantasy building blocks

Kyrie Irving rejoins Mavericks

As expected, Dallas inked Irving to an extension after trading for him last season. Injuries and absences limited him and Luka Doncic to just 16 appearances together, but neither of their numbers suffered significantly when they shared the floor.

Khris Middleton re-ups with Milwaukee

Injuries limited Middleton to 33 appearances last season, but he underwent offseason surgery and is expected to be okay. He’s getting older but still projects to be a walking 20-5-5 guy.

Cameron Johnson inks extension with Brooklyn

Johnson averaged 16.6 points in 30.8 minutes after being dealt from Phoenix to Brooklyn at last year’s trade deadline. He may blossom into the team’s second-leading scorer behind Mikal Bridges.

Jerami Grant re-ups in Portland

Grant’s exact role will depend on what happens with Damian Lillard, but he scored 20.5 points on efficient shooting last season. A Lillard departure may not even add that much more usage to Grant’s plate, as Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe would all step up.

Golden State keeps Draymond Green

The Warriors inked Green to a four-year, $100 million contract, further cementing the core into place. Adding Chris Paul could take some usage away from Green, but the pair could also form an intriguing pick-and-roll combination.

Wizards extend Kyle Kuzma in start of post-Beal era

Kuzma is coming off a career year and should have even more opportunities for touches now that Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis are gone. Jordan Poole still figures to be the No. 1 option, however.

Toronto caves and decides to play a center

After years without committing to a traditional center, the Raptors went back to the well with Jakob Poeltl, who they drafted in 2016. Toronto has plenty of questions to answer about the direction of the team and this season’s offense, but Poeltl should continue putting up his usual numbers.

The Lakers backcourt

This summer, the Lakers inked Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell to extensions while adding Gabe Vincent. In the playoffs, Reaves shined while Russell struggled. But Reaves can only take on so much more usage with LeBron James and Anthony Davis around, and Russell can only sink so low given his talent. Both are worth drafting in fantasy in the 80-100 range, and selecting both is not a bad idea for a handcuff. Vincent is a better real-life player than fantasy asset.

Bucks retain Brook Lopez 

Quietly one of the older teams in the NBA, the Bucks decided to hang onto 35-year-old Lopez, who is coming off a revival season. However, part of that was increased responsibilities with Khris Middleton missing time. What’s in store with Middleton back in the saddle, plus a new head coach? It could be less usage and minutes in the mid-20s.

Other notables

Spurs ink Tre Jones to modest extension

One of the league’s most anonymous starting point guards, Jones is coming off a quality year where he averaged 12.9 points and 6.6 assists with just 1.6 turnovers. His role shouldn’t change much, even with the entrance of Victor Wembanyama.

Knicks add Donte DiVincenzo to backcourt 

New York is complicating its backcourt even more by signing DiVincenzoto a four-year, $50 million deal. Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett will start, but other mouths to feed include Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley and Josh Hart. Dare I say I’m the most worried about Barrett? Coach Tom Thibodeau stopped trusting him in fourth quarters down the stretch, and he was again underwhelming in the playoffs.

Herbert Jones re-ups with Pelicans

Jones is one of the best defenders in the NBA, but he’s a low-usage offensive option on a deep depth chart. He’s draftable in fantasy leagues if you’re desperate for steals, but he needs to learn how to shoot threes to reach his full potential.

Max Strus sign-and-traded to Cavaliers

Cleveland is attempting to fix its horrible floor spacing by adding Strus, who launched 2.5 threes in 28.4 minutes per game for the Heat last season. It’s unlikely he will take on a ton more usage, but his presence could negatively affect Caris LeVert and Isaac Okoro.

Dillon Brooks sign-and-traded to Houston

Brooks fetched $80 million from the Rockets. The team is deep, but Brooks figures to start and set the defensive tone. He’s still projected to be a fringe fantasy option. 

Cleveland hangs onto Caris LeVert

With Ricky Rubio indefinitely taking time away from the sport, LeVert could step into more playmaking responsibilities. He’s been a good streaming option, especially when the Cavs are dealing with a backcourt injury.

Grant Williams heads to Mavericks via sign-and-trade 

Williams is an excellent fit for a team in need of defensive size. But he’s simply a low-usage player with little fantasy value.

P.J. Washington, Hornets end months-long standoff

Surprisingly, it took until Aug. 26 for the two sides to agree on a three-year, $48 million contract. Washington should continue seeing sixth-man-to-starter playing time, though his presence may cut into Nick Richard’s backup minutes at center.

Rui Hachimura stays with Lakers

Hachimura got hot from three and saved the Lakers a few times in the playoffs. But he’s never been a top-100 fantasy player, and that’s not expected to change.

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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.

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