There weren't many big-name free agents on the market, but that didn't stop general managers from making splash trades. It was a busy offseason, and much of the league has undergone a significant change.
Let's take a look at how some depth charts have shifted from last season:
New general manager Daryl Morey wasted no time making moves, sending out Josh Richardson and Al Horford and getting Danny Green and Seth Curry. That cleared out the power forward spot for Tobias Harris while opening up the shooting guard and small forward spots.
Green saw just 24.8 minutes per game last season, and Curry wasn't far behind at 24.6 minutes per game. It's possible they both see more time on the 76ers, though both are over 30 years old, so that's not a given. If they both remain around 24 minutes, there will be significant minutes available for Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz. Thybulle's steals-plus-blocks upside is enormous, and Milton has potential as a 3-point shooter and passer who will also see backup point guard minutes behind Ben Simmons.
Aside from core pieces Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, the Bucks' deck has been shuffled. New parts include Jrue Holiday, D.J. Augustin, Bryn Forbes, Torrey Craig and Bobby Portis.
It's not clear if Augustin or Donte DiVincenzo will start, though neither project to rank inside the top 100 in Fantasy. Portis could see sixth-man minutes behind Giannis and Lopez, and he ranked as high as 117th in eight-category leagues two years ago while seeing 26.0 minutes per game, though there might not be enough rebounds and shot attempts available with the Bucks to reach that. Forbes and Craig will likely only be Fantasy relevant in deep leagues.
Health will be the main factor for the Bulls this season, as almost nothing has changed with the depth chart aside from Coby White expected to start with Kris Dunn signing with the Hawks. White went on a tear toward the end of the year, averaging 23.7 points, 4.5 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals across 33.9 minutes during the final 11 games before the season's hiatus. It seems unlikely he'll reach those heights this season, but he's a gunner and should be a good source of points and 3s in Fantasy.
With Tristan Thompson signing with the Celtics, Andre Drummond has the center position to himself in Cleveland. We should expect his usual production as a 15-and-15 machine.
With the backcourt and power forward positions also set -- Darius Garland, Collin Sexton, Kevin Love -- the Cavaliers' only real question is the small forward spot. Cedi Osman has been starting there over the past two seasons, but the rebuilding Cavs should also have interest in bringing along both second-year wing Kevin Porter Jr. and rookie Isaac Okoro. It's a bit of a logjam, but Porter can also play shooting guard and Osman can also play power forward, so there's a possibility of all three seeing minutes in the mid-20s. Unfortunately, that could mean none of them end up with Fantasy relevance.
Losing Gordon Hayward is a hit to the Celtics, but it should open up more scoring and playmaking opportunities for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. All three could see their Fantasy value rise, though Tatum seems to be on the verge of a leap into stardom after averaging 28.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.9 3s, 3.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks in the final 19 games before last season's hiatus.
The thin wing rotation could also mean rookie Aaron Nesmith sees significant run right away, and it seems possible new addition Jeff Teague and Kemba Walker could share the court together. And if Walker's knee remains less than 100 percent -- he's already been ruled out through mid-January -- Teague should be an intriguing Fantasy option on his own. At center, the team added Tristan Thompson. He saw 30.3 minutes per game last season, and Daniel Theis saw 24.1 minutes, so some sacrifices will need to be made -- the question is, by who? Given the unclear roles, both are risky Fantasy options.
The Clippers lost Montrezl Harrell in free agency, though recovered by adding Serge Ibaka. Ivica Zubac may remain the nominal starter, but he saw just 18.4 minutes per game last season, so Ibaka should continue seeing sixth-man minutes in the frontcourt. The team also sent out Landry Shamet, acquiring the more versatile Luke Kennard in the process. Kennard might be able to see sixth-man minutes as well, and it seems like L.A. could be eyeing him up as a potential Lou Williams replacement. Both players could take a hit to their workload and usage as a result of their new situations.
The Grizzlies were en route to the same starting lineup as last season, though Jaren Jackson won't be available to start the year as he recovers from a torn meniscus. While he recovers, Brandon Clarke will likely start. Clarke has upside, and when seeing at least 24 minutes last season, he averaged 15.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 blocks.
Memphis also confidently handed out a four-year, $35 million deal to De'Anthony Melton despite the presence of Ja Morant at point guard, so we shouldn't be shocked to see the former receive a boost in the 19.5 minutes per game he saw last season, even if that means playing him next to Morant at times. The Grizzlies also have Justise Winslow, who was acquired from the Heat at last season's trade deadline. He could come off the bench behind Kyle Anderson, but given the rebuilding situation Memphis is in, finding minutes for Winslow will probably be a priority.
The Hawks look dramatically different this season. Clint Capela will make his team debut, and Danilo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Rajon Rondo and Kris Dunn were significant offseason additions. Reports have indicated that Gallinari will come off the bench behind John Collins, though it would be surprising if he didn't see minutes in the high-20s considering the Hawks handed him $61.5 million. It appears Bogdanovic will start, and this could be the first season that he cracks the 30-minute-per-game threshold.
It's not clear what will become of the young crew's minutes. Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish and De'Andre Hunter could see their roles scaled back, though none were especially relevant in Fantasy anyway.
Miami lost Jae Crowder. That's about it. Maurice Harkless and Avery Bradley were brought in, but neither figure to be important Fantasy players. Harkless will be fighting for minutes with Meyers Leonard, Kelly Olynyk and rookie Precious Achiuwa. Bradley will be fighting for minutes in a crazy-deep backcourt that includes Goran Dragic, Kendrick Nunn, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Andre Iguodala.
Charlotte made a massive splash this offseason by adding Gordon Hayward on a $120 million deal. He'll be the Hornets' best player and could see usage similar to his All-Star season in Utah. The addition complicates the playing time of Miles Bridges, who also has to compete with PJ Washington.
The backcourt rotation got more crowded as well, with the Hornets drafting LaMelo Ball with the No. 3 pick in the draft. He has the upside to guard three positions, but he needs the ball in his hands due to a work-in-progress jumper. The rookie will be fighting for minutes with Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier, though it'll likely be Rozier's minutes that are the most at stake.
Utah re-signed Jordan Clarkson to be a sixth-man in the backcourt, and Derrick Favors is back with the team as well following a one-year stint in New Orleans. He's expected to come off the bench behind Rudy Gobert, though the two might still play a few minutes together.
Drafting Tyrese Haliburton was a good excuse to let Bogdan Bogdanovic walk, and the versatile rookie could slide right into minutes in the mid-20s. Marvin Bagley will also be looking to finally make an impact at power forward after his first two seasons were fraught with injury. Sacramento also brought in Hassan Whiteside, presumably to anger Fantasy managers who were hoping for a Richaun Holmes breakout. Both big men could take a hit to their workload and possibly split time. It was just a one-year contract for Whiteside, so the franchise clearly isn't committed to giving him an abundance of playing time.
Making sense of the Knicks' roster is a yearly headache, but the franchise didn't make any inexplicable, are-they-tanking-or-are-they-not signings this offseason. The starting five seems clear, with Elfrid Payton, RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson.
Still, the backcourt is a little too crowded, and it includes Frank Ntilikina, Austin Rivers, Dennis Smith, rookie Immanuel Quickley and Alec Burks. I'm not particularly worried about Barrett's minutes, since the organization desperately needs him to pan out. Payton is the one who could see a dip in minutes if other players start showing upside, especially Ntilikina, Smith or Quickley.
Maybe this will be the year Robinson can see 30-plus minutes. However, even if coach Tom Thibodeau wants to give him 30 minutes, Robinson's foul troubles remain an issue. So, Nerlens Noel is ready for reserve minutes and shockingly ranked 94th in Fantasy on a per-game basis in just 18.5 minutes per game last season. Toppin seems to have the small forward minutes all to himself unless Kevin Knox wakes up or coach Thibs feels like he owes something to Reggie Bullock.
Out are Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee. In are Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Wes Matthews and Marc Gasol. The Lakers had a strong offseason, adding higher-upside talent to the roster.
Schroder's role is likely the one with the highest floor. He figures to play around 30 minutes per night in both guard spots, acting as one of the team's primary playmakers aside from LeBron James and Anthony Davis. And if LeBron takes games off due to the squeezed season, Schroder will be the only experienced ball handler available.
With Anthony Davis not wanting to play center in the regular season, there should be somewhere between 30-40 minutes available at center for the combination of Harrell and Gasol. Harrel should occupy most of those, and it seems possible he'll continue seeing the 26.9 minutes per game he's averaged over the past two seasons. The soon-to-be-36-year-old Gasol looked rough at times last season, so we could see his minutes dip significantly from the 26.4 he saw last year. He saw just 20.7 minutes per game in the 2020 postseason with the Raptors and shot 39.1 percent from the field.
With Jonathan Isaac out for the entire 2020-21 season, the Magic's forward depth got much thinner. That should lead to more minutes for Terrence Ross, James Ennis and Al-Farouq Aminu, though only Ross may end up being Fantasy relevant unless Aminu finds himself playing 30 minutes per game. If Aminu hasn't fully recovered from his torn meniscus before the start of the season, Chuma Okeke could find himself with a rotational role.
Other than that, the main change for the Magic this season will be the addition of rookie Cole Anthony. He's a score-first guard playing for a team that desperately needs shot-makers. Both Markelle Fultz and Evan Fournier are on expiring contracts, so Orlando will likely want to see what it has in Anthony before having to make a decision on either player.
The Mavericks dealt shooter Seth Curry to the 76ers in exchange for the more versatile, two-way wing, Josh Richardson. Dallas acquired James Johnson as well. Neither move will drastically change coach Rick Carlisle's rotation, though it's possible we see Dorian Finney-Smith's minutes suffer. However, that might only happen once Kristaps Porzingis returns from his torn meniscus. He's expected to miss "the beginning" of the season, which is about as vague as possible.
Brooklyn is fully expected to start Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert, Joe Harris, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan. The only surprise could be Jarrett Allen starting, though he and Jordan are likely to split time again. Spencer Dinwiddie should act as Brooklyn's sixth man. Aside from that, it's unlikely anyone on the team will have Fantasy relevance.
Losing Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee in free agency puts a lot of pressure on Michael Porter Jr., who is a strong candidate to start at small forward, though Will Barton could end up getting the nod. Porter should play plenty of power forward as well, as Millsap will probably have to play more backup center than he did last year. We might also see some Bol Bol, though Fantasy managers shouldn't bank him being a game-changer.
The backcourt is a little weak, as Gary Harris' play and availability have fluctuated plenty, and Monte Morris is the only other option with NBA experience besides starting point guard Jamal Murray. There are some new faces, however, as Denver added RJ Hampton in the draft and picked up overseas player Facundo Campazzo, though he's exclusively a point guard since he's 5-foot-11. The two will likely battle with PJ Dozier for reserve guard minutes.
Despite trade buzz, it appears both Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner will be back to start the season. Ultimately, Indiana stood pat during the offseason and will be running back almost an identical squad.
Unloading Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee for a myriad of picks and Eric Bledsoe was a good long-term move, but it has stuck New Orleans with a strange roster. The backcourt is crowded and confusing, with Lonzo Ball, Eric Bledsoe, rookie Kira Lewis, JJ Redick, Josh Hart and second-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker all looking for minutes. Aside from Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, forward depth is thin, which makes me think there will be plenty of three-guard lineups. Steven Adams should start at center, with second-year center Jaxson Hayes backing him up.
Are the Pistons rebuilding or trying to win? Because Derrick Rose, Delon Wright, Jerami Grant, Blake Griffin and Mason Plumlee is not a tanking starting five. Detroit is presumably shopping both Rose and Griffin, but it appears they'd like to try to see if this team pans out first. Either way, that group of five seem like the only players on the team that could have Fantasy relevance. Rookie Killian Hayes doesn't have an easy path to playing time, and neither does second-year forward Sekou Doumboyua or third-year shooter Svi Mykhailiuk.
Losing both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka in free agency opens up over 50 minutes per game in the frontcourt. Free-agent acquisition Aron Baynes figures to start at center, while Chris Boucher should act as his backup provided Alex Len doesn't have his long-anticipated breakout. Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby might be the only players who see power forward minutes, so that could open up time at small forward for Norman Powell, who had a strong campaign last season. Second-year pro Terence Davis could also see a boost in playing time.
Though both players requested trades, it appears Russell Westbrook and James Harden will be back in the fold when training camp begins. The biggest offseason move for Houston ended up signing Christian Wood to a $41 million deal. He's expected to start in the frontcourt and adds a non-small-ball dimension to the Rockets, who have both a new coach and general manager. The team will still play five-out, as Wood has a 3-point stroke. Houston also quietly signed DeMarcus Cousins, who has obvious upside if he can stay healthy.
The Spurs' biggest offseason transaction, aside from drafting Devin Vassell with the No. 11 pick, was having Bryn Forbes sign with the Bucks. That should allow Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and second-year player Keldon Johnson to see more minutes in the backcourt. Murray is especially interesting from a Fantasy perspective. When seeing 30-plus minutes last season, he averaged 16.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.4 steals.
The Suns had an aggressive offseason, trading Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio and picks for Chris Paul. Paul will start at point guard next to Devin Booker, with some combination of Cameron Payne, Langston Galloway and E'Twaun Moore backing them up. Mikal Bridges will presumably slide in as the starting small forward. Newly-signed Jae Crowder should step in as the power forward, with Cam Johnson and Dario Saric backing up both forward spots. Deandre Ayton will start at center, with rookie Jalen Smith and Damian Jones battling for reserve minutes.
Bridges has the biggest opportunity to see an expanded role and increase his Fantasy value. He ranked 99th in Fantasy on a per-game basis last season seeing just 28.0 minutes per game. When seeing over 30 minutes, Bridges averaged 11.4 points with shooting splits of 51/38/89, 4.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.3 3s and 0.9 blocks.
Talk about cleaning house. Oklahoma City has gone into one of the deepest rebuilds in recent memory, with a possible starting five of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, Lu Dort, Darius Bazley and Al Horford. That could certainly be fluid as new coach Mark Daigneault will presumably experiment with plenty of five-man combinations. It's possible the Thunder will have the fewest top-100 Fantasy players of any team in the league, and drafting anyone outside of Gilegeous-Alexander is a huge risk. SGA himself should have a massive campaign.
After drafting Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 pick in the draft, Minnesota tacked on a win-now move by trading picks for Ricky Rubio. With D'Angelo Russell also on the team, it seems like Edwards is headed to starting at small forward rather than shooting guard. In that case, Malik Beasley would come off the bench and could act as a sixth-man.
Karl-Anthony Towns will obviously start at center, but the options next to him in the frontcourt -- Juancho Hernangomez, Jake Layman and Naz Reid -- might be the thinnest of any team in the league. Hernangomez is likely the frontrunner after closing the season out strong with Minnesota, but that might not guarantee him 30 minutes per game.
After looking fantastic in the bubble, the Trail Blazers are back in upgraded fashion. Portland added Robert Covington to start at small forward and Enes Kanter to back up Jusuf Nurkic. Also, Carmelo Anthony is returning and Rodney Hood will be back from injury. The only negative is that Zach Collins will remain out until mid-January due to an ankle injury. In terms of Fantasy, the most notable addition is simply a healthy Nurkic. In eight seeding games, he averaged 17.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.4 steals.
In what is a huge blow to the Warriors' expectations, Klay Thompson suffered an Achilles tear and will be out for a second straight season. In the aftermath, the organization traded for Kelly Oubre, who should start alongside Andrew Wiggins on the wing. Golden State used its No. 2 overall pick on center James Wiseman, who should be expected to start next to Draymond Green.
Similar to last season, the Warriors remain extremely thin. Brad Wanamaker, Damion Lee, Kent Bazemore, Eric Paschall, Marquese Chriss and Kevon Looney appear to be the primary reserves, which is rough in a loaded Western Conference. As a result, Golden State's starting five should see plenty of action if the team hopes to make any sort of noise.
The biggest addition for the Wizards will be the return of John Wall from an Achilles tear. The team also retained Davis Bertans -- one of the league's premier 3-point shooters. That duo, plus Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant should make up the starting five. Off the bench, Troy Brown and rookie Deni Avdija will be the pair to watch. The biggest Fantasy implication might be the addition of Wall driving down Beal's usage. The latter should still get plenty of shots off, though, and will probably be worth a second-round draft pick in Fantasy.