Fantasy Basketball: 2019 NBA free agency analysis from K.D. and Kyrie to Jimmy Butler to Austin Rivers
NBA free agency opens with superstars and role players flying off the shelves. Nick Whalen analyzes the first big wave of moves for Fantasy.
The NBA's free agency period kicked off Sunday with several high-level deals beginning to leak out in the hours leading up to the 6:00 PM ET start time.
Thus far, the biggest name on the move is Kevin Durant, who announced via The Boardroom's Instagram account that he'll sign a four-year deal with the Nets. The two-time Finals MVP will be joined in Brooklyn by Kyrie Irving, who also inked a four-year contract.
New York's other team swung and missed on its top targets in comical fashion, but the Knicks managed to make a smaller splash, quietly signing Julius Randle to a three-year, $63 million deal.
Meanwhile, a pair of sign-and-trades could shape the top of the Eastern Conference for years to come. The Bucks dealt Malcolm Brogdon to the Pacers, who signed the 26-year-old to a four-year, $85 million contract. Shortly after, the 76ers struck a deal to send Jimmy Butler to Miami in exchange for a package centered around Josh Richardson. The Heat will sign Butler to a four-year, $142 million max contract.
Minutes after the Butler deal was announced, Al Horford left one Eastern Conference contender for another, agreeing to a four-year, $109 million contract with the 76ers. Earlier Sunday night, the Sixers reached a deal to keep Tobias Harris in Philly on a five-year max.
As of Monday afternoon, we're still waiting on the biggest domino of them all to fall, and while that may not happen for another few days, it's never too early to start assessing how player movement will shape the Fantasy landscape next season.
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
The contract: Four years, $164 million
What it means: Durant is headed to New York City -- just not to the team that seemingly had him all but locked up a month ago. Of course, any Durant news has to be couched in the reality that he'll likely miss all of next season, but this is still a massive acquisition for the Nets, who will also add Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan as they gear up for a window of title contention.
Replacing D'Angelo Russell with Irving should be enough to keep the Nets in the playoffs next season, but Brooklyn's real window opens up in 2020-21, when Durant should be back at full strength. Even if the 30-year-old doesn't come back at an All-World level, his floor as a player is high enough that he'll still be capable of star-level production, especially in an environment where the offensive burden won't be squarely on his shoulders. Durant at 90 or even 80 percent might still be a top-20 player in the NBA.
Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics
The contract: Four years, $141 million
What it means: While Al Horford still appears to be on the way out, the Celtics acted quickly and found the best available replacement for Kyrie Irving. Walker may not be the player Irving is, but he can do a reasonable impression and should be a massive upgrade in terms of leadership and coachability. The acquisition of Walker via sign-and-trade keeps the Celtics in contention in the East while they continue to develop Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on the fly.
Fantasy-wise, Walker moving to a truly good team for the first time in his career will almost certainly mean a decline in value. Walker topped out at 25.6 points per game last season while posting a usage rate north of 30 percent -- a number that will likely tumble back toward the mid-20s in Boston. That will probably entail slight dips in scoring and assists, though a vastly more talented supporting cast than what he had in Charlotte could result in better efficiency. Walker took a career-high 8.9 3s per game last season but shot just 35.6 percent, his lowest figure in four years.
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
The contract: Four years, $141 million
What it means: The Nets are officially out of the darkness and positioned to be among the best teams in the East for the foreseeable future. While Irving alone won't be enough to vault Brooklyn from fun playoff team to true title contender, pairing him with Kevin Durant gives the Nets one of the best 1-2 punches in the league.
In the immediate future, with Durant's return to playing in NBA basketball games on hold, Irving is positioned for another elite Fantasy season as the unquestioned No. 1 option. He'll have plenty of complementary shooting around him, as well as a rim-running center in DeAndre Jordan to team with Jarrett Allen. He may have ruffled some feathers last season in Boston, but Irving is coming off of the best statistical year of his career. As long as he stays healthy, there's little reason to believe Irving will take a step back.
Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
The contract: Five years, $190 million
What it means: This is the contract the Warriors had to offer -- and probably wanted to. With Durant in Brooklyn, locking up Thompson was priority No. 1, and while the Warriors will likely take a step back next season, they'll re-tool and gear up for another run in 2020 fueled by a proven Curry/Thompson/Green core.
Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets
The contract: Three years, $58 million
What it means: As part of a three-team sign-and-trade, the Celtics and Hornets essentially swap Kemba Walker for Rozier. But while Walker becomes the centerpiece for what should be another strong Celtics team, Rozier now heads up one of the bleaker rosters in the league, one that was further weakened when Jeremy Lamb signed with the Pacers.
Charlotte is banking on Rozier looking much more like the player who filled in admirably for Kyrie Irving two seasons ago, not the one who struggled to find his footing off the bench in 2018-19. Considering they were going to lose Walker, regardless, it's not an overly ambitious gamble by the Hornets, but Rozier has yet to shoot 40 percent from the field in any of his four NBA seasons, and even at his best is nowhere near capable of being the primary option for a playoff-caliber team.
In terms of Fantasy value, however, Rozier moving to a bad team with a gaping hole at point guard is a dream scenario. Rozier could easily tack on 10-to-15 more minutes per game after sinking down to 22.7 MPG last season, and he'll likely be the No. 1 option on a roster whose top remaining scorer in Marvin Williams. He'll have to prove he can score with significantly more efficiency, but Rozier is positioned to be among the biggest year-over-year risers in all of Fantasy basketball.
Thaddeus Young, Chicago Bulls
The contract: Three years, $41 million
What it means: We knew Young would have plenty of suitors, but the Bulls are an interesting fit coming off a second straight sub-30-win season. As far as 22-win teams go, Chicago has an attractive young core, but Young isn't the missing piece to transform the Bulls from a lottery team to a contender. Getting him for three years is a plus, but Young will be 34 by the time the summer of 2022 rolls around.
Young hasn't come off the bench since his early days with the Nets, but he'll likely be staring at a reserve role in Chicago with Wendell Carter and Lauri Markkanen entrenched up front. That could hamper his overall utility, though Young's diverse portfolio of points, steals, rebounds, assists and 3s should buoy his value.
Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers
The contract: Five years, $180 million
What it means: The 76ers gave up plenty to get Harris at the trade deadline last season, and that effort has been rewarded. About to turn 27 years old, Harris has shown steady improvement throughout his career -- one that has already included stints with five teams. It appears he's finally found a home. Harris started all 27 of his appearances with Philly last season, averaging 18.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists. While his 3-point shooting took a dip once he was dealt to the 76ers, that feels like an anomaly. He shot 39.7 percent from deep on the year.
Surrounded by Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Al Horford and Josh Richardson, Harris' offensive contributions could fluctuate. There will undoubtedly be certain nights where he's the leading scorer, but there will also be nights where he could slip to fourth considering the talent around him. Replacing Jimmy Butler with a lower-usage player in Richardson could boost Harris' Fantasy stock.
J.J. Redick, New Orleans Pelicans
The contract: Two years, $26.5 million
What it means: In desperate need of floor spacing, the Pelicans will turn to the services of Redick, who was seventh in made 3s last season and averaged a career-high 18.1 points per contest. New Orleans' starting five is still to-be-determined, so it's unclear if Redick will start. That scenario seems the most likely if Zion Williamson gets the nod at center. Either way, Redick still figures to see around 30 minutes per game and he should continue providing Fantasy value as a high-volume 3-point marksman.
Jonas Valanciunas, Memphis Grizzlies
The contract: Three years, $45 million
What it means: Memphis hangs on to a key piece in the Marc Gasol trade at a reasonable price. With all of the money available around the league, getting Valanciunas at an average of $15 million per year is somewhat of a bargain, especially after he averaged 19.9 points and 10.7 rebounds in just 27.7 minutes per game after the trade. He may not have that level of opportunity again alongside a healthy Jaren Jackson, but it wouldn't be shocking if Valanciunas is a 15-and-10 player next season.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
The contract: Four years, $196 million
What it means: Lillard was never going to be on the move this summer, but the Blazers still got right to work on locking in the franchise centerpiece two years before his current deal expires. The new supermax contract, which kicks in at the start of the 2021-22 season, will pay Lillard nearly $200 million over four years, the final of which is a player option. While Lillard is a notch below the ultra-elite tier of Fantasy producers, expect him to continue to be among the most valuable guards in the league. Lillard is an elite scorer who also provides assists, 3s and steals, but his durability -- 25 missed games in seven seasons -- may be his best asset.
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat
The contract: Four years, $142 million
What it means: The Heat went out and got a star, but is Butler worth the four years and more than $140 million? To facilitate the sign-and-trade, Miami shipped Josh Richardson -- arguably its best asset -- to Philadelphia, and more moves could be coming. Goran Dragic was initially thought to be part of the deal, but Shams Charania of The Athletic has since clarified that Dragic remains in Miami, at least for the time being.
Parting ways with Richardson on an affordable contract is difficult, and Miami is now hard-capped for the 2019-20. This roster isn't built to contend for a title anyway, but with Butler in the fold, the Heat have positioned themselves to be players in the upcoming free agency markets.
Butler will essentially fill Richardson's spot in the starting lineup, and he'll instantly become Miami's top offensive option. While Butler found success in Philadelphia and Minnesota, he was often in a complementary role -- or, at best, a partnership -- so he'll have a chance to return to being a 20-point-per-game scorer. Butler's efficiency could suffer as a result, but he hasn't dipped below 45 percent shooting since his third year in the league.
Replacing Richardson with a higher-usage player in Butler could result in slightly reduced roles for Dragic and Justise Winslow, but it's too early to say for sure whether the move will significantly impact either player.
For Richardson, going from Miami to Philadelphia puts him in a better basketball situation, but he could stand to lose some Fantasy value playing alongside three All-Stars and a borderline All-Star in Tobias Harris. It'll be tough for Richardson to match last season's career-high 4.1 assists and 16.6 points per game, but he should be more efficient after hitting just 41.2 percent of his field goals. Defensively, Richardson still projects as a 1.0-plus-steals player, and the move to a more top-heavy team shouldn't mean a meaningful reduction in playing time (34.8 MPG).
DeAndre Jordan, Brooklyn Nets
The contract: Four years, $40 million
What it means: Lob City feels like ages ago. Jordan's numbers last season -- 11.0 points, 13.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game -- represent a real decline. It was back in 2014-15 when Jordan led the league in rebounds (15.0) and swatted 2.2 shots. However, he's evolved in some ways. Jordan reached a career-high 70.5 free-throw percentage. That's a massive leap considering his previous high was 58.0 percent. Jordan's 2.3 assists per game were also a career mark.
Teaming up with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in Brooklyn may provide Jordan the opportunity to get back to his old ways, though the true iteration of the team won't exist until Durant returns in 2020-21. While the block rate might not return, Jordan should be the target of plenty of lobs from Irving, both in transition and in the pick-and-roll.
Al Horford, Philadelphia 76ers
The contract: Four years, $109 million
What it means: There were rumblings over the last week that a "mystery team" was in the mix for Horford -- it turns out the Sixers were that team. Seemingly out of nowhere, Philadelphia swooped in to sign the veteran to a nine-figure deal, which includes $12 million in championship-related bonuses.
Despite losing both Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick, the Sixers reloaded around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons -- Philly snagged Josh Richardson from Miami in a Butler sign-and-trade -- and now enter next season as perhaps the prohibitive favorites in the East.
Pairing Horford with Embiid should unlock even more spacing for the Sixers, though it'll mean sliding Tobias Harris down to small forward. Regardless, Horford and Embiid may be the best defensive frontcourt in the league, with both players comfortable defending the rim, as well as the pick-and-roll.
In terms of Fantasy value, Horford could take a slight step back as a passer (4.2 APG last season), but his rebounding (6.7 RPG), shot-blocking (1.3 BPG) and relatively modest scoring production (13.6 PPG) should be sustainable in a new environment. Keep in mind that Horford averaged just 29 minutes per game last season.
D'Angelo Russell, Golden State Warriors
The contract: Four years, $117 million
What it means: The details are still trickling out, but the Warriors came out of nowhere to work a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn to acquire Russell and sign him to a max deal. Who knows what his long-term future holds, but for now Russell can be penciled in as the off guard next to Stephen Curry in what's suddenly back to being a top-flight Warriors backcourt. Curry will be (by far) the most talented teammate of Russell's career, which should help him build on a breakout 2018-19. Given his ability to play both guard spots, Russell will likely be set for bigger minutes after hovering around 30 minutes per game last season.
Paul Millsap, Denver Nuggets
The contract: One year, $30 million (Exercised team option)
What it means: It's a hefty price to pay for a big man who turns 35 in February, but the Nuggets feel they have a window to contend in the West with the Warriors in a holding pattern. Millsap's Fantasy value has been on a gradual decline over the past few years, and while he posted his lowest scoring average (12.6 PPG) last season since 2009-10, Millsap remains an above-average source of rebounds and defensive stats with solid shooting percentages.
Trevor Ariza, Sacramento Kings
The contract: Two years, $25 million
What it means: For the second consecutive summer, Ariza will head to a team with a bit of a dubious free agency history, but he'll cash in again with a two-year, fully guaranteed deal. Ariza never quite fit in with the Suns and Wizards last season, and while mileage is a concern at age 34, the veteran has forged a reputation as one of the better 3-and-D wings in the league. Ariza has started every game he's played in since 2013, but that could change with Harrison Barnes expected to return to Sacramento.
Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
The contract: Four years, $52 million
What it means: Retaining Lopez was clearly a priority for Milwaukee, perhaps even ahead of Malcolm Brogdon, who will head to Indiana as part of a sign-and-trade. Playing on a bi-annual exception contract last season, the 31-year-old gets a substantial pay raise on what will likely be the last big contract of his career. Lopez started 81 games for the East's best regular season team last season, averaging 12.5 points, 4.9 rebounds and a career-best 2.2 blocks per game. More importantly, he solidified himself as a legitimate, high-volume 3-point threat at the center position, an especially valuable trait for a team built around a shaky-at-best shooter in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana Pacers
The contract: Four years, $85 million
What it means: The Bucks facilitated a sign-and-trade that nets them a future first-round pick and two second-rounders, but losing Brogdon is a gut punch for a team that was two wins away from a Finals berth. The Bucks clearly had a walk-away number with Brogdon, who's coming off of a 50/40/90 season but has also battled significant foot issues the past two years.
The Pacers were willing to throw 20-plus-million per year at Brogdon, who will step in as the starting point guard in the wake of Darren Collison's retirement. Brogdon may not be able to match last season's efficiency, but he should have a larger role in Indiana -- especially early in the year -- after ranking fourth on his own team in usage rate and field-goal attempts in Milwaukee.
Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
The contract: Five years, $178 million
What it means: He may have briefly shopped around, but it never felt like Middleton was a serious threat to leave Milwaukee. Handing out $178 million to a one-time All-Star is a difficult pill to swallow, but the Bucks were backed into a corner and simply couldn't afford to lose their second-leading-scorer for no return.
Limiting its flexibility elsewhere was part of the price Milwaukee paid for Middleton, and that came to form in the Bucks ultimately signing and trading Malcolm Brogdon to Indiana. With Brogdon out of the picture, there's a case to be made that Middleton could help pick up the slack, but he's unlikely to significantly outpace last season's production. More than anything, an increase in minutes (31.1 MPG last season) could be the biggest boost to Middleton's value.
Jeremy Lamb, Indiana Pacers
The contract: Three years, $31.5 million
What it means: Lamb saw his role evolve over the past two seasons, acting as a sixth-man for the Hornets at shooting guard and small forward. Last year marked his most productive campaign, racking up 15.3 points in 28.5 minutes per game. With the Pacers, there's a strong chance he'll start at shooting guard while Victor Oladipo (quad) is recovering from his injury. That could provide him the opportunity to see another uptick in production. Even when Oladipo comes back, Lamb should still garner at least 25 minutes per night and be a nice end-of-draft Fantasy asset.
Bojan Bogdanovic, Utah Jazz
The contract: Four years, $73 million
What it means: Boganovic had a career year in the wake of Victor Oladipo's season-ending injury. Bogdanovic played his final 34 games with Oladipo, averaging 20.7 points (50.3 FG%, 41.1 3P%), 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists. With Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell around, it may be tough for Boganovic to see that type of usage in Utah. However, he figures to be the third offensive option, and his ability to knock down open 3s should provide better floor spacing than the Jazz have had in recent years.
Ricky Rubio, Phoenix Suns
The contract: Three years, $51 million
What it means: Once the Jazz traded for Mike Conley, it was a foregone conclusion that Rubio would end up elsewhere. Rubio's tenure in Utah was different than his prior time in Minnesota. With the Wolves, he was top five in assists per game three times, with the lowest mark of those seasons being 8.6 dimes. During Rubio's two seasons with the Jazz, he averaged only 5.7 assists. While he saw his scoring increase, the trade-off was far from equal, and Rubio's Fantasy rank has suffered.
Though Rubio will enter a new environment in Phoenix, the backcourt makeup is similar. Rubio will once again be flanked by a high-usage shooting guard: Devin Booker. And the Suns and Jazz played at nearly the same pace last season, so we can't count on Rubio getting extra assists simply by having more possessions to work with. Will Rubio be able to revert back to his old ways, or is the Rubio we've seen lately what we'll be getting with the Suns?
Julius Randle, New York Knicks
The contract: Three years, $63 million
What it means: Randle, set to turn 25 next season, is beginning to live up to his status as a former No. 7 overall pick. Notably, he cracked 20 points per game in 2018-19, and he did so while shooting at an impressive 52.4 percent. Randle also showed off an improved 3-pointer, hitting 34.4 percent of his 2.7 attempts per contest.
In joining New York, Randle walks into a situation where he could be the oldest member of the starting five. Dennis Smith Jr. will handle the offense while RJ Barrett shows his capabilities, but it's possible Randle evolves into the Knicks' No. 1 option. If that's the case, Randle could end up being an extremely valuable Fantasy asset.
Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks
The contract: Five years, $158 million
What it means: This deal felt like a foregone conclusion once Dallas traded for Porzingis in late January. The Mavericks weren't scared off by the ACL tear that limited Porzingis to just 48 games in 2018-19. The former No. 4 overall pick was en route to a career year, averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.2 assists in 32.4 minutes.
Porzingis will have more help next season, pairing up with the Rookie of the Year in Luka Doncic, not to mention a generally more complete roster. It's possible we see Porzingis' 18.5 shots per game decrease, but a more cohesive environment always opens up the possibility of an efficiency increase -- Porzingis shot an underwhelming 43.9 percent from the field last year.
George Hill, Milwaukee Bucks
The contract: Three years, $29 million
What it means: After declining to match Malcolm Brogdon's offer with the Pacers, Milwaukee quickly turned around and brought Hill back on a three-year deal. A midseason acquisition, Hill came into his own in the playoffs, often emerging as a key component of closing lineups in Rounds 2 and 3. With Brogdon gone, there's a chance Hill starts alongside Eric Bledsoe, but either way he'll be in a position to average more than the 20.2 minutes per game he saw last season.
Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic
The contract: Four years, $54 million
What it means: Ross has earned a reputation as a streaky shooter, but his indiscriminate 3-pointers felt necessary for a Magic team otherwise lacking offensive punch. Finishing 10th in made 3s last season, Ross also averaged a career-high 15.1 points in 26.5 minutes. At 28, Ross is theoretically in his prime, but we shouldn't expect him to make major changes to his game. We know who he is as a player. For Fantasy, that means points and 3s.
Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs
The contract: Two years, $32 million
What it means: Gay did what he could to fill in for Kawhi Leonard last season. He averaged the third-most points (13.7) on the team, as well as the second-most rebounds (6.8). Also of note, he set a career high in 3-point percentage, drilling 40.2 percent of his 2.7 looks per contest. Considering the Spurs are bringing back a similar team next season, it's reasonable to expect a similar season for Gay, though he'll be turning 33 in August and could see some natural decline.
DeMarre Carroll, San Antonio Spurs
The contract: Two years, $13 million
What it means: Carroll fell off a bit last season after a resurgent 2017-18 campaign, but he remains a solid wing defender who rebounds and shoots the 3. The hope is that Carroll bounces back after a disappointing 2018-19 season, but he likely won't be counted on for a major role. The Spurs always value depth, but it's hard to envision a path to big minutes in a wing rotation that currently features Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Marco Belinelli, Davis Bertans and rookies Luka Samanic and Keldon Johnson.
Thomas Bryant, Washington Wizards
The contract: Three years, $25 million
What it means: Bryant provided excellent value on a $1.4 million salary last season, making 53 starts on his way to averaging 10.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.9 blocks in 20.8 minutes per game. Washington apparently sees him as a longer-term fit, though his value could suffer in the immediate future given the return of Dwight Howard, whose absence is what opened the door for Bryant in the first place. With that said, the Wizards are shallow at both forward spots, so Bryant, who hit 33 three-pointers last season, could see some minutes at power forward, as well.
Nicolo Melli, New Orleans Pelicans
The contract: Two years, $8 million
What it means: A 6-9 forward, Melli is a stretch-four who brings much-needed shooting to a frontcourt in which Derrick Favors, Zion Williamson, Jahlil Okafor and Jaxson Hayes will play major minutes. The Italian shot better than 40 percent from three for Fenerbahce last season on relatively low volume.
Al-Farouq Aminu, Orlando Magic
The contract: Three years, $29 million
What it means: Since 2015-16, Aminu has been a staple in the Trail Blazers' rotation. His rebounding and defensive ability vaulted him to starter status, despite his subpar offense. He's shown potential as a 3-point shooter, though his mark of 35.3 percent last season leaves something to be desired. In joining the Magic, Aminu's starting role may be in jeopardy, as Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac appear to be the future of the team at the forward spots.
Ed Davis, Utah Jazz
The contract: Two years, $10 million
What it means: Davis, who finished 17th in total rebounds last season despite playing just 17.9 minutes per night, is primed to continue that role behind Rudy Gobert. Davis' Fantasy value is relatively limited considering he averaged only 5.8 points and failed to record even half a block last season. However, Fantasy owners in deep leagues can consider Davis as a late-pick rebounding specialist.
Mario Hezonja, Portland Trail Blazers
The contract: One year, minimum salary (player option for 2020-21)
What it means: Was not aware you could get both a one-year minimum deal plus a player option. The second year feels like an unnecessary commitment by Portland, but despite what four seasons' worth of numbers say, Hezonja still has an undeniable ability to catch the eye of NBA GMs. Stretches like his three-game garbage time rampage in April -- 37.2 MPG, 25.0 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 7.0 APG 1.7 SPG -- are the reason why, but there's little reason to believe he'll find consistent minutes in Portland.
Patrick Beverley, Los Angeles Clippers
The contract: Three years, $40 million
What it means: While they wait on Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers took themselves out of the running to sign a second max player, but with Jimmy Butler on his way to Miami, the superstar market had all but dried up, anyway. After playing on a string of team-friendly deals, Beverley finally gets his big payday, and he figures to fill a similar role next season, regardless of what happens with Leonard. Set to turn 31 next month, Beverley has evolved into a 39.4 percent 3-point shooter over the past four seasons. He doesn't offer a whole lot else, Fantasy-wise, but he has some room to boost his steals numbers after falling below 1.0 per game last season for the first time since his rookie year.
Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons
The contract: Two years, $15 million
What it means: Well. The Pistons are certainly in need of guard help, but this is an interesting choice. At $7.5 million per season, it's not a huge commitment, but it's unclear where Rose fits with Reggie Jackson still in the mix. While the former MVP is coming off his most encouraging season in quite some time, he still missed 31 games due to injury, and it remains to be seen if his dramatically-improved 3-point shooting (37% 3PT) is here to stay. Chances are, Rose won't average 18 points per game again, but in terms of opportunity for Fantasy production, Detroit is a good landing spot.
Mike Muscala, Oklahoma City Thunder
The contract: TBA
What it means: Not much to see here. Muscala quickly flamed out in a difficult situation in Los Angeles, but he's a 37 percent 3-point shooter over the last three seasons. With Patrick Patterson declining, the Thunder don't have a ton of depth behind Jerami Grant.
Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks
The contract: Three years, $33 million
What it means: Powell has had a tough time cracking the full-time starting lineup, but he could end up starting next to Kristaps Porzingis to begin the year. His role will be partially dependent on whether Kelly Olynyk is actually involved in Sunday night's three-team Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade.
Robin Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks
The contract: TBA
What it means: Trading John Henson and losing Nikola Mirotic meant the Bucks needed a backup center. Robin probably won't see enough minutes to be particularly relevant in most leagues, unless Brook were to sustain an injury.
Bobby Portis, New York Knicks
The contract: Two years, $31 million
What it means: After whiffing on their top two targets in comical fashion, the Knicks immediately pivoted in the opposite direction and began loading the roster with veterans on short-term deals. In addition to Portis, New York swiftly signed Taj Gibson, Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington -- all to two-year deals -- in addition to Julius Randle. Portis and Randle, both 24, carry some longer-term intrigue, but in the bigger picture the Knicks are setting themselves up to once again be free-agent players in the summer of 2021.
In terms of Fantasy value, Portis could actually take a small step back following a strong close to the season in Washington, where he shot better than 40 percent from the field. Randle figures to start at power forward, and while Portis can play some center, the Knicks already have Mitchell Robinson, who will be set for a larger role after a promising rookie season. They'll also need to find minutes for Gibson and Kevin Knox, so Portis reaching the 27 minutes per game he saw in Washington is no guarantee.
Taj Gibson, New York Knicks
The contract: Two years, $20 million
What it means: One of several veterans the Knicks will add to the roster, Gibson remains a strong rebounder and finisher at age 34, but he'll likely have trouble finding Fantasy relevance in what's quickly become a crowded frontcourt. Gibson will compete for minutes with Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, each of whom could take priority over the Brooklyn native.
Michael Carter-Williams, Orlando Magic
The contract: One year, TBA
What it means: Orlando paid up to keep Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross, while also adding Al-Farouq Aminu, but the Magic failed to address their most pressing need at point guard. Carter-Williams adds some cheap insurance behind the expiring D.J. Augustin, who appears to be in line to again hold down the starting spot. The wild card, of course, is Markelle Fultz, but the fact that he won't even be playing in summer league is not an encouraging development.
Elfrid Payton, New York Knicks
The contract: Two years, $16 million
What it means: Given the presence of Dennis Smith, Jr. and RJ Barrett, committing $16 million to Payton is unexpected. Payton has started every game he's appeared in over the past two seasons between Orlando, Phoenix and New Orleans, but that could change in New York. Payton has struggled to develop his long-range shooting, and his free-throw percentage is also subpar, but he's shown upside as a passer. From a fantasy perspective, this brings Payton's stock down, as a reduced role on a suddenly crowded roster appears inevitable.
Tomas Satoransky, Chicago Bulls
The contract: Three years, $30 million
What it means: In another sign-and-trade, the Bulls gave up some future second-round draft capital to get their hands on a veteran guard. It's a bit of an odd move after drafting Coby White less than two weeks ago, but the Bulls are (shockingly) ready to move on from Kris Dunn, so that would eliminate some of the clutter. Even with Dunn presumably out of the picture, this may be a lateral move, at best, for Satoransky. Had he stayed in Washington, Satoransky likely would've been in line to fill John Wall's role for perhaps the entire season. In Chicago, he'll have to compete with White, who the Bulls hope is their future at the position.
Ish Smith, Washington Wizards
The contract: Two years, $12 million
What it means: After three years as mostly a backup in Detroit, Smith is, at present, in line to start next to Bradley Beal while John Wall recovers from a torn Achilles. Obviously, that's an extremely positive development for his Fantasy value, though he'll have to bounce back from a poor shooting season (42% FG; 33% 3PT) to reach his potential.
Wayne Ellington, New York Knicks
The contract: Two years, $16 million
What it means: Picking up where they left off Sunday night, the Knicks add yet another veteran to the mix in Ellington. He's the fourth player to sign a two-year deal with New York, which is not-so-covertly positioning itself to be a player in the 2021 free agency market. Ellington is fairly redundant alongside Reggie Bullock, and it's unlikely that he'll be able to reach the 27 minutes per game (and 7.8 three-point attempts) he averaged with Detroit to end last season.
Cory Joseph, Sacramento Kings
The contract: Three years, $37 million
What it means: The Kings are one of a handful of teams cornering the mid-level veteran market, as they'll add Joseph to a haul that includes Harrison Barnes, Dewayne Dedmon and Trevor Ariza. More than $12 million per year is a lot to pay for a backup coming off of the worst season of his career, but the third year is only partially guaranteed. Unless De'Aaron Fox gets hurt, Joseph will remain on the Fantasy periphery.
Derrick Favors, New Orleans Pelicans
The contract: TBA
What it means: A casualty of Utah's acquisition of Bojan Bogdanovic, the Jazz send Favors to New Orleans in a sign-and-trade that brings them a pair of future second-rounders. Working quickly in the wake of the Anthony Davis trade, David Griffin has built a playoff-ready roster stocked with an intriguing mix of veterans -- the Pels also added J.J. Redick on Friday night -- and young talent. After putting up 11.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game last season, Favors would appear to have the inside track to the starting center job in New Orleans over Jahlil Okafor and rookie Jaxson Hayes.
Seth Curry, Dallas Mavericks
The contract: Four years, $32 million
What it means: After missing all of 2017-18 due to injury, Curry emerged back onto the scene with the Trail Blazers last season. He played a backup role at both guard positions, though he mostly occupied the shooting guard spot. Over his past three seasons, Curry has established himself as one of the premier 3-point threats in the league, hitting 43.9 percent of his 3.6 attempts per game.
Austin Rivers, Houston Rockets
The contract: Two years, TBA
What it means: While the shooting numbers weren't great (41% FG; 32% 3PT), Rivers fit in well with the Rockets last season and had a few positive moments in the playoffs. He'll likely hold a similar role to last season, meaning he won't be in line to provide Fantasy owners with much value. Per Adrian Wojnarowski, the second year of Rivers' deal is a player option.
Gerald Green, Houston Rockets
The contract: One year, TBA
What it means: The journeyman has found somewhat of a permanent home in Houston, where he'll return for the third consecutive season. Green could have some value as a source of made 3s (2.3 3PM/G over his last two seasons), but he's a drag on field goal percentage and doesn't offer much else.
Troy Daniels, Los Angeles Lakers
The contract: One year, $2.1 million
What it means: The Lakers are still hoping to land Kawhi Leonard, and the move to sign Daniels won't affect that salary-wise. Daniels has played a limited bench role throughout his career, acting as a 3-point specialist. He boasts a career 40.0 percent mark from 3 on 4.4 attempts per game. Regardless of how the remainder of the Lakers' offseason pans out, Daniels figures to remain in a similar role.
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