Free Agency Fantasy Notes and Value Changes (7/9/10)
So LeBron finally got out of his mom’s basement and moved out on his own. Good for him. He did however require the security blanket of two other superstars in order to step out on his own, but hey, baby steps I guess. At least now the basketball world can move on. Good luck Miami, this situation has ‘combustible’ written all over it.
While the superstar movements are fun to watch, it’s the second and third tier movements that fascinate most fantasy basketball owners, so let’s take a quick look at the fantasy ripple effects of free agency so far:
Antawn Jamison – Poor Antawn. No King, No Shaq and a hostile Cleveland fanbase. I don’t think this is what he signed up for last season. While it’s bad from a personal standpoint, it could be a goldmine for fantasy owners since he will likely have to carry that team now.
LeBron James – Is he still the number one fantasy player? Probably not. I think you can slide Kevin Durant to the top of the fantasy basketball rankings. James’ value will decline some in Miami since he has so much supporting help with Wade and Bosh. He’s still going to blow up on some nights, but other nights will see certain defenses take him out while Wade and Bosh take up the slack. Predicting those big nights is going to be difficult.
Hedo Turkoglu – Now that Bosh is gone, Turk could step it up and become more of a focal point for Toronto. I’ve got him in the GiveMeTheRock.com keeper league and he’s evolved into a possible keeper for me. We’ll see what Toronto does with the rest of free agency, but Turkoglu could be a real value pick in fantasy leagues this year.
Paul Millsap – Carlos Boozer finally vacates the Power Forward spot in Utah. Millsap owners are about to be greatly rewarded for their patience. I haven’t seen an update on Okur’s medical progress, but if he is slow to heal, the Jazz will have to lean heavily on Millsap.
Carlos Boozer – Boozer’s fantasy value is going to be tricky to predict. The Bulls new coach, Tom Thibodeau is a defensive minded guy and I’m not sure what kind of offensive pace or strategy he is going to implement. Keep an eye on it to get a feel for how Boozer is going to be used. I don’t think Boozer will exceed last season’s fantasy production though.
Jermaine O’Neal – Looks like he ends up in Boston taking the spot of Kendrick Perkins who is out for most of the season. He’ll be 32 this season, but he was surprisingly resilient last year playing 70 games at 28 mpg. 13 and 7 with a couple of blocks a night is decent for a later round center.
Michael Beasley – After the LeBron decision, Beasley ended up in Minnesota in a logjam of big men. He could be an awesome 6th man type this season now that he has escaped the pressure of Miami. Keep an eye on how Minnesota shuffles their roster in the offseason.
Mike Miller – He’s set to join Bosh, Wade and James in Miami. He should get a ton of minutes and put up solid stats across the board doing a lot of the dirty work. If other owners pass on Miller because they fear he’ll get shut out by the big three, just grab him and say thank you.
Drew Gooden – Gooden ended up in a pretty sweet fantasy spot in Milwaukee. He could slide right in to the starting rotation and have a big year. He’s a great value pick simply because other fantasy owners may only think of him as a journeyman role player. He’s got a home now and he’s set to produce.
Mario Chalmers – Boston’s big three made Rajon Rondo better, so is Chalmers the next Rondo? Probably not, but if you need assists on your fantasy team Chalmers might be your man. I could probably put up 10 assists a game passing to D. Wade, James and Bosh.
Steve Blake – The Lakers signed Steve Blake and the future of Derek Fisher is somewhat in doubt. If Fish moves on, Blake could slide into the starting rotation.
Toney Douglas – The Knicks shipped Chris Duhon to Orlando so it looks like Douglas might get a real chance to do what Toney Douglas do. He can play and makes a nice point guard sleeper this season, unless the Knicks do something stupid, like bring in Gilbert Arenas.
David Lee – JACKPOT! The latest news has David Lee going to Golden State in exchange for Kalenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph and Ronny Turiaf. Is there a better fantasy situation to end up in than Golden State?
Terrence Williams – The Nets missed out on LeBron, which may be a real benefit to Williams’ fantasy stock. The guy has skills and should get a real shot to play full time this year.
Several guys who won’t see much change in value simply because they re-signed to their current teams: Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Durant, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood.
Several guys to keep an eye on who could soon see a big change in fantasy value: David Lee, Luke Ridnour, Richard Jefferson, Al Jefferson, Raymond Felton, Al Horford and Shaquille O’Neal.