Basketball end of season roundtable: Which three players are you low on for next season?

While some of you may be competing in leagues that run through Week 24, the final week of the NBA regular season, most fantasy leagues concluded at the end of Week 23. With that in mind, we have discussed some of the hot end-of-season topics for fantasy basketball this week.

The final installment focuses on players whose fantasy values we are not high on for next season. Due to injuries, production, or changes to the rotation, these players may see their fantasy values decrease in 2024-25.

Raphielle Johnson, Zak Hanshew, and Noah Rubin selected three players apiece, explaining each.

Noah Rubin's Picks: Daniel Gafford, Jrue Holiday, and Pascal Siakam

Daniel Gafford

Gafford has had some excellent stretches this season, especially after he was traded to Dallas. His lengthy streaks without missing a shot have certainly been impressive. However, when Dereck Lively II is healthy, Gafford hasn't been force-fed minutes. They also have Maxi Kleber, who provides them with a shooting presence. When all three are healthy, Gafford isn't going to play 30+ minutes. Considering he only helps out your rebounds, blocks, and field goal percentage, I'd rather get other traditional bigs with safer roles.

Jrue Holiday

Holiday got a big payday to stay in Boston for four more years, but that isn't the best thing for his fantasy value. He's averaging the fewest steals of his career, and his assist numbers are the lowest since the 2011-12 season. He's a great player for them, but that hasn't translated into statistical success. As he ages, they'll only manage his minutes more, especially with how talented they are across the board. If the situation were to change in Boston, I would be higher on Holiday. As of now, I'll be looking at other guards.

Pascal Siakam

Siakam's role with Indiana has been different from that of the Raptors, which isn't surprising. He's been more efficient this season, but many of his other numbers have dropped slightly. He ranks just inside the top 75 since being traded to the Pacers, but his ADP this season was 31.3 in Yahoo leagues. Siakam is still an All-Star talent, and he'll make Indiana more dangerous in the playoffs. However, I'm unwilling to pay the price for him when the production hasn't been All-Star caliber.

Zak Hanshew's Picks: LaMelo Ball, Walker Kessler, and Jaylen Brown/Jayson Tatum

LaMelo Ball

I had reservations about Ball heading into this season, but he's entirely on my "do-not-draft" list ahead of the 2024-25 campaign. The fourth-year man slightly increased his scoring average and set a new personal best with 23.9 points per game. He also averaged a career-high 1.8 steals, though his rebounds (5.1) were a career-low, and his assists (8.0) dropped slightly from last season. Ball was a second-round player on a per-game basis, but he appeared in a career-low 22 games. Ball played 51 games as a rookie and 75 games in his second season, but he's appeared in just 58 total games over the last two seasons.

Health concerns alone will keep me away, but teammates are another concern. Brandon Miller has come on strong to close out his rookie season, and he'll only get better. Charlotte will likely have a top-4 pick in the upcoming draft, which means another mouth to feed alongside Ball, Miller, and Miles Bridges. Ball's draft capital may be depressed enough to make him a value in next season's fantasy drafts, but I suspect his ADP will still be in the top 25.

Walker Kessler

It's my fault for being so high on Kessler in the preseason. Perhaps if I hadn't overvalued him, I wouldn't have included him in this section, but that's not what happened. I expected Kessler to build on his strong rookie campaign, push for a double-double average, and increase his blocks. Kessler averaged just 0.3 minutes more than he did as a rookie, logging only 23.3 per tilt, and his points and rebounds fell. His blocks did increase, but it was a negligible increase from 2.3 to 2.4. I expected the big man to play 25-30 minutes a night and post some monster numbers, but that didn't happen.

Was it due to numerous bumps and bruises throughout the season? The arrival of John Collins? The fact that Utah doesn't think he's good enough to play that many minutes per game? Whatever the reason, Kessler finds himself in "post-hype sleeper" territory, and players like that are gambles. I'm not sold on a player who couldn't see big minutes for a rebuilding team that lacked a true center.

Jaylen Brown/Jayson Tatum

Brown is ranked 76th in per-game fantasy value this season, and Tatum is ranked 15th. They've both been disappointments, considering Brown's Yahoo ADP was in the third round, and Tatum was regularly drafted as a top-5 player. What's been the cause of their drops in value? The addition of two new players might have something to do with it. Boston added Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis in the offseason, and both players have contributed to fewer counting stats for Brown and Tatum.

Porzingis, in particular, has been tremendous, averaging 20.1 points and 7.2 boards. Unsurprisingly, Brown and Tatum are averaging fewer points and rebounds than they did a season ago, and both players' field goal attempts are at four-year lows. Holiday and Porzingis are both under contract for at least two more seasons. Boston should continue to win at a high rate for years to come, but the depth of the team's starting five means less to go around for Brown and Tatum.

Raphielle Johnson's Picks: Jalen Green, Khris Middleton, and Evan Mobley/Jarrett Allen

Jalen Green

Green was on track to be one of the most disappointing players in fantasy basketball, but the last month has changed the narrative. In a stretch that began on February 29, just before Alperen Sengun went down with a season-ending ankle injury, the third-year guard has averaged 24.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 3.5 3-pointers per game, shooting 45.5% from the field and 80.6% from the foul line. That production has been good for 3rd-round per-game value in 8-cat formats and 4th-round in 9-cat. This stretch certainly isn't a small sample size for Green, but this doesn't change much for me regarding his draft positioning heading into next season, especially with a healthy Sengun back in the fold.

Khris Middleton

Middleton's Yahoo ADP of 82.3 suggests many fantasy managers had their concerns, as he was coming off of off-season surgery and only played in 33 games last season. That number may take an even bigger hit heading into 2024-25, as you're adding that he'll once be third in the pecking order behind Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard. Some of Middleton's best performances this season have occurred when one of those two has not played. Maybe things will go smoother with Doc Rivers getting an entire training camp/preseason to implement his system. Still, the injury risk is too much for me to buy into Middleton in fantasy basketball next season.

Evan Mobley/Jarrett Allen

The Cavaliers have two significant storylines to address as they look to become a bonafide contender in the East. One is Donovan Mitchell's future, as the 2024-25 season is the final guaranteed year on his deal (2025-26 is a player option). The other question is whether or not the partnership between Mobley and Allen can genuinely work. The team has undoubtedly improved in recent years and off-season moves such as acquiring Max Strus (sign and trade) and signing Georges Niang to address perimeter shooting deficiencies.

However, while Minnesota has flourished with a two-big frontcourt, Karl-Anthony Towns is a superior (and more willing) shooter to Mobley. While KAT has averaged 5.2 3-point attempts per game this season, Mobley's at 1.3. And it's no coincidence that Cleveland's basketball was played when only one of their two big men (Allen) was available. Both have provided solid fantasy value this season, ranking just inside the top 50 in 9-cat formats, but it feels like their respective fantasy ceilings are limited with this setup.