With a couple of big trades and the draft recently taking place, there have been numerous changes in players’ fantasy values. The biggest name on the move is Derrick Rose, who’s headed to the Knicks. He won the MVP as recently as 2010/11 and is beloved in a rare way to most Chicago sports fans. But thanks to injuries, he’s been mostly an afterthought to fantasy owners, as he’s ranked No. 180 or lower each of the past three seasons, including last year when he came in at No. 204 while staying relatively healthy. He now joins a Knicks team that ranked 24th in Pace last season and will be sharing the ball with Carmelo Anthony, who annually is among the leaders in Usage Rate.
Rose’s fantasy value doesn’t change much with this move, and the Bulls’ point guard situation remains up in the air for now (the addition of Robin Lopez all but assures Joakim Noah leaving town), but the biggest news here is for Jimmy Butler’s value. Already an elite fantasy option (he ranked No. 14 last year), he’ll be a legitimate top-five option in drafts in 2016/17 now with Rose gone.
Dennis Schroder: Arguably the biggest value boost among all players this week is Schroder, as Jeff Teague was shipped to Indiana. Schroder has his faults as a fantasy player (turnovers), but he’s going to be unleashed in Atlanta, which should come as no surprise if you watched the team turn to him in crunch time during the playoffs. He’s 22 years old and was the No. 28 fantasy player on a per-36 minute basis over the final two months last season (albeit in a small sample). He’ll be treated as a top-10 fantasy point guard entering 2016/17. Meanwhile, Teague’s move seems lateral for his value, while the addition of George Hill in Utah is a buzz kill for Dante Exum, although Hill is capable of playing off the ball.
Serge Ibaka: With the move to Orlando, he’ll no longer be sharing the court with players who finished No. 1 (Russell Westbrook) and No. 9 (Kevin Durant) in Usage Rate like he did last season. Ibaka finished as a top-20 fantasy player the previous four seasons before last, and he’ll be a focal point on offense more so than ever with the Magic.
Rookie Rundown: Ben Simmons should obviously get a ton of run immediately in Philadelphia, although it’s fairly crazy he made just one three-pointer last season...Brandon Ingram needs to gain weight, but he might find himself in the best situation of all rookies and looks like the favorite to be the first taken in fantasy drafts...Buddy Hield might be the most NBA ready for 2016/17, and Eric Gordon could very well leave via free agency. Hield should be able to make an immediate fantasy impact...The Kings made the curious decision of trading out of the No. 8 spot in what was widely considered an eight-player draft...The Timberwolves drafting Kris Dunn gives a big question mark to Ricky Rubio’s future in Minnesota. That team is extremely interesting moving forward, with a ton of upside.
Thaddeus Young: He’s heading from a depleted Nets team to a Pacers squad that features a player who had the No. 13 Usage Rate in the NBA last season (while returning from a catastrophic injury). Indiana also acquired Teague and has an emerging Myles Turner and chucker Monta Ellis, so Young’s going to have an awfully hard time trying to come close to the fantasy value he produced last season.
Jahlil Okafor: Maybe a trade will help offset this, but the addition of Ben Simmons and the return of Joel Embiid should really hurt Okafor’s fantasy value if he stays in Philadelphia. He was a top-100 player as a rookie last season, but he’s an extremely limited defensive player and will be looking at fewer shots in 2016/17.
Victor Oladipo: He was a top-35 player last year but now joins a Thunder team with the aforementioned two players ranking in the top-10 in Usage Rate. Oladipo is 24 years old and still improving, but his new situation is a big downgrade for his fantasy value. Others poorly affected by this trade include Dion Waiters, Aaron Gordon and Ersan Ilyasova. Of course, this is assuming Durant stays in OKC.