It’s about that time again for the newest NBA season to start.
And holy Toledo was it a damn off-season.
So normally when one or two all-stars switch squads or some crazy player gets drafted it changes up the landscape of the NBA. Not usually by a lot, but a little. It’s safe to say this player is usually LeBron James, the summer of 2011 and 2015 come to mind. This summer was something of a whole different beast.
Let’s make a list. Chris Paul, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Isaiah Thomas, Paul Millsap, Jimmy Butler, and smaller-time players like Dwight Howard and Ricky Rubio are all people who will definitely shake up the NBA and fantasy.
What’s insane is trying to make a top 5 list of these players. Let’s get to it.
5. Paul Millsap
The double-double machine from a season ago was one of the most consistent fantasy contributors whether you were playing categories or points leagues. He didn’t kill you in any one category and even added a 3-point shot to his game. Moving from the anemic Atlanta Hawks to the up-and-coming Denver Nuggets is going to do wonders for him. If you’re looking for a mid-round(3-6) guy who is dependable, look no further than to Mr. Millsap.
4. Jimmy Butler
Karl Anthony-Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Tom Thibs. Who else could really make this team better? Oh yeah, someone who can ball out and take over a game when Wiggins or Towns aren’t on their game. Creating a young “big 3” up in the Land of a Thousand Lakes, Jimmy Butler already adds to a core that can help your fantasy teams in a multitude of ways. Butler was a stud in Chicago, taking over games from the Dinosaur that is Dwayne Wade, but he was even better under Coach Thibodeau during his tenure in Chi-City. Butler has the ability to stuff the stat sheet, averaging close to 5 assists and 6 rebounds per game last year. He won’t be asked to shoulder the majority of the scoring load, but that’ll only help his averages. Passing the ball to Towns in the post or on the perimeter won’t kill him either. Draft with confidence in the second or third round.
3. Kyrie Irving
This one was the biggest shocker in my mind. The Celtics and the Cavaliers making a trade. Two teams who had just played each other in the conference finals, making a trade involving two of their best players. In Cleveland, Kyrie did have to live in the shadow of LeBron. He wasn’t the ball-dominating point guard that we saw in the dark days before King James came back. Kyrie was a scorer, but he didn’t really add much. Add LeBron to that situation and everyone gets better. Now, Kyrie heads to one of the best situations in the league. He can be the man. I’d use a second to third round pick on him depending on need. He’s going to be legit in a Celtics offense that’s more focused and less “build around LeBron” focused like in Cleveland.
2. Paul George
The Pacers were doomed from the moment Paul George saw the purple and gold. Throwing out any sort of tampering rules, the Lakers are the preferred destination for this superstar SF from Fresno State. The Celtics tried their best to get him, but the Thunder fleeced the Pacers for him. As for fantasy, he’s now working with the best scorer and dynamo Russell Westbrook and the X-factor in this whole situation, Carmelo Anthony. Obviously, you’d love for him to still be on that horrid Indiana team, but this scenery change won’t make him that much worse. He’s still one of the premier SF’s to target in drafts and I’m sure he’ll get fed. He’s worth a second rounder.
1. Chris Paul
Now for the big move of the summer. Starting off the free agency bonanza, Paul opted out of his contract from the Clippers and became the ticket attraction. Well, he’s going from LA to Houston. It’s a move that definitely makes his fantasy prospects better. From feeding Clint Capela down low to James Harden taking away multiple defenders, I don’t see CP3 doing badly this season. He’s probably close to the top PG on the board, and someone I would definitely use a low first rounder on. If he slips because your league thinks the situation with Harden is going to be toxic, make them pay. He’ll lead the league in assists for what seems to be the millionth year.
Well, that’s it from me to you for now, as for the rest of you, get ready for those NBA DFS games and league drafts. You’ll need all the help you can get.