Fantasy Alarm NBA Free Agent Tracker - Eastern Conference
Justin Fensterman breaks down the hectic NBA free agency period and let's you know how each team was impacted
Kemba Walker : While it’s looking like Walker will still be the prioritized scorer, there are a lot more mouths to feed in Boston. Even if Walker’s scoring drops a few points, he should be able to make up for it in assists and the rest of the Celtics offense will be running at a similar pace except with less isolation now that Kyrie Irving is gone. He’ll continue to log heavy minutes and with the control of the team’s destiny often being in his hands, he’ll be taking a lot of shots late in the game, especially when the Celtics are on transition.
Enes Kanter : As poor of a defender as Kanter is, it won’t prevent him from being able to average a double-double on this team. His competition for minutes is Robert Williams and Daniel Theis , both are very raw, and Kanter should be able to play 30-plus minutes. The NBA Playoffs were the best thing to ever happen to Kanter, because of how much he helped the Blazers during their run. One thing to watch for with Kanter is his long-range shooting. He can hit mid and long-range jumpers, but the Knicks and Blazers didn’t have him feature it. Kanter is currently working on his jumper in the offseason and the Celtics will want to make the transition of players as easy as possible and they drew up plays for Horford to get set up at the arc. Expect Kanter to be more proactive in taking more three-pointers to draw out bigger defenders.
Kevin Durant : As of right now, don’t expect to see Kevin Durant this season as he’s recovering from a torn Achilles. If we do see Durant, it won’t be until mid-to-late March at the earliest, but the Nets invested a lot of money in Durant and are going to be as cautious as possible. If you draft him, you’ll be stashing for most of the season.
Kyrie Irving : Irving takes over the D’Angelo Russell role and he’ll be the Nets prioritized scorer. Irving’s scoring will rise being on the Nets. The offense is designed around him and he will get a lot of screens from teammates. Irving will also be able to play off the ball at times, as Spencer Dinwiddie will run the point a good amount. The Nets don’t have as many players who need the ball in their hands. A lot of the Nets offense will be coming from the backcourt. He’ll be able to pile up assists setting up the bailout scorers on the team such as Joe Harris and Garrett Temple . His weapons inside are very limited and he’ll benefit when it comes to feeding the post because most of the time it will result in a dunk from DeAndre Jordan or Jarrett Allen .
DeAndre Jordan : Jordan will be the likely starter as his main competition for minutes, Jarrett Allen , still has growing room. Jordan is virtually in control of his own destiny because he and Allen have very similar skill-sets and if he’s dominating the post and being the strong defender that he’s capable of being, it will keep him in the game. If Allen had more inside moves, Jordan’s playing time would be threatened. He’s still very limited offensively and as an owner, expect a lot of dunks and not a lot of mobility with the ball. He’ll help as always with boards and blocks as well. His value doesn’t change that much as long as he’s starting.
Taurean Prince : If the Nets are smart, they’ll start Prince at Small Forward while Kevin Durant is recovering. Prince will be in a major competition for shots, but he can be a difference maker if he drives the lane effectively. The Nets don’t have a lot of drivers as they feature a lot of jump shooters and Prince can keep his minutes up if he plays good perimeter defense and he attacks the rim. Expect Prince to start and to play 25-30 minutes per game. He’ll get set up at the elbow a lot and he’ll try to draw contact in the lane a lot. He doesn’t give up on plays and he’ll grab boards and help with steals on the perimeter. Good landing spot for this season.
Wilson Chandler : Chandler will be in a competition for playing time, but let's not forget that he has shown the ability to be able to play at any position other than Center and the Nets don’t have a lot of Power Forward options and Chandler can steal minutes from Rodions Kurucs . When Chandler is healthy, he is a multi-category producer who fills up the stat-sheet. He’ll help grab steals and he’s excellent at pulling down long rebounds. If the Nets give him minutes at PF, he can score 10 points per game off the bench and can serve as another floor general for the Nets if needed.
Garrett Temple : Temple is another player who will be fighting Joe Harris for minutes. He was signed for a reason and he’ll serve as a bailout shooting option for the Nets and it’s not a lock that he gets 20 minutes per game. It’ll be close. Temple is a good defender, but he may need an injury to occur to get more minutes. With the current depth the Nets have, he may crack the final rotation spot. Temple is good at fighting through screens and his defense could earn him more playing time. He’ll help with three’s and steals.
David Nwaba : Nwaba has had such a hard time staying healthy and he’ll likely be riding the bench until injuries occur. He’ll be fighting an uphill battle for minutes for the first half of the season. Nwaba is good at attacking the lane, but the Nets have a ton of wings at this point.
Henry Ellenson : The Nets don’t have much depth in the low post and Ellenson could play 10-15 minutes per game behind Rodions Kurucs if he can keep up with quicker forwards on defense. Ellenson is able to use his body to work his way inside. The problem is that he won’t be able to steal many minutes at Center playing behind two guys who do the exact same thing in the post. Ellenson could steal PF minutes.
Players Retained N/A
Players Lost: D'Angelo Russell (Warriors), Allen Crabbe (Hawks), DeMarre Carroll (Spurs), Ed Davis (Jazz), Jared Dudley (Lakers), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Raptors), Shabazz Napier (Timberwolves), Treveon Graham (Timberwolves)
New York Knicks
Julius Randle : The Knicks went to plan B in free agency and Randle has two years to show whether or not he can turn the Knicks into a contender. He’ll be the prioritized scoring big man and he’s working with a blank canvas for the most part as the Knicks have an entirely new frontcourt. His role and fantasy value will remain exactly the same as it was when Anthony Davis was sitting on the bench in New Orleans. Having Elfrid Payton with him in New York will help ease his transition. Randle could end up being the Knicks top scorer this season. Even though he’s not the best defender, he’ll still grab a lot of boards and he’ll obviously start and play heavy minutes. He’ll likely play most of his minutes at Power Forward, but he is perfectly capable of producing at Center.
Bobby Portis : Portis will likely be coming off the bench to start the season behind Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle , but Robinson tends to get in a lot of foul trouble and Portis will be the first big man off the bench once Robinson has three fouls in eight minutes. The Knicks may opt to start Portis alongside Randle, but they want Robinson to be the starting Center of the future. Portis will help produce points and boards and he’ll be playing 25-30 minutes per game to start the season until his role is fully defined. He’s more effective when he plays in the post than outside and fights hard for boards. The Knicks have a lot of forwards, but Portis being able to play Center will help his minutes. His role will be similar to the way it was in Washington.
Marcus Morris : Kevin Knox will be shaking in his boots as Morris is a strong enforcer and he’ll fill in at both forward spots. He plays strong defense at the elbow and he can hit long-range jumpers (just like Knox). Morris’ defense and ability to defend against bigger players will keep him in the game. He’ll have competition for minutes and from a fantasy perspective, San Antonio would have been a better fit for him as they lack forward depth. Morris will be in a fight for 30 minutes per game to start. He’ll lose shots in the Knicks offense, but he’ll still get them while grabbing boards and steals. The better Morris makes the team defensively, the more minutes he’ll get. This is a one-year contract and it will either end in the Knicks being more mature defensively with him playing close to 30 minutes per game, or, it will end with Morris getting frustrated because he has a tough time landing 23-25 minutes per game and demanding a trade.
Elfrid Payton : Payton should be the starter at Point Guard once the season begins. Dennis Smith Jr. needs seasoning and he’d be more effective versus opposing second units. Payton won’t be taking a lot of shots as the Knicks have a ton of shooters, but expect him to be driving the lane a lot and he’ll help with dimes and steals. Payton is very quick and he’ll be able to keep the Knicks running. It may be tough for Payton to score beyond 10 points per game because R.J. Barrett will be bringing up the ball a good amount.
Taj Gibson : Gibson is making a good chunk of change and the Knicks will find ways to get him minutes, but he will likely be on the outside looking into the rotation to start. The Knicks have a ton of big men and he’s there to be a mentor to the younger forwards and centers. Expect Gibson to play 10-15 minutes. Gibson doesn’t need a lot of playing time to produce points and boards, but, he’s a player to watch on the waiver wire. He’ll need an injury to occur in order to get sufficient minutes. Gibson is a strong post-defender, but he’s aging. Gibson is a player who is more effective in smaller increments and we shouldn’t expect to see a lot of games in which he plays over 25 minutes.
Wayne Ellington : Ellington got signed to be a three-and-d wing and he should be able to play 15-20 minutes per game with the Knicks second unit. Ellington is good at moving around the perimeter and fighting through screens. He’ll hit three-pointers and grab steals on the perimeter. Ellington will get more playing time if the Knicks are behind. Reggie Bullock ’s injury will give Ellington more minutes to start the season. He’s not a fantasy target because his minutes and scoring will be all over the place.
Reggie Bullock : Bullock had to restructure his contract with the Knicks because of noticeable health issues. Bullock just had Back surgery and he’ll likely be on the Injured List to start the season. It’s uncertain whether or not we will see him before January, but once he returns, he’ll be playing from behind on a team that has a lot of wings and shooters. The rotation could be set in stone by the time Bullock returns. Like Ellington, Bullock is a good defender and can hit threes. Bullock also won’t be shy to drive the lane. Bullock could be traded at the trade deadline.
Players Retained: Allonzo Trier
Al Horford : Horford has aged since the last time he regularly played Power Forward, but the arrival of Horford in Philly sends Tobias Harris to the Small Forward spot. Horford will allow Joel Embiid to play more in the post. Horford has both a post-game and a long-range game and he’ll get plenty of playing time. The Sixers invested a lot of money in Horford and expect him to play deep into games. Horford will have similar fantasy value because just like Marcus Smart , Ben Simmons can’t shoot and his three-point shooting will be relied on. The Sixers don’t have a ton of depth behind Horford and he doesn’t have a real playing time threat. If Embiid gets hurt, Horford will likely shift to the Center spot. He’s a strong defender and he’ll take high-percentage shots and be just as impactful as he was in Boston.
Josh Richardson : Richardson will see a similar amount of minutes in Philly as he did in Miami, but the Heat faced a lot of injuries and Richardson didn’t have a lot of competition for shots. That changes a bit in Philly because of how much the frontcourt will be fed. Richardson will be fighting for time of possession with Ben Simmons . The Sixers could bring him off the bench if they wanted to and make Richardson the prioritized scorer off the bench. He will likely start, but his fantasy value could improve if the Sixers announce him as the team’s Sixth Man. Richardson can play three positions. If he starts, he’ll be a strict Shooting Guard. Expect Richardson to see a good amount of playing time and production with the second unit.
Kyle O'Quinn : O’Quinn is better when given fewer minutes. He won’t be a regular part of the team’s rotation, but 10-15 minutes per game isn’t out of the question because the Sixers lack depth. O’Quinn will grab boards from right under the basket. Mike Scott and Jonah Bolden will be O’Quinn’s main competition for minutes and Scott can help stretch the floor by hitting long-range shots. Don’t expect O’Quinn to play more than 15 minutes per game for the most part.
Raul Neto : Neto has had a very difficult time staying healthy and in Utah, he was constantly behind the eight ball and because the Jazz had a lot of guards, he wasn’t able to get sufficient minutes. Neto’s issue is that Zhaire Smith is going to be his main competition for minutes. Ben Simmons will run the point most of the game and Josh Richardson will also help. There’s room for another floor general and Neto could land him a role that gets him 10-15 minutes per game. Smith is inexperienced at the pro-level, which favors Neto. It will be a fight for consistent minutes for him on a nightly basis.
Trey Burke : Burke will be battling Neto for minutes throughout the season. The Sixers lack guard depth and Burke can find himself getting a few minutes. He’s a good change of pace guard who would fit well with the second unit. Burke can play effectively off the ball and he compliments Ben Simmons very well. He’s a volume scorer, but will likely need a guard injury to get a full rotation commitment. He can steal 10 minutes if his shots are falling.
Stanley Johnson : Losing Kawhi Leonard opens up more shots and playing time for wing players. The Raptors just lost both their starting SG and SF and Johnson will likely be the second forward off the bench behind Serge Ibaka . Johnson will likely be behind Norman Powell and OG Anunoby . The Raptors will want both Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet on the floor at the same time and that will take minutes away from the SG position. Can Johnson make the rotation? Yes. Will he be seeing 25-plus minutes per game? Unlikely. Johnson is still finding his niche in the NBA. As of now, look at him as a bailout option with some defensive promise.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson : Unlike SG and SF, the Raptors have a lot of depth at PF and C and behind Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam is Serge Ibaka to fill in for either player. Behind Ibaka will be Hollis-Jefferson. Unless one of those three players gets hurt, It’ll be hard for Hollis-Jefferson to get 20 minutes per game. RHJ hasn’t been healthy over the last year and a half. He has post moves and the ability to defend the post. RHJ can hit jumpers, but so can the Raptors other big men. He’ll be a player to watch on waivers in the first portion of the season.
Cameron Payne : As of now, Payne is the third Point Guard on this team and he’s very quick from baseline to baseline. Health hasn’t been on his side and it will be hard for him to steal minutes from Lowry (the Raptors top scoring option) and VanVleet. If he sticks with the team, he may be able to steal 5-10 minutes per game to start the season.
Players Retained N/A
Thaddeus Young : Young will have a similar role on the Bulls as he did on the Pacers and he shouldn’t see a decrease in minutes. Wendell Carter Jr. was hurt last season and needs more seasoning and Lauri Markkanen can shift up to center and that opens up all of the PF minutes for Young. Young will see 27-30 minutes per game. Young will be able to help give Otto Porter Jr. a brief rest because he can also play the power forward. He’ll be able to score a lot with the Bulls second unit. He’s a strong defender and he’ll grab a lot of loose balls under the basket. Expect his rebounding to rise a bit because Markkanen will often play at the arc opening up the inside for Young to give the Bulls second chance scoring opportunities.
Tomas Satoransky : At this point, I have to question how this situation benefits Satoransky? He’ll be in a similar role on Chicago as he was with Washington and Zach LaVine is perfectly capable of also running the point. Let’s not forget their rookie guard Coby White . Until the Bulls figure out what they’re going to do with Kris Dunn , Satoransky will be in a major timeshare. He was all over the place after showing a lot of growth the season before. He needs to stick to penetrating and dishing back out. When driving, he’s good at drawing the extra defender and that will leave one of his teammates open. I don’t have as much confidence in Satoransky playing off the ball as a SG option. His potential is limited due to a crowded backcourt.
Luke Kornet : Kornet will help space the floor as he’ll serve as a bailout option from the arc. Kornet will start out with a limited role, but Wendell Carter Jr. has suffered a few injuries in his young career and if he goes down, Kornet will immediately benefit. He’s not a fantasy basketball draft target at this point.
Players Added: N/A
Players Retained N/A
Derrick Rose : Somehow, someway, the Pistons still have Reggie Jackson , but Rose can share the court with him and Rose can be the prioritized scorer. The Pistons could try starting both Jackson and Rose, but if they opt to go with another player starting at SG, Rose will still get a lot of minutes. Expect him to have rest games. Expect him to suffer some minor injuries along the way. He has late draft value and if you wait on targeting scoring, Rose would be a good option. He helped a bit on the assist-front, but the Timberwolves had him out there to score and he’ll lead the Pistons second unit in scoring.
Markieff Morris : Morris will be the first big man off the bench as he will play minutes at both PF and C. We’re still in a wait and see approach with Thon Maker . Morris is an established tough guy who will outmuscle most opposing second units in the league. He’ll definitely play 20-plus minutes per game and he’ll benefit when Andre Drummond or Blake Griffin get into early foul trouble. He has a mid-range game that will compliment Drummond nicely because Drummond only plays right under the basket.
Tony Snell : Snell should be able to start for this team and he’ll have a similar role as he did in Milwaukee. He’ll be fed three-pointers. The main reason that Snell will likely start and get 25-plus minutes is because he’s a good defender on the perimeter and the Pistons need all of the help they can get. Snell will not be a fantasy draft target, but he should be on the list of players you immediately watch and look to pick up off of waivers if he can carve out a big enough role offensively.
Tim Frazier : The journeyman guard will continue being at the end of the bench, but, luckily for him Derrick Rose is in front of him and if he goes down, Frazier will have a bigger role. He will be the third point guard on the depth chart. Frazier has good speed and can play alongside Derrick Rose , but his role will be very limited.
Christian Wood : Wood is looking at a limited role to start the season. Markieff Morris will be the first big man off the bench and Wood’s main competition will be Thon Maker and he will likely see very few minutes to start the season. He’ll need a few injuries to occur in order to be relevant.
Players Retained: N/A
Malcolm Brogdon : Brogdon’s draft stock will rise a ton as he’s expected to not only start, but he’ll need to play a big role on the scoring end early. Brogdon can play both guard positions and now that he doesn’t have to share the rock with Eric Bledsoe , he controls his own destiny and the Pacers will let him play and we can expect him to speed up the Pacers offense. The Pacers were too slow once Oladipo got hurt and they were stifled in the playoffs. Brogdon will likely be the Pacers top scoring option until Oladipo returns. He scored 15.6 points per game and his scoring average should increase 4-5 points per game. He’s not afraid to fight for boards. Expect him to follow up his shots.
Jeremy Lamb : Lamb will also be a big part of filling the Oladipo void and he’ll get fed a lot at the arc and once Oladipo comes back, he’ll be one of the strongest sixth men in the league. Lamb is an excellent three-point shooter and he’ll grab long rebounds. Lamb will also provide good defense on the perimeter. He’s good at reading through screens. Lamb will play 30-plus minutes per game. The Pacers have more shooters than the Hornets and he’ll have a bit more competition for shots.
T.J. Warren: Warren’s production will depend on where he plays because the Pacers will have to decide whether or not to start both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis . If that’s the case, Warren will be used as more of a bailout option, especially once Oladipo comes back. When the Suns put him on the floor as the PF, he showed aggressiveness at the top of the paint and he was able to grab boards. He can play both forward spots and he’ll help with steals too. He’s a good long-range shooter and he’ll get more shots in the first half of the season. The Pacers have big men who can hit long-range shots and that will take the ball out of Warren’s hands. He’ll be playing heavy minutes, but he could be stuck at the arc if he starts at SF.
T.J. McConnell : McConnell will be in a battle for minutes against Aaron Holiday . McConnell is very scrappy and he’ll fight for his minutes and fight even harder on the court. While the Pacers want to start giving Holiday reps, they’ll need to rely on experience and McConnell can run the point effectively. They don’t even need him to score. He’ll be a waiver wire watch player to start the season until we see whether or not he can eclipse 20 minutes per game consistently. His hustle on the floor should bring him to that point.
Players Retained: Edmond Sumner
Robin Lopez : The Lopez Brothers have reunited and Brook will be playing the overwhelmingly majority of minutes, but, Robin will still have a role. He’ll still be able to come in and play 16-20 minutes per game off the bench. Brook is a good scorer while Robin is a more gritty player. He’ll be a player to watch to see if he’s given more minutes than anticipated. Lopez will fight for boards and loose balls and he even has a few one-handed post moves in the paint. It’ll be hard for him to score in double figures being behind Brook.
Wesley Matthews : Matthews could start for the Bucks this upcoming season. He plays good perimeter defense and he’ll hit long-range jumpers. Expect Matthews to be used on offense as a bailout option. He’ll play 25 minutes per game and he’ll be relied on more in closer games. Donte DiVincenzo had a lot of trouble staying healthy last year and Matthews should be ahead of him on the depth chart this season.
Kyle Korver : Korver will have a role on this team. He won’t get a true rotation commitment every game. His playing time will live and die by his three-point shooting ability. He made two three-pointers per game last season and because he’s very scoring dependant, it’ll be hard to trust him. He will be a short-term pick up option for scoring at best unless other guard-forward’s get injured. Expect him to play 10-15 minutes per game.
Dragan Bender : Bender continues to be a project in the league. His toughness has improved a little, but it’s still hard to give him a lot of minutes. He was unimpressive in Phoenix of all places and he’ll be battling Ersan Ilyasova for back up minutes. If he wants to try to steal minutes at Center, he’ll have to oust a Lopez brother and that will be tough for him. The Bucks still have D.J. Wilson and Bender will have a tough time getting minutes over him.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo : A political signing at best until he proves that he’s skilled. The Bucks want to keep the league’s MVP happy, which is why they brought in his brother. He won’t make much of an impact on this team unless a ton of injuries occur.
Jabari Parker : This is not a great landing spot for Parker because the Hawks have a lot of scorers on their team and he’ll be playing behind multiple forwards. Parker has admitted that he doesn’t focus on defense and that won’t fly on a young, rebuilding team. Parker will be a volume scorer and he did grab 6.6 boards per game last year, but his attitude and poor shot selection could keep him on the bench. He’ll grab minutes behind John Collins and he’ll also steal a few minutes at SF. Parker is still young and his injuries seem behind him, but he must show he can play two-way basketball.
Damian Jones : Jones will have a chance to take the starting job from Alex Len prior to the season. Jones was very helpful for the Warriors while DeMarcus Cousins was out until he himself suffered a major injury. Even if Jones comes off the bench, he should see 20-plus minutes per game. Bruno Fernando will also give Jones some competition for back up minutes if Len ends up starting.
Evan Turner : Turner will be in a major timeshare for minutes. The Hawks will play Trae Young as much as possible and Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish will also pose threats. Turner has never been able to show any kind of consistency with his production. He’s all over the place with his scoring. He’ll help a bit with long boards and steals and could steal a few minutes at PG behind Young when he needs a rest, but the Hawks have plenty options who can help bring up the ball.
Allen Crabbe : Crabbe is a very streaky shooter and the Hawks took him on just to take salary. Like Turner, Crabbe hasn’t been able to find his fit when it comes to what role he plays for teams he is on. He’s a very up and down scorer and he helps a tad with boards and can bring the ball up. Expect Crabbe to be on the bench for the most part until injuries occur.
Chandler Parsons : Parsons can’t be expected to have any kind of significant role because of his ongoing health issues year after year. He’s been the biggest waste of money and his Knees continue to hinder him. The Hawks took on salary so they can clear the books after this season and have money to spend. Expect Parsons to be riding the bench until he can prove any kind of durability.
Players Retained: N/A
Terry Rozier : Rozier’s fantasy stock will rise a ton because, with the loss of both Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb , the Hornets don’t have many shooters and Rozier will play heavy minutes and his assists should improve from last year. He should be able to dish at least six assists per game and his scoring is also bound to go up. He’ll need to look to develop a connection with Miles Bridges . Rozier will keep the Hornets offense on the run and he plays good perimeter defense and should be able to grab one to two steals per game. There are a lot of guards to look at before Rozier early in fantasy drafts, but Rozier has a very high ceiling with limited options taking the ball out of his hands.
Players Retained: N/A
Jimmy Butler : Butler becomes the Heat’s top scoring option entering the season. He should be able to score over 20 points per game in the Heat’s offense. He’ll provide help as always on the perimeter by grabbing boards and steals. He grabbed nearly two steals per game. Butler won’t have any competition for minutes or shots. A lot of the Heat’s offense will come from Butler, Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro . From the fantasy perspective, this is a great landing spot for Butler. He was in a crowded situation in Philadelphia.
Meyers Leonard : With the departure of Hassan Whiteside , Bam Adebayo will need help filling the void and Leonard will be battling Kelly Olynyk for minutes. Luckily for Leonard, the Heat lack PF depth and both Leonard and Olynyk could see minutes at both PF and C. Leonard showed some potential in the playoffs, but he’s never been able to put together a strong season. Injuries have hampered Leonard’s career. He’s not a fantasy draft target.
Players Retained: N/A
Al-Farouq Aminu : Aminu will get a similar amount of minutes on the Magic as he did on the Blazers. Aminu will be behind Aaron Gordon on the depth chart. He will be the first big man off the bench. Aminu is joining a team that is for the most part sticking together from last year. He’ll be fighting for more than 25 minutes per game. He’ll be an effective slasher with the Magic’s second unit. They could opt to start him if they think Jonathan Isaac would be more impactful off the bench, but chances are that Aminu comes off the bench. He’ll help grab boards, but his scoring will remain inconsistent and should be on your waiver wire watch list to start the season. He’ll be prioritized a bit more with the Magic’s second unit.
Players Lost: Timofey Mozgov
Davis Bertans : The Wizards rotation is uncertain at this point, but Bertans will be in the mix to potentially start at PF or C. He’ll help stretch the floor and he has an impactful top of the key three point shot and he’ll draw out bigger defenders. Bertans will have a better chance stealing minutes at C rather than PF. The Wizards will have to decide whether or not to start their rookie Rui Hachimura right away. Bertans can score double figures in this offense. The Wizards have a need for big men who can shoot.
Ish Smith : Smith will most likely start the season as the team’s starting PG until Isaiah Thomas can prove he’s healthy and that he can produce just like he did in Boston. Smith is used to being a backup PG but with John Wall likely out for all of next season due to injury, there’s a void to fill and Smith is experienced enough to handle setting up Bradley Beal all game. Expect his scoring and assists to improve, even if he’s the backup PG.
Isaiah Thomas : This is a huge opportunity for Thomas to show what he has left in the tank from the Boston days. He’ll have to stay healthy and do what made him a strong guard and that’s drive the lane as much as possible. His quickness on the court will keep the Wizards running and he could end up playing significant minutes, but the Wizards will be careful with him early likely bringing him off the bench unless he blows everyone away during pre-season workouts. The position is wide open for both Thomas and Smith, but both should play 20-plus minutes per game.
C.J. Miles: Miles is currently nursing a Foot injury and if he can make it back to full strength by October, he could find himself starting for the Wizards. Miles has only shown he can be an effective long-range shooter. He has no explosiveness and literally camps out at the arc. Until he can show that he’s more than just a three-point shooting threat, he’s not on the fantasy radar.
Moritz Wagner : Wagner should have a small role to start the season and he’ll need to show that he’s ready to bang against veteran big men. He’ll be battling Davis Bertans for playing time as both serve the same purpose. They both stretch the floor with good long-range shooting. If Wagner can show he’s more aggressive in fighting for boards, he’ll get more minutes. It’s not out of the question for Wagner to play 15-18 minutes per game. He’ll fight for loose balls and his minutes should improve throughout the season.
Isaac Bonga : Bonga could be G-League bound and we haven’t seen much from him. There’s a chance due to lack of depth he stays up with the team as the last player off the bench, but don’t expect him to have a locked in role to start the season.
Jemerrio Jones : Showed rebounding ability right at the end of the season and there’s a chance he can steal a few minutes due to lack of SG/SF depth and he grabbed a good amount of boards in April. If he shows aggressiveness in the lane, he’ll earn more playing time. More guards need to fight for boards right inside the key. He’s not fantasy relevant at this time.
Players Retained: Thomas Bryant