Southeast Division Player Movement Analysis
Notable Additions: De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, Allen Crabbe, Evan Turner, Jabari Parker, Damian Jones, Bruno Fernando
The Hawks have already made it clear that they plan to play both Hunter and Reddish major minutes from the get-go and given how quickly they handed the keys to Trae Young last year, I’m inclined to believe them. However, I don’t think any amount of run is going to make Hunter, and especially Reddish, relevant to standard league players next season. I like Hunter as a prospect, but he looks like one of those players whose value on the floor will always exceed his value in the fantasy realm. He’s a very strong defender but that strong defense didn’t translate to big defensive numbers in his sophomore year at Virginia (0.6 SPG, 0.6 BPG). Hunter was a very efficient scorer in his final college season (52.0 FG%, 43.8 3P%) but you never want to bank on rookies, especially those that will spend a decent amount of time on the perimeter, posting helpful efficiency numbers. It rarely happens. Hunter should only be ranked as a top-10 player in rookie drafts due to his low ceiling.
I still don’t understand how Reddish managed to trick a team into spending a top-10 pick on him. Sure, he looks like he’d be good at basketball. He has an NBA build. He looks like what a small forward should look like. The only problem is that he is not good at basketball. Reddish is coming off of one of the worst college seasons ever produced by a lottery pick. That is not hyperbole. Reddish somehow managed to shoot 35.6 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent from deep, and a mind-bogglingly bad 39.4 percent from two despite having minimal defensive attention paid to him. He was also one of the worst finishers in college basketball. Reddish only shot 51.2 percent at the rim during his only year at Duke. To give you an idea of how bad that is, Tre Jones, Reddish’s 6’2” teammate, shot 63.8 percent at the rim on almost 25 percent more attempts. Reddish was also a non-factor on the boards (3.7 RPG) and averaged far more turnovers (2.7 TOPG) than assists (1.9 APG). So, ya. Don’t draft Cam Reddish.
Crabbe was a top-100 player in 2017-2018 who had his 2018-2019 campaign derailed by injuries. Don’t count on the veteran bouncing back this year. He’ll be behind promising sophomore Kevin Huerter in the rotation and will also have to battle Evan Turner for minutes. Barring injuries, Crabbe will be no more than a high-end threes streamer. Turner will just be a guy you scoop off the wire when you need four boards and four assists. Parker will backup John Collins and while the former Dukie can still fill it up in a hurry, he’s unlikely to be more than a points streamer. Parker contributes little beyond scoring and doesn’t play enough defense to carve out a major role. Dewayne Dedmon is now a King and that means Jones and Fernando will back up starting center Alex Len. We know what Len can do. He’ll be a solid late-round big-man target, especially if you are deploying a punt FT% strategy. Jones could be an interesting blocks streamer but offers little else. Fernando is the more intriguing long-term prospect. He was a double-double machine at Maryland (13.6 PPG, 10.6 RPG) and could end up being one of those rare, and always very valuable, bigs who block a lot of shots (1.9 BPG) without hurting you at the line (77.9 FT%). He’s a better fantasy prospect than some of the players selected in the lottery. His fantasy-friendly game also makes him someone players in re-draft leagues will want to keep an eye. You don’t need to draft him, but he’s someone you should put on your watch list immediately after the draft.
Notable Additions: Terry Rozier, Devonte’ Graham, P.J. Washington
The Hornets are going to be the worst offensive team in the league. I originally had a “might be” in that sentence, but there’s no point in pretending. Their offense is going to be a disaster. The NBA might as well pull the Hornets off of league pass because no one is going to want to watch Rozier jack up 18 shots a night. The former Celtic is the heavy favorite to lead the team in scoring. He’ll get all the usage he can handle and should post some juicy points and assist numbers that are accompanied by some very scary efficiency numbers. Rozier shot 38.8 percent from the field last season as a role player with little defensive attention paid to him. We’ve seen Rozier have top-50 stretches in the past, but he’s going to be a very, very hard player to roster outside of the punt FG% build.
The Hornets lost about 40 shots per night with the departures of Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb, and Tony Parker. With that much scoring going out the door, players like Nicolas Batum, Malik Monk, and Miles Bridges are going to be forced to take on much larger roles on offense. I’m not sure Batum can handle that at this point in his career and he’s someone I will be avoiding on draft day. The Hornets are going to be terrible and Batum will likely be shut down late in the season if he isn’t moved before then. Monk is similar to Rozier in that he’s a good bet to post some flashy scoring numbers while tanking your field goal percentage (38.7 FG%). Monk will be a two-category player who helps you win points (18.7 PP36) and threes (3.1 3P36) while hurting you almost everywhere else. His weak per-minute production on the boards (3.9 RP36) and on the defensive end (1.1 SP36, 0.5 BP36) keeps his ceiling low. After Rozier, Bridges is the most interesting Hornet. The sophomore will have an expanded role this year and could join the one three (1.4 3PG36)/one steal (1.1 SP36)/one block (1.0 BP36) club. Bridges’ increased role and across-the-board production make him a player you should add to your sleeper list.
Notable Additions: Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Meyers Leonard
We’re getting Minnesota Jimmy back. Butler is joining a team full of low-usage role players and should provide close to first-round value on a per-game basis. If he can be a top-12 player sharing the ball with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, he should be able to manage a similar finish now that his main competition for touches is Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow. Jimmy has first-round upside but shouldn’t be considered until the second due to his lengthy injury history. Butler doesn’t have any chronic injuries but he has only played in more than 67 games once since his sophomore campaign in 2012-2013. Jimmy will be an excellent second-round pick for those who started their draft with a big and want to punt threes (1.0 3PG).
Herro looked good in Summer League but is unlikely to be relevant to standard league players this year with Jimmy in town and the Heat being pretty deep on the perimeter. His college numbers don’t scream future stud but neither did Devin Booker’s. Herro’s college three-point percentage doesn’t standout (35.5 3P%), but his free throw percentage certainly does (93.5 FT%). This is important because college free throw percentage is a better predictor of success from deep at the NBA level than college three-point percentage is. Herro should be an above-average shooter but will struggle to accumulate numbers on the defensive end. He has a below-average wingspan for a player his size and only averaged 1.1 SPG and 0.3 BPG in 32.6 MPG as a Wildcat.
Hassan Whiteside taking his talents to Portland is huge news for Bam Adebayo. Adebayo was posting fifth-round numbers over the final two months of the 2018-2019 season and managed that impressive feat in only 25.7 MPG. He should average close to a double-double this season and has a chance to be an elite source of field goal percentage impact. The 22-year-old shot 57.6 percent from the floor and his efficiency increased as the year went on. Bam is also a respectable free throw shooter (73.5 FT%) and comes with a good, but not great, block rate (1.2 BP36). His so-so block rate makes him an excellent mid-round target for those punting blocks.
Notable Additions: Al-Farouq Aminu, Chuma Okeke
The Magic were quiet in free agency and are banking on the improvement of their young guns to make them more than just a borderline playoff team. Markelle Fultz is returning and your guess is as good as mine as to how he’s going to look. If you are drafting before preseason, stay away from Fultz until the final rounds. I wouldn’t risk blowing a pick any higher than that until we see him in action. Like Fultz, Mo Bamba is also returning from a season-ending injury, and also like Fultz, I doubt I will have too much interest in him when my drafts roll around. The Magic didn’t pay Nikola Vucevic $100M to sit on the bench.
Aminu loses most of the value he held in Portland and his primary role in fantasy this season will be to annoy Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac owners. Isaac owners will curse Aminu’s name the loudest. Aminu hasn’t played any small forward since the 2015-2016 season and will hurt Isaac’s value more than he will hurt Gordon’s value.
Notable Additions: Isaiah Thomas, Ish Smith, Rui Hachimura, Davis Bertans, Moe Wagner
The Wizards are one Bradley Beal injury away from fielding an offense that is even worse than the train wreck that the Hornets are going to throw out there this year. Smith and Thomas will battle for the starting point guard spot and fantasy players should be cheering for Thomas to win that battle. Smith has zero upside in fantasy. The only category where he has the potential to provide above-average production in is assists. Smith doesn’t rebound (4.2 RP36), is a poor shooter from the outside (1.3 3P36), and does nothing on the defensive end (0.8 SP36, 0.3 BP36). We haven’t seen Thomas play quality ball in over two years but at least there’s a chance that he will be more than just an assists streamer.
Hachimura and Bertans will compete for the starting power forward spot beside Thomas Bryant. Bertans is a lights-out shooter (3.2 3P36, 42.9 3P%) who lacks the all-around game to be more than a late-round player. Hachimura could play plenty of minutes this year but his game doesn’t project to be fantasy-friendly. Rui did good work on the boards in his junior year (6.5 RPG) and was very effective from inside the arc (59.1 FG%). All of his other numbers were less than ideal. The rookie doesn’t have a jumper yet (0.4 3PG), is a mediocre free throw shooter (73.9 FT%), isn’t a creator (1.5 APG), and didn’t do much on the defensive end in college (0.9 SPG, 0.7 BPG). With so many holes in his line, he’s a player to avoid in dynasty drafts.
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