Biggest Moves in the 2015 NBA Offseason
The latest NBA offseason was an interesting one to follow. While plenty of big name stars like LeBron James and exciting young talents like Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler decided to join back up with their original teams, some great players did still make some exciting moves that are sure to excite fantasy fans for the season ahead. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest moves in the NBA 2015 offseason that fantasy players will be particularly interested in.
It will probably come as no surprise to NBA fans that Aldridge is the first name on this list. After enjoying nine seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, the veteran decided to move on to the San Antonio Spurs. This is an interesting move for fantasy fans as owners will now have to be concerned with Aldridge’s minutes per game. He was a mainstay in the Portland lineup, averaging 37 minutes per game. However, the Spurs prefer to make full use of their bench. Not a single San Antonio player had an average mpg time higher than 32 last season. It’s fair to say that Aldridge won’t be spending as much time on court in 2015 and his scores will suffer as a result. That said, he’s still a great player who should be treated as a solid third/fourth round pick.
The Frenchman is another player who decided to move on from Portland, preferring to join up with the Charlotte Hornets. This offers plenty of potential for fantasy fans and makes Batum a very exciting pick for the new season. After spending many seasons in the shadow of LaMarcus Aldridge, Batum will finally be regarding as the main man for his new squad. He had a rough time in 2014 with some very poor stats, but with time to shine and a team that will be relying on him, we’re expecting Batum to have a much more impressive season this time around.
After a couple of years in Dallas, Ellis decided that it was time for a change and moved on to the Indiana Pacers. On this squad, he’ll certainly have the chance to put up some big numbers. The Indiana squad likes to move the ball quickly and has some solid defensive-minded players to do the dirty work while Ellis does what he does best and scores plenty of points. The 29-year old isn’t afraid to shoot and has proven to be a valuable asset for fantasy owners in the past. Expect that trend to continue this season.
After jumping around from Orlando to Denver and finally Portland, Afflalo will surely be hoping to settle down with his new team, the New York Knicks. He’s a reliable field goal shooter and will almost certainly fit in much better with the Knicks that he ever could have done with the Blazers. The veteran will be relied upon as a secondary scorer behind Carmelo Anthony and should be regarded as a solid fantasy selection.
Carroll’s move from Atlanta to Toronto could be a profitable one for fantasy owners. He was a reliable player for the Hawks but was never asked to be a big scorer. Indeed, he only averaged 12.6 points per game throughout last season. With the Raptors, Carroll will be expected to contribute in a more offensive manner and might be able to put up some career-best figures in the new season.
After five good years with the Detroit Pistons, including a particularly memorable 2012-13 season that saw him put up career-best figures of 3.5 assists per game and 16.0 points per game, Monroe decided to move on to the Milwaukee Bucks. Here, he’ll be a starting center but might struggle to put up the same points tallies as previous seasons. The Bucks have several other options when it comes to scoring big points and Monroe may drop down in the fantasy rankings as a result. However, he should still remain a top-100 fantasy player.
Matthews is another name on the list of players to leave the Blazers over the offseason, with the 28-year old deciding to head to the Dallas Mavericks. After an unfortunate Achilles tendon injury curtailed his 2014-15 season, but he should be ready to play a big role for Dallas in 2015. With players like Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki alongside him, Matthews can score plenty of points this season and be a big fantasy player.
Joining up with Matthews is Deron Williams, who decided to leave the Brooklyn Nets after several years with the team. He had a very bad season last year with some poor figures all-round. Injuries interfered with the amount of time he spent on the court, and when he did play he wasn’t at his best. If he can rediscover his top form by combining well with Wesley Matthews, he might have a fantastic season but should still be regarded as a cautious selection for fantasy fans.
After a long time with the Pacers, Hibbert slowly fell out of favor with the squad and decided on a move to the Lakers. The likes of Kobe Bryant and Jordan Clarkson will deal with much of the scoring responsibility for L.A., but Hibbert should still be able to put up some reasonable stats by the end of the season in a more defensive role.
Our final Portland departure, Lopez decided to move on to the Knicks. Injuries and other factors caused him to have a rough season last year, but he’s primed for a big season in New York. The big man should see plenty of time on the court and will be able to earn some big defensive points for fantasy owners.