Fantasy impact of draft trades
Calderon, Chandler, McDermott, Afflalo among potential winners
The top picks in last week's draft made the biggest headlines, and my Fantasy Focus Podcast tag-team partner John Cregan examined the potential fantasy impact they may have as rookies. Those weren't the only players to make some semblance of a headline, though, because several trades were completed prior to and during the draft. Those deals included veterans like Tyson Chandler and Arron Afflalo as well as rookies like Doug McDermott and Elfrid Payton.
Let's examine the fantasy outlook for the key players who were moved around the draft or drafted via trade. None of these players will be going in the early rounds of drafts, but several could play important roles during the course of the 2014-15 fantasy campaign.
The trade: Dallas Mavericks received Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton
New York Knicks received Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Shane Larkin, Samuel Dalembert, No. 34 pick Cleanthony Early, No. 51 pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo
Mavericks fantasy outlook:
• Chandler gives the Mavs a much-needed presence in the paint and will have every opportunity to prove he still has some gas left in the tank. He has battled injuries for most of the past six seasons, though, so unreliability figures to remain an issue as he turns 32. Still, his potential for a double-double with a block each game will make him worth a gamble to round out your starting lineup.
• Felton has had trouble staying out of the infirmary too, and concerns about his dedication to the game remain a glaring issue. Put that 2010-11 run with the Knicks out of your head; it was an anomaly. At his best, Felton is a mediocre point guard and poor shooter. If the Mavs don't add some competition via free agency, Felton, like Chandler, will have the chance to prove himself, but it's hard to believe he will come through.
Knicks fantasy outlook:
• Calderon landed in a terrific spot, as the veteran point guard should thrive in the Knicks' triangle offense. His overall value will depend a lot on how Phil Jackson fleshes out the rest of the roster, but he has the potential to be among the league leaders in assists while chipping in a couple of 3s per game.
• Early will have to improve his ballhandling and jumper to settle in as a pro, but his percentages last season at Wichita State (48.7 FG%, 37.6 3P%, 84.2 FT%) are promising for his long-term potential. We can't ignore the fact that Jackson targeted the kid either, but let's wait to see if he can generate some Summer League or preseason buzz before committing to him for stats as a rookie.
• Antetokounmpo likely will require some seasoning before making a statistical mark, but the fact his brother exceeded expectations as a rookie last season for the Milwaukee Bucks means he's worth keeping an eye on, especially after he averaged 12.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 1.3 BPG, 1.1 3s and 47 FG% in the D-League last season.
Nuggets fantasy outlook:
• Coming off a career-best campaign with the Magic, Afflalo returns to his old digs in Denver. Look for his scoring to drop and FG% to rise while remaining a solid fantasy contributor overall.
Magic fantasy outlook:
• It's doubtful that Fournier will see enough touches to make a mark outside of deep leagues this season.
Raptors fantasy outlook:
• If the Raptors are able to re-sign Kyle Lowry, Williams' upside will be capped to an extent. However, he has proved in the past that he can be an effective fantasy option as a sixth man; 14 PPG, 3.5 APG and 1.5 3-PPG are within reach as a reserve. His FG% is weak, but he won't take enough shots to kill you, plus he takes and makes a lot of free throws. Williams will carry more potential if Greivis Vasquez departs as a free agent.
Hawks fantasy outlook:
• Salmons is expected to be waived. The departure of Williams could open more minutes for Dennis Schroeder, if the Hawks don't add more backcourt weapons during free agency.
Bulls fantasy outlook:
• McDermott arguably couldn't have landed in a better spot than the Bulls, where he will be asked to do what we already know he can do: shoot the rock from distance. His upside as a rookie will depend mostly on whether the Bulls add an impact scorer like Carmelo Anthony. McDermott hit 56.7 percent of his 2s, 44.9 percent of his 3s and 86.4 percent of his free throws last season, so if he can get enough looks, he should be an immediate 3-point threat for fantasy teams.
Nuggets fantasy outlook:
• Nurkic is only 19, but at 6-foot-11 and 280 pounds, he has the size to hit the glass right away. He likely will begin the season as a reserve with limited value, though. Harris likely won't have much upside as a rookie, since Afflalo is back with the Nuggets. I've heard comparisons to Bradley Beal, but I don't see that kind of high-end potential in Harris for the long term.
76ers fantasy outlook:
• We likely won't see Saric in the NBA for another couple of years, so he's really a dynasty option with plenty of upside as a scorer.
Magic fantasy outlook:
• With Jameer Nelson out of the mix, Payton has a direct line to the starting point guard job. Because he can score, dish and play defense, he will have a terrific chance to make an impact right away for fantasy teams. The one big concern for him is at the charity stripe; last season he took a ridiculous 8.8 free throws per game but hit only 59.0 percent of them.
More NBA Draft Coverage
The Cavaliers kicked off the draft by selecting Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins. Recap ESPN's coverage of all 60 picks. DraftCast
• Adande: Draft ends, questions begin
• Strauss: 76ers again fire up tank
• Ford: Team-by-team | Pick-by-pick
• Trades: Tracker | Grades
• Social: The Ten Squared | Moments
• Podcasts: Wiggins | Parker
• SN: Wiggins right pick for Cavs?
Hornets fantasy outlook:
• After off-field issues nixed his college career, Hairston took advantage of the D-League last season to boost his draft stock back into the first round. He has the talent of a lottery pick, averaged 21.8 PPG and 2.8 3-PPG in the D-League and landed on a team thin enough talent-wise that he could make some noise as a rookie.
Heat fantasy outlook:
• If Mario Chalmers departs as a free agent, Napier will have the chance to take over the starting point guard role. Assuming LeBron James rejoins Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Napier won't contribute much more than some 3s, some steals and a handful of dimes as a rookie.
Lakers fantasy outlook:
• The Lakers seemingly got a steal with Clarkson that late in the draft, though he has much to work on before settling in at the next level. Nonetheless, unless the Lakers front office somehow adds a ton of talent to the barren roster via free agency, Clarkson will have plenty of chances to make a mark as a rookie.