How long since the NBA Finals ended? It feels like we’ve had no respite from NBA action, not that that’s a bad thing. Dallas owner Mark Cuban wanted Tyson Chandler to come back ‘home’ and he got his way today as the first deal of the offseason went down.
First, what went down.
Along with knowing that Dallas was sweet on Chandler returning, it was also no secret that the Knicks wanted picks in this draft. Now, they have two, albeit second-rounders.
Primarily, this is a fantasy website, so how does this affect the players’ fantasy values.
In terms of the two former Knicks, Chandler and Felton, their value should remain the same. Chandler will slot in as the starting centre alongside Dirk Nowitzki. Chandler bumbled through an injury-riddled 2013-14 season in New York and we should expect him to average a double double instead of the 8.7 points and 9.6 rebounds he averaged last season. Chandler is always undervalued in fantasy and assuming he is fully healthy, he’s a top 70 player, due to his ability to rebound, block shots and shoot an insane field goal percentage.
Raymond Felton, he of firearm charges fame, is constantly derided for his weight issues and th fact, he’s not a great basketball player. Now, in Dallas he probably starts at point guard, alongside Monta Ellis, assuming he isn’t bought out, which remains a possibility. With Devin Harris a free agent, there is no other competition for the point guard slot, but that may change once free agency opens next week.
Felton is a borderline standard league player and finished 2013-14 ranked 152nd in nine category leagues. If he could return to his 2012-13 numbers of 13.9 points, 1.4 three-pointers, 5.5 assists and 1.4 steals, he becomes a relevant player, but a lot of his value depends on what Dallas does with him and other point guards. For now, Ellis probably gets the bigger bump.
The more interesting developments are in New York though. Jose Calderon should become the starting point guard and I think his numbers should look closer to his Raptors’ stats rather than his Mavericks’ ones, especially in terms of assists. In his last full season in Toronto, Calderon averaged 8.8 dimes, compared with 4.7 in Dallas. He should probably look for 11 points, six assists in New York and could take a bigger scoring role if Carmelo Anthony bolts.
The most interesting piece is Shane Larkin in my mind. Of you’re in a dynasty league, I’d be trying to get him now. Calderon is no spring chicken and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Larkin starting by next season. He was stuck behind a lot of guards in Dallas, but when he did get minutes, he played very well, particularly defensively.
If he was to start, he could easily get close to two steals a game along with six to seven dimes, but that would probably be in 2015-16 at the earliest.
What about Samuel Dalembert? He’ll have to battle Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire for minutes at centre, but given Stoudemire’s knees and Bargnani’s inability to play basketball, he could easily become the undisputed started. A more realistic scenario is that Dalembert is stuck in a three man rotation, much like he was in Dallas and player around 25 minutes a game.
He’s only a contributor for rebounds and blocks, but last season, he had a stretch where he was churning out numbers on consistent basis. In late March, Dalembert played his season high in minutes with 35, and scored 12 points, had 15 rebounds and blocked an insane seven shots. That’s an outlier, obviously, but shows that he can still have a big impact, if he gets the opportunity. I probably wouldn’t draft him in most leagues, but bare in mind that over the last month, Sammy D was the 57th ranked player in the NBA.
The offseason has started and there’s plenty more to come!