- Josh Whitling, Fantasy Basketball
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The biggest stories of the offseason surrounded superstars shifting teams, and an abundance of players are in new uniforms this season. Let's take a look at whose value will increase, whose will decrease and who will see mixed results for their new teams in 2012-13.
Movin' on up: Players whose value increases in their new homes
Arron Afflalo, SG, Orlando Magic: He received notoriety this offseason, as many criticized the fact that he was the best player the Magic received in the Dwight Howard deal. Lost amid that hubbub was that he's a steadily improving fantasy player who posted a career-high 15.2 points per game last season with excellent percentages. His efficiency might suffer a bit, but as the hands-down most athletic player on the perimeter for the Magic, his usage should increase significantly, and he should see a bump in points and 3-pointers.
Michael Beasley, SF, Phoenix Suns: He followed up his 19.2 points per game in '10-11 with a disappointing '11-12 season in which he averaged just 11.5 points on a career-low 44.5 percent from the floor in just 23.1 minutes per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. But now he'll be asked to shoulder a major scoring load for the Suns, and if he can fend off Jared Dudley, he should see an uptick in minutes and touches. His peripheral stats are consistently mediocre but not awful (0.6 3s, 0.6 blocks, 0.7 steals per game for his career). He could flirt with 20 points per game on the Suns, as his scoring ability is unquestioned; he still averaged 23.9 points per 48 minutes last season despite his substandard overall numbers.
Goran Dragic, PG, Phoenix Suns: He might not improve on his starting numbers from last season (18 points, 8.4 assists, 1.8 3s, 1.8 steals, 49 percent from the floor, 83.9 percent from the stripe in 28 starts last season), but his overall numbers will see a massive jump now that he's been handed the keys to the Suns' offense. He could be a top-five point guard this season, and if he slips into the third round in drafts due to his lack of name recognition, don't pass him up.
Raymond Felton, PG, New York Knicks: I'm not a fan of his game and I know Mike D'Antoni is no longer in New York, but he has a bevy of options when distributing the ball, a tough coach who should keep him accountable in Mike Woodson and Jason Kidd to push him to perform. If you ignore his terrible shooting, last season's averages of 6.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 3s are respectable, so I'm expecting him to see a boost in value moving back to New York.
Chris Kaman, C, Dallas Mavericks: He had middling overall numbers after a first half in which he shared time with Emeka Okafor and was benched amid trade rumors. But his second-half numbers (14.8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks per game) were excellent, and he'll have value as the only legitimate center on the Mavericks' roster. His career-low 44.6 percent from the floor should move closer to his career mark of 48.1 percent, as last season was the first in three years that he shot less than 60 percent on shots at the rim.
Andrei Kirilenko, SF, Minnesota Timberwolves: The reigning Euroleague MVP averaged 14.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.5 steals overseas, and many commented that he seemed rejuvenated after leaving Utah. He'll bring that momentum to Minnesota and see plenty of minutes at small forward with only Chase Budinger to fend off, and he'll once again be a top source of steals and blocks, especially at that position.
O.J. Mayo, SG, Dallas Mavericks: His numbers evaporated while he was coming off the bench for the Memphis Grizzlies, but this is a player who averaged 18 points, 1.8 3s and 1.2 steals while shooting 84.5 percent from the line in his first two seasons as a starter. Even if he doesn't quite reclaim that glory, his numbers are set for a huge rebound now that he's starting again for a Mavericks team in need of offensive firepower from the wing.
Jason Richardson, SG, Philadelphia 76ers: Last season was the first in three years that he didn't average more than two 3s per game, although he did average 1.9, to go along with 1 steal and 0.4 blocks per game. He seems older, but he's 31 and set to start at shooting guard in Philadelphia. With Andrew Bynum soaking up attention in the middle, and Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner both capable of handling the ball alongside him, he should see plenty of open looks and be among the league leaders in 3-pointers.
Mo Williams, PG/SG, Utah Jazz: He should start at point guard in Utah and should see his assists increase significantly now that he's not playing alongside Chris Paul. Starting point guards are a valuable commodity in fantasy hoops, especially when they have shooting guard eligibility like Williams does, so he's poised to provide excellent value in the later rounds.
Bad move: Players whose value decreases in their new homes
Ray Allen, SG, Miami Heat: His 14.2 points per game average in 2011-12 was his lowest since his rookie season, and the scoring opportunities won't increase playing alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. What will increase is his number of open looks, and despite the likely shrinkage in his all-around stats, Allen could lead the league in 3s.
Steve Nash, PG, Los Angeles Lakers: He has never played with someone who needs the ball in his hands like Kobe Bryant does, and the last time he played alongside another superstar was in Dallas with Dirk Nowitzki. That also was the last time he averaged fewer than 9.7 assists per game, and any time a player's primary fantasy contribution is chopped down, his value suffers. Nash will still average between seven and nine dimes per game, post efficient percentages, and likely see an increase in 3s with a stronger supporting cast and more open looks, but you own him for the assists, and they're going to diminish.
Dwight Howard, C, Los Angeles Lakers: We've never seen him come off a serious injury, and missing the preseason will affect his conditioning and chemistry with his new team. He'll no longer be the first option for his team offensively, and it's difficult to predict how he'll respond to a new role. Although his rebounds and blocks still will be elite, expect a dip in offensive production as well as his typical fantasy-killing free throw percentage.
Andre Iguodala, SF, Denver Nuggets: He will have fewer opportunities for the offense to run through him with Ty Lawson and Andre Miller around and several players who can create their own shots on the roster, so expect a dip in assists to go along with his steadily declining but still excellent steal numbers. There simply are more mouths to feed in Denver, whereas he was the alpha dog in Philly.
Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors: He can be incredible, but unless Toronto eschews Jose Calderon, he's unlikely to see an uptick in minutes. Dragic's numbers when Lowry went down last season illustrate the fact that Houston is a team conducive to productive point guard stats, while Toronto is a team focused on defense. Love his talent; don't love the fact he's sharing a role with a point guard who averaged 33.9 minutes per game last season.
Andrew Bynum, C, Philadelphia 76ers: He undoubtedly will see more touches and legitimately could score 22 to 25 points per game in Philadelphia, but without Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant drawing defenders off him, he'll see constant double-teams. This will hurt his efficiency, but his counting stats of points, boards and rebounds will remain elite and likely increase. Off the court, he is coming off getting knee injections in Germany, and will have to prove capable of sustaining his intensity and focus throughout the season as the focal point of his team. No more taking plays off for Bynum, and although he'll still be a top fantasy center, I wouldn't be surprised if his field goal percentage dropped.
Jarrett Jack, PG, Golden State Warriors: His role will depend on Stephen Curry's status, although he'll have value either way. Unless Curry's ankles are miraculously rejuvenated (he attempted just 1.3 shots at the rim per game last season), Jack is the only player in the Warriors' backcourt with legitimate slashing abilities. He should produce solid scoring and increased field goal percentage when playing alongside Curry, and if Curry is once again plagued by the ankle, Jack is a competent point guard who will provide six-plus assists per game when asked to run the offense.
Ryan Anderson, PF, New Orleans Hornets: He undoubtedly benefited from Dwight Howard's presence in Orlando, but now in New Orleans, he'll be paired with rookie Anthony Davis in the frontcourt and attract significantly more defensive attention. He'll likely be asked to vary his offensive arsenal and might not have the luxury of jacking up 6.9 3-point attempts per game, so his scoring and rebounding could improve but the 3s could dip.
Joe Johnson, SG, Brooklyn Nets: He will have difficulty getting back to his days of five-plus assists per game playing alongside Deron Williams, although he should be more efficient sharing the backcourt with such a proficient ball handler.
Lou Williams, PG, Atlanta Hawks: His 27.3 points per 48 minutes average ranked 22nd in the league last season, ahead of players such as Monta Ellis and Manu Ginobili, as he was asked to focus on one task: come in off the bench and score. This could be problematic for both him and Jason Terry (SG, Boston Celtics), who are accustomed to being on the floor with lower-usage players and facing second-team defenses, and will be forced to adjust if they're in the starting lineup.
Jeremy Lin, PG, Houston Rockets: He will never consistently post the numbers he put up his first month of starting for the Knicks, but he should post numbers similar to his overall averages from last season: 15 points and six assists with decent 3s and nice steals. That will make his move to Houston a relative wash.
Ramon Sessions, PG, Charlotte Bobcats: He parlayed his success with the Lakers into a starting role with the Bobcats, and like Lin, he will have trouble replicating the numbers he posted when he was at his best last season. But he easily could post better overall numbers in a full season in a starting role.
Notable offseason player movement
Josh Whitling notes the players who added or lost fantasy value thanks to changing teams in the offseason.