During the off-season and Summer League, hope springs eternal as rookies are drafted, vets change teams and super teams become more super. (Oh, Boogie, say it isnít so). But what about the players who suddenly find themselves possibly demoted? Every new beginning is someone elseís end. Letís take a look at players whoís fantasy value appears to have dropped due to off-season moves.
Atlanta Hawks management made it very clear they are in love with Trae Youngís potential when they swapped the rights to Luka Doncic for Young and a protected first round pick. If Doncic blossoms into the NBA star many expect, the Hawks will be mocked for years. They are going to give Young every chance to succeed, and thatís gotta mean smaller minutes for Dennis Schroder. Schroder and his unique blond hair streak were pretty darn effective last year, delivering 19.4 points, 6.2 dimes and 1.1 steals over 31 minutes per game. And his turnovers were down from 3.3 to 2.7 per game, despite similar minutes. With three more years and roughly $47 million left on his contract, I wonder if Schroder will be trade bait come February.
Young and Schroder are just too small to play the backcourt together. Remember, in addition to hitting some crazy outside shots, Young also averaged 8.7 assists per game at Oklahoma. Heís used to having the ball in his hands. That doesnít bode well for Schroder. Eastern shooting guards like Bradley Beal and DeMar DeRozan will abuse Atlanta if the Hawks try playing both diminutive point guards at the same time.
To be very clear, Marcus Smart is, as of this writing, a restricted free agent. Heís rumored to be receiving offers from either Sacramento or Brooklyn over the next few days. Should he sign an offer, Boston has the option to match the agreement and keep the versatile defender. But, either way, I see Smartís fantasy value taking a dip.
Letís say Sacramento does indeed give Smart a big fat contract and Danny Ainge decides to thank Smart for his services but lets him walk. Suddenly, Smart is the shiny new ďstarĒ expected to save the eternally messed up organization, handed a starting position and given the green light to shoot. I LOVE Smartís game-changing defense, but for four years heís been a 36% shooter. Suddenly with the Kings, heíll go from 10 shots per game to 16-17. Now that dreadful FG% is a real problem. The fans get on his case. And his volatile temper, which made him a bulldog for the Celtics, turns him into an angry malcontent with the Kings. Name a former-Celtic who has done better than when he was coached by Brad Stevens? You canít, because it hasnít happened.
But letís say Boston matches any offer. Suddenly Smartís minutes per game are going to dip with a healthy Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving around. Those assists, steals and made threes are going to dip as Smartís role reduces to 22-25 minutes per game.