Fantasy Basketball

2018-19 Fantasy Basketball Free Agent Impact


NBA Free Agency this year was exciting. There were so many players that changed teams and it involved a lot of good players too. Some people joke that NBA Free Agency is more exciting than the actual season, I personally think there is a bit of truth to that.

Of course, we all know about LeBron James leaving Cleveland and landing in Los Angeles, signing with the Lakers. But who else has a new home this year? Also, how does this affect their value in Fantasy Basketball, as well as their teammates?

Below we will discuss some of the most notable signings and the 2018-19 Fantasy Basketball Free Agent Impact.

2018-19 Fantasy Basketball Free Agent Impact

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LeBron James, SF, Los Angeles Lakers

Yes, I’m starting with LeBron. Let me first start by saying I do not think they are going to be contenders in the West. With Golden State and Houston being there I just don’t see how they make it out. Honestly, I kinda see them as a 4/5 seed at best and could very well be a 7/8 seed with the supporting cast around him.

Now back to the Fantasy impact of all this. James is going to be fine. He will get his, always does.

It is the rest of the guys I’m really not sure about. You’ve got so many unproven or unimpressive players in LA. I am going to give my quick take on a few.

  • Lonzo Ball: At best he repeats last years value, could be worse now that Bron will go for triple-doubles nightly and they signed…
  • Rajon Rondo: I think this is a very underrated signing. I get Rondo’s troubles in the past, but you better believe he shuts his mouth and just does what Bron says. Gotta think he can be a great source of assists.
  • Brandon Ingram: I think he is the second best player on the team and is how Bron will look to most to help out in the scoring department. Look for him to have an improved season.
  • Kyle Kuzma: He had a great season, but with Bron in town he plummets down the depth chart and will see decreased minutes.

One thing to note here is it sounds like Bron will get power forward eligibility with the Lakers talking about going small putting Ingram at the three and Bron at the four. This doesn’t change his draft stock at all, but it doesn’t hurt to have flexibility in your fantasy roster.

DeMarcus Cousins, C, Golden State Warriors

I put him second because he is the biggest name to move after LeBron. However, there is not much to like here.

First off, he is still recovering from his Achilles tear last season and is going to miss the start of the season. How much time is unknown at this point, but I’ve read first month to first half, so take that risk into consideration when drafting him.

The second thing I don’t like is he will at best be the No. 4 option offensively on this team. More likely that he will be No. 5. You’ve got the obvious Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson in front of him, but there is also Draymond Green. Once fully healthy, I expect Cousins to pass Green as an offensive option.

That means I think this downgrades Green a bit, but what about the rest. As for Durant and Curry, not so much. Klay is who I’m most worried about here. As I mention in my Guard Bust piece I think not only does Klay struggle to return his value with a fully healthy Durant and Curry all season, but when Cousins returns it will be even harder since he is pretty much all points.

DeAndre Jordan, C, Dallas Mavericks

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Well, this is awkward, right? Just a couple of seasons after he changed his mind and decided not to sign with the Mavs, Jordan did indeed sign this time.

This should have very little impact on this fantasy value. He will still be a premier rebounder and with Dennis Smith Jr. and Luca Doncic running the offense there, he should still get his space on the floor to make easy baskets.

However, if you draft him expecting premier shot-blocking though, you will be disappointed. That is not part of his game anymore as last year he tied a career-low with 0.9 per game. Maybe that increases a bit, but you can’t expect him to get back to two-plus a game anymore.

Jabari Parker, PF, Chicago Bulls

Struggling with injuries most of his career in Milwaukee and they decided to move on. Parker then signed with the Bulls where he should be an immediate weapon for them.

When healthy Parker has proven he can be a good, but not spectacular, player in this league. This is proven by him averaging 20 points per game with six rebounds a game in 2016. Of course, that came with only 51 games played.

Last year returning from his ACL tear he struggled to get going, although that is to be expected.

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There is not much impact to his value or anybody else’s in Chicago. He should be able to step right in and play his game and fit seamlessly next to Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen (when he returns from his injury). Not many others had a lot of fantasy value on this roster anyway, so not much to see here.

Julius Randle, PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans

A signing not talked about very much, but one that I like a lot. He replaces DeMarcus Cousins in New Orleans and will have a great opportunity there.

Post All-Star Break, when the Lakers gave him 31 minutes a game he thrived, posting 19.5 and 9.4 rebounds along with a .555 field goal and  .747 free throw percentages.

I do think he reduces the ceiling of Anthony Davis just a little, but it was already so high to begin with it should not truly impact him. Overall, this team played well with another weapon next to Davis that there should be little to no impact anywhere.

Dwight Howard, C, Washington Wizards

As a Wizards fan, I’m not a huge fan of signing Howard. But if it means we get to move on from Marcin Gortat, who was arguably one of the worst centers in the league over the last couple of seasons, I’ll take it.

Howard’s fantasy stock is not going to improve in Washington. You have to remember in Charlotte last year, he became the second option offensively behind Kemba Walker.

In Washington, this offense goes through John Wall and Bradley Beal. Then there is Otto Porter and Markieff Morris too. I fully expect Howard to give his typical premier rebounding numbers, but his points per game will likely drop back to the low teens if not lower.

Elfrid Payton, PG, New Orleans Pelicans

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I discussed another Pelicans signing above. The difference is I like this one.

Payton was done dirty last year when he arrived in Phoenix. Payton had two triple-doubles quickly, yet was sent to the bench.

Then the Suns decided they were going to bench Payton to try to tank. Oh I know I’m not supposed to talk about tanking cause nobody does, but really we all know they did.

Now Payton moves to New Orleans and looks like they will start him at point guard. This is good for him as he has never been much of a scorer and won’t need to be on this team. He can facilitate to Davis, Holiday Randle. He can be a fourth option for scoring and still be fantasy relevant by facilitating and rebounding.

Brook Lopez, C, Milwaukee Bucks

Lopez is a strange player. I have never seen a seven-footer struggle to rebound like Lopez. Crazy stat, he has never averaged double-digit rebounds in a season. That blows my mind.

In Milwaukee, Lopez might be the starter, but he should split minutes with both Thon Maker and John Henson. This limits the upside for all three of them and makes Maker and Henson not worth owning at all.

Lopez at the very least is back of the rotation center who could score you double-digit points most nights and chip in a three or two. Other than that he is not super valuable on this roster that will clearly go through Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Isaiah Thomas, PG, Denver Nuggets

How the mighty have fallen. Two seasons ago Thomas was a stud, averaging almost 30 points a game in Boston. A hip injury and two trades later he is now in Denver.

I’m not saying Thomas is going to return to the level he was at in Boston, but I do like him here. If he can indeed stay healthy then he at the very least takes the backup PG role and probably gets on the court with Murray at times.

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This probably does not affect anybody else on the team currently as everybody is keeping their current starting roles.

Check out the rest of the 2018-19 Fantasy Basketball Coverage to help win your leagues.

About Joe Bond

Not just another "Average Joe" when it comes to Fantasy Sports, he is the fantasy brain trust behind the website. Joe is one of the Experts included in the FantasyPros Consensus Rankings for Football, Baseball and Basketball and finished well each year. You can find him on Twitter, @F6P_Joe, where he is waiting by the keyboard for your question.

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