There was a lot of player movement this summer, thanks to a heaping portion of important trades and free-agent signings. The result is a long list of NBA players who find themselves in new cities this season. Below are the 10 most intriguing fantasy players with new teams in 2010-11 (in no particular order and not named LeBron James), along with some brief discussions and forecasts of whether the moves will be good, bad or neutral for their overall fantasy values.
1. Anthony Randolph (PF/C â€“ New York Knicks): Just call him Christina Hendricks – Randolph was one of the biggest busts last season, thanks to injuries that took him out of 49 games. Assuming he stays healthy, the kid’s ceiling in 2010-11 is immeasurable. With the ability to play three positions for the Knicks, he’ll get plenty of minutes and should put up strong numbers across the board, especially in the rebounds, steals and blocks columns. Add to this his solid shooting from the free-throw line and the possibility of a smattering of threes this year, and Randolph could be one the most attractive players on your draft board (once again). [Good]
2. Darren Collison (PG â€“ Indiana Pacers): He was straight-up awesome when he started in place of an injured Chris Paul last season, averaging around 19/3.5/9 along with a three and 1.4 steals per game in 37 starts. In Indiana, Collison is the unquestioned head honcho at the PG spot, where he’ll get plenty of minutes to put up solid all-around fantasy numbers. It’s easy to get excited about drafting him late in the third round of your drafts, and it might not be that bad of an idea to do so. Truth be told, Collison’s ability to shoot well from the floor, hit threes and steal a good number of balls makes him a more valuable fantasy asset than some bigger names at the moment. [Good]
3. Carlos Boozer (PF/C â€“ Chicago Bulls): The start of his time in Chicago hit a snag when he broke his right hand earlier this month, but Boozer remains one of the most helpful fantasy big men in fantasy basketball â€“ when healthy. He has had a history of nagging health issues in the past, which is cause for some concern. The prospect of a rocky recovery once he returns to the court along with the interior presence of Joakim Noah (who takes up more room around the basket than Mehmet Okur ever did), could mean that Boozer’s numbers take a slight dip this season, maybe even taking him out of double-double territory. [Bad]
4. David Lee (PF/C â€“ Golden State Warriors): The departure of coach Don Nelson certainly puts a damper on the extravagant numbers Lee could be putting up in 2010-11, but the Warriors still appear to be one of the more prolific offensive teams in the NBA. While the reemergence of the unreliable Andris Biedrins is slight cause for concern, Lee will get his numbers in Oakland, where his backups pose no threat to his minutes. [Neutral]
5. Chris Bosh (PF/C â€“ Miami Heat): Bosh is really flying under the radar this season, and understandably so. After all, he’s going from being the top dinosaur in Toronto to being the third flame in Miami. So, yes, his points and rebounds stand to dip a bit, but a big part of Bosh’s value is locked into his strong shooting percentages, decent mix of steals and blocks, and underappreciated assists. With his field-goal percentage and assists in position to take steps up this season, there’s a real chance Bosh could outperform the late-second-round draft pick many owners are using to get him. [Bad]
6. Raymond Felton (PG/SG â€“ New York Knicks): A faster offense can only mean great things for point guards, right? Well, if your name is Chris Duhon, then no. The good news is that Felton is no Duhon. The bad news is that coach Mike D’Antoni recently noted that Felton still needs to get a better grasp of the offense for the Knicks, which could mean an up-and-down start to the season for Felton. But with sparse help at PG behind him, he’ll get all the run he can handle in New York, which will mean more assists (and probably turnovers), threes and possibly points. Be confident if you take him, but arm yourself with some patience. [Good]
7. Trevor Ariza (SG/SF â€“ New Orleans Hornets): Ariza was a stud last season, so long as your league didn’t include shooting percentages (39.4 percent from the field, 64.9 percent from the line). In New Orleans, Ariza will benefit teaming with the ultimate floor captain in Chris Paul, which should translate into better looks from better spots on the floor. In other words, look for Ariza to continue raining threes, racking up steals and putting up solid all-around numbers, all while shooting closer to the 44 percent from the field he’s averaged for his career. [Good]
8. Amar’e Stoudemire (PF/C â€“ New York Knicks): We go from a player who will be helped by the new presence of a truly elite point guard to one that could struggle without an old one. STAT finally has what he wants: a team whose offense will focus on him. He moves from one productive system to another, and there’s little reason to think there will be any transition period for Stoudemire, especially with the familiar coach D’Antoni at the helm. If you’re bullish, it’s easy to convince yourself to nab him late in the first round. But concerns about the absence of Steve Nash (read: lower field-goal percentage, more turnovers) along with questions about whether Stoudemire will ever rebound and block at levels that will warrant the label of “elite” in fantasy circles, weigh down his appeal heading into this season. [Good]
9. Hedo Turkoglu (SG/SF/PF â€“ Phoenix Suns): The shift to power forward for the Suns will be more than a small adjustment for Turkoglu, but he’ll figure things out eventually. His ball-handling skills will serve him well in Phoenix and his overall numbers should rise from the mire they sunk to in Toronto. His weak field-goal percentage and possible issues with fatigue after a summer playing for Turkey are the two biggest concerns for Turkoglu, but his numbers were so mediocre last season that there’s almost no room to go but up. [Good]
10. Al Jefferson (PF/C â€“ Utah Jazz): He’s the only truly viable option at center in Utah until Okur returns later in the season, which means Jefferson will have no problem playing more than the 32:23 he was limited to last season. His teammates are leaps and bounds better than the ones he had in Minnesota, and having Deron Williams at the point will only help. Jefferson will return to averaging a double-double, and if he can lift his free-throw percentage to around 73+ percent again, watch out. [Good]
Honorable mentions: Troy Murphy [Bad], Leandro Barbosa [Good], Travis Outlaw [Good], Anthony Morrow [Good], Drew Gooden [Neutral], Kirk Hinrich [Bad], Samuel Dalembert [Good], Wesley Matthews [Good], Marco Belinelli [Good], Steve Blake [Bad]
Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.
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