Fantasy Basketball and NBA Free Agents: Jeremy Lin, Elton Brand, Kyle Lowry
What is good about this time of player movement is that you can see which teams are trying to win now and which are building for down the road. Some teams need that one veteran piece to lift them to new heights, while other teams are putting a bunch of younger un-proven players together to see if any have superstar potential.
As the NBA free-agent market continues, here are a few more players who will be playing in different places next season:
Jeremy Lin, Houston Rockets
Now that Linsanity is officially over, we can finally take a look at Lin the player. Now that he is in a new situation, he is more of a wildcard than last season. While the Knicks had the leadership and their stars, Houston, now rebuilding, expects Lin to be a front man.
Can Lin once again score 14 points and dish out six assists per game again? Yes, but it is risky because we do not know how the Rockets plan to organize. I would suggest Lin as your second or even third point guard. It is too risky to draft him in the top four rounds of a fantasy basketball draft, but if you have the security of one or two better point guards, go for it. Let's not forget he averaged nearly four turnovers per game last season, too.
Elton Brand, Dallas Mavericks
After scoring 11 points and grabbing over seven rebounds per game, Brand is done in Philly and heads to a Dallas system that might not feature him as much. Brand will be fighting for minutes and, if he proves he can be as dominant defensively as he was last season, he might be able to steal minutes from expected starting center Chris Kaman.
Brand did average 1.5 blocks per game last season and is a proven veteran. Because of last year's stats, Brand might be somewhat high on fantasy players' radars, but he has decreased in value. If Dirk Nowitzki or Kaman suffer an injury, Brand will take a more prominent role in the lineup but it is impossible to predict injuries and their severity. If you see Brand towards the later part of your draft, grab him as a guy who can come off your bunch and grab you seven or eight rebounds on a given night. However, be prepared for inconsistent numbers if the stars don't align.
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Lowry leaves Houston coming off an impressive, eye-opening year. Lowry's major point of uniqueness is his quickness. He averaged over 1.5 steals per game and scored over 14 points a night shooting 40 percent from the field and averaged 6.6 assists per game.
The Raptors are expected to trade Jose Calderon and Lowry has a decent number of players he can work with such as DeMar DeRozan, Andrea Bargnani and Landry Fields. If the Raptors can stay healthy, Lowry will be able to fully utilize his team. He even grabbed over four rebounds per game last season, showing that he helps out in many categories. I expect Lowry's numbers to remain consistent with last year and I think he is a solid number two point guard option. You will want to look for Lowry in the fourth and fifth rounds of your draft.
Keep checking back often, as I will continue to go over the fantasy basketball value of players switching teams. To win a fantasy basketball championship, you have to remain organized and know which system all of your targeted players are playing in.
About Justin "Fensty" Fensterman
Fensterman covers fantasy basketball for KFFL and joined the team in 2012. He is a Sports Radio Producer on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports Radio channel, the first channel dedicated solely to fantasy sports. An avid fantasy basketball player, Fensty's biggest accomplishment in the fantasy sports world was in 2004 when he had an undefeated season in a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy NBA league and was ranked in the top 30 among all players in the world.
A native from Oyster Bay, NY, Fensty left New York to study Broadcast Journalism at American University in Washington D.C. in 2005. Fensty has previously worked for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, MTV and News 12: Long Island. Follow @FenstySports
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