Ryan Knaus

Offseason Beat

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July & August NBA transactions

Wednesday, August 22, 2012



Houston Rockets


Incoming: Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik, Carlos Delfino, Jeremy Lamb, Royce White, Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas, Gary Forbes, Toney Douglas, Shaun Livingston, JaJuan Johnson, E'Twaun Moore, Sean Williams, Jon Brockman, Jon Diebler


Outgoing: Luis Scola, Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic, Courtney Lee, Samuel Dalembert, Marcus Camby, Chase Budinger


Quick Thoughts: As you can see, Rockets GM Daryl Morey has been extremely busy this summer, but whether the Rockets' roster has actually improved is debatable. As for Jeremy Lin...he is an excellent PG and Linsanity wasn't a fluke, but I do think it represents his peak. For one thing, even Kobe knows who Lin is now, and the league's scouts, coaches and defenses will have a book on him two-inches thick. More importantly, however, Lin is  coming off knee surgery and no longer has a pick-and-roll maestro like Amare Stoudemire to work with.  The Rockets also chose to amnesty their best post player (Luis Scola), which will allow defenses to key into stopping Lin. On a side note, Jerome Jordan and Jon Leuer were both acquired and waived by Houston this summer.



Indiana Pacers


Incoming: D.J. Augustin, Ian Mahinmi, Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee, Orlando Johnson


Outgoing: Darren Collison, A.J. Price, Dahntay Jones


Quick Thoughts: The Pacers matched a maximum contract offer from the Blazers for Roy Hibbert (technically they never received an offer sheet, but that's another story). There's no reason Hibbert shouldn't continue to improve in his fifth NBA season, but I wouldn't draft him before the fourth round in standard eight- and nine-cat fantasy leagues.



L.A. Clippers


Incoming: Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Lamar OdomRonny Turiaf, Ryan Hollins


Outgoing: Mo Williams, Nick Young, Kenyon Martin, Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes


Quick Thoughts: Chris Paul had thumb surgery on Tuesday but he's expected to be healthy for the start of the regular season, and may even be ready for a few preseason games. I would only draft Lamar Odom as a final-round flier pick at this point, but keep a very close eye on him during the preseason -- he could emerge with solid value this season if he's healthy and properly motivated.



L.A. Lakers


Incoming: Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison, Jodie Meeks, Earl Clark, Chris Duhon, Darius Johnson-Odom, Robert Sacre


Outgoing: Andrew Bynum, Ramon Sessions, Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga


Quick Thoughts: Dwight Howard knew the Magic couldn't attract enough talent to compete with the Heat, so he forced his way onto a new west coast Superteam with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. The result should be an improved defense and a frighteningly multi-faceted offense, whether or not the Lakers install many Princeton offense sets.



Memphis Grizzlies


Incoming: Wayne Ellington, D.J. Kennedy


Outgoing: O.J. Mayo, Dante Cunningham, Jeremy Pargo


Quick Thoughts: Mayo's departure should clear substantially more minutes for Josh Selby, who I'll be watching very closely during training camp and the preseason.



Miami Heat


Incoming: Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis


Outgoing: Ronny Turiaf


Quick Thoughts: I'm avoiding Rashard Lewis this season regardless of whether or not his knees are healthy -- LeBron James simply commands too many minutes, and the Heat are too deep on the wings to expect much from Rashard, who shot 38.5 percent from the field last season.



Milwaukee Bucks


Incoming: Samuel Dalembert, John Henson, Doron Lamb, Joel Przybilla


Outgoing: Kwame Brown, Shaun Livingston


Quick Thoughts: The center position is always thinnest, and Dalembert is a suitable late-round pick for owners in need of rebounds and blocks. Ersan Ilyasova was a beast last season, posting fourth-round value in under 28 minutes per game, but he may still be somewhat undervalued in fantasy circles. For instance, Ilyasova was the overall No. 9 fantasy player over the final two months of the 2011-12 season, yet even then he averaged a mere 30.5 minutes per game.



Minnesota Timberwolves


Incoming: Brandon Roy, Andrei Kirilenko, Chase Budinger, Greg Stiemsma, Dante Cunningham, Alexey Shved


Outgoing: Michael Beasley, Darko Milicic, Wesley Johnson, Wayne Ellington


Quick Thoughts: I championed Kirilenko in my last column, and I'd be happy to get him in the fifth round of any nine-cat league. Brandon Roy is a different story -- I'm extremely wary of his chronic knee issues, his miracle Orthokine cure notwithstanding. Even Wolves owner Glen Taylor seems to be guarded in his expectations, saying, "We'll see how he handles practice."



New Orleans Hornets


Incoming: Anthony Davis, Austin Rivers, Ryan Anderson, Robin Lopez, Hakim Warrick, Roger Mason Jr., Darius Miller


Outgoing: Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, Carl Landry, Gustavo Ayon, Marco Belinelli, Jerome Dyson


Quick Thoughts: Rashard Lewis was a Hornet-in-name-only for a while, but predictably was soon bought out of his contract. Thankfully, trading away Jarrett Jack cleared more room for Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers in the backcourt -- the frontcourt rotation is a bit more perplexing, but however you slice it there will be plenty of minutes for both Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis. Keep a close eye on Robin Lopez, too, as he could prove a useful source of rebounds and blocks.



New York Knicks


Incoming: Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Ronnie Brewer, Pablo Prigioni, James White, Chris Smith, Chris Copeland


Outgoing: Jeremy Lin, Landry Fields, Josh Harrellson, Toney Douglas, Jerome Jordan


Quick Thoughts: The Knicks didn't have much financial wiggle-room this summer, and did well to add both Kidd and Camby on affordable deals, while retaining J.R. Smith on a very reasonable deal (roughly $5.6 million over two seasons). Steve Novak, an elite 3-point specialist, also re-signed on a four-year, $15 million contract.



Oklahoma City Thunder


Incoming: Perry Jones III, Hasheem Thabeet, Hollis Thompson


Outgoing: Nazr Mohammed, Royal Ivey


Quick Thoughts: The Thunder locked up Serge Ibaka with a four-year, $48 million contract, which is an extremely reasonable deal given Ibaka's game-changing defensive abilities. Eric Maynor's contract situation hasn't changed, but assuming he's fully recovered from his torn ACL he'll be a major positive for OKC's second unit.



Orlando Magic


Incoming: Arron Afflalo, Andrew Nicholson, Al Harrington, Gustavo Ayon, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, Josh McRoberts, Justin Harper, Kyle O'Quinn, Christian Eyenga


Outgoing: Dwight Howard, Ryan Anderson, Jason Richardson, Earl Clark, Chris Duhon


Quick Thoughts: The Magic are going to abysmal this season, but that doesn't mean fantasy owners can't find hidden value in Orlando. Glen Davis springs to mind, as his only real competition for the starting center job comes from Gustavo Ayon. Recall that in 13 starts last season, Big Baby averaged 15.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 0.5 blocks.



Philadelphia Sixers


Incoming: Andrew Bynum, Nick Young, Dorell Wright, Jason Richardson, Kwame Brown, Arnett Moultrie, Royal Ivey, Maalik Wayns


Outgoing: Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, Elton Brand, Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, Jodie Meeks


Quick Thoughts: Philly also managed to re-sign Spencer Hawes on a two-year, $13 million contract (very reasonable for a legit 7-footer with shooting range and shot-blocking skills, despite his injury woes), and they also re-signed promising big man Lavoy Allen. Elton Brand was amnestied and Nikola Vucevic was traded to the Magic, but with Andrew Bynum in Philly neither Hawes nor Allen has much upside.



Phoenix Suns


Incoming: Goran Dragic, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola, Kendall Marshall, Jermaine O'Neal, Wes Johnson, P.J. Tucker


Outgoing: Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Robin Lopez, Hakim Warrick, Ronnie Price, Josh Childress


Quick Thoughts: The Suns lost Steve Nash and project as one of the worst teams in the West, regardless of the addition of Dragic, Scola, Beasley and rookie Kendall Marshall. Dragic has massive fantasy potential but is a very risky pick with Marshall waiting in the wings, and the Suns' youth movement could pick up steam as the losses pile up.



Portland Trail Blazers


Incoming: Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard, Will Barton, Ronnie Price, Jared Jeffries, Sasha Pavlovic, Victor Claver, Joel Freeland, Kostas Papanikolaou


Outgoing: Raymond Felton, Jamal Crawford, Joel Przybilla, Kurt Thomas


Quick Thoughts: Nicolas Batum is getting paid franchise-player money (four years, $45+ million), and new coach Terry Stotts will almost certainly unleash him this season. Batum's minutes declined last season (to 31 per game) despite playing brilliantly for stretches, and I see him as a fantasy value-pick in the third round. The Blazers also re-signed J.J. Hickson on a one-year contract -- he's an intriguing fantasy sleeper, but his value is rather limited as long as LaMarcus Aldridge (hip surgery) is healthy.



Sacramento Kings


Incoming: Thomas Robinson, Aaron Brooks, James Johnson


Outgoing: Hassan Whiteside


Quick Thoughts: The Kings were able to re-sign Jason Thompson on a five-year, $30 million contract. The move is solid in reality, but creates some fantasy complications with Thompson, Chuck Hayes and rookie Thomas Robinson all vying for PF minutes. On the PG front, Isaiah Thomas remains the presumptive starter, but Aaron Brooks will be a thorn in his side all season.



San Antonio Spurs


Incoming: Nando De Colo


Outgoing:  T.J. Ford


Quick Thoughts: Patty Mills re-signed for two years in July. He played great in a few token starts while Tony Parker was being rested last season, he was great for Australia in the Olympics, and fantasy owners should immediately grab him if Parker gets hurt. Other than that, the Spurs proceeded with their typical understated brilliance, locking up Tim Duncan for three more seasons and keeping their championship-caliber team intact.



Toronto Raptors


Incoming: Kyle Lowry, Landry Fields, Jonas Valanciunas, Terrence Ross, John Lucas, Quincy Acy


Outgoing: Gary Forbes, James Johnson


Quick Thoughts: The Raptors added some intriguing pieces this summer in rookies Valanciunas and Ross, and Kyle Lowry is a definite upgrade at PG. There will be definite growing pains, however, and I wouldn't put too much faith in the rookies until we've at least seen them play in the preseason. Jose Calderon could well be traded before or during the season, and Lowry remains one of my primary sleeper picks. He was scorching hot to start the 2011-12 season, but was slowed down by injuries and the emergence of Goran Dragic. Despite the adversity he posted early-third round fantasy value in just 32 minutes per game, and I won't hesitate to grab him that early this season.



Utah Jazz


Incoming: Mo Williams, Marvin Williams, Randy Foye, Kevin Murphy


Outgoing: Devin Harris, C.J. Miles


Quick Thoughts: Marvin Williams has played enough seasons that I'm not expecting a breakout in Utah -- as usual, he's sure to play some great games in between long stretches of mediocrity.



Washington Wizards


Incoming: Trevor Ariza, Emeka Okafor, Bradley Beal, A.J. Price


Outgoing: Andray Blatche, Rashard Lewis, Roger Mason Jr.


Quick Thoughts: Keep an eye on Nene's foot once the Wizards' training camp opens. He struggled with plantar fasciitis for most of last season, and he aggravated the injury during the Olympics. I'll be forced to bump him way down my draft lists if there are any signs that the chronic injury is lingering.


Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.
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