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NBA Free Agency Instant Reaction - Day One

Wow. Free Agency 2018 certainly has started out with a bang. No dragged out decisions or meetings in the Hamptons as we get announcements from the 2 biggest names right away. Let's take a quick look at what this means from a fantasy perspective.

LeBron James agrees to 4-year $153m deal with the Los Angeles Lakers

Of course, this is the big announcement and the surprising things are how quickly this was announced along with the length of the deal. Although the Lakers offseason isn't finished yet and we have no idea what the finished product will look like as of now, it's safe to assume that the 2018 (and beyond) Lakers will have a better roster than the skeleton crew the Cavs trotted out last season, meaning that we've seen the statistical high-water mark in terms of fantasy production for the best player in the league. Expect the minutes to fall for sure, while the rest of the profile will depend on how the Lakers shape out the rest of their roster. You can read more of RotoBaller's analysis on LeBron to the Lakers here.

Paul George agrees to 4-year $137m deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder with a player option for a new 4-year max before the 4th year

Unlike their previous SF who may be a little allergic to competition, Paul George decided to remain with OKC and the fact that it was not on a 1+1 is a huge surprise. Fantasy wise, PG's value will depend heavily on whether Thunder GM Sam Presti will be able to rid himself of the useless Carmelo Anthony or not by the beginning of the season. If Melo is dealt, his 16 shots per game last year will be redistributed and being rid of his ball stopping ways (as well as another year together for this team) should help to increase the ball movement for an offense that was stagnant far too much last season. If Melo remains, PG would get a smaller bump, but a bump nonetheless, as there is no way imaginable Melo will still be playing 30+ minutes a night.

Jerami Grant agrees to 3-year $27m deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder with a player option on the last year

Grant's value will be tied even more strongly with the fate of Carmelo Anthony, as if Anthony is gone, Grant would be the starter and see 30+ minutes a game. He is a much better player than Anthony at this stage of their careers, and Grant would become a mid-round value if he were to fall into a 30 minute role. His game is extremely fantasy friendly and he would have a real shot at a triple 1 next year with the minutes and increased volume - something like 1.0 3s, 1.0 STL, 1.5 BLK would be a fairly reasonable projection.

Fred Vanvleet agrees to 2-year $18m deal with the Toronto Raptors

A short term deal here doesn't tell that much of a story as a long term deal would. The Raptors still go 3-deep at PG at the moment, and a 2-year deal doesn't signal a strong commitment to VanVleet over Delon Wright like a 4-year deal would. Wright is a restricted free agent after next season and there is a possibility that he could be dealt to provide value on the roster elsewhere, but if that doesn't happen, the Raptors deep backcourt will remain the same as last season - with both players providing spurts of value throughout the year.

DeAndre Jordan agrees to 1-year $24m deal with the Dallas Mavericks

It's a surprise that this is just a 1-year deal. Jordan ends up in Dallas anyways after the emoji saga 3 years ago, but under very different circumstances. Previously, Jordan was promised a feature role on a skeleton crew Mavericks team, and now, it doesn't appear to the be the same case as the Mavs will be focusing their rebuild around Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr.  Jordan should see a similar role to what he's had with the Clippers.

Trevor Ariza agrees to a 1-year $15m deal with the Phoenix Suns

This is a surprise, as the Suns use all their cap space to bring in the useful 3-and-d wing. Ariza's role won't change too much with the Suns, as he's still going to be playing with a high volume scorer in Devin Booker. With first overall pick Deandre Ayton on board as well and likely to eat up a big chunk of possessions, Ariza will remain a 3s and steals specialist as he has been for most of his career.

Chris Paul agrees to 4-year $160m deal with the Houston Rockets, Will Barton agrees to 4-year $50m deal with the Denver Nuggets, Aron Baynes agrees to 2-year $11m deal with the Boston Celtics, Rudy Gay agrees to 1-year $10m deal with the San Antonio Spurs, Kevin Durant agrees to 2-year $61.5m deal with the Golden State Warriors with a player option on the second year, Gerald Green agrees to 1-year $2.4m deal with the Houston Rockets

Nothing much to report on these deals, all players return to the previous teams into the same role.


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