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Winners from the 2022-23 NBA Offseason Trades - Part 1

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The NBA offseason has turned into a matter of days--hours, if you push it--when it comes to player movement. Tampering present or not, the truth is that franchises lose no time in inking their new acquisitions to healthy deals, wheeling and dealing rookies and draft picks left and right, and pulling off trades with other teams around the nation. That's why entering September, pretty much all the dust has already settled leading up to next season.

That was mostly the case earlier this summer when it came to actual free-agent moves. It definitely wasn't the case with trades, as only one true blockbuster (Rudy Gobert from Utah to Minnesota) qualifies as the Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell trade sweepstakes have stayed alive for weeks and months on end with varying results.

With virtually all free agents already signed and rookies knowing where they'll start their careers, I will cover some of the trades that took place in the past few weeks to declare fantasy winners and losers involved in them. Let's take a look at some players who changed teams via trade who should find their stock rising up this season.

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2022-23 Fantasy NBA Preview: Fantasy Winners from Offseason Trades

Kevin Durant, SF/PF - Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie Irving, PG - Brooklyn Nets
Ben Simmons, PG/SF - Brooklyn Nets

This is blatant cheating, but this is also the most consequential no-trade in NBA history. In case you're not aware, the Nets and Kevin Durant agreed to--at least for now--extend their relationship ahead of next season, making KD's trade request a thing of the past. This means that all of Durant, earlier-extended Kyrie Irving, and a healthy Ben Simmons will all share the floor in Brooklyn next year unless something unexpected (at this moment) happens and some or all of those pieces get actually traded away.

Starting with the worst of the three players highlighted here (and that's hard to say, believe me), Ben Simmons is a winner for me entering 2023. I know that won't probably be the consensus opinion out there, and that's a very valid and reasonable way of thinking about it.

At the end of the day, Simmons will be sharing the floor with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and even though that is going to help him rack up numbers while getting freed from some defensive attention, it will also take tons of chances for him to get fantasy points (remember, Simmons is definitely not a spot-up shooter or anything of the like).

Even though Ben won't be able to take on a bona fide no. 1 role and franchise-leading duties with KD and Kyrie staying, I have to assume he will still thrive as he already did in Philly playing next to another mammoth--of another ilk, though--in Joel Embiid.

Simmons sat out last year after passing a ball instead of dumping a layup in the 2021 playoffs when he was still a Sixer. Simmons wasn't even close to his best version the last time we saw him, posting an average of 36.6 FPPG in 2021 compared to his prior best of 42.1 as a sophomore in 2019 at just 22 years of age. That was also a season in which Embiid was the only true star in Philadelphia. Something similar might be around the corner for Simmons depending on how Brooklyn works the rotation.

This is all confabulations, though, as Simmons has to make it back to the court first. He should have no trouble doing so come tip-off day, but we'll see. Simmons can do it all from scoring 14+ PPG to dropping 8+ APG to grabbing 7+ RPG.

More interesting are the cases of Durant and Irving, although also less open to wild thoughts. They are coming out as winners of this no-trade mostly because they will stay where they've been (and thrived) for a while now. That's it, that's the blurb.

Kevin Durant is coming off a top-22 season in DKFP even though he played just 55 games. Last year was the second-best season in his career in terms of FPPG posting up 51.7 DKFP per game. Only once had Durant reached 50+ FPPG (age-25 season in OKC) before, and he did it last year with an average line nearing 30-7-6-1-1 shooting 20+ FGA a pop and hitting 91% of the 7+ FTA he shot every game. Insane in the brain.

Kyrie Irving, pretty much like KD, is coming off virtually his second-best season ever. The per-game average of 46.1 fell only 0.2 and 1.3 FPPG short of his prior best seasons. Yes, he only played 29 games with a lot of stuff going on around him, but Irving's talents are going nowhere and neither is Irving himself. The line: 27-4-6-1 with only 2.5 TOPG (for a career-lowest 9.8 TOV%).

A lot of ink has been poured on the Nets' present, future, and whatnot, but one and only one thing is clear: until and unless there is news regarding an actual written-on-paper trade, Brooklyn should be considered a legitimate (if not the true no. 1) title contender entering the 2022-23 season. No team boasts such a loaded unit as the one comprised of Kyrie-Simmons-KD, and there's just no arguing against that.

Christian Wood, PF/C - Dallas Mavericks
JaVale McGee, C - Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs pulled off one of the better trades of the offseason in acquiring Wood from Houston in exchange for, basically and given later trades happening in the league, peanuts. Dallas gave away a bunch of players, yes, but none of them was expected to move the needle for them in the slightest way, let alone as much as Wood will supposedly do starting next season.

Dallas' addition of veteran big JaVale McGee must also be included in this column as he's another clear winner, as is the whole Mavs staff for bringing in this couple of biggies.

We have yet to see how the depth chart ends looking, but some beat reporters are handing JVM the starting nod at the center spot. That might be a bit of a stretch though, with the pairing of Wood at the five and Dorian Finney-Smith at the four looking like the most probable starting unit.

Anyway, McGee has proved of late to be a fantastic veteran presence on the court – though he's been limited to some 15-to-17 MPG in the last three seasons and still can do it at great levels – just ask the 2021 NBA Finals-bound Phoenix. McGee has strung seven seasons at above-average FP/min efficiency and has averaged 1.25 FP/min in the last two seasons (league average at 0.90) while putting up 18, 17+, and 20+ FPPG in the 2020-2022 span.

Wood is hardly an unknown player these days. He was a few years back, but not after his explosion in Detroit back in 2020. In his two years in Houston as the go-to center (108 of 109 games started playing 31+ MPG), Wood went on to average 1.22 FP/min and 38+ FPPG. He's coming off his best fantasy season ever after finishing as a top-seven C and top-34 player overall, no position filters applied.

Wood fell a hair short of averaging a double-double in 2021 but did so last year with averages of 18 PPG, 10+ RPG, 2+ APG, 1 BPG, and nearly one steal a pop too. He can stretch the floor (39% three-point shooting on 4.9 3PA per game) and will be part of a much stronger team than Houston offered him. Win-win for all parties involved in this couple of deals.

Malcolm Brogdon, PG/SG - Boston Celtics

No matter the angle you look at it from, there is probably not a bigger winner than Brogdon this offseason when it comes to guards changing teams. Brogdon probably knew something was coming because he's been in the rumor mill for a year as the odd-man-out in Indiana as the Pacers embarked on a true rebuild the minute they flipped Domantas Sabonis for Tyrese Haliburton – if not earlier.

It's finally Boston who moved some (few) pieces to land Brogdon and bolster an already Finals-level roster. It feels like Brogdon has been around forever and that he should be retiring, but he'll play next season at age 30 and he's still in his prime.

Brogdon's last three seasons finished with very similar results – on a per-game basis that is, as he's missed ample time in all of those only playing 54, 56, and lastly 36 (ugh) games in the past three years. He's a steady 34-to-38 FPPG performer, can play a lot of minutes (32+ MPG) and even if he gets to play a slightly lesser role in Boston, (Marcus Smart is the PG1 and insiders think the Celtics will keep Jaylen Brown at the SG1 position) he should still be good to put up something close to 18-4-5 easily over the year.

The turnovers are a bit high (2+ SPG in three straight seasons) but that doesn't kill his upside all things considered. Massive improvement in terms of the environment and the players he'll share the floor with whether that is as part of the starting or the second unit.

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