Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Since an NBA player's fantasy value is a combination of his talent and opportunity to play, it's important to evaluate player changes of address in determining their ultimate value to your fantasy roster.
While the player moves are still continuing on a daily basis, many of the biggest names have signed their contracts or have already been traded. So let's look at the top-12 offseason moves, to date, and evaluate whether their fantasy values will rise or fall.
LeBron James, Miami - While James had complete control of the offense in Cleveland, that won't be the case in Miami where Dwyane Wade runs the show. James was the No.1 fantasy choice in 2009-10, but won't be this season. Instead of 29.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg and 8.6 apg as he posted last season, James' line will probably read more like his rookie season (20.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.9 apg). Most likely he's still be chosen in the top-five by fantasy owners, but those numbers are more like an early second-round selection.
Chris Bosh, Miami - Bosh is currently the only good rebounder on the Heat's frontcourt roster and while Wade and James will help on the boards, Bosh will have to concentrate his effort in this category. Like James, Bosh's points- per-game average will fall now that he is part of the "Big Three" but he should still average 19 ppg and 12 rpg. Those are similar numbers to what Pau Gasol posted last season and the Lakers' big man is usually selected at the end of the first round.
Carlos Boozer, Chicago - Boozer finished up his Jazz career with a solid 19.5 ppg, 11.3 rpg season and more importantly stayed healthy. He should be the Bulls' No.1 inside threat. I'd be surprised if he doesn't continue to score and rebound at this level and is a solid second-round pick.
Amare Stoudemire, New York - Under Mike D'Antoni's system, Stoudemire has averaged as many as 26.0 ppg and 9.6 rpg. And that was in Phoenix where the team had other scoring options. As of now, the Knicks' second-best scoring option is Danilo Gallinari. Unless the Knicks come up with another scorer, expect Stoudemire to improve on last year's 23.1 ppg and 8.9 rpg statistics making him a late first-round selection.
David Lee, Golden State - Heading to the second-highest scoring team in the league may not help Lee win more games, but should make him a great fantasy selection. In New York he averaged 20.2 ppg and 11.7 rpg and as the only inside threat in Golden State his numbers should rise. Given the run-and-shoot offense, 22 ppg and 13 rpg isn't out of the question which would make him a first-round selection.
Hedo Turkoglu, Phoenix - With Stoudemire taking his 23 points-a-game to Madison Square Garden, someone has to finish for Steve Nash to get his assists. Turkoglu has averaged as many as 19.5 ppg (2007-08) and he can also run the floor when Nash is resting on the bench. Turkoglu was a disappointment to fantasy owners last season as we watched his scoring drop by more than five points-per-game and saw his rebounding and assist totals sink too. But on the highest scoring team in the league, Turkoglu could be a nice "sleeper."
Leandro Barbosa, Toronto - With Jose Calderon headed to Charlotte and Turkoglu to Phoenix, there is an opportunity for Barbosa to shine. Finally out of the shadow of Nash, Barbosa could become a solid fantasy option at point guard. Reaching his career high of 18.1 ppg is possible next year.
Ray Felton, New York - In D'Antoni's up tempo offense Felton should easily be able to improve upon his career averages of 13.3 ppg and 6.4 apg. He'll be a nice "sleeper" pick.
Jermaine O'Neal, Boston - O'Neal will play center until Kendrick Perkins returns from his knee surgery, but now in his 15th year, he is showing his age. I wouldn't expect much from him and wouldn't invest a high pick.
Kelenna Azubuike, New York - Azubuike only played nine games last year after tearing a tendon in his left knee. If he could stay healthy, Azubuike knows how to run the floor, a good asset in a D'Antoni offense. In his last full season, Azubuike scored 14.4 ppg and pulled down 5.0 rpg.
Hakim Warrick, Phoenix - Warrick is capable for putting up 12-14 points-per game, particularly with a great point guard like Nash, but he certainly can't put up Stoudemire-type numbers, the man he would be replacing. He's not a great rebounder, but could average six boards per night. Unfortunately, "13 and 6" guys are not all that valuable in fantasy leagues, as I counted 40 of them in 2009-10.
Michael Beasley, Minnesota - Beasley averaged 14.8 ppg and 6.4 rpg last season in Miami, his second year in South Beach. He'll have to fight with a number of forwards for playing time in Minnesota which could hurt his production. Until you see how the distribution works for playing time and shots, drafting Beasley will be a big gamble.