Now that the fantasy season is over, it’s time for those in dynasty and keeper leagues to cast their eyes forward to next season and seasons in the future.
We saw lots of rookies and young players make sizeable impacts this season, but not every young guy will develop into a star.
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Working out who will be is an exercise with a large margin for error, but what I’m going to try and do is look at some players who flashed some high dynasty upside and some players whose value may be slightly higher than the reality around fantasy basketball circles.
Chuma Okeke, Orlando Magic - It took a while, but Okeke finally got a chance when Aaron Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu were moved on, so Steve Clifford didn’t have a choice but to play Okeke.
His shooting is inconsistent, but his defensive impact is real. Even though he does play the same position as Jonathan Isaac, I think they can co-exist together when Isaac returns from injury next season.
There is also no guarantee that Isaac, after multiple knee injuries, returns as the same player. I think Okeke can be a top 50 player in the next two seasons and there is hope his offense can take him even further.
RJ Hampton, Orlando Magic - Hampton showed some flashes in Denver, but he has been unlocked since being traded to Orlando.
Next season, Markelle Fultz will return, and the Magic may be in a position to draft Cade Cunningham, or Jalen Green, or Jalen Suggs, which could hurt, but as things stand, a 25-30 minute a night role isn’t out of the realms of possibility.
He has flashed scoring, shooting, playmaking and some defense and can have some top 70 seasons.
Malachi Flynn, Toronto Raptors - We barely saw Flynn play before April, but then he took home the rookie of the month trophy.
Next season, it feels like Raptors veteran Kyle Lowry will be playing somewhere else, so a starting spot is open, and it will come down to Flynn and Gary Trent Jr. as to who fills that role.
Trent is also a free agent, albeit restricted, but Flynn could wind up as a starter as early as next season.
Others to watch - Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans), Jaxson Hayes (New Orleans), Goga Bitadze (Indiana) , Paul Reed (Philadelphia)
Players whose value is higher than reality
James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors - Wiseman was unambiguously not good this season. People will point to his age and lack of basketball in the previous year, but LaMelo Ball played 12 games the year before and is younger.
Chuma Okeke didn’t play at all in 2019-20, and he was fine. Wiseman was just bad.
He can improve, sure, but there are people out there who would still draft him in the top three of the draft, and I think that’s crazy.
Maybe Wiseman makes me look a fool in a few years, but his value in dynasty league is still probably that of a future top 30 player, and I feel that is ridiculously high, so if I had him, I would try to cash in.
Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons - Bey has had a starting role in Detroit since Blake Griffin was sat down.
He’s been excellent as a rookie, averaging 25 fantasy points over the last 45 games in over 30 minutes a contest - but that isn’t superb.
He has shot well, but I’m not sure what other part of his game expands out to take his value much higher than it currently is.
He is also an older rookie, at 22 already. This isn’t to say he can’t improve because he definitely will, but I’m not sure his trajectory is as high as some think.
Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks - Another player with a lot of hype is Quickley.
Some of that is due to him playing New York, and some of that is because he has been significantly better than the usual number 25 pick.
But there is a bit of the Kyle Kuzma’s about Quickley. A late 20s draft pick who surprises with some solid scoring as a rookie but then gets highly overrated, especially for fantasy.
Quickley has had struggles to pass or run an offense, and his shooting has been terrible.
I also think he should’ve played a lot more than he did this season, but the lack of all-around production in his game ties in with what he did in college with Kentucky, so I’m not sure he has huge growth as a fantasy prospect. Use his Knicks’ status to perhaps sell high.
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