Loading scores...
Offseason Beat

Summer Update - Part 2

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

On Friday, Steve Alexander summed up the most important recent news for 15 teams in part one of the Summer Update. Be sure to read that to get a complete picture of everything that has changed this summer. Today's column will cover the rest of the league, from the Miami Heat to the Washington Wizards. There's plenty to discuss, so let's dive right into part two.

 

Miami Heat - The Heat drafted Justise Winslow in the lottery and he'll assuredly be a rotation player, but minor injuries have limited his action during Summer League. The rookie is unlikely to provide reliable fantasy value while starting SF Luol Deng is healthy. In addition to locking up Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic with new contracts, Miami brought in free agents Gerald Green and Amare Stoudemire to bolster their depth chart. Chris Bosh said on July 14 that he feels "good" and has been working on his conditioning since mid-June, but he doesn't expect to be in "tip-top" shape when the season begins.

 

Possible starting lineup: Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside.

 

 

Minnesota Timberwolves - The Wolves landed Karl-Anthony Towns with the No. 1 pick. He's been great in Summer League and should emerge as the best rookie for fantasy purposes -- though KAT is slated to come off the bench, he'll be playing behind two huge injury risks in Kevin Garnett and Nikola Pekovic. The rest of Minnesota's offseason news was less momentous -- they drafted PG Tyus Jones at No. 24, signed KG to a two-year deal, inked Euroleague MVP Nemanja Bjelica to a three-year deal, traded Chase Budinger for Damjan Rudez, and declined a qualifying offer for C Justin Hamilton.

 

Possible starting lineup: Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Garnett and Nikola Pekovic. Given the health risks of that unit, wildcards include Zach LaVine, Gorgui Dieng and Karl-Anthony Towns.

 

 

Milwaukee Bucks - The arrival of Greg Monroe was the biggest change for Milwaukee this offseason, giving them a potent offensive weapon who will immediately start at center alongside Jabari Parker. Monroe had a 23.9% usage rate last season, which he should easily match as a featured weapon on the block for Jason Kidd (even Zaza Pachulia approached a career-high with a 19.1% usage rate last season). Ersan Ilyasova and Pachulia left town via trades, but nothing came of rumors that Michael Carter-Williams was being shopped for a top-10 pick. The Bucks also lavished a five-year, $70 million deal on Khris Middleton, traded to acquire Greivis Vasquez, and are reportedly nearing an extension with John Henson.

 

Possible starting lineup: Michael Carter-Williams, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker and Greg Monroe. Greivis Vasquez said it's a "possibility" that he'll start over MCW and the point-guard position is one to watch during training camp.

 

 

New Orleans Pelicans - The Pelicans installed Alvin Gentry as their new head coach and he'll run a much faster-pace offense than Monty Williams, which is delectable news for fantasy owners. New Orleans gave Anthony Davis a five-year, max-salary contract moments after free agency started, then proceeded to lock up big men Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca and Dante Cunningham. They also filled out the roster with Luke Babbitt and Alonzo Gee, giving them some much-needed depth on the wings.

 

Possible starting lineup: Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Anthony Davis and Omer Asik. The Pelicans' lineups could be very fluid this year, however, as Gentry has already said Evans will play multiple positions and Davis will play center "quite often" while also shooting more 3-pointers. His fantasy upside is unknowable.

 

 

New York Knicks - Kristaps Porzingis was booed by fans when the Knicks drafted him No. 4 overall, but he's already changing minds with a solid Summer League. The wiry 19-year-old needs a few years to realize his full potential but he should be a sporadic source of fantasy value as a rookie, since the Knicks will likely throw him into the fire as a starter. Phil Jackson quickly picked up starters Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo in free agency, re-signed Lance Thomas and Lou Amundson, then added forwards Derrick Williams and Kyle O'Quinn. The Knicks are reportedly eager to replace Jose Calderon at PG but thus far they've been unable to get it done.

 

Possible starting lineup: Jose Calderon, Aaron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and Robin Lopez. It's also very possible that coach Derek Fisher will bring Porzingis off the bench as he acclimates to the NBA, allowing Derrick Williams or Kyle O'Quinn to start at PF.

 

 

Oklahoma City Thunder - OKC jettisoned Scott Brooks and hired Billy Donovan as their head coach, marking the end of an era. The team later matched a maximum offer to retain Enes Kanter, paying him $70 million over four years. It puts them over the luxury-tax line and sends a strong message to Kevin Durant that they're willing to pay what it takes to build a championship contender around the former MVP. Durant, meanwhile, has been shooting jumpers since early July and expects to resume full basketball activities in August. The Thunder also inked Kyle Singler to a five-year, $25 million deal and they drafted Cameron Payne with the No. 14 pick.

 

Possible starting lineup: Russell Westbrook, Dion Waiters, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter. Anthony Morrow is also a threat to start at SG if Waiters falters, and we'll be watching coach Donovan's rotations very closely throughout training camp and the preseason.

 

 

Orlando Magic - The Magic added Mario Hezonja with the No. 5 pick and he's flashed every aspect of his game during Summer League, from 3-point shooting to highlight-reel dunks in traffic. They retained Tobias Harris with a gaudy four-year, $64 million deal, then signed Jason Smith and C.J. Watson to fill out the second unit and provide some veteran leadership. On the other hand, Orlando watched Kyle O'Quinn depart in free agency and they inexplicably dumped Moe Harkless in exchange for the Blazers' heavily-protected 2020 second-round pick. It's all about internal development for the Magic this season.

 

Possible starting lineup: Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, Channing Frye and Nikola Vucevic. Aaron Gordon looked great at Summer League and could displace Frye at PF, but for now the veteran's 3-point shooting likely gives him the edge.

 

 

Philadelphia 76ers - Philly doubled-down on big men by selecting Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 pick, and he'll face less competition for minutes with Joel Embiid (foot) expected to miss the entire season. The Sixers also vacuumed up big man Richaun Holmes and swingman J.P. Tokoto in the second round of the draft, and they absorbed Nik Stauskas, Carl Landry and Jason Thompson into their cap space in a trade with the Kings.

 

Possible starting lineup: Tony Wroten, Robert Covington, JaKarr Sampson, Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel. Philly inked Pierre Jackson to a long-term contract and he's one of a handful of players vying with Wroten for the starting PG job. Sampson could also lose the SF job to Hollis Thompson at some point, though Thompson played nearly 2/3 of his minutes as a SG last season.

 

 

Phoenix Suns - The Suns were a legitimate contender for LaMarcus Aldridge but couldn't land the big fish. Instead, they settled for re-signing Brandon Knight and bolstering their frontcourt with free agents Tyson Chandler and Mirza Teletovic. While they were pursuing LA, Phoenix cleared salary-cap space by dealing Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock and Danny Granger to the Pistons for a 2020 second-round pick. T.J. Warren and Archie Goodwin have both been excellent in Summer League, Alex Len has played well (and more importantly, is healthy), and rookie Devin Booker has shown brief flashes of his perimeter-gunner potential.

 

Possible starting lineup: Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe, P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris and Tyson Chandler. T.J. Warren could give Tucker a serious challenge at SF, and both Markieff and Tyson may have their minutes checked by solid backups Mirza Teletovic and Alex Len, respectively.

 

 

Portland Trail Blazers - Damian Lillard signed a max extension and is now the cornerstone around whom the franchise will rebuild -- Portland lost three starters in free agency (LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo) and traded Nicolas Batum to the Hornets. In addition to relying on development from guys like C.J. McCollum and Meyers Leonard, the Blazers restocked their roster with Al-Farouq Aminu, Mason Plumlee, Ed Davis, Noah Vonleh, Gerald Henderson, Moe Harkless and rookies Pat Connaughton and Daniel Diez.

 

Possible starting lineup: Damian Lillard, Gerald Henderson, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ed Davis and Mason Plumlee. There's a good chance that Meyers Leonard will overtake Davis at PF, and C.J. McCollum may wind up starting ahead of Henderson (despite GM Neil Olshey's desire for McCollum to play more minutes as a backup PG). Henderson is currently recovering from hip surgery but he's expected to be ready for training camp.

 

 

San Antonio Spurs - The Spurs' unparalleled streak of success will continue for the foreseeable future after a dominant 2015 offseason. In addition to landing the most-coveted free agent in LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio locked up Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Matt Bonner on very favorable contracts. If that wasn't enough, they inked David West for the veteran's minimum and traded a future second-round pick to the Kings for backup PG Ray McCallum. Notable departures included Cory Joseph (Raptors), Marco Belinelli (Kings), Tiago Splitter (Hawks) and Aron Baynes (Pistons).

 

Possible starting lineup: Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan.

 

 

Sacramento Kings - The Kings' offseason has been widely derided, but let's simply start with what they've accomplished. In the draft they selected big man Willie Cauley-Stein with the No. 6 pick. In free agency, they signed Rajon Rondo, Marco Belinelli, Kosta Koufos, Omri Casspi, Caron Butler and James Anderson. They also jettisoned Nik Stauskas as well as the salaries of Carl Landry and Jason Thompson in a cap-clearing trade with the 76ers. The headlines, however, have been dominated by coach George Karl's reported push to trade DeMarcus Cousins this summer. That's sure to have caused a massive rift in his relationship with the Kings' franchise player, though VP Vlade Divac swears that everything will be copacetic by opening night.

 

Possible starting lineup: Rajon Rondo, Ben McLemore, Rudy Gay, Willie Cauley-Stein and DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings have substantial depth this season with Darren Collison, Belinelli, Casspi, Butler and Koufos all projected to come off the bench for coach Karl.

 

 

Toronto Raptors - The Raptors' big move was signing DeMarre Carroll to a four-year, $60 million deal in free agency, giving them a defense-first small forward who can also stretch the court offensively. His arrival pushes Terrence Ross to the second unit, where he'll be joined by newcomers Cory Joseph, Luis Scola and Bismack Biyombo. They lost Amir Johnson in free agency and traded Greivis Vasquez on draft night, but padded their backcourt by selecting PG Delon Wright in the first round. It's hard to argue that the Raptors didn't get significantly better this summer.

 

Possible starting lineup: Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson and Jonas Valanciunas.

 

 

Utah Jazz - The Jazz had a relatively quiet offseason. They drafted Kentucky PF Trey Lyles with the No. 12 pick on draft night, then added PG Olivier Hanlan in the second round. Beyond that they simply kept the team intact, re-signing Joe Ingles, guaranteeing Trevor Booker's 2015-16 salary and giving contracts to both Raul Neto and Tibor Pleiss. Rodney Hood and Dante Exum both hurt themselves during Summer League, but neither injury is serious enough to linger into training camp.

 

Possible starting lineup: Dante Exum, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert.

 

 

Washington Wizards - The Wizards' roster will be familiar to fans next season. They lost Paul Pierce to Doc Rivers and the Clippers but the other changes were rather subtle, filling out their bench with Gary Neal, Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson and No. 15 pick Kelly Oubre. Free agents Kevin Seraphin and Rasual Butler are expected to sign elsewhere, but it sounds like the Wizards will retain veteran Drew Gooden.

 

Possible starting lineup: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Nene and Marcin Gortat.

 

 

You can follow me on Twitter for news and fantasy chatter throughout the season at @Knaus_RW and there's no better resource than Rotoworld's official account, @Rotoworld_BK. Mike Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) has been absorbing all there is to know about the Las Vegas Summer League over the past 10 days, so be sure to check out his division-by-division breakdowns beginning with the Southwest.

Ryan Knaus

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 NBC Sports Edge since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.