Fantasy Impact of Ja Morant's Suspension And Potential Trades For Deandre Ayton And John Collins: NBA Offseason Analysis

Photo: Instagram/Ja Morant

The NBA offseason is in full swing after the conclusion of the 2022-2023 season, and teams are now focusing on evaluating their salary cap situation, scouting new talent for the NBA Draft, and exploring opportunities for trades and free agency.

One notable development is Fred Van Vleet declining his player option, which makes him an unrestricted free agent. Other players with player options will also have to make decisions by June 29th, adding to the excitement of the offseason.

With the fantasy basketball season approaching, fans are eager to know the impact of Ja Morant's impending suspension. While the exact length of the suspension is still uncertain, there is speculation that it could be significant, possibly ranging from 20 games to an entire season.

Photo: Instagram/Ja Morant

Morant's off-the-court antics already resulted in an eight-game suspension, so the upcoming suspension is expected to be more severe. Fans are anxiously awaiting the official announcement from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

From a fantasy perspective, Desmond Bane is projected to benefit from Morant's absence. Without Morant on the court during the '22-'23 season, Bane showcased his abilities by averaging 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game.

As the primary scorer for the Memphis Grizzlies next season, Bane is poised to see an increase in usage, making him a valuable third-round draft pick with the potential for a top-25 performance. Another player who could see an uptick in fantasy value due to Morant's suspension is Tyus Jones.

With an extended absence from Morant, Jones is expected to have a more prominent role and could contribute significantly in categories such as assists and steals. Based on his performance last season, Jones could be a valuable sixth- or seventh-round pick, especially if he continues to receive around 30 minutes of playing time per game.

The fantasy draft value of Morant himself will heavily depend on the number of games he will miss. It is anticipated that he may fall in drafts this offseason, particularly once the details of his suspension are clarified.

While Morant offers points, rebounds, and assists from the guard position, his track record indicates that he has only finished inside the top 50 once in his career. Concerns such as high turnover rates and mediocre free-throw percentages have lowered his fantasy viability.

Shifting gears, there is growing anticipation surrounding the potential trade of Deandre Ayton. Although the Phoenix Suns matched a significant offer made by the Indiana Pacers in the previous offseason, it seems likely that Ayton will be dealt sooner or later.

While Ayton did not demand a trade this season and performed well in fantasy, finishing 51st in per-game value, his public statements about his lack of involvement in the offense and disagreements with former head coach Monty Williams suggest an underlying dissatisfaction. Various teams have been linked to Ayton, with the Portland Trail Blazers being mentioned as a possible destination.

However, it is unclear what the Suns could offer to entice the Blazers into a trade, as it is expected that key players like Kevin Durant and Devin Booker would be off the table. Interest in Ayton is expected to intensify closer to the NBA Draft and throughout free agency, but indications from local beat writers suggest that Ayton is unlikely to remain with the Suns next season.

Another player likely to be traded is John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks. Despite Trae Young's name appearing more frequently in trade rumors, Collins has been on the trading block for some time.

The Hawks have a significant amount of salary tied up in multiple players heading into next season, and Collins is one of them. Although Collins possesses a skillset that is valuable in fantasy, his performance last season was disappointing, finishing outside the top 100.

Collins would welcome a change of scenery, as his role with the Hawks appears to

Read Next: Miami Heat Pursued Kyrie Irving Before Trade Deadline, Eyeing Star Addition

Source: Yahoo Sports


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