Carmelo Anthony to OKC: Fantasy Outlook
The NBA western conference continued its formation of superteams after Carmelo Anthony was traded on Saturday to Oklahoma City Thunder by The New York Knicks for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott & a 2018 2nd round pick.
Also read: 5 Trade packages for Carmelo Anthony
Thunder's impressive offseason continues as they have added two all-star caliber players onto their roster a year after Kevin Durant left them in free agency for the Golden State Warriors. While for New York, the 'Melo'drama which dragged on for some time finally came to an end and now they can fully concentrate on building a team around Kristaps Porzingis.
But how does this trade affect the fantasy outlook of the players? Well let's have a look:
1.Usage: Last season's MVP Russell Westbrook, who had set an NBA record in usage rate averaging 41.7% per match will be the starting PG, while Paul George and Carmelo Anthony two players with high usage rates will fill the forward positions. It will be interesting to see how these 3 play alongside each other with the ball in their possession, Billy Donovan's gameplan will also come under scanner as to how he intends to distribute the ball among them this season.
As for Enes Kanter, he enters a Knicks team which is already overflowing at the center position and they intend to start their star Porzingis at center from this season, so Kanter can be a rotation player at max. While in McDermott's case the Small Forward position opened up with Melo's departure, so he will have to show Jeff Hornacek he deserves to start for the season.
2.Adaptability: This is the first time Melo will be on a team where there are players who more strong offensively and are on top of their game. He will have to take the back seat and play some team basketball, to put in simple words he will have to become the Olympic Melo where he started alongside players better than him but was able to adapt to suit the situation.
Enes will find going tough from the fact that his defense is still not at an NBA level while his offense is good but without any defensive efficiency he won't be able to guarantee himself a slot in the starting lineup. The same can be said for McDermott whose presence on the bench is more welcome than on the floor.
3.Production: George introduction into the OKC dressing meant Westbrook's stats were going to see a dip as the scoring workload would be shared between the two but with the introduction of Melo things get a bit complex since all three were their team's primary scorers last season and it will be interesting to see how they gel. But Melo might be in for a treat since he may get more open looks as defenses pay more attention to his teammates. Expect 20+ points from both Westbrook and PG-13 while Melo might see a dip from last season, 8+ assists from Westbrook with George and Melo chipping in with 3+ assists.
Enes may get less game time and may see a huge dip in his stat line because of the abundance in personnel at the center position for the Knicks. McDermott may get game time but he has never been a reliable fantasy option so we may have to monitor his performances before rostering him.
4.ADP: Even after this blockbuster trade Westbrook is a top 5 pick but George may have slipped to late 2nd or early 3rd round while Melo might still be hovering around the 5th or 6th round.
Enes is a very late round pick while McDermott may move up a few places because of the promise of a place in the starting 5.