We haven’t started the NBA Playoffs yet, but it is never too early for fantasy basketball players to look forward to next season.
Like any offseason, there will be plenty of player movement that can impact your team, especially for those in keeper leagues.
One free agent that is coming off a disappointing season is current Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward Luol Deng, as another change of scenery may be just what Deng needs to increase his fantasy value once again.
The Deng trade to Cleveland didn’t exactly work out as his numbers suffered in Cleveland. Deng is averaging 16.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.0 steals per game this season. Those aren’t terrible numbers, but we expect much better. After averaging a career-high 19.0 points on 45 percent shooting in 23 games with the Bulls this season, he dipped to 14.3 points and 42 percent in 40 games with the Cavs.
The Cavs are expected to only make Deng a “modest” offer in free agency, reports Terry Pluto of The Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
If Deng and the Cavaliers don’t come to an agreement, the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are expected to show a lot of interest in Deng, according to Fox Sports’ Sam Amico.
Deng, 28, will be an unrestricted free agent in July, meaning he is free to sign with any team without the Cavs possessing the option to match. The Cavs are expected to make an offer, but after years of success, Deng may prefer to move on. The Lakers and Suns are among those interested, league sources say.
Either team should represent an upgrade for Deng heading into next season.
While the Cavs were only 22nd in the NBA in scoring, both the Lakers (11th) and Suns (seventh) were among the better offensive teams in the league this season and you have to believe that both squads will be better next season.
There will be plenty of free agents for fantasy owners to follow and where Deng will end up is no exception.
If he lands in a better situation, expect Deng to have increased fantasy value once again heading into next season.