LeBron James' fate and more NBA storylines that will define the fantasy basketball offseason


Let’s explore the hottest NBA offseason storylines that will ripple through your fantasy basketball league. From LeBron James and Paul George’s futures to the Paris Olympics — get ready for a whirlwind summer full of movement and action!

At 39, LeBron is still putting up impressive numbers, but any talk of him leaving L.A. would send shockwaves through the NBA and fantasy hoops. He has a player option for $51M next season — and he’s 1000% opting out of it.

While there’s a chance he joins another team to ring chase or (potentially) follow his son Bronny, I don’t see him not being in purple and gold next season. Especially if his podcast partner JJ Redick becomes the next coach of the Lakers.

Between his personal ties and business outside of basketball, James is rooted in L.A., and the Lakers will compensate him enough to ultimately retire as a Laker.

Given my thoughts on LeBron staying in L.A., I’ll go chalk and predict the Lakers will draft Bronny in the second round.

He won’t be relevant in fantasy, but his presence in the league will generate a ton of buzz regardless.

George remains one of the best 3-and-D wings in the game and has been a top 30 fantasy player in 11 of his 14 seasons. Like James, Paul George has a player option and can explore a few options — play out the rest of his contract (not happening), sign a contract extension to stay with the Clippers or decline the option and become an unrestricted free agent.

Any move will be significant, but it would be fun to see him switch it up and go to any of the rumored destinations in Philly or Orlando — two playoff contenders with plenty of money to spend.

Klay Thompson’s departure from Golden State would put the final nail in the Warriors dynasty’s coffin, but could we see a rejuvenated Klay if paired with the right organization?

Thompson is an unrestricted free agent after extension talks with the Warriors fell through. Although he’s past his prime, Klay was still among the top five in 3-pointers made this season and can help any contenders with perimeter shooting. Thompson can still play, but seeing his minutes decline and shifting to a bench role mid-season only to return to the starting lineup later on has to be frustrating.

At this point, the pay cut, youth movement and role fluctuation offer little confidence in a reunion with the Dubs. Given what Thompson will command on the open market, he’ll be paid like a starter, and when he gets 30 minutes on a squad like OKC or Orlando, that could preserve his fantasy value as a late-round pick.

While Jimmy Buckets spent his offseason as a Bad Boy, the Miami Heat have a franchise-altering decision to make on whether to extend Butler.

He’s made it clear that he wants to stay with Miami long-term, but if Pat Riley and company decide not to lock him up on a new deal, a potential trade would instantly shake up the fantasy landscape.

It’s no secret the Bulls are shopping Zach LaVine. The problem is that the Bulls lost considerable leverage once LaVine was diagnosed with a season-ending foot injury in February. Plus, his lofty contract is likely a sticking point for many teams when factoring in the tax implications of the new CBA.

Keep tabs on where LaVine lands — because his fantasy value could swing wildly depending on his new team’s dynamics.

Ball was on pace for another strong season until bad injury luck struck again. Ball played in just 22 games and required ankle surgery after averaging nearly 24 points with eight assists, five rebounds and two steals per game in his fourth NBA season.

I’ve participated in a few way-too-early mock drafts, and Ball’s falling into third-round territory — a steep decline from being a first-rounder last season. With an offseason to get healthy and test out some new ankle support, he’s shaping up to be a value pick by next year’s draft.

I can’t forget about the Olympics!

Players participating in international play will have less rest before the NBA season starts — especially those who made deep playoff runs like Jayson Tatum, Luka Dončić, Jrue Holiday, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tyrese Haliburton and Anthony Edwards.

In the cases of Dončić and Haliburton, they played through injuries throughout the NBA Playoffs, so it’s worth monitoring how potential fatigue or previous injuries affect their readiness by the start of the 2024-2025 season. I’ll also be intrigued by how emerging stars like Franz Wagner and Victor Wembanyama fare as the focal points of their respective teams.



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