Numbers Game: Projecting Players on New Teams
Numbers Game: Projecting Players on New Teams

This article is part of our Numbers Game series.

For years, the NBA offseason has been one of the wildest rides in American sports. Nonetheless, 2017 raised the bar for summer insanity. Free agency was predictably unpredictable, but the trades are what really went off the rails. Four legitimate superstars were traded, with widely disparate returns. The Bulls traded Jimmy Butler for a draft pick and a pack of bubble gum, and before they'd finished chewing, the Celtics gave up their franchise player, a quality starter and a better draft pick for Kyrie Irving. By the time the dust settled, more than a dozen All-Stars had changed teams.

This hyperactive offseason presents a challenge heading into the 2017-18 season. How do we anticipate the production from the (banana-) boatloads of impact players in new situations?

After 2017's active trade deadline, I researched the age old question: are they "who we thought they were"? How much of a player's production is dependent on his own abilities, and how much of it is the result of his situation? With so many impact players on the move, this question is more important now than ever.

Every fantasy site has released their projections, including for the scores of players in new settings. What we need to know is how much of those projections are reliable, and how much are glorified guesswork? After solving that, the question shifts to how we can use this knowledge to our advantage in fantasy.

What do we already know?

That trade deadline article focused

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Rikleen
Rikleen writes the NBA column "Numbers Game," which decodes the math that underpins fantasy basketball. A certified math teacher, Rikleen decided the field of education pays too well, so he left it for writing. He is a Boston College graduate living in Delaware.
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