5 NBA veterans on fantasy basketball notice for next season

Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks
After missing a bunch of time with injury last season, will Mitchell Robinson make an impact in 2024-25? (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

This NBA offseason is putting some veteran players on notice.

With poor production, lingering injuries and competition rising, names like Andrew Wiggins, Malcolm Brogdon, John Collins and Clint Capela are feeling the heat. In this article, I'll explain their situations and what it means for your fantasy teams.

After falling out of favor in Atlanta, Collins enjoyed a resurgence in Utah last season. He finished the season 76th in category leagues after producing 15.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 threes and 1.5 stocks with an efficient 53/37/80 shooting split. That's considerable value when factoring in his ADP of 103.

However, his underlying metrics reveal a veteran who can still put up numbers but won't impact winning. The Jazz were a -4.9 with Collins on the court, but his time spent alongside Walker Kessler was more concerning, which totaled a -21.4 in 174 possessions. Collins' contract is substantial, too — he's owed $26M in '24-25 with a player option in '25-26. The Jazz could be stuck with him for the time being, and given the rebuild underway, one of Walker Kessler or Taylor Hendricks will put pressure on him next season.

It'll go one of two ways. If Kessler and Hendricks have strong summers and come into training camp as the presumed frontcourt, it'll bump Collins to a reduced role off the bench. Or, Collins continues to start at the center spot to showcase him for a potential trade with a team that can absorb the remainder of Collins' unsavory deal.

Fantasy-wise, don't overdraft Collins, knowing that two talented young guys are waiting in the wings.

The Knicks are at a pivotal point. They can spend a bunch in free agency to extend the window of this current iteration that saw them rise to the second seed in the Eastern Conference and fall just shy of an Eastern Conference Finals berth. When healthy, Robinson's defense and offensive rebounding are game-changers. But therein lies the problem: he can't stay healthy.

And now that Robinson recently had surgery on his ankle, the Knicks have to decide whether to bring back Isaiah Hartenstein, a direct threat to Robinson and one of the best waiver-wire pickups of the '23-24 season.

Hartenstein is an unrestricted free agent this summer, but he performed better than Robinson in several notable areas last year. While they shared comparable rebound, steal and block rates, Hartenstein was a far better passer, posting a 13.5% assist rate compared to Robinson's 3%, and had a higher player efficiency rating (PER) and true-shooting percentage than Robinson.

It's not that Robinson will be traded, but there's a significant chance the Knicks will decide to re-up Hartenstein for insurance purposes. Hartenstein is rumored to seek a new deal in the $14M range annually, so who knows? He may decide to go elsewhere, but Robinson will look over his shoulder if he doesn't.

The Hawks are eyeing Alex Sarr with the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, which should spell trouble for Capela's minutes and fantasy value. Already contending with Onyeka Okongwu in the frontcourt, Capela's been on the trade block for quite some time and this could be the final blow to squeeze him out if Sarr joins the mix. With younger, promising players vying for time on the court, Capela's time is up, and I'd expect the Hawks to continue seeking trade partners for the consistent double-double threat.

It's hard to believe Wiggins was an All-Star in 2022. He hit rock-bottom this past season, putting up the worst numbers of his career. Wiggins ranked outside the top 300 for most of the year and lost his starting role early in the season because of his poor play. The Warriors are going in a different direction, moving away from aging veterans to a younger foundation to rejuvenate the franchise around Stephen Curry as he nears the twilight of his career.

Wiggins is undraftable in fantasy, and I doubt the Warriors can get much of a return on him if they attempt to trade him. His value is at an all-time low. Still, if he stays with the Dubs, I'd expect Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga to get rookie extensions, clearing the pathway for more minutes and opportunities. Wiggins and Klay Thompson look like they're on the way out.

Another oft-injured player, Brogdon was doing well for the Blazers even when many, like myself, expected him to want out and move again to a contender. That didn't happen, but his late-season tank-a-thon hurt fantasy managers. Scoot Henderson improved as the season progressed and will be the starting point guard heading into next year.

So where does that leave Brogdon? He'll come off the bench like he has in the past and serve as one of the vets in the locker room until he fishes his wish to be traded to a contender. In the meantime, I don't expect he'll be worthy of a late-round pick unless Anfernee Simons or Henderson suffers an injury. I might be interested if he gets moved to a team where he can see minutes in the high 20s and produce.