Fantasy Basketball: Five sleeper free agents who could boom on a new team

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The NBA free agency hustle is approaching and many players may be looking to relocate to more perfect destinations this summer. Some may leave in pursuit of more money, while others may pursue more team success or opportunities. We’ve compiled a shortlist of five top names to watch ahead of the 2022-2023 league season, which begins July 1. Here are some names to know before the renewal season.

Galen Bronson, Dallas Mavericks (untethered)

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Bronson may not qualify to be a legitimate sleeper after his year in, but he definitely looks like he’s ready for a career year. The Dallas Mavericks could have offered him a four-year, $55.5 million extension ahead of the 2021-22 season and he didn’t think it was worth the money. They can regret this decision this summer. The combo keeper was a top 15 fantasy player in his position despite playing alongside Luka Doncic’s top five scorers. Bronson could demand more money in the open market and become a full-time goalkeeper in 2022. He averaged 17.5 points, 5.0 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 33.3 minutes per night as a rookie last season.

Yusuf Nurkic Portland Trail Blazers (unrestricted)

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Nurkic has dealt with major injuries for the past three seasons and is entering free agency with the Portland Trail Blazers who basically cleaned the house last season. The Free Agents will not claim to join a team that finished 13th in the Western Conference with a score of 27-55 in 2021-22. Portland wants to build around Damien Lillard, but overpaying to keep Norkic could limit upcoming talent. The big man averaged 14.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game in his 272 games with the Pelicans and could be a valuable piece for a new team with an underdeveloped front area. Nurkic has played at least 70 games in two of his last five seasons and was in the top 10 fictional positions in both.

Ricky Rubio, Indiana Pacers (untethered)

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Some believe Rubio’s value was shot at when he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the veteran base prospered despite having to compete with Darius Garland and Colin Sexton. He achieved an all-time high in points per game while posting better pass numbers than the Lonzo Ball at the Chicago Bulls in six fewer minutes per competition. Recovering from an ACL rupture will not be easy and the Cavaliers are interested in re-signing Rubio. However, moving his talents elsewhere could lead to a lot of success for the Spaniard. He was a more productive fictional asset than Derek White, Mike Conley and Spencer Dinwiddy on a per game basis last season.

T.J. Warren, Indiana Pacers (unrestricted)

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Warren’s fictional potential is shrouded in mystery. The Indiana Pacers star missed the entirety of last season with a foot injury that followed him up after the 2021 NBA playoffs. He’s never had a problem filling in when he’s healthy and boasts a career average of 15.5 points and 4.1 rebounds during the regular season. “Babylon TJ” that posted 20.3 points per game against the Miami Heat in the postseason nearly two years ago could resurface. Warren could be one of the biggest late-round robbers of 2022 if he gets back into game form and keeps his touch on shooting. Warren has been one of the top 15 young strikers in two of the last four seasons he has been in and has been in the top eight in 2020.

Victor Oladipo, Miami Heat (uncredited)

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Oladipo played for pennies with the Heat last season and only saw eight games in the regular season. His playing time was limited early in the post-season, but he was ready to answer the call in the first round when Kyle Lowry went down due to an injury. Oladipo scored 23 points with three assists and three rebounds in 36 minutes by the end of his only start to the playoffs in the 2022 NBA. There are plenty of mouths to feed with Kyle Lowry managing the point and Tyler Hero rebounding from this year’s Sixth Man of the Year award-winning season. It would come as no surprise that a healthy Oldibo would seek a bigger role for a team that could pay him a little better. Oladipo averaged 20.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per 36 minutes in 2021-22.

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