This would typically be the time when the regular season would be coming to an end in the NBA, and with it, a fantasy champion would be crowned. As you know, though, this season is anything but typical.
While sports fans and fantasy managers alike continue to wait and see if the NBA will return to the court and complete the 2019-20 season, now is a good time to start thinking about next season.
Savvy fantasy managers are already considering which players could rise up and break out in 2020-21. Those trying to take it to an even higher level don't stop there; they are also thinking about the players slated to go in the opposite direction and take a step backward next season.
Here's a look at the players from that latter group -- players you'll want to consider passing on come draft day, unless they slide to a point where their depreciated value exceeds their draft position.
Paul surprised many this season, for several reasons. First was the fact that he remained on the Thunder despite constant rumors that he'd never play a game for OKC. Secondly, he played very well despite being long in the tooth for an NBA point guard, raising his scoring from 15.6 PPG last season in Houston to 17.7 PPG in Year 1 with the Thunder.
Not all was totally rosy, though. Paul's 6.8 APG this season was a career low, as was his 1.6 SPG. Additionally, he turns 35 in three weeks, and as it stands today, the legendary point guard ranks No. 74 in NBA history in career regular-season minutes played (35,353). He will be entering his 16th NBA season, and it's difficult to envision him continuing to play more than 31 MPG like he did this season, especially with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder still in the fold.
Six seasons into his NBA career, the former No. 1 overall pick made strides this season with the Timberwolves and Warriors and became a greater fantasy asset along the way. In fact, Wiggins notched new career highs in 3PG (2.1), RPG (5.1), APG (3.7) and BPG (1.0), and he doesn't turn 26 until next February. So what gives?
As much as Wiggins is a solid piece for next year's Warriors team -- and Golden State coach Steve Kerr has raved about his contributions since coming over in the trade for D'Angelo Russell -- the problem is he'll become the team's third scoring option after Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
I wouldn't expect Wiggins to come close to the 25.2 usage rate or match the 21.8 PPG he posted this season. Keep in mind, too, that the Warriors could add a big-time instant-impact type of talent with their high lottery pick.
Aldridge continued to average more than 33.0 MPG this season with the Spurs and is set to enter the final year of his contact. Usually, that leads to a boost in production, but let's not forget that Aldridge will be entering his 15th year in the league; we're talking about a guy who was picked between Andrea Bargnani and Adam Morrison on draft day back in 2006!
Aldridge currently ranks No. 86 in NBA history with 34,518 career minutes in regular-season games, and he turns 35 in July. Not exactly encouraging. After seeing his scoring fall from 21.3 PPG in 2018-19 to 18.9 this season and his rebounding do the same (9.2 RPG to 7.4), it's safe to say that Aldridge's production is only going to go down from here.
Dinwiddie put together a terrific season and helped keep the Nets afloat during the frequent occasions when Kyrie Irving was out. His 20.6 PPG ranked 23rd in the NBA and his 6.8 APG ranked 18th, and he did it while making at least 1.8 3PG for the third consecutive season. Impressive stuff.
But what happens when a healthy Irving and Kevin Durant are in the lineup next season? For one, you can expect the 30.4 usage rate from this season to plummet as Dinwiddie moves into more of a complementary role and becomes the team's third-best scoring option after the big two.
Satoransky has started 64 of 65 games for the Bulls this season, serving as the de facto point guard while averaging 28.9 MPG. Problem is, Satoransky also posted a below-average PER of 13.52 and didn't exactly light it up offensively, averaging 9.9 PPG with a 43.0 FG%.
Coby White, the No. 7 overall pick in 2019, proved to be much more of a scorer and 3-point threat in his 25.8 MPG, putting up 13.2 PPG with 2.0 3PG. While White isn't a great distributor (2.7 APG), a year of seasoning under his belt could very well tilt the minutes in his favor over Satoransky in 2020-21.
Favors has been an underrated fantasy performer in recent years due to his efficient shooting, rebounding and shot blocking, but he's played less than 25.0 MPG in each of the past two seasons with Utah and New Orleans.
Add to that the presence of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, the improvement of Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday, and the promise of rookie big man Jaxson Hayes, and it's fair to question how much of a factor Favors will be next season. Will the minutes be there? Will there be enough shots to go around? Both are valid concerns.
You know the deal here. Griffin played just 18 games for the Pistons this season and didn't look anything like himself before undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Jan. 7, ending his season.
Griffin is still just 31, but the knee issues are a major concern, and if they continue to linger, the former All-Star stands to see fewer minutes and could frequently sit out games to help manage his workload. None of this bodes well at all for his fantasy future.
Like Paul and Aldridge above, Millsap has been around forever; he was selected in the same draft as Aldridge. Set to be an unrestricted free agent, Millsap could benefit statistically if he moves to a team that doesn't have the talent and depth of Denver.
But after seeing his minutes and scoring fall during each of the past three seasons, his days of being a versatile fantasy contributor are all but over no matter where he lands.
Horford is on the books for three more seasons in Philadelphia, and that has to be a major concern for the 76ers' front office, considering how poorly the veteran center fit in this season after coming over from Boston.
Horford turns 34 in June, and his 12.0 PPG this season was his lowest since his second NBA season way back in 2008-09 with the Hawks. Making matters worse, his 52.6 TS% was the lowest of his 13-year career. Unless things take a drastic turn in the right direction next season, it's difficult to envision Horford as a top-85 pick.