Gordon Hayward's decision to leave Utah for Boston immediately changes the face of two franchises, leaving the Jazz extremely shorthanded offensively and providing more star power to a Celtics team that advanced all the way to the Eastern Conference finals last season.
While Hayward's fantasy value won't change much on the Celtics, what's clear is that he and new teammate Isaiah Thomas are both in the prime of their respective careers, each coming off career years.
Hayward set career marks with 21.9 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from 3-point range in his final season with the Jazz. His presence in the revamped Boston lineup will relieve some of the pressure from Thomas, who finished third in the NBA with 28.9 PPG and put the team on his shoulders in the playoffs before wearing down and eventually getting hurt against Cleveland in the conference finals.
Look for Thomas to take fewer shot attempts and for his scoring to drop 2-3 points a game with another go-to scorer now on the team, as well as the addition of prized rookie first-rounder Jayson Tatum.
Heading into fantasy drafts for next season, the time to consider Thomas and Hayward is in the latter half of the second round.
Hayward's arrival also means less pressure on Al Horford and newly acquired power forward Marcus Morris to score, which knocks each of their fantasy values down a bit. Horford's scoring and rebounding already started to show a decline last season in Boston, but he remains useful for his passing, shot-blocking and 3-point shooting at the center position.
Adding Hayward and Tatum to this roster means Jae Crowder is expected to move to the bench, where he'll have a new role and play fewer minutes than the 31-plus he averaged each of the past two seasons. Reports of Crowder heading to Utah as part of the Hayward deal are out there, but Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported Friday that the Celtics have no intention of trading Crowder and are excited about lineup possibilities.
Boston's trade of Avery Bradley to Detroit on Friday to acquire Morris also means more opportunity for Marcus Smart at the two-guard spot, if he's not traded as well. Smart, drafted in 2014, is now the longest tenured member of the Celtics following the Bradley deal and Kelly Olynyk's new four-year, $50 million deal to sign with Miami. Smart started 24 games last season when Bradley was injured and could very well get the nod next to Thomas in the backcourt. Alternatively, coach Brad Stevens could start Hayward at the two, Crowder at small forward and continue to use Smart as an energy player off the bench.
Meanwhile, the loss of Hayward in Utah immediately puts a ton of pressure on players like Derrick Favors and Rodney Hood to step up as scorers, because neither of the team's biggest stars, Rudy Gobert and Ricky Rubio, are what you'd consider score-first players. The same can be said for newly re-signed Joe Ingles. And remember, George Hill is now in Sacramento, so that's another key scorer from last season in need of replacement.
Gobert is ranked at No. 11 on our Top 150 rankings, and with more scoring (and rebounding) opportunities expected on a team suddenly without two of its best scorers from last season, Gobert's fantasy value is stronger than ever.
Rubio goes from a potential fourth-round pick to someone better chosen in rounds five or six, while Favors, Ingles and Hood all become legitimate top-150 players who will log extended minutes and be heavily relied upon in 2017-18.
Jazz rookie lottery pick Donovan Mitchell is another name to watch out for; he is already making noise in the Summer League and could be needed for key minutes right away on a Jazz team starved for offensive production.