Below are André Snellings' Southwest Division player profiles for the 2018-19 season.
For all other player outlooks, click here.
For sortable player projections, click here.
Click on a team to view their player profiles below:
New Orleans Pelicans
Davis was already one of the best per-game producers in the league, but he upped it to another level after running mate DeMarcus Cousins went down, posting averages of 30.1 PPG (51.6 FG%, 83.6 FT%), 11.7 RPG, 3.0 BPG, 2.3 APG, 1.9 SPG and 0.8 3PG during the second half of the season. Davis has always been considered a bit of a health risk, but he has now played 75 games in two straight seasons to start to assuage those fears. Davis is a top-three fantasy prospect in both roto and points leagues.
Holiday stepped up last season into the leading perimeter threat and clear second option to Anthony Davis. Holiday averaged career highs of 19.0 PPG (49.4 FG%), 4.5 RPG, 1.5 3PG and 0.8 BPG to go with 6.0 APG and 1.5 SPG from the shooting guard slot. Holiday's strong across-the-board contributions are great for roto, and the diversity and volume of his contributions make him a top-25 points-based prospect as well.
Mirotic came over in a trade after the DeMarcus Cousins injury and averaged a solid 14.6 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.2 3PG, 1.0 SPG and 0.9 BPG in 29.1 MPG. The Pelicans brought Julius Randle in this offseason, and each is likely to get close to starter minutes in the power forward and backup center slots. Whether he starts or not, Mirotic projects as a midround pick in roto leagues and a late-to-mid-round pick in points leagues.
Randle started last season in a bench role that limited his production for the Los Angeles Lakers, but trade deadline deals cleared his path to playing time and he responded by averaging 19.5 PPG (55.5 FG%, 74.7 FT%), 9.4 RPG and 3.2 APG during the final 25 games of the season. Randle joined the Pelicans during the offseason, and projects as the likely starting power forward next to Anthony Davis and perhaps backup center next to Nikola Mirotic. Randle doesn't contribute much in the valued roto categories like 3-pointers, steals or blocks, which hurts his potential in that format, but his overall volume makes him a top-50 prospect in points leagues.
Payton started last season strongly as a member of the Orlando Magic, but he was traded in-season to the Phoenix Suns. He was still solid, but injuries hampered and ultimately ended his season. Payton joined the Pelicans this offseason, replacing Rajon Rondo as the presumptive starting point guard. Like Rondo, Payton is a pass-first point guard with all-around production as a double-figure scorer with triple-double potential on any given night. His lack of 3-point shooting weakens Payton's roto potential, but he remains an early-to-midround draft prospect in points leagues.
Moore is the quiet starter for the Pelicans, coming off a season during which he averaged career marks with 12.5 PPG (50.8 FG%), 2.9 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.6 3PG and 1.0 SPG without really drawing any attention to himself. Moore is the incumbent starter at small forward, but the Pelicans do have enough wing talent that he could lose some minutes this season. His diversified game makes him draft-worthy in roto leagues, but his lack of volume projects him as likely undrafted in points leagues.
Jordan had almost become a Maverick a couple seasons ago, before changing his mind to go for one more run with the LA Clippers. That didn't work out, so now he comes to Dallas with a chance to play a larger role than he did for the Clippers. The Mavericks are a young, rebuilding team with almost no interior presence outside of Jordan. That will give him the chance to remain near the league lead in rebounds but might also allow him to have a bit more scoring volume, which cements his top-25 upside in points-based leagues. His basement-level free throw shooting will always limit him to being a lower-level roto performer, with some arguing that his free throw shooting disqualifies him from consideration.
Doncic is one of the most decorated European basketball prospects to hit the NBA in a while, which is doubly impressive because he accomplished so much while still a teenager. Doncic has excellent size for a wing, is very skilled and has the type of all-around game that would let him play any position from point guard to small forward. Doncic is expected to be a future superstar for the Mavericks and is likely to get big minutes from the opening tipoff. He should be drafted in all formats and has easy top-100 fantasy upside.
Barnes has been a low-variance player during his two seasons in Dallas, averaging 19.0 PPG (45.7 FG%, 84.3 FT%) with 5.5 RPG, 1.7 APG and 1.3 3PG. Barnes doesn't have the versatility or volume to be an impact producer in either fantasy format, but he is a reliable, roster-worthy producer in both.
Smith had a solid if inefficient rookie season, but he improved across the board to 16.1 PPG, 5.9 APG, 1.5 3-pointers and 1.1 SPG after the All-Star Break. Smith is expected to take a step forward as a sophomore, and with rookie Luka Doncic expected to take over some of the playmaking duties, Smith could be freed up to focus more on scoring. He has top-75 upside in points-based formats, and his roto ranking might hinge on whether he can improve his shooting efficiency from the 39.5 FG% of his first season.
Powell has been backing up Dirk Nowitzki the past few years, but as Nowitzki gets closer to retirement, he misses more time and plays fewer minutes per game, which opens up more opportunity for Powell. Powell averaged 14.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.4 steals per 36 minutes last season, so if his minutes increase significantly from the 21.2 MPG that he averaged last season, he has double-double upside. He is borderline draftable in fantasy leagues and would have fantasy-starter upside with more minutes.
Dirk Nowitzki is one of the greatest players in NBA history and will absolutely waltz into the Hall of Fame when his career is finished. Entering his 21st season, he still has enough in the tank to average low double-digit scoring and a handful of rebounds, but it is his nearly two 3PG that keep him viable in roto formats, if a bit too low a volume for points-based consideration.
Matthews has battled injury the past several seasons, but he has remained a consistent scorer in the low double-digits and has knocked down 2.4 3PG in three straight seasons. His volume makes him only borderline usable as a points-based prospect, but his shooting keeps him startable in roto leagues.
Harden turned in a season very close to expectations last year, as the presence of Chris Paul limited his assist and rebound volume (to still strong 8.8 APG and 5.4 RPG averages) but allowed him to average a career high in scoring (30.4 PPG) on improved percentages all around (44.9 FG%, 85.8 FT%, 36.7 3FG%). Those numbers were good enough for him to win his first NBA MVP and keep him in the conversation for top overall prospect in both roto and points-based leagues.
Paul maintained similar production value in his first season with the Rockets as he had in his last season with the Clippers, making up for his drop of 1.3 assists (7.9 APG) with slight increases in rebounds (5.4 RPG) and 3-pointers (career-best 2.5 3PG). Paul's biggest weakness is his health, as he missed 24 games last season after missing 21 the season prior, and he managed only 31.8 MPG when he did play. Nevertheless, his efficiency and strong contributions in 3-pointers and steals keep him as a potential top-10 roto producer and a top-20 points-based prospect this season.
Capela has improved his production in each of his four NBA seasons, culminating last season in career-best averages of 13.9 PPG (65.2 FG%, 56.0 FT%), 10.8 RPG, 1.9 BPG and 0.8 SPG, which earned him a big contract during the offseason. Capela is a perfect pick-and-roll finisher who gets to play with two of the best pick-and-roll guards in the NBA in James Harden and Chris Paul, and his role as the defensive anchor generates good defensive numbers as well. Still only 24 years old, Capela has top-25 upside in points-based leagues, though he needs to further improve his free throw percentage to maximize his value in roto.
Gordon maintained and even improved his scoring role last season, despite the addition of Chris Paul and the MVP performance of James Harden. Gordon increased his scoring average (18.0 PPG) and shooting percentage (42.8 FG%) from the season before, with solid peripheral numbers of 3.2 3PG, 2.5 RPG, 2.2 APG and 80.9 FT%. Volume limits his points-based upside, but he has top-60 roto value this season.
Anthony is coming off the least productive season of his career, in which he averaged career lows of 16.2 PPG (40.4 FG%, 76.7 FT%), 1.3 APG and 0.6 SPG in only 32.1 MPG. He never fit well with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and that translated in his play. On the bright side, Anthony has wanted to play with friend Chris Paul for years and wanted to join the Rockets last season, which should work to motivate him to have his best possible season. On the down side, he is a 34-year-old iso scorer who will be the fourth or fifth option on a team that won't often need his iso scoring and might ask him to come off the bench. Anthony is still draftable in both points-based and roto leagues, but it is unclear whether he will hold a starting designation in points-based formats this season.
Tucker was one of several 3-and-D forwards on the Rockets last season, but with both Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute moving on this offseason, Tucker is the last one still on the roster. His volume is too low for heavy points-based consideration, but his garbage man contributions to rebounds (5.6 RPG), 3-pointers (1.4 3PG) and steals (1.0 SPG) make him a viable threat in deeper roto leagues.
San Antonio Spurs
DeRozan has been a primary scorer for his entire career and has turned in three straight seasons averaging between 23.0 and 27.3 PPG. Last season, he began an evolution into a more well-rounded game, though, with career-bests in both assists (5.2 APG) and 3-pointers (1.1 3PG). The San Antonio Spurs have a dearth of scoring talent, and point guard Dejounte Murray will miss the season (ACL). DeRozan, therefore, has a wide offensive lane that should allow him to maximize his potential as long as Spurs coach Gregg Popovic doesn't put a cap on his minutes. If all meshes on his new team, he has top-20 upside in both roto and points-based formats.
Aldridge showed last season that he could still be a 23.0 PPG scorer like he was in his last two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, a big improvement on the 17.7 PPG he averaged in his first two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. One big difference was that Aldridge was the focal point of the offense last season, after having to defer to Kawhi Leonard in the previous two seasons. This season, DeMar DeRozan enters the season as a high-volume perimeter producer. So, can Aldridge maintain his 2017-18 level? He was able to do so in his last two seasons in Portland next to Damian Lillard, and if he can do so again, he'd have upside as a top-25 performer in both roto and points-based leagues.
Gasol is coming off another good season, but he was the only impact player on the Memphis Grizzlies to not miss major time with injury in an otherwise lost season. As a result, Gasol played his fewest minutes per game since the 2010-11 season, and his field goal percentage (42.0 FG%) was a career-low. Gasol and the Grizzlies look to bounce back healthy this season, with point guard Mike Conley Jr. leading the charge of healthy and new talent on the team. Gasol will turn 34 years old in January, so he is on the downside of his career, but if he stays healthy, he remains an impact talent who should go off the board in the first four rounds in both points-based and roto leagues.
Conley was shut down after only 12 games last season due to a lingering issue in his heel/Achilles tendon. Conley was coming off a career-season in 2016-17, so the injury was a big blow to both the Memphis Grizzlies and to many fantasy teams that had rostered him in hopes of a repeat performance. Conley enters this season largely under the radar, but he is expected to be healthy enough to play from the start of camp this season. If healthy, he is a top-50 player in both roto and points-based formats.
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jackson was the fourth overall pick in this summer's NBA draft and is considered by many to have the highest upside in his draft class. A 7-foot combo-big with excellent defense and shooting range out behind the arc, Jackson has all of the tools to produce across every category. However, Jackson was never a huge volume producer in his one season of college, and as a rookie on a veteran team, his playing time could be sparse enough for him to project as more of a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none in his first season. He is still worthy of a late-round pick in fantasy drafts, and he has the upside to be a much bigger impact player if he gets major minutes as a rookie.
Green missed 27 games last season, but when he did play, he produced career-best marks in scoring (10.3 PPG), rebounds (8.4 RPG) and 3-pointers (0.8 3PG) in a career-high 28.0 MPG. Green will have to contend with rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. for minutes this season, but Jackson's ability to move between power forward and center could leave enough space for both to get solid playing time. Green is a fantasy role player who is right on the borderline between being draftable and being free-agent fodder to start the season.
Anderson joins the Grizzlies fresh off his best season in San Antonio. Anderson is more of a defensive specialist on the wing than a volume producer, but his 5.4 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.6 SPG and 0.8 BPG from the wing made him a productive role player in roto leagues. The 7.9 PPG he averaged last season was a career high, so his overall volume is unlikely to be enough to get him drafted in most points-based leagues, but he is still worthy of attention and could sneak into the last rounds of some drafts.