NBA Free Agents 2012: 3 Acquisitions Who Improved Their Fantasy Stock

Brian Leigh@@BLeighDATFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 21: Lou Williams #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts after scoring against the Miami Heat during the first half of game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Wells Fargo Center on April 21, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

With the dust starting to settle after a wild NBA free-agency period, it's time to pay attention to the stuff that really matters: fantasy implications.

Every year a new crop of free agents swaps jerseys, filling vacancies on one roster but leaving one to be filled on their former roster.

And every year this game of musical chairs allows certain players––whether they be up-and-comers, or grasping-for-life veterans––to find minutes and touches where they couldn't the previous season.

Let's take a look at three guys who changed addresses this offseason, and will be bigger fantasy contributors because of it:


Lou Williams, Atlanta Hawks

2011-12 stats: 26.3 MPG, 14.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 3.5 APG, 0.8 SPG

In six of his seven NBA seasons, Lou Williams hasn't started a single game. In the most recent four out of those six, he's still managed to be a legitimate fantasy player.

So in 2012-13, where he seems destined to inherit the high-scoring shooting guard role left vacant by Joe Johnson, the sky is the limit for Williams.

In Al Horford, Williams also gets the benefit of a legitimate, in-his-prime post player he can play off of. The thought of him coming off Horford's screens should give opposing coaches nightmares.

Williams also gets the added bonus of playing in his hometown of Atlanta, which isn't guaranteed to help but certainly can't hurt.


Chris Kaman, Dallas Mavericks

2011-12 stats: 29.2 MPG, 13.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.6 BPG

Kaman but up serviceable, albeit underwhelming, fantasy numbers playing alongside Gustavo Ayon in New Orleans last season. You'd have to imagine there will be a considerable proliferation playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas.

Always an intriguing fantasy option when healthy, Kaman is one of the league's most underrated back-to-the-basket scorers, his ambidexterity allowing him to finish at the rim in a number of different ways.

Playing off Dirk, who can command at least one big man away from the rim every time he steps out, Kaman should have more room to operate than he ever has in his career.

Yes he's 30, but he's only three years removed from a brilliant '09-'10 campaign that saw him average 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. I'm not saying he'll approach those numbers in Dallas, but he'll be closer than he was in New Orleans.


Ramon Sessions, Charlotte Bobcats

2011-12 stats: 26.7 MPG, 11.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 5.5 APG, 0.7 SPG

After a hot start in Los Angeles, where he spent a few weeks as the toast of the town, Sessions fizzled out pretty hard last season. His decay was made graphic in the embarrassing playoff loss to the Thunder, where he served as Russell Westbrook's personal whipping boy.

Sessions wasn't, and probably never will be, ready to compete as a starter on a championship-caliber team. But in the past he has excelled when given the chance to play big minutes on bad teams.

Hello, Charlotte.

Kemba Walker is in Sessions' way, but he's best served as a spark-plug off the bench. Sessions should play starter minutes, and have the key to an offense where not many guys can create their own shot. That means a lot of the offense should be going through his hands when he's on the court.

Bad for the Bobcats' record? Yeah. Good for Sessions' fantasy owners? You'd best believe it.