I’m already getting teary over the fact that we’re nearing the end of this delightful mocking adventure but there’s still work to be done, so let’s truck on, friends.
Concerning Luol Deng vs. Rashard “the hack” Lewis, it appears that things have nearly evened out. Regardless of the outcome, I’m glad Henry and I will have this trifling scuffle to keep track of throughout the season.
We’re not working with all that much in these parts, but what we have are a bunch of players who, like Henry said in round 10, have shots at making some serious comebacks. The rest of the picks basically force you to choose between the known and the unknown. The risks are certainly mitigated down in the last three rounds, but a steal down here will draw the ire and admiration of your opponents.
Now, onward to the almighty round 11:
121. Andris Biedrins (joins K. Durant, T. Evans, A. Horford, P. Pierce, M. Camby, J. Terry, M. Thornton, T. Thomas, Ge. Hill, S. Ibaka): This guy had one of the more painfully awful seasons in 2009-10. Just two seasons ago, Biedrins averaged 12/11 and 1.6 blocks while shooting 58 percent from the floor. If I may be so bold, when he’s healthy Biedrins is Dwight-lite, with fewer turnovers. His health issues and the presence of David Lee are serious causes for concern, but if he can stay on the floor and play consistent minutes, AB could be a big get here at No. 121. If anything, he should be a decent stopgap should Camby go down with an injury or if Ibaka is stuck in a rut.
122. Derrick Favors (joins L. James, B. Roy, C. Billups, J. Noah, K. Love, L. Deng, R. Lewis, T. Splitter, B. Gordon, J. Flynn): This team is nearly concrete in all roster spots, so it was time to take a flier on a big man. (Visions of Noah having more foot issues, Love wearing another thumb wrap and Splitter getting spotty minutes frightens the paranoid part of me.) He’s too raw to be reliable in his first year, according to many, but Favors has weak competition at the PF spot in Newark, which means he should get plenty of minutes to find his way on the court this season. I’m not expecting much from him in the way of consistency, but I’m fine with having a hot-and-cold big man this late in the draft.
123. Anthony Morrow (joins C. Paul, C. Bosh, J. Johnson, R. Gay, M. Williams, C. Kaman, G. Arenas, A. Bynum, A. Kirilenko, S. Dalembert): First off, I dig Dalembeast in round 10. With the Kings set to run a faster offense, and with Cousins liable to send more than a few opponents straight into Dalembert’s extended arms, he stands a very good chance of exceeding that pick position. Morrow has some competition in Courtney Lee, but Lee showed last season that his offense is yawn-worthy at best. We all know how hot Morrow can get, so I expect him to get plenty of run as a backup or a starter in New Jersey this season. He’ll have his ups and downs, but the potential for steadier minutes is too good to overlook.
124. Emeka Okafor (joins D. Nowitzki, J. Kidd, A. Iguodala, A. Jamison, A. Brooks, M. Beasley, V. Carter, Y. Ming, D. Cousins, W. Chandler): Here’s what we know about Okafor: he hasn’t missed a game in three seasons, he’s a walking double-double with nearly a pair of blocks a night and he shoots better than 50 percent from the floor. We also know that he shoots a shade below 60 percent from the free-throw line. He’s a bit more than half of what D-Ho is, but Okafor also turned the ball over just 1.4 times per game last season. For a squad that’s relying on two risky centers, Okafor seems like a calming backup, and maybe even an eventual starter. You know what you’re getting with him, which is tough to say for a few of this team’s players so far.
125. Ron Artest (joins K. Bryant, A. Jefferson, M. Ellis, M. Gasol, R. Felton, L. Scola, R. Allen, L. Barbosa, C. Maggette, G. Monroe): Queensbridge. Artest is way more fun in real life than in fantasy life, which is kind of odd to read. His shooting percentages were dreadful last season, but 11/4/3 with 1.4 steals and 1.4 threes per night isn’t too shabby this late in the draft. I’m hoping his second season in L.A. will mean good things for his shooting touch, but I’m not holding my breath. If anything, he’ll be a satisfactory SF plug should (or is it when) Maggette suffers his next sprained limb.
126. Beno Udrih (joins D. Granger, J. Smith, N. Hilario, D. Rose, J. Richardson, J. Crawford, P. Millsap, T. Parker, R. Lopez, L. Odom): This guy played out of his mind once Kevin Martin left the town of Sacs, even as ‘Reke had his ROY stats. There’s a good chance he’ll come back to earth this season, but the naked truth of the matter is that Udrih doesn’t have much competition at the PG spot besides Evans, who should start at SG on most nights. If Udrih continues his roll from last year, he could offer solid shooting, 14/3/6 along with 1+ steals and about a three per game. If he slows down, you shake your head and take comfort in knowing your logic behind this pick was sound.
127. Travis Outlaw (joins P. Gasol, R. Rondo, T. Murphy, Z. Randolph, K. Martin, O.J. Mayo, J.J. Hickson, J. Holiday, R. Hibbert, K. Azubuike): Henry, I’d like to submit this man’s name as a contender for the coolest in the National Basketball Association. (Yeah, that looks weird when it’s spelled out. No more.) Outlaw knows how to score and hit threes — this we know. In 21:41 per game last season, he managed to nail 1.2 treys per contest in Portland last season. With a starting job in New Jersey and — fingers crossed — his health back, Outlaw could be a great source of threes for this squad. He also backs up Azubuike at the SF spot, just in case he takes a long time to recover from his patella surgery.
128. Mario Chalmers (joins D. Williams, B. Lopez, D. West, D. Gallinari, H. Turkoglu, B. Griffin, J. Nelson, R. Stuckey, J.R. Smith, G. Oden): First off, I’m not nearly as optimistic about G.O. as Henry is, though I can’t deny his appeal. If he can last the duration (and those odds are not favorable), he could finish the season with value that more than justifies his draft position, but it seems like he’s set for a slow return to “normalcy” at the very least. Now, on with Chalmers, who now has a bit more in common with Rajon Rondo as he mans the PG spot for a stacked team with another Big Three. He should start at PG every night, but down the stretch of close games it’s possible that D-Wade will man the point, relegating Chalmers to the bench. Still, his situation in Miami is much, much brighter today than it was this time last summer. He can hit tons of threes and steal lots o’ balls when given enough minutes, and in a rotation that won’t require him to do much else than that and distribute the ball, Chalmers could make for quite the steal here. He’s still a big question mark, but a very intriguing one, and intrigue is worth something this late in the game.
129. Marvin Williams (joins S. Curry, C. Anthony, T. Duncan, A. Bogut, D. Harris, K. Garnett, E. Gordon, C. Landry, A. Harrington, J. Calderon): He’s boring and has a ceiling about as high as a Mormon on the Sabbath, but you know what you’re getting with Williams: solid shooting, a three every now and then, and averages of around 12 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1+ assists and a total of 1+ steals and blocks per night. If anything, Williams serves as a decent fill-in should Anthony miss any time, which would leave a hole at SF for this squad. This pick screams “meh,” but you could do worse.
130. Amir Johnson (joins D. Wade, A. Stoudemire, A. Bargnani, B. Davis, A. Randolph, L. Aldridge, T. Ariza, A. Miller, M. Miller, T. Williams): Johnson, on the other hand, screams “sleeper.” Fresh off of inking a five-year deal for $34 million with the Raptors, he’s set to inherit the PF spot that CB4 left behind. Johnson averaged a career-high 17:41 per game last season and you have to expect that figure to nearly double this season, which would mean that a season of 12/7 along with 1.5+ blocks per night is well within reach.
131. Mike Conley (joins G. Wallace, D. Howard, M. Ginobili, R. Westbrook, A. Blatche, J. Wall, C. Butler, E. Turner, E. Brand, C. Frye): Go ahead and roll your eyes. (I am, too.) But the fact remains that Conley is still the starting PG in Memphis and he offers pretty decent stats this far into the draft. There’s no true weakness to his game from a stats perspective, besides his inability to break from mediocrity. Does the growing stable of replacements breathing down his neck concern me? Sure. But until Conley is relegated to the bench, he’s worth a roster spot and offers good value here.
132. DeMar DeRozan (joins D. Lee, S. Nash, C. Boozer, S. Jackson, J. Green, B. Jennings, J. Salmons, M. Okur, B. Diaw, D. Collison): As you can see from the last few rounds, things are wide open in Toronto. There are many appealing players in that city and DeRozan is certainly one of them. He’ll duke it out with Leandro Barbosa for the starting SG spot, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Double D (I pray that nickname sticks) ends up with the gig. He’s versatile and has shown that he can shoot efficiently, which fits with this squad’s schemes. If his off-season work on his range pans out, he’ll be an even bigger threat for the Raptors — and this fantasy team.
To recap, here are our 12 teams (now all named) after 11 rounds of drafting, along with a brand new rating system: cookies! (One = poor, two = OK, three = great.) The spirit of the Cookie Monster has taken hold of me and all I hear in my head this morning is “nom nom nom,” so here we go:
Team Delicious: K. Durant, T. Evans, A. Horford, P. Pierce, M. Camby, J. Terry, M. Thornton, T. Thomas, Ge. Hill, S. Ibaka, A. Biedrins ()
Team Bulls 2.0: L. James, B. Roy, C. Billups, J. Noah, K. Love, L. Deng, R. Lewis, T. Splitter, B. Gordon, J. Flynn, D. Favors ()
Team Bang Bang: C. Paul, C. Bosh, J. Johnson, R. Gay, Mo Williams, C. Kaman, G. Arenas, A. Bynum, A. Kirilenko, S. Dalembert, A. Morrow ()
Team Ipecac: D. Nowitzki, J. Kidd, A. Iguodala, A. Jamison, A. Brooks, M. Beasley, V. Carter, Y. Ming, D. Cousins, W. Chandler, E. Okafor ()
Team Tru Warier: K. Bryant, A. Jefferson, M. Ellis, M. Gasol, R. Felton, L. Scola, R. Allen, L. Barbosa, C. Maggette, G. Monroe, R. Artest ()
Team Stolen Block Party: D. Granger, J. Smith, N. Hilario, D. Rose, J. Richardson, J. Crawford, P. Millsap, T. Parker, R. Lopez, L. Odom, B. Udrih ()
Team Too Cool to Name: P. Gasol, R. Rondo, T. Murphy, Z. Randolph, K. Martin, O.J. Mayo, J.J. Hickson, J. Holiday, R. Hibbert, K. Azubuike, T. Outlaw ()
Team Big Time: D. Williams, B. Lopez, D. West, D. Gallinari, H. Turkoglu, B. Griffin, J. Nelson, R. Stuckey, J.R. Smith, G. Oden, M. Chalmers ()
Team Frail: S. Curry, C. Anthony, T. Duncan, A. Bogut, D. Harris, K. Garnett, E. Gordon, C. Landry, A. Harrington, J. Calderon, Ma. Williams ()
Team Dope: D. Wade, A. Stoudemire, A. Bargnani, B. Davis, A. Randolph, L. Aldridge, T. Ariza, A. Miller, M. Miller, T. Williams, A. Johnson ()
Team Future: G. Wallace, D. Howard, M. Ginobili, R. Westbrook, A. Blatche, J. Wall, C. Butler, E. Turner, E. Brand, C. Frye, M. Conley ()
Team Know Your Limits: D. Lee, S. Nash, C. Boozer, S. Jackson, J. Green, B. Jennings, J. Salmons, M. Okur, B. Diaw, D. Collison, D. DeRozan ()
What do you think? Which team looks the best so far? Let me hear your reactions in the comments section below. Look for round 12 at Weakside Help sometime soon.