We finally pulled off our mock draft on Thursday evening, and I’m happy to say that it was privileged enough to receive the attendance of many of my favorite fantasy basketball bloggers. Here’s the cast:
- Justin from Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog (Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog)
- Patrick from Give Me The Rock (GMTR_Patrick)
- Doneycat from Tale of 9 Cats (Doneycat)
- Tippy from Fantasy Basketball Daily (supposedly “ended up” with the automatically
generated “Fantasy god”)
- Henry from Weakside Help (Weakside Help)
- Eugene, my good friend and fantasy basketball nemesis (ec236)
- West, a reader who seems to have missed the draft; next time!
- Boogerboys, an unknown participant who was on autoselect until round eight
- drafting hungover, another unknown entrant
While I don’t like leagues that are any smaller than 12 teams (too shallow, too much parity between teams, don’t get to utilize the depths of your fantasy knowledge), there wasn’t any other choice at the time slot we drafted in. No matter: the fantastic company made it easy to forget the size of our draft.
Without further ado, here’s a quick and dirty recap of our mock draft (nine categories, head-to-head), with round-by-round analysis. (Henry already posted his analysis at Weakside Help.) Especially admirable picks are in green, while questionable picks are in red. (Picks made on autoselect were exempt from color-coded and written judgment.) I’ve also decided to include the pick times for each pick, in case anyone was interested. (The average pick time was 19.2 seconds, for all you fellow inquiring nerds out there.)
|2||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||James, LeBron||6s|
|5||drafting hungover||Nowitzki, Dirk||27s|
|7||Fantasy god||Williams, Deron||15s|
|9||Weakside Help||Curry, Stephen||14s|
First-round comments: Gasol at No. 4 overall? Yeah, it’s a reach according to just about every set of rankings out there, but he is a C-eligible stud and getting that position filled this early saves you from potential scrambling down the line. Other than that, the rest of this round went almost as scripted, though it was a bit surprising to see Wade fall to me at No. 10.
|12||Weakside Help||Lee, David||13s|
|14||Fantasy god||Anthony, Carmelo||13s|
|16||drafting hungover||Nash, Steve||7s|
|19||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Evans, Tyreke||14s|
Second-round comments: While I understand why Granger would fall out of the first round, especially in a 10-team draft, it was still exciting to see him fall to me at No. 11 overall. He has top five potential, but his health does concern me. Still, knowing that I wouldn’t have to live with the fact that he was my first pick helps from a psychological standpoint. Melo at No. 14 still seems a tad bit of a reach to me, but I know I could be in the minority there. Patrick just filled up the two starting C spots required by the league’s settings with two studs — huge. Evans at No. 19 is a huge reach, given that this is a nine-cat league. The only reason to pick him this high is if you think he’ll take a huge step forward in his sophomore campaign, which doesn’t seem likely given his lack of threes, turnovers and pedestrian free-throw shooting.
|22||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Kidd, Jason||12s|
|25||drafting hungover||Johnson, Joe||30s|
|27||Fantasy god||Ellis, Monta||46s|
|29||Weakside Help||Bargnani, Andrea||7s|
Third-round comments: I was a bit surprised that J-Smoove fell out of the top 20, but so be it. Westbrook anywhere north of the fifth round is a gamble, given his poor FG%, lack of threes and frequent turnovers. Nevertheless, I understand his appeal and potential. Doneycat appears to have the early leg up on steals and blocks with AI9 joining G-Wall and D-Ho, while Weakside Help appears to have the makings of a strong small-ball team with Curry, Lee and now Bargnani manning his first three spots. Meanwhile, Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog (LJFBB from here on out) appears to be gunning for across-the-board dominance with LBJ, ‘Reke and Kidd. I was elated to get Horford at No. 30.
|32||Weakside Help||Jackson, Stephen||33s|
|34||Fantasy god||Duncan, Tim||7s|
|36||drafting hungover||Rose, Derrick||15s|
|39||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||West, David||6s|
Fourth-round comments: Let the record show that I slotted in Booze in my predraft list and mistakenly pressed “autoselect” (new draft interface = some getting used to). While I’m not the biggest Boozer fan this season, I was glad to have him shore up my frontcourt with Horford and Granger. Murphy at No. 33 might have been acceptable before he landed in New Jersey, but I just have a hard time thinking he won’t take a step back with Lopez gobbling up rebounds and a potential timeshare with Derrick Favors on some nights. Bogut could make sense at No. 36 eventually, but with reports that his elbow is still touch-and-go makes that a very risky pick. Rose, like Westbrook, just has too many weaknesses to warrant anything earlier than a sixth-round pick, though I’ll grant that it’s quite possible that his offseason work on his defense and three-point shooting could translate into a fantasy surge this season. Patrick just keeps on bulking up that sexy frontcourt here with Jefferson, who somehow fell to No. 37, making him a huge steal.
|42||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Gasol, Marc||20s|
|45||drafting hungover||Randolph, Zach||17s|
|47||Fantasy god||Noah, Joakim||15s|
|49||Weakside Help||Felton, Raymond||10s|
Fifth-round comments: It’ll be interesting to see how Noah meshes with Boozer, but I don’t have too big a problem seeing him go in the top 50, especially given that he’s one of the few remaining true centers left on the board — I just think there are other lower-risk big men left for the picking. I really dig the Collison pick for two reasons: 1) I think going in the late 40s is a solid, if not slightly conservative, valuation of his fantasy goodness this season, and 2) it shows some restraint on everyone’s part to have him fall this “late.” I can picture Collison being grabbed in the 30s of many drafts, but taking him around this neck of the woods seems much more prudent. Gallo at No. 50 is an absolute steal, in my estimation. If he stays healthy, I see him finishing with top 30 value this season, with Stoudemire and Felton really opening things up for him.
|52||Weakside Help||Mayo, O.J.||24s|
|54||Fantasy god||Aldridge, LaMarcus||24s|
|56||drafting hungover||Harris, Devin||56s|
|59||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Camby, Marcus||13s|
Sixth-round comments: While I think it’s bullish, I’m down with taking Turk at No. 51. He should thrive in Phoenix and might have a shot at finishing in the top 40 this season. KG at No. 53 is optimistically accurate, despite whatever health concerns he brings. Aldridge at No. 54, however, is a bit high for my tastes, given his inconsistency when Oden was in the lineup for the first 21 games of 2009-10. Martin continues to fly under the radar, and should have an easy time returning the value of his No. 55 pick here, especially with Ariza out of Houston. This is where Patrick had to pull a LeBron and leave us before finishing the task at hand to tend to his one-month-old (congrats again!), but he set a very solid foundation (Gasol, Stoudemire, Billups, Jefferson, Mo Williams) for his squad. Camby at No. 59 is great, especially since that valuation seems to take into account whatever risk Oden’s return poses to his value.
|62||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Blatche, Andray||4s|
|65||drafting hungover||Jennings, Brandon||27s|
|67||Fantasy god||Deng, Luol||46s|
|69||Weakside Help||Ming, Yao||18s|
Seventh-round comments: Blatche and Jennings will go around here in most drafts this season, though both pick positions are a bit optimistic for my tastes. Yao at No. 69 would be around the absolute earliest I’d take him, but if he plays even three-quarters of the season, he’ll put up top 50 averages with no problem. Brooks at No. 70 seems straight-up silly to me, since he’ll have a real shot at notching top 40 status this season — but maybe I’m biased.
|72||Weakside Help||Griffin, Blake||14s|
|74||Fantasy god||Arenas, Gilbert||42s|
|76||drafting hungover||Bynum, Andrew||27s|
|79||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Thornton, Marcus||18s|
Eighth-round comments: This was a near-perfect place to take Randolph. Henry takes on two consecutive giant question marks in Yao and Griffin, but they should pay off for the most part. Bravo for him for taking the “Biggest Testicular Fortitude” award for this mock draft. Morrow at No. 73 is perfect. Arenas at No. 74 is great fun — I think he’s the most fun gamble this season and I’m in the camp that thinks he’ll surprise rather than disappoint. I dig Gordon at No. 75, and in a perfect, injury-free world I’d feel the same for Bynum at No. 76, but this is indeed a world that is far from perfect and riddles with injuries. I’d recommend waiting for Bynum to drop to the late 80s and into the 90s in most drafts. Thornton at No. 79? Grand larceny.
|82||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Scola, Luis||12s|
|85||drafting hungover||Kaman, Chris||13s|
|87||Fantasy god||Parker, Tony||26s|
|89||Weakside Help||Lopez, Robin||15s|
Ninth-round comments: I’d still take Kaman over Hibbert 10 out of 10 times, but I understand the reasons why others would disagree. I absolutely despise TP (a nickname that I think is the most apt for him in fantasy terms) anywhere before the 10th round. Lopez at No. 89 frustrated me since I was licking my chops at the prospect of him falling to me just one pick later. (Good one, Henry.) I’m OK with Hickson at No. 90, though I foresee a healthy portion of inconsistency from him.
|92||Weakside Help||Barbosa, Leandro||6s|
|94||Fantasy god||Brand, Elton||53s|
|96||drafting hungover||Allen, Ray||33s|
|99||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Miller, Andre||8s|
Tenth-round comments: I hated my pick here. It took me a full 49 seconds to finally close my eyes and swallow the pill that is Stuckey. Don’t get me wrong — he’s worth No. 91 overall, but there were a bevy of other sexier picks that I wish I had gone with instead, especially since I’m still skinny at the C spot at this point. So when Doneycat took Cousins (whom I like this season) at No. 93, I slapped myself on the forehead. Allen at No. 96 could be a huge steal. Yeah, he’s getting older, but we all know that shooters have good longevity in real life and fantasy land. McGee at No. 98 is understandable, but I just can’t see him taking the enormous step forward that so many are expecting — way too much inconsistency in the cards, methinks. But with his incredible blocking abilities, I can’t say too many bad things about that pick.
|102||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Williams, Reggie||17s|
|105||drafting hungover||Gordon, Ben||24s|
|107||Fantasy god||Biedrins, Andris||27s|
|109||Weakside Help||Thomas, Tyrus||4s|
Eleventh-round comments: Williams should have no trouble returning top 75 value, so that was a very savvy pick by LJFBB. Gordon does hold a lot of promise, but with an ankle that still isn’t fully healed and T-Mac around to eat into minutes at SG, I’d try to avoid him at all costs. Biedrins, Childress and Thomas are all peachy keen at this stage. I was relieved to grab Dalembert at No. 110 to plug up my second C spot. He’ll surprise owners in Sacramento this season, especially since they’re ready to unleash a faster offense.
|112||Weakside Help||Hill, George||7s|
|114||Fantasy god||Okafor, Emeka||6s|
|116||drafting hungover||Favors, Derrick||6s|
|119||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Beasley, Michael||17s|
Twelfth-round comments: AK-47 has a lot going for him this season, and though I expect him to miss at least 15 games this season, I have no qualms with taking his talents here. Hill was a great pickup here for Weakside Help, as was Varejao for Boogerboys. Not much to roll your eyes at here.
|122||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Augustin, D.J.||15s|
|125||drafting hungover||Oden, Greg||30s|
|127||Fantasy god||Marion, Shawn||21s|
|129||Weakside Help||Ibaka, Serge||8s|
Thirteenth-round comments: Augustin could be a winner here, though I still think Shaun Livingston has a really good shot at winning the starting PG gig in Charlotte. Taking Oden at No. 125 overall seems about right to me, and he could end up giving the best return on investment of the entire draft. Kleiza at No. 128 might be my favorite pick of the draft. He’s one of my favorite sleepers this season and should get plenty of minutes in a weak Raptors SF spot. Ibaka is a rock-solid take at No. 129, as he should continue to roll with blocks and a potential starting gig. Miller at No. 130 boggles my biased mind. He could be a top three three-point maker this season in Miami, so it was no-brainer to take him here. I used up 34 seconds to give me more time for my next pick.
|132||Weakside Help||Azubuike, Kelenna||7s|
|134||Fantasy god||Chandler, Wilson||10s|
|136||drafting hungover||Casspi, Omri||8s|
|139||Life is Just a Fantasy … Basketball Blog||Monroe, Greg||8s|
Fourteenth-round comments: Urdih started and finished the season strong last season and he appears set to continue his role as the starting point guard in Sac-Town. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished the season with top 70 value. Azubuike is a solid pick-and-wait option, and if his knee heals up well he’ll be a good pick here. Chandler is a solid selection here because of Azubuike’s continued rehab, though he stands to lose value as the season wears on. Monroe is intriguing this season, which makes him an ideal last-round pick.
|G||Rajon Rondo||R2 P10||G||Tyreke Evans||R2 P9||G||Chris Paul||R1 P3|
|G||John Wall||R6 P10||G||Jason Kidd||R3 P2||G||Brandon Roy||R2 P8|
|G||Baron Davis||R7 P1||G||Marcus Thornton||R8 P9||G||Paul Pierce||R4 P8|
|G||Jason Terry||R8 P10||G||Andre Miller||R10 P9||G||Manu Ginobili||R6 P8|
|G||Jrue Holiday||R10 P10||G||D.J. Augustin||R13 P2||G||Louis Williams||R14 P8|
|G||Evan Turner||R11 P1||F||LeBron James||R1 P2||F||Josh Smith||R3 P3|
|G||J.R. Smith||R13 P1||F||David West||R4 P9||F||Nene Hilario||R5 P3|
|F||Kevin Durant||R1 P1||F||Andray Blatche||R7 P2||F||Caron Butler||R7 P3|
|F||Chris Bosh||R3 P1||F||Luis Scola||R9 P2||F||Trevor Ariza||R8 P8|
|F||Rudy Gay||R4 P10||F||Reggie Williams||R11 P2||F||Terrence Williams||R11 P3|
|F||Antawn Jamison||R5 P1||F||Michael Beasley||R12 P9||F||Anderson Varejao||R12 P8|
|F||Jeff Green||R9 P1||F||Greg Monroe||R14 P9||F||Tiago Splitter||R13 P3|
|F||Corey Maggette||R12 P10||C||Marc Gasol||R5 P2||C||Roy Hibbert||R9 P3|
|C||Spencer Hawes||R14 P10||C||Marcus Camby||R6 P9||C||JaVale McGee||R10 P8|
|G||Chauncey Billups||R3 P4||G||Steve Nash||R2 P6||G||Kobe Bryant||R1 P6|
|G||Mo Williams||R5 P4||G||Joe Johnson||R3 P5||G||Russell Westbrook||R3 P6|
|G||Jason Richardson||R6 P7||G||Derrick Rose||R4 P6||G||Kevin Martin||R6 P5|
|G||Jamal Crawford||R7 P4||G||Devin Harris||R6 P6||G||Eric Gordon||R8 P5|
|G||Jameer Nelson||R9 P4||G||Brandon Jennings||R7 P5||G||Vince Carter||R9 P6|
|G||Jose Calderon||R11 P4||G||Ray Allen||R10 P6||G||Rodrigue Beaubois||R14 P5|
|F||Pau Gasol||R1 P4||G||Ben Gordon||R11 P5||F||Brook Lopez||R2 P5|
|F||Amar’e Stoudemire||R2 P7||F||Dirk Nowitzki||R1 P5||F||Kevin Love||R5 P6|
|F||Al Jefferson||R4 P7||F||Zach Randolph||R5 P5||F||Rashard Lewis||R7 P6|
|F||Paul Millsap||R8 P7||F||Derrick Favors||R12 P6||F||Al Harrington||R10 P5|
|F||Channing Frye||R10 P7||F||Omri Casspi||R14 P6||F||Lamar Odom||R12 P5|
|F||Boris Diaw||R12 P7||C||Andrew Bynum||R8 P6||C||Andrew Bogut||R4 P5|
|F||Jason Thompson||R13 P4||C||Chris Kaman||R9 P5||C||Mehmet Okur||R11 P6|
|F||Ron Artest||R14 P7||C||Greg Oden||R13 P5||C||Brendan Haywood||R13 P6|
|Fantasy god||Doneycat||Weakside Help|
|G||Deron Williams||R1 P7||G||Andre Iguodala||R3 P8||G||Stephen Curry||R1 P9|
|G||Monta Ellis||R3 P7||G||Darren Collison||R5 P8||G||Stephen Jackson||R4 P2|
|G||Gilbert Arenas||R8 P4||G||John Salmons||R7 P8||G||Raymond Felton||R5 P9|
|G||Tony Parker||R9 P7||G||Anthony Morrow||R8 P3||G||O.J. Mayo||R6 P2|
|F||Carmelo Anthony||R2 P4||G||Nicolas Batum||R14 P3||G||Leandro Barbosa||R10 P2|
|F||Tim Duncan||R4 P4||F||Gerald Wallace||R2 P3||G||George Hill||R12 P2|
|F||Joakim Noah||R5 P7||F||Troy Murphy||R4 P3||G||Kelenna Azubuike||R14 P2|
|F||LaMarcus Aldridge||R6 P4||F||Kevin Garnett||R6 P3||F||David Lee||R2 P2|
|F||Luol Deng||R7 P7||F||Carl Landry||R9 P8||F||Andrea Bargnani||R3 P9|
|F||Elton Brand||R10 P4||F||DeMarcus Cousins||R10 P3||F||Blake Griffin||R8 P2|
|F||Emeka Okafor||R12 P4||F||Josh Childress||R11 P8||F||Tyrus Thomas||R11 P9|
|F||Shawn Marion||R13 P7||F||Linas Kleiza||R13 P8||C||Yao Ming||R7 P9|
|F||Wilson Chandler||R14 P4||C||Dwight Howard||R1 P8||C||Robin Lopez||R9 P9|
|C||Andris Biedrins||R11 P7||C||Tyson Chandler||R12 P3||C||Serge Ibaka||R13 P9|
|G||Dwyane Wade||R1 P10|
|G||Aaron Brooks||R7 P10|
|G||Rodney Stuckey||R10 P1|
|G||Mike Miller||R13 P10|
|G||Beno Udrih||R14 P1|
|F||Danny Granger||R2 P1|
|F||Al Horford||R3 P10|
|F||Carlos Boozer||R4 P1|
|F||Danilo Gallinari||R5 P10|
|F||Hedo Turkoglu||R6 P1|
|F||Anthony Randolph||R8 P1|
|F||J.J. Hickson||R9 P10|
|F||Andrei Kirilenko||R12 P1|
|C||Samuel Dalembert||R11 P10|
‘Twas an all-around jolly good time. I think I’m very competitive in threes, but took on one or two too many risks and could’ve bulked up my center position a bit better. Still, I’m satisfied with my mock draft and would be excited to see how my squad would stack up with the others here. While I think some of these final rosters are a bit healthier than others, I’ll leave it up to my readers to decide which final roster looks the strongest. Vote in the poll below and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
Much thanks to Mock Draft Central for offering a spiffy mock-drafting platform to us fantasy basketball junkies. And nothing but the biggest fist bumps to my fantasy basketball buddies for turning up, offering some fun in-draft chatter and helping to make this a great mock draft. I’m looking forward to the next time we do this.
Until next time…