Fantastical Choices, Part II


For those who missed it, the First Part of this look at my fantasy bball draft was all about the insane amount of thought I put into deciding between LeBron & CP3.  Now we get to the actual draft, round by round.  As I mentioned before, even though the season has started, my thoughts will be based solely on the info that was known at the time of the draft (which was the night before the season started).  Oh, yeah, players with a (K) next to their name are Keepers.  For the most part I won’t be discussing them because they’re usually all great choices.

Round 1

1. Chris Paul Alex

2. LeBron James Eyal

3. Kobe Bryant Shai

4. Dwight Howard Greg

5. Kevin Durant Rich

6. Danny Granger Mike K.

7. Deron Williams Frankie

8. Chris Bosh Nick

9. Andre Iguodala Mike M.

10. Amar’e Stoudemire Michael C.

11. Dwyane Wade (K) Ginny

12. Dirk Nowitzki (K) Brad

Biggest Question Mark: Mike M.’s choice of Iguodala.  I had him ranked 25 last year (& Yahoo, the site we use, had him 22nd on our draft board).  With the return of Brand, who not only will take away some shot attempts but could also slow down the fast-pace that AI2 thrived in, I can’t imagine Iggy’ll be worth more than a 2nd round pick.  I’d’ve gone A’m’a’r’e, Brandon Roy or Big Al Jefferson.  Plus, even if Mike desperately wanted Iggy, with 2 keepers after him, he only had 4 picks before he went again & Iggy would’ve still been there.

Pick That Makes You Go “Hmmm:” Shai’s choice of Kobe.  With Durant & Granger having had equal years to Kobe last season (fantasy-wise), it seems clear that with Kobe having already hit his peak & the other two still developing that those guys have a much better chance of out-performing the Black Mamba.  That being said, Shai explained the pick by saying that since he’s in LA he can see all of Kobe’s games on local tv.  He didn’t want to spend his top pick on Durant or Granger & then only see them maybe once or twice the whole year.  I can respect that.  Last year I did the same with my choice of Pau Gasol.

Weirdest Pick When Considering Rest Of Draft: Greg drafting Dwight Howard.  We don’t count TOs in our league, so that strike is gone against Nuevo Superman, but those godawful free throws can’t be ignored.  Still in head-to-head you can easily punt a stat, so it can actually be a great pick to go with Dwight Howard here… as long as you then build the rest of your draft/team around the free-throw punt.   However Greg’s next 2 picks are Joe Johnson & Gilbert Arenas, both of whom attain a lot of value because of their great ft%s.  Instead a player like Josh Smith (who’s a stud except for his dismal ft%) should’ve been taken.  Okay, you say well maybe Greggy specifically got good ft shooters to even out Dwight’s awful shooting.  Yeah, that could work, but he also picks Bogut and had kept Biedrins who’re also awful ft shooters, leaving him in no-man’s land.  And yes, that does mean I just called Greg a woman.  Or a boy.  Or a cocker spaniel.  Regardless, he’s no man.

Luckiest Guy: Mike K., who at pick 6 should’ve had to debate over the lesser first-rounders like Dwight Howard, Brandon Roy, Deron Williams, Bosh & Amare.  Instead, a stud in Granger falls into his lap, giving him someone who has the potential to be one of the top 3 performers by the end of the season.

Round 2

1. Pau Gasol Brad

2. Brandon Roy Ginny

3. Al Jefferson Michael C.

4. Carmelo Anthony Mike M.

5. Devin Harris Nick

6. Kevin Martin Frankie

7. Jose Calderon Mike K.

8. Tim Duncan Rich

9. Joe Johnson Greg

10. Steve Nash Shai

11. Chauncey Billups Eyal

12. Kevin Garnett Alex

Most Surprising Pick: Again we start with Mike M.  On the Yahoo draft board Carmelo was listed 34.  I had figured with him being listed that far up that no one would take him, and he was who I had targeted for my end-o’-the-round pick (unless Nash fell to me).  Melo was ranked 24 last year, and he spent a bunch of time dealing with his injured elbow.  I figured with a fully healthy season he’d easily be a second rounder or maybe better (the last month of ’08-’09 he was ranked 11th).

Worst Pick: My choice of KG.  With Carmelo gone, I was underwhelmed by the available choices.  JKidd, Paul Pierce & Vince Carter are slowly declining.  Paul Pierce & Vince Carter could take a step back.  In the pre-season Josh Smith had looked improved in every aspect… except his biggest fault from the previous season: free-throw shooting.  He had a game where he went like 0-for-8.  I couldn’t take him this early after getting Paul who’s a huge help in ft%.  I panicked.  KG was ranked 12th so the Jew in me couldn’t help but feel “what a deal!”  Also with a PG as my first pick I thought it’d be good to take a big.  Honestly though, pre-draft I figured someone was gonna take KG before it would ever be my turn so I hadn’t thought much about him.  If I was gonna take a risk on a player recovering from injury, I should’ve gone for Arenas ‘cuz I’d heard Arenas looked great in the pre-season.

Biggest Risk: Frankie’s choice of Kevin Martin.  When Baby KMart’s been healthy the last few years he’s been a top 12 player, but man has he been injured a bunch.  Either this’ll be a great pick or it’ll go down in a fiery flame.  Actually, it was interesting how many players I had question marks next to this early.  Calderon had been awful in the pre-season which was making me doubt him.  Injury concerns for Al Jefferson, Devin Harris, Tim Duncan, KG, Caron Butler, Jamison & Arenas.  Worries about slight declines because of new teammates for Joe Johnson (with the addition of Jamal Crawford), Vince Carter & Pau Gasol (w/Artest & a potentially healthy Bynum around all year).

Round 3

1. Caron Butler Alex

2. David West Eyal

3. Jason Kidd Shai

4. Gilbert Arenas Greg

5. Andrew Bynum Rich

6. Paul Pierce Mike K.

7. Gerald Wallace (K) Frankie

8. Vince Carter Nick

9. Josh Smith Mike M.

10. Jason Richardson Michael C.

11. Ray Allen Ginny

12. Rashard Lewis (K) Brad

Pick With Most Upside: Easily Greg’s choice of Arenas.

Almost Pick With Most Upside: Mike M.’s choice of Josh Smith.  If he improved his ft% to what it was 2 years ago, JSmoove could end up being worth a 1st round-pick.  As it is, I expect him to easily be worth a 2nd rounder.

The “Did He Just Take _____ This Round?” Pick: Rich with Bynum.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d seen Bynum in the pre-season & thought he looked great.  But he looked great last year too.  And the year before.  The concern is injury.  Versus exactly how much upside does he have?  For instance, picking Arenas with the third pick when he has the potential to be a first-rounder, that’s an acceptable risk.  Even if Bynum does stay healthy all year, Pau’ll come back and take some of B’s shots & rebounds, thus probably making B’s ceiling a 3rd round pick.  But that’s a best-case scenario.  Well, okay, best-case would probably be that Pau, Odom & Kobe die in a fiery plane wreck, giving Bynum free reign to take a gajillion and two shots.  But honestly, wouldn’t Bynum have been on that plane too?  Wait, where was I?  Oh yeah, so with Bynum’s ceiling being a 3rd rounder it just doesn’t seem like a great bet.  It’s like betting $20 on something, and if you’re right you just get your $20 back and are no richer than when you started, but if you’re wrong then you lose the $20.  Basically I’m saying don’t trust Rich to invest your money.

Pick That Most Felt Like It Was Done By A Bad Computer On Auto-Draft Using Old Rankings: Ginny’s choice of Ray Allen.  Last year Ray Ray was ranked 36 and that was with Garnett out for a big ol’ chunk of time & Mr.Allen shooting some of his best percentages ever.  Clearly Ginny let her Celtic-love blind her after seeing KG & Pierce disappear off the board.