It’s hard to not get fired up about the basketball season by doing a mock draft! The NBA kind of sucks in some ways because if you are unfortunate and a few of your top two picks get injured your team is already pretty much done for the season. It’s weird how there are the top 35 guys in the league that help your fantasy team win, and the rest of your team is filled with streaky guys that can impress or disappoint you nightly. We did the first three rounds in a 12 team league, bookmark it if you need to for your draft!
#1 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Lebron James, Cleveland
Its Lebron enough said…..Last year however I took Chris Paul at #1 over Lebron and was able to run away with a league title. So, there is a possible consideration with not going with the King here. That thought is fleeting though, Lebron is easily the most multi-cat producer in the game, and will only get better and more dominating, and he is simply too good to pass up under any circumstance.
#2 – Hard on for Rajon – Kobe “Doin Work” Bryant, Los Angeles
He is the best guard in the league, he’s still in his prime, and they’ve added one of the best defenders in the league to help take a bit of pressure of him in Artest. Let’s not forget Ariza wasn’t more than a role player still at mid-season before he started to get more minutes with Walton injured. Kobe will get his shots and be fresher in the 4th qtr this year.
# 3 – Oden Retirement Home – Chris Paul, New Orleans
In 2007, I took Chris Paul with the 8th pick overall. It was a great pick and he led me to an 8th place finish. This time, getting him up at #3 means better picks to surround him with championship talent. Or does it? Even though I missed the playoffs last year, this yahoo snaking order isn’t helping me get competitive!
#4 Walker Texas Granger – Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers
He may not be a superstar in the NBA like the guys picked around him, but he is a fantasy stud. He fills up the stat sheets, and I named my team after him, so I had no choice but to pick him! He killed me last year every time I was against the team that had him, and my strategy is to pick those guys this year.
#5 Cross Over Kings – Dwayne Wade, Miami
Extremely happy Dwyane Wade was available here at 5. I think a case can be made that is a top three player, and with his huge scoring ability I would consider drafting him ahead of Chris Paul. Health concerns the last several years have been an issue you can’t ignore with Wade, however last years strong season should temper some of those larger concerns. No reason not to consider Wade a corner stone player with your squad come draft day.
# 6 – Nelly’s Belly – Kevin Durant, Seattle
That’s not a typo. Much like I refuse to call South Florida USF, I choose not to acknowledge that there is an NBA team in Oklahoma City and not Seattle. Anyway, Durant has proved he can do more than just score, and he’s the Yahoo cover boy! He has to have a big year right?
#7 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Dwight Howard, Orlando
Superman, nuff said. Would like to see that FT % finally go up, lot’s of hype last year and only a small increase. Losing Hedu can’t hurt him too much, especially with Nelson coming back healthy.
#8 – Who’s the Bosh? – Dirk Nowitzski
I can’t lie, the clock was running down on my turn, and I figured I may as well start my team off with a the top white guy on the board who plays nearly every game every season, and is consistent. I almost picked my boy Bosh, but I’ve always believed that picking your favorite player will jinx your team ,so I’m staying away from my Canadian brethren.
#9 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Pau Gasol, Los Angeles
Yikes where did all of the players I have targeted go? Crap, literally every player I wanted (some I had no chance to grab at 9) went flying off the board in round one. I had to quickly scramble for a player I want that would deserve a top 9 pick…..With only a few seconds left to spare I took a leap of faith on Pau Gasol. 20 & 10 a night at PF is not a bad building block for your team I guess, however Gasol lacks that buzz you might want from your first pick. Pau is a totally different type of player I’m use to building around so early out of the gates.
# 10 – Sovinet Union – Chris Bosh, Toronto
If we were drafting haircuts, I wouldn’t take Bosh in the first round. But, when it comes to ball, I’m a fan of lanky guys, and he fits the mold. Plus, he’s in a contract year, and although he seems to have a good relationship with Toronto, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind being courted by a few large market American teams.
#11 – Be All You Camby – Al Jefferson, Minnesota
Talk about a team built around one player. It’s like Big Al and a bunch of speedy guards and forwards (except Kevin Love of course). And they are all mediocre at this point in their careers. The Twolves will struggle, but Big Al will get his. Let’s put it this way, the active backups at C currently listed on the roster are Ryan Hollins and Jared Reiner. Exactly.
#12 – Baby Curry – Deron Williams, Utah
With an injury plagued start to his season last year, I look for Deron to have a big bounce back fantasy season. It’s not like he didn’t show that he wasn’t healthy last year as he averaged 11.5 assists after the All-Star break, and looked like a top fantasy player for a month or so. I didn’t hesitate to pick him with the last pick in the final round.
#13 – Baby Curry – Amare Stoudamire, Phoenix
Goggle boy should fit nicely with Deron, as I now have a solid base for nearly every category. I see Stoudamire having a great year under Gentry, and without Shaq he is the unquestioned low post option everytime down the floor. He once again has something to prove so I’m betting he steps it up a notch! Rumor has it he’s even been working on his defense.
#14 – Be All You Camby – Tim “TIMMAY” Duncan
I won’t lie, I just went with a huge line up drafting Tiny Tim and Big Al back-to-back. Timmy might have lost half a step, but we know him as the Big Fundamental for a reason: he’s always textbook in every move he makes. And he’s one of the strongest two-way players in the game at his size.
# 15 – Sovinet Union – Brandon Roy, Portland
I don’t have any fancy numbers or theory on this pick. I was just simply taking the best player on the board. He may not put up all-around numbers, but I’d sure rather check his box scores than JR Rider, who was my other choice at this spot.
#16 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Chauncey Billups, Dever
With my rebounds and pts locked up early, my attention quickly turns to grabbing a top flight PG before they all disappear. I’ve always marveled at the consistency of Billups and the fantastic stat line he puts up each night….This was an easy pick for me.
#17 – Who’s the Bosh? – Gilbert Arenas, Washington
I can’t say that this isn’t a reach, but there is a ton of upside here. I hope he’s back to dominant form. I somehow feel like I could get him later, but why wait for something that feels so right. He could be the NBA and fantasy comeback player of the year, so I’ll roll the dice. I usually lose leagues anyways, so I may as well try out a new strategy.
#18 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Carmelo Anthony, Denver
I can’t tell if this is a gamble or an insult to Melo, being drafted 18th after the likes of Roy, his teammate Billups, and Arenas who has been bed ridden for the past 3 years. Melo is such a moody player, it’s ridiculous. I can only pray his in whatever mood it takes to put up his potential more often than not. He’s 30-10 followed by 15-5, but he is becoming a slightly more consistent at least.
# 19 – Nelly’s Belly – Derrick Rose, Chicago
Maybe I’m reaching here, but I’m probably still thinking about Game 1 of the Bulls – Celtics series last postseason. I know he didn’t live up to that game for the remainder of the season, but he ended up averaging 20, 6, and 6 for the series. If that’s where he’s leaving off, I can’t wait to see how he progresses in his second NBA season.
#20 – Cross Over Kings – Steve Nash, Phoenix
Point guards, point guards, point guards…..Did I say point guards? Teams that win fantasy basketball titles are rich with talent at the PG position, and if the opportunity presents itself in the early rounds I’ll be drafting the best player at this position every time. This is a keeper league we’re drafting for, so I didn’t think twice about snatching up Steve Nash here, and team him up with D-Wade. I love the nightly production I can expect from these two, but now will be turning my attention to boards, and three pts with future draft picks.
#21 – Walker Texas Granger – Devin Harris, New Jersey
With Vince gone, I think Harris will have to assert himself all season long, and that’s going to be good news for fantasy owners. Although he usually gets injured at one point in the season, he was probably my steal of the draft last year, so I’m thanking him by taking him here.
# 22 – Oden Retirement Home – Joe Johnson, Atlanta
Joe Johnson is like that girl who looks pretty good most of the time, but isn’t quite gorgeous. But, every once in a while she’ll look smokin and she’ll, I mean he’ll put up a triple double and you fall in love. We’ve had an on and off relationship in fantasy hoops over the last few years, but with Atlanta emerging as a playoff threat and rounding into their prime, I’m ready to commit to Joe. Flanked by Josh Smith, Bibby, and Jamal Crawford, I think he’ll be at the center of that offense dishing out plenty of dimes to go with his strong scoring numbers.
#23 – Hard on for Rajon – David West, New Orleans
David West can thank two guys for making his job pretty damn easy: the unbelievable CP3, and Peja when he’s healthy. We already know about CP3, he’s the best PG in the league. But Peja takes a lot of bodies out to the perimeter to get a hand in his face, opening up the post for the talented West to operate. Lots of chances for Off Rebs and he’s solid on D as well. Nice balance to first pick Kobe.
#24 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Jose Calderon, Toronto
Waiting an entire two rounds to draft again is a steep price to pay for having the number pick, however I find in basketball rounds three and four are still rich in talent. Top tier point guards disappear quickly in the first three rounds and had to make my move here to pick one up. I was excited to see Calderon available and didn’t give anybody else serious thought. He seems like an ideal PG to team up with Lebron…Assists, steals, FG%, Pts, 3pts are already in good hands two picks in.
#25 – Odom’s Shoulder Vein – Gerald Wallace, Charlotte
Not sure about this pick after I made it….In retrospect I think Vince Carter was the better value. It’s not like Wallace is a bad player or won’t even put up very similar numbers…but if I can the player that is on a much better team (ie Orlando) with less health concerns that’s usually the better move. In terms of over all production, I’m extremely happy with my first three picks.
#26 – Hard on for Rajon – Andre Igoudala, Philadelphia
The other AI is in for an even bigger season with the loss of veteran PG Andre Miller. Besides, with so many Andre’s on the court it was getting confusing. It looks as though Iguodala will be starting with Lou Williams at the point and Thaddeus Young at the 3, so there will be plenty of opportunity to score in this offense. We all know his athletic ability alone is pretty special.
# 27 – Oden Retirement Home – Shawn Marion, Dallas
I’m not a Shawn Marion fan by any stretch of the imagination. Once he left Phoenix, his fantasy value has deteriorated. However, I feel like this is the year the Mavericks either make one last push, or blow it up completely. If it’s the former, it’ll be because Marion is enjoying a comeback season pertaining to his fantasy relevance.
#28 – Walker Texas Granger– Kevin Garnett, Boston
This pick is a risky one, since Garnett’s production has been falling off faster than Raiders ticket sales, but hopefully he’ll be rejuvenated after getting the last couple months of last season off. I have little doubt that when he’s in there he’ll produce, the question is will he be in there?
#29 – Cross Over Kings – Antawn Jamison, Washington
Here in the third round I was looking for an all-around producer from either the SF or PF position. If I can find a scorer who boards, and can knock down some threes as well, I feel like this would be an ideal addition. Paul Piece was a serious candidate, but I was hoping to get a few more rebounds, which made Jamison the most viable player to go with. His average of 8+ boards a night to go along with 20 pts, and a few threes seem like a good fit. I would argue Jamison is one of the most under valued players in the league when it comes to fantasy players….
#30 – Nelly’s Belly – Josh Smith, Atlanta
The Josh Smith saga continues. I jumped on the bandwagon early, and by the time he hit his fantasy peak, he was in someone else’s hands. In his third run on my team in 5 years last season, he had a disappointing campaign. This year, I’m hoping to pair him with Anthony Randolph in a later round and have the scariest fantasy team ever on paper!
#31 – Pippen Ain’t Easy – Rashard Lewis, Orlando
I guess I’m all in on the Magic offense after the loss of Hedu in the off-season. Long-range Lewis and Superman will get a few more touches, and a healthy Jameer Nelson will give them great opportunities to excel.
#32 – Who’s the Bosh? – Rajon Rondo, Boston
I guess I might need a backup plan at PG in case Gilbert goes down, and Rondo is a dishing machine that should only get better with age! I’m not sure if he’s an alien or not, but it’s good to have another Sam Cassell looking guy in the league.
#33 – Artest Dog Kennel Co. – Vince Carter, Orlando
Wow….Vince Carter sitting here so late is a nice gift if you ask me. And it’s these types of players you draft in rounds 3, 4, and 5 that can net you a fantasy title. With Carter playing for a winning Orlando team full of talent, I think it’s reasonable to think he has a decent chance to put up top 15 type numbers this season. I feel great about having top players at PG, PF, and SF….Carter does carry some health risks, but those fears seem to only come up when he is playing for bad teams!
# 34 – Sovinet Union – Paul Pierce, Boston
The Celtics took a year off to celebrate, and this season should be the last chance for Pierce, Garnett, and Allen to get one more ring. Since KG and Ray both have the durability of a pine cone, Paul Pierce is going to have to hold down the fort through much of the regular season.
#35 – Be All You Camby – Jason Kidd
After taking two big men, I’m delighted to see two great PGs left to choose from: Kidd and Tony Parker. I’m going with Kidd only because he outs up better assist numbers and more 3 pointers. The Dallas offense looks filthy with a healthy Josh Howard, Dirk and Terry, plus new addition Shawn Marion keeping plays alive and providing a bit of energy.
#36 – Baby Curry – Monta Ellis, Golden State
The Warriors camp has been the most active, and not in a good way. I hate to pick the guy that told my mancrush that he couldn’t play with him, but he should be primed for a big season whether or not they end up being competitive. Anyone guaranteed starters minutes on the dubs should be a good pick!