|Smart Era Gets Off to a Good Start with Win over T’wolves||2015 Red Sox Pitching Outlook (So Far…)||Connelly’s Top Ten: Jets Will Meet De-Feet, Rondo Brings Bricks to Dallas and Naked Gun||Celtics Send Rondo to Mavs in Exchange for Pupu Platter|
The collective sports minds known as the writers of Sports of Boston gathered together last Sunday for the 2nd annual Sports of Boston Fantasy Basketball League draft. Seeing as our staff of writers has exploded like a pinata since last year, the league was full of mostly our own bloggers, as well as fellow bloggers, and some old friends.
As always, we use Yahoo! Fantasy Sports for our fantasy leagues. The league setting are pretty basic. We have roster spots for: PG, SG, C, PF, SF, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL. We also have four bench spots available on each roster.
Well, enough about the technical aspects of the league, here are the contestants…
The Blue Workhorse: Our friend Shotgun from The Blue Workhorse
SoB – Jeff: Sports of Boston’s Jeff
SoB – George: Sports of Boston’s George
SoB – Teddy: Sports of Boston’s Teddy
SoB – KC: Sports of Boston’s KC
UMass09: Sports of Boston’s Ty
SoB – Chris: Sports of Boston’s Chris
1 Ball & 3 to Show: Our friend Dan
You the You the Best: Our friend Dev
SoB – Pete: Sports of Boston’s Pete
SoB – Brian: Sports of Boston’s Brian
SoB – Mike: Sports of Boston’s Mike
The collective minds of Pete and George will be tackling the analysis of the draft because two heads are better than one baby.
This is the second year in a row where Blue Workhorse has received the first overall pick and again he gets to have Chris Paul. The only thing I could criticize is the absence of one true big man on his team, someone to almost guarantee a double-double each night.
Three of his first five picks were point guards, but it didn’t seem to hurt him too much since he was still able to get discount rebounds from Nene Hilario and Lamar Odom.
Blue Workhorse decided to take care of his point guards early by drafting Chris Paul, Devin Harris and Jameer Nelson in the first five rounds. I love all three guys, but he left himself very vulnerable in the big man categories (REB, BLK, FG%).
His premiere big men are Mehmet Okur and Nene Hilario, which is good but Okur doesn’t contribute elite big man numbers and Hilario has had trouble staying healthy. That being said, Al Thornton is a very nice pick to end his draft and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for J.R. Smith.
Jeff wasn’t present at the draft due to being in London for the Patriots game. Can Manu Ginobili stay healthy after only playing in 44 games last season. If not, Jeff will have trouble at the SG spot.
Despite not being at the draft, Jeff did a great job of pre-ranking his players. I especially like the idea of Shawn Marion having a bounce-back season with the Mavericks.
No complaints with LeBron at #2, but Antawn Jamison in the second round is bad. He is out 3-5 weeks so we have to wonder if Jeff was aware of this at the time of the draft.
I like the balance that Jason Kidd brings to the table, while Shawn Marion and Manu Ginobli could provide Jeff with much better numbers than their draft position indicates. Chris Kaman is a starting center in the 10th round so I like the value there. Zach Randolph is a pretty hollow power forward because he only provides with points and rebounds, which are easily found on the waiver wire.
The guy made a bold move by drafting Elton Brand and Monta Ellis in back-to-back rounds. Brand has played in just 37 games over the past two seasons and Monta Ellis only managed to play in 25 games last year. Hey, if healthy, George has one beast of an offense.
Ben Gordon is out of Chicago, which opens the door for John Salmons, who can deliver 20+ ppg in a starting role. Most of us hated on Brook Lopez for being ranked so high, but George took the risk. Lopez delivered 27 points, 15 reb, and 5 blocks on opening night.
After using most of my allotted time, I decided to go with Dwayne Wade over Kevin Durant because of the assists and blocks that he provides at the PG position. Brook Lopez in the third round caused some pain to Teddy, but I couldn’t pass up his upside in points, rebounds and blocks.
Elton Brand’s health will make or break my draft because if he can stay healthy I got a second round caliber player in the fourth round, if not, I will have wasted an early draft pick. The pick of my draft could be D.J. Augustin because Raymond Felton is on his way out of Charlotte and his upside is sky-high. Even as a sixth man he provides with threes, assists and steals.
The few leaks I see in Teddy’s team are in blocks and rebounds. He chose to go for a high-scoring team and I feel he didn’t pay enough attention to the defensive stats.
Four players on Teddy’s team could score over 1,600 points this season. It seems everyone forgot about Carlos Boozer this year. After only playing in 37 games last season, Boozer will be back to his old ways, especially in a contract year.
I would have drafted Kevin Durant at #4 just based on his upside, but I’m not going to nitpick here because Kobe is an elite player. Love the picks of Joe Johnson and Vince Carter because they are shooting guards that provide with very good assist numbers along with their elite scoring.
Teddy took two players I was targeting heavily in Andrea Bargnani and Trevor Ariza. I love their contributions in threes and defensive stats. Allen Iverson could be a nice find in the 10th round if he can find playing time in Memphis. Carlos Boozer in the fourth, I am not a fan of. Kevin Love is out for 6-8 weeks, so his seventh round pick could have been used better.
I don’t care how long he plays, Marcus Camby will always just be a no-no for me. The injury risk is too much for a player to be taken that high. Hey, that’s just my opinion. I am also weary of the undersized center Al Horford. If you want big points from your center, then look elsewhere.
Nabbing Jason Terry that late was a steal. Despite being the 6th man in Dallas, Terry will deliver starting numbers, especially with points, three’s, and FT%.
Last years champion (that’s because I wasn’t around) went the safe route by choosing Dirk Nowitski over Durant and Danny Granger. He didn’t make a wrong choice, but Durant and/or Granger have a much higher ceiling than Dirk.
I love his middle round picks of Al Horford, Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa. They are all underrated players who will finish the season in the top 50 with regular playing time. KC took care of his blocks with Chris “Birdman” Anderson, but Caron Butler over Joe Johnson in the second round is questionable.
Reaching for Brandon Roy was an interesting move. Considering he had options like Danny Granger, Kevin Durant, and Chris Bosh to choose from, I was surprised. Ty’s team doesn’t really have a lot of high scorers and he could use more 3PTM.
However, I love the pick of Andrew Bynum, that is if he can stay healthy. If he does, then a 20-10 season isn’t out of the question. It also doesn’t appear that Ty will lose steals and turnovers that much this season.
What’s with the hate on Durant and Granger? Brandon Roy is a very solid pick and he clearly would not have been available in the second round, so he got whom he wanted. Baron Davis in the fourth round could be a steal because Davis is in the best shape of his recent career.
If you read my basketball draft preview, then you would know I don’t like Michael Redd, but Andrew Bynum in the seventh round could win the league if he can stay healthy. There isn’t a lot of upside with his later picks of Courtney Lee, Hasheem Thabeet, Derek Fisher and Ty Lawson, so I think he could’ve done a better job there.
No matter who you are, the durability of Gilbert Arenas has to scare you. He has managed to play in only 15 games in the last two seasons. I would have used my fourth round pick for someone who will play in 70+ games and not worry about it.
Assuming Arenas plays a full season, Chris’ first seven rounds are outlandishly good. He may have had the best draft that day.
Finally! Granger is a great value in the seventh spot because he can contribute in so many categories. There is a lot of risk on Chris’ roster with Steve Nash on the decline and Gilbert Arenas coming off two years of injury. Ben Gordon in the sixth round is a great value because he does enough scoring to make him a top 30 player.
I love Spencer Hawes and Aaron Brooks in the later rounds, but Jermaine O’Neal doesn’t sit well with me in the ninth round. Chris would have better served his team by choosing O’Neal’s teammate Michael Beasley or Greg Oden, two players who have more upside than Jermaine and can contribute in more than one category (BLK).
Dan clearly doesn’t care about winning FT% any time soon. The same goes for 3PTM. Not to hate on my home town, but Rondo in the fourth round? There were PG’s who were just as good available in later rounds, so he could have addressed other positions sooner.
Dan traded down to get Dwight Howard at #8. Although ranked in the late 2nd round, I can’t argue with the pick, especially in a head-to-head format. You never have to worry about points, rebounds, or blocks with Howard.
The Durant watch is still on because Dwight Howard goes with the eighth pick. He is dominant post player, but he has two major flaws in his game (FT%, TO). Love the upside with his next three picks in Andre Iguodala, Josh Smith and Rajon Rondo. Josh Smith was a top 10 pick just one year ago. So if he can return to that level, he will be a steal in the third round.
If I had to disagree with something in this draft, it would be Rudy Gay and Mike Conley. Gay took a step backwards last season, so maybe his ceiling isn’t as high as we had thought. Mike Conley is playing alongside O.J. Mayo and Allen Iverson, so I’m avoiding that backcourt. However, his last three picks (all point guards) could give his team a nice group of PGs. If they don’t pan out, however, he could have some issues finding assists.
Can Garnett play a full season? Even if he does, his numbers are going down every year since he is no longer the only source of offense on his team. He only has two real, true PG’s on his team, and that may cost him.
Kevin Durant falling to #9 is highway robbery. I also like Al Harrington that late. The FG% (43.9) may be ugly, but the 3PTM and points are excellent for the sixth round.
Dev’s team is named after Drake’s single “The Best I Ever Had,” and I am pretty sure his selection of Kevin Durant with the ninth overall pick will be the best he’s ever had. I would have taken him with the fourth pick so obviously I love Durant this year. Unfortunately, after his first pick the wheels sort of came off in the next couple rounds. I think Dev is going to be kicking himself for drafting Kevin Garnett over Tim Duncan because not only does Duncan contribute more in points, rebounds and blocks, but the Celtics are sure to protect Garnett’s health this season.
He also paid for Troy Murphy’s career season in the fourth round, which is something he may regret. Coming out of the draft, his only starting PGs are Mike Bibby and Raymond Felton so instead of Murphy he could have gone with a point guard. I love the late round picks of Thaddeus Young and Marc Gasol because of their great upside.
I held off on a SG until round seven and took the best available, Wilson Chandler. I am also terribly lacking in assists and blocks, I need to make a trade to beef those up.
I couldn’t be happier with my scoring ability. My first eight picks all scored over 1,100 points last season. I would normally frown upon picking Greg Oden. However, in round nine, you can’t complain.
Can’t argue with his first selection of Chris Bosh because between him and Amar’e Stoudemire the only real difference is the logo on their jerseys. I wish David Lee contributed more than just points and rebounds because his 0.3 blocks per game really hurt his value as a power forward.
I love the upside of Charlie Villanueva and Wilson Chandler and Greg Oden is a nice low risk/high reward selection in the ninth round. Richard Jefferson is going to be an interesting player this season because I have no idea how he fits on the Spurs offensively. Kendrick Perkins is a nice selection in the last round because of his rebounds and blocks.
I can’t say I am crazy about Jason Richardson. His scoring took a hit when he moved to Phoenix last season, and he wasn’t the 3PTM machine he was in ’07-’08. His off the court problems have led to a suspension this year, and you have to wonder if he can stay out of trouble this season.
Drafting back-to-back big men in the first two rounds was a good move. Big Al Jefferson is coming off a torn ACL last season, but should return to form. As should Stoudemire, who barring another poke in the eye, should be a dominant force again. Paul Milsap should get more minutes after great play last season, and if Boozer is traded, he will be the starting PF in Utah.
Brian took care of his big men early with the selections of Amar’e Stoudamire and Al Jefferson because that gives him two potential 20-10 guys who block at least 1.5 shots per game. Jason Richardson is a risky third round selection, especially when Ray Allen was still on the board. But hey, he got Ray Allen anyways, so what does it matter?
He waited until the sixth round to draft his point guard and while I like Russell Westbrook, I think he is better suited as a #2 point guard. I love the value he gets from Rasheed Wallace and Paul Millsap in the middle rounds, but Jamal Crawford is on my black list so I don’t like that pick. He kills your FG% and is playing behind Mike Bibby and Joe Johnson this season. Nate Robinson will be a solid player this year, but Brian left himself very weak at PG.
Mike’s team could use a boost in FG% as well as blocks. Reaching for rookie Blake Griffin was a stretch even before his injury was announced. Griffin is out 6-8 weeks with a stress fracture in his kneecap. Not exactly what you want from a precious 5th round pick.
Proving that valuable PG’s can be found in later rounds, Mike snatched up Mo Williams in round six. Though not an assists machine, Williams is a great source of FT%, 3PTM, and points. Kevin Martin hasn’t reached 70 games played since ’06-’07, but he can get you 23-24 points per game and knock down 2.0 3PTM when healthy.
Mike did himself a favor by drafting Deron Williams because there is a significant drop-off after him. Pau Gasol is also a nice pick because he is a big man who gives you FT% and assists, which is rare. Kevin Martin doesn’t contribute in many categories, but when Mike already has Gasol and Williams, he needs threes and points, which is exactly what Martin will give you.
Derrick Rose is a bit of a reach in the fourth round, but if Mike passes on him there he’s not coming back. Tough break with Blake Griffin’s injury, because I actually liked this pick even if it was a little early in the fifth round. I am also a fan of his middle round picks of Mo Williams and Luis Scola, but I’m not sure why Mike would choose Richard Hamilton and Tracy McGrady. Maybe he’s trying to strike gold in the later rounds, but he’s mining in the wrong spot.
In 21 weeks, who will be left standing? With just six playoff spots up for grabs, only half the teams here will have a shot at glory.
What does everybody think of the draft? You don’t have to agree with Pete and George, but it’s better if you do.