I am mildly surprised Paul George fell to me, but maybe I'm not the only one who feels better with a longer track record. By going with Gasol, I suppose I am adhering to the old adage that you can't win a league in the first round, but you can lose it. George could certainly match his output from last year, but even if he does, Gasol still bested him in BBM rankings last season and I expect the same again.
Not unlike Fenris, I love out of position assists. Well, I love out of position stats of any category. Last season, Gasol was at or above average in every category minus 3's (which is one of the easier stats to nab a specialist in later in the draft). For a center. Not only does he contribute in the expected categories, but he has great value everywhere else.
This pick not about how high Gasol's ceiling is - it's about how high his floor is. He's a dependable player who missed two games last season and one the year before that. He's a great, boring piece to build around. I'll obviously need to address points and 3's the next pick or two, and I can live with that.
All about swinging for the fences here and going for upside, but there's a clear drop-off after Kyrie in terms of potential ceiling value. That applies to Rose too, who didn't even post first-round value in a punt-TO format during his MVP season. So I'm left choosing between a glut of similar players who will post near-identical value: Marc Gasol (taken), Jefferson, Aldridge, and Horford. You can throw Wade, George, and Ibaka in there too.
It basically comes down to what categories you want to emphasize to start. Want scoring? Go Melo. Want overall value? Go Al Jefferson. Want blocks? Go Ibaka. I went Aldridge here for a little bit of everything.
TO's are basically a non-concern if you're picking at the turn. I'm grabbing a low-TO big now, and I'm likely going to grab another low-TO forward next round too. That's relevant because TO's are largely why Jefferson will be ranked above Aldridge and taken before him in drafts. Give me the added scoring, higher efficiency, and extra half a dime. That Portland added Lillard and Aldridge STILL posted first-round value helps alleviate any concerns about the effect of a improved cast.
1.12 Al Jefferson, FC, CHA Consistent 9-cat beast looking at little competition for usage. And remember when we used to worry about his getting hurt? Al Jeff has missed a total of 15 games over the past four seasons.
2.1 Carmelo Anthony, SF, NYK Not the most balanced line, but he led the league in scoring and finished 8th in per-game in 12-13, and nothing about the Knicks' off-season puts him in a position to sacrifice numbers. Amar'e being "healthy" is one concern, but the team has already been out front with minutes and games-played caps.
A stress reaction in his left ankle cost Davis 11 games out the gate, but it hardly derailed what was one of the most understated yet impressive rookie seasons in recent memory. Some perspective - rookies since '85 to play 1800+ minutes and post a 21+ PER: MJ, Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaq, Webber, Duncan, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin ... Anthony Davis.
We saw what Brow was capable of during the final two months of the season when he finally got rolling. 15-9 with 1.5 blocks, 1.2 steals, and plus-efficiency (52/81%%, 1.2 TO) - good for 13th in per-game value. It was a travesty that he only played 28.8 mpg last year, something I expect will be resolved this year with Robin Lopez gone. Monty Williams will have no choice but to lean on Davis at the 5 for better or worse, with Stiemsma and Jason Smith as his only other alternatives. Health is still a bit of an issue, but as Oleh alluded to with Kyrie earlier, I don't expect it to linger as these younger guys get stronger and continue to build up their bodies to deal with the grind of a 82-game season.
Davis' floor is what we saw last year (late-2nd round value). His ceiling? Mid-to-late first. He posted elite per-minute numbers as a rookie, and as long as he sees somewhere between 32-35 mpg, he has a good shot at delivering a positive return on this early-2nd round investment. The ideal high reward, low-risk candidate.
Still considered George and Batum here - both are great all around players. But I wanted to lock up one of the great PG that has few deficiencies in his fantasy game. Though he has a solid track record (only missing 6 games last season, to my pleasant surprise), this year in Brooklyn should be quite the experiment. In theory there may be more assists to be had, but hovering around 8 a game would be worth it, especially if he is able to maintain at least 1.5 3p per game. Steals and FG% are not elite, but he will help keep FT% high. I'm still shorting myself on points, but there aren't too many players left that could make a big impact anyway and I don't want a category specialist yet.
Deron has long been a favorite of mine and I am happy to have him.
I was deciding between Paul George and Horford here. With Rose as my anchor, I'm going to need field goal percentage help to win the league. Enter Horford and his 54% shooting. Even more appealing, Horford is going to be the focal point of the atlanta offense along with Paul Millsap. That means he'll be delivering great field goal percentage on numerous shots. With my next pick, I'll look for some more three point shooting, steals, and blocks.
Was looking to buffer a volume shooting PG (Kyrie Irving) with a big man here and was really hoping Ibaka would make it back to me. Last season, he took his game to another level, specifically his offensive game. He went from an average midrange threat to a very proficient shooter, all the way out to 3 point territory. Usually there would be cause for concern when a big's attempts fall in and around the basket, but Ibaka set a personal best FG% in his young career. He even made 20 three pointers, on a very respectable 35.1%.
Seems the last few years, when I've had Ibaka in my rotisserie leagues, I've come away the winner, or at least close to it. Blocks, rebounds, FG% and a FT% that won't kill you - great! Throw in some three's, that in all likelihood will rise this year - awesome!!!
As everyone knows, George submitted his finest professional season by a long shot in 2012-13, then upped the ante with a playoff performance that cemented him as a superstar in the league. It would be surprising if George didn't improve across the board on his regular season numbers, at least in the scoring categories. He was already a strong rebounder (7.6 rpg) and passer (4.1 apg) for a wing who has a chance to average 4.0+ combined threes and steals. While matching George with Russell Westbrook will no doubt create some FG% and TO issues, it feels great to get George with the draft's 19th selection. I had to double-check the previous picks like five times to make sure he wasn't really available. Needless to say, I'm over the moon.
So with 3 picks to go before mine I was definitely hoping one of Horford, Ibaka or George fell to me, but I wasn't really expecting it even then. Batum was putting up 1st round numbers before injuries slowed him down, and has had plenty of time to heal up over the offseason. Plus I guess there's something to be said for a guy who will at least keep suiting up while ailing and not give you DNPs. I like the out of position assists and the stl/blk combo, especially as a compliment to Love who even at his best is low on the ast/stl/blk side of things. My current BPA here (subject to change this early obv) is actually Dirk but didn't like the potential pairing with Love much, with the same position and weaknesses and all.
I feel a bit strange passing on Wade here, but I've mentioned a few times before that he basically plays like a guy who's 5-7 years older than he actually is. His injury concerns and stats don't make for a great ROTO team unless you can pair him with a high volume high FT% type of guy. I'm just a bit soured on him overall and as a result am pairing CP3 with Dirk Nowitzki.
Dirk isn't necessarily the epitome of health and he is getting up there in age. But he's always been a professional and his working relationship with Mark Cuban means if healthy he's playing and giving his all 24/7. Because of his early missed games I think people are forgetting how strong he finished the last two months of the season. 18.9 points, 1.3 threes, 7.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, .8 steals, .7 blocks, 50% from the floor, and 91% from the line while only turning the ball over 1.5 times a game. In standard leagues he put up top 10 value over the last two months and even taking in the full season he was a top 25 player per game.
I really love the combination that Paul and Nowitzki give a ROTO team out of the first two picks. Considering all things, having only blocks as a glaring weakness when I haven't drafted a true center yet is phenomenal. It should allow my third round pick to rely almost completely on value and not worry too much about position, etc.
Other players I was considering: Basically Wade
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