First off, I echo all of Jim's concerns about Wade. He's a high risk pick, and even more so when pairing with Curry. Yet, his numbers, if reasonably healthy (understandably a big if), would justify this pick. The other possibilities considered here were big men such as Duncan, Bosh, and Noah, and an unknown in Kobe. A healthy Kobe should have a big year and all indications are he's ahead of schedule and may be available for the opener. Duncan and Noah have questions about playing time for different reasons. Both Bosh and Duncan had up seasons compared to previous, so they might be anomalies. I will likely look at big option in the third round.
Was looking for either Davis, Ibaka, or Duncan to come back to me. I felt that pairing a shot blocking big with great percentages would compliment Harden well, so enter Duncan. As geodbear noted already, Duncan's season is most likely an anomaly. Still, I have doubted Duncan these last 3 seasons, and hes continually proved me wrong. If you consider that his numbers PAB were actually slightly better than the way he started the season, I just don't see him slowing down that much. He finished the season putting up mid 1st rd value, so even if he fell to late 2nd, early 3rd rd value then I say he's well worth this pick.
Edit : Just wanted to add that the only real concern I have is how many gms Duncan will play. He missed 13 the year before, and his mpg has already dropped to 30. I don't see Pop dropping his mpg lower than that, but you never know with Pop.
There's a bunch of things I like about Noah here. He keeps up my out-of-position Ast thing (4 a game from a C is awesome thanks). He's also one of those rare bigs that contributes in both Stl and Blk, which looks nice next to his elite rebounding and decent FG%. His FT% is only ok (good for a big) so I don't have to make the punt call there just yet with LeBron on board as well.Obviously the plantar fasciitis is an issue, but I like his line enough that I'll live with a replacement player for some games if I have to. I ex[ect the Bulls to be competitive this year, and that should mean that Noah sits a little less than last year, even if he is dealing with niggling injuries.
I was also thinking hard about Josh Smith in this slot, with an eye to rolling out the full FT% punt strategy. I have some concerns about Smith heading into this season though - mostly the corellation between Smith's increased 3Pt attempts and decreased Stl/Blk totals. With Smith playing more SF next season in Detroit (we surmise anyway) I, like my Native friends, have reservations.
2.12 Chris Bosh (PF/C - MIA) 3.01 John Wall (PG - WAS)
With Durant as my first pick, I'm looking to add a solid big man without disrupting my percentages. Chris Bosh fits the profile and is one of the best players available. I believe that Wade is going to take on the role of the third option in Miami during the regular season. The main beneficiary is Bosh as Lebron James is also going to also be more focused on the postseason. I am not worried about the addition of Greg Oden whose addition appears to be more calculated postseason upside than regular season player.
With a dynamic wing player and solid big man, I'm also looking to add a point guard who picks up a decent number of assists and is also a scoring threat. With the usual suspects off the board already or injured (Rondo), I turn to John Wall. While some may say it is early for Wall, I think he makes the Leap this year and becomes a second tier point guard who is selected after guys like Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, and Deron Williams are off the board.
I am concerned with threes going forward, which is not too difficult to make up in later rounds. I also looked at Pau Gasol, Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, and Mike Conley.
I was planning on a PG with this pick, and no one else slipped enough to make me change my mind. Conley has proven his ability to produce at a 2-3rd round level and also brings elite Stl numbers while not really hurting you anywhere else. The Ast aren't massive, but I can live with that given the overall line. I thought about Rubio and Lawson here as well, but both those guys have bigger holes in their game and more question marks. I also gave some thought to both Smith and Millsap, but two bigs and LeBron isn't where I wanted to be at this point in the draft.
I was extremely tempted to go with Sanders here, and pair him with Duncan to give me just about a 1st place finish in blocks. I feel like blocks become scarce later in the draft, but I couldn't pass on Rubio's potential. The guys over at rotoworld seem to think even Rubio at late 3rd round is a mistake, but I don't see why. Their argument is that Rubio's fg% is killer, and coupled with him not giving you much 3s with high turnovers will hurt you.
Well my argument is if you consider Rubio's PAB numbers alone, he was playing at 4th round value. Now if you consider that he was relied on more to score since there was no Kevin Love, Kevin Martin, Pekovic missed gms, and Chase pretty much missed most of the year, you can see why his fg% took a huge beating. Im banking on about 11 ppg wit 40 fg% with less attempts and 1 three a game. Its Rubio's first healthy offseason, so im certain he will attempt to work on his 3pt shooting since he's well aware that his jumper is a major weakness of his game.
If you also consider that if you go and punt turnovers, Rubio actually returned 2nd round value PAB. Since I have Mr. Turnover in Harden, I figure it would be easier to just punt turnovers. So if you consider all the scorers that Rubio's playing with this year, I fully expect him to average 9 asts per game. I also think there just might be the possibility that he leads the league in stls AND asts. This year might be Rubio's coronation as a fantasy star, similar to Kidd's numbers in his prime. Now just gotta continue to boost my team's fg%.
I definitely felt shaky going with Wade for my last pick and the three bigs I considered over him went right after. This leaves me with Sanders, who should see an uptick in minutes per game. I am not expecting a big jump in minutes but somewhere around 30 mpg (compared to last year's 27 mpg), and he should hold 3rd round value with 10 ppg, 10 rpg, and 2.5 bpg numbers.
The 3rd-5th rounds have more value than I think I was possibly expecting. Lots of guys who had off years (Gasol, Josh Smith) or injuries (Bynum, Bryant) or just extreme value depending on team direction (Howard). Quite a few guys with some late first round potential.
I'm not sure what I'm really expecting with Gasol here, just because of the Bryant injury and possible team direction shift. Even in a worse case scenario I'd say he puts up id fifth round value, while a best case scenario is he's one of the better ROTO centers. If he can go 18, 10, 3.5, with 2 steals + blocks on roughly 50% and 77% with 2.2 TOs I'll be super pleased.
I'm possibly drafting a bit based on prior years more than projections thus far with this team, but I have to admit I like the solid all around game that my trio of Paul, Nowitzki, and Pau Gasol should bring. Still gives me quite a bit of flexibility to take value in the 4th round no matter what position.
Other players I considered were: Josh Smith, Andrew Bynum, and maybe Kawhi Leonard. I have to admit that with my top two (and now three) not necessarily being legit scorers (Leonard though a nice ROTO player is hard to take this early unless he can up his scoring by a few points, which I'm not sure is going to happen this season with the Spurs bringing in a similar team as last season.
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I view this as just a pure value pickup. We're at pick 30, but I'm picking up a 22 year old who just finished 23rd in 9-cat per game value last year, still has room to improve, and has a very roto-friendly game all around. Yes, please.
Others considered: Millsap (like his fit and minutes outlook in ATL, but Kawhi still edges him out for me), Kemba (would basically require a tank of fg% when combined with my first 2 picks tho).
I was hoping for Pau Gasol here, as I believe he's in for a huge year, but Lopez was my second choice, and by a hair over Dwight Howard, Roy Hibbert and DeMarcus Cousins. Stability in the percentage categories is the primary reason, and I was after a big man who could help me attack my weakest categories (blocks & FG%) after drafting Russell Westbrook and Paul George in the first two rounds. Lopez does the trick without sacrificing much at all in the free throw percentage category. Of course, he's a sub-par rebounder and I'll have to plan to make up for that. I'm also a tad concerned with the new Nets super team creating instability from night to night. But the only new 'big' is Kevin Garnett, and he will rest often, leaving Lopez's minutes secure. As arguably the league's best offensive center, the Nets should still run things through him and take advantage. With the new look, however, I don't think Lopez can get to 20 ppg. I think he's probably around 18 & 6.5 boards as a baseline, but that can certainly be improved upon.