2009-10 RotoRob NBA Draft Kit: The Draft Results
For the second straight year, I was invited to join Charity Stripe, a H2H Fantasy basketball league featuring various sports media types from outlets such as TSN, CBC, Hoopsworld, Yahoo!, RapsHQ, 82games and Rotowire. The draft was held last week, and I was picking out of the dreaded (this year, anyways) five slot. As part of the 2009-10 RotoRob NBA Draft Kit and to help you with your upcoming draft, I will explain my draft, round by round, and discuss various highlights and surprises of each round.
I was really, really hoping that Kevin Durant would fall to me here, but unfortunately — thanks to my recent Podcast — the dude picking in front of me knew this. And so I was stuck between the hated Kobe Bryant and the riskier pick – with more potential reward, albeit – of Danny Granger.
Given Granger’s recent injury history, I opted for the durable Bryant, despite my distaste for having to root for him. Sure, his name may be bigger than his slowly declining numbers these days, but Kobe still provides plenty of points, he’s a great FT shooter and will be a very good source of steals. There’s no real downside to owning Bryant, so I had to bite the bullet.
LeBron James went first over Chris Paul, and you can make an argument either way. Personally, I would have taken CP3, despite word that the Hornets are determined to reduce Paul’s minutes this year, but these two are both slam dunks.
I was surprised to see Dwight Howard go seventh overall; I had him pegged as an early second rounder, maybe reaching for him at the end of the first round. Brandon Roy, meanwhile, lasted to end of the first round, and I think that’s fantastic value.
The second round started more or less as expected; I thought Tim Duncan went a bit early at No. 16, but I was quite pleased that Joe Johnson fell to me at No. 20. Yes, it’s another guard for me, but I was surprised to see that Yahoo! had him qualified at both backcourt positions. The beauty of Johnson is that he racks up a good amount of dimes from the off-guard position, so I wasn’t forced to reach for a true PG before I needed to. That’s why I was stoked to see he qualified there anyways. Yes, the Hawks’ addition of Jamal Crawford may affect Johnson’s touches, but when the two are on the floor at the same time, opponents are going to have a far tougher time double-teaming Johnson.
Here’s another big scorer for my team who will light it up from downtown to take care of the 3-pointers made category. The downside: he’s going to hurt my FG percentage and won’t offer anything in the way of blocks.
The first big reach of this round came right after my pick, when Jason Kidd went 21st. To me, Kidd is a third rounder these days and the fact that Devin Harris was still on the board made this pick all the more surprising. Brook Lopez going 23rd was an even bigger surprise – but, unlike J-Kidd, at least this is a reach that can be justified by Lopez’s tremendous upside. Apparently, everyone is grabbing Lopez in the second round this year.
Antawn Jamison capped the second round, and that’s another pick I wasn’t fond of — and that was before news hit that he’d miss several weeks. Better PF options like David West, Josh Smith and even Elton Brand are still on the board.
Rashard Lewis is the first pick of this round (25th overall), and that’s far too early for a player who will be sitting out the first 10 games of the season thanks to a drug-related suspension. I wouldn’t have considered Lewis until as late as the fifth round given that he’ll miss at least 12 per cent of the season. The very next pick is Troy Murphy, and I believe that’s extremely early as well. Sure, he had a fantastic season last year, but many believe he maxed out, and I could see him still sitting there another round from now. Several of the picks this round seemed early, but those two stood out.
Needing to address my frontcourt, I was very happy to find Carmelo Anthony – a second rounder to me – still sitting there at No. 29. Yet another scorer here – clearly, putting up points won’t be a challenge for my team – and Melo also provides with me with some much-needed rebounding and will be a decent source of steals. Unfortunately, his FG percentage could hurt me and he’s not going to help me in blocks.
Right after I took Anthony, Harris was taken – a very strong pick this late. Other picks I really liked this round from a value perspective included Kevin Martin at 32, Paul Pierce at 33 and Rajon Rondo at 35. Jason Richardson was the final pick of the third round, but that was unnecessary – he could have sat there for another round and a half or so.
I’m surprised that David West is still sitting there through three rounds, so I target him with my pick, but I don’t get anywhere near him as he flies off the board with pick 37 – a superb selection for this late. Vince Carter goes next – another great value this late, and then things settle in a bit. Shawn Marion is taken early at 41 – I believed he’d still be there a round later and once he goes, I’m thinking about nabbing Brand with the 44th overall pick. Unfortunately, he goes a pick before me, so although I had planned to build the frontcourt, Derrick Rose is too tempting to not pluck this late.
Yes, I’m getting guard-heavy here and don’t have a single PF or C through four rounds, but Rose gives me a true point guard who can deliver the dimes and yet more scoring power – I’m pretty sure if nothing else, I’m going to be heavily outscoring my opponents on a weekly basis. The athletic Rose should also pitch in with steals and FG percentage. Unfortunately, 3-pointers is not his forte, and taking him still leaves my team sadly lacking in blocks.
LaMarcus Aldridge goes at 46, a pick I really like and one I considered from a team needs perspective, but again, I couldn’t let Rose slip by. Point guards make up the final two picks of the round, with Jameer Nelson going somewhat early at 47 and Baron Davis going somewhat late at 48. That B-Diddy pick could be huge.
The first player off the board this round is Marcus Camby – a shockingly early selection of such an injury-prone player. I wasn’t going to touch him for another round and half at least, and it wouldn’t have surprised me had he sunk even lower than that. Carlos Boozer goes 51st – nice value for this spot, assuming he doesn’t get hurt as usual or get dealt somewhere that negatively affects his Fantasy performance. Andrea Bargnani is taken next, and it could be a round too early, but there’s a decidedly Toronto-centric influence among this league, so I shouldn’t be surprised.
At 53, I’m eyeing Tony Parker, but my frontcourt is severely lacking, so I take Rudy Gay. More scoring power here and more steals, but Gay will also help me in boards. Unfortunately, my percentages take a hit with this selection.
Andris Biedrins and Al Horford are the next two picks as the run on centres – a run I have ignored, yet grown increasingly worried about – continues. I believe each of these picks is around one round or more too early, but I do understand the need to reach for size at this juncture in the game.
Mr. Eva Longoria finally goes next – a fantastic pick at No. 56, and then Mehmet Okur is taken 58th – also a wonderful pick, and one I had considered before opting for Gay.
Stephen Jackson was still sitting there as we began this round, and despite the drama and crappy FG percentage, this dude produces, so was I targeting him. Unfortunately, he went the pick before me, leaving me scrambling for other options.
Anthony Randolph was the first player selected this round at No. 61. I thought this was early, but totally not surprising considering all the hype. Let’s hope for his owners’ sake that he’s not the 2009-10 version of Andray Blatche. Nene went next, and this was a great pick, taking yet another quality centre off the board, much to my chagrin. Al Harrington went shortly after this, right on target, and then Andrew Bynum was taken, a wee bit early I thought, but this could be just fine if he stays healthy for once. That was followed by another big man, Emeka Okafor, and then the S-Jax pick – tremendously value this late in the draft.
I need a centre badly, so I opted for Zach Randolph, who qualifies at both the four and the five. This gives me a legitimate rebounder, and yes, yet another scorer. He should give my FG percentage a much-needed kick in the pants, but could hurt my FT shooting. Unfortunately, Z-Bo is a double-double machine who doesn’t help in blocks and he won’t be contributing in 3-pointers either. Randolph was probably my first reach, but my team was looking way too small, and I had allowed the centre run to pass me by while focusing on other things (probably shiny things on my floor).
The second last pick of this round (71st overall) was John Salmons – another superb selection at this juncture.
Lou Williams was taken first this round, 73rd overall, and considering he’s never been a starter before, I think this is a risky pick. Established PGs like Andre Miller, T.J. Ford and Mike Bibby are still on the board and developing PGs Mike Conley, Mario Chalmers, Aaron Brooks, Rodney Stuckey, Raymond Felton, Ramon Sessions and Nate Robinson are also all still available, so going with Williams could be a reach.
Two picks later, Ben Gordon is taken — a fantastic pick this late in the draft. I had been looking at him, and that leaves me torn between Jason Terry and Eric Gordon. I opt for Terry and his PG/SG eligibility; he’ll bring me 3-pointers and more scoring (!), but also will help in steals. Of course, he offers no rebounding or blocks and I’m left swearing to myself that I will address these cats…soonish.
Blake Griffin goes next. Too early for my taste, but I can totally understand taking the chance on that upside. This could be a fantastic pick. Or not. I would prefer Boris Diaw, who went next; that’s a very good pick in the middle rounds here. Eric Gordon was next off the board (I was shocked he was still there), and I believe this is also a wonderful selection this late.
A couple of picks late, perennial sleeper J.R. Smith was plucked We’ll see. Given that he’ll be suspended for the first seven games of the season, I would have waited on him at least another round, but this could be a good selection if Smith doesn’t do something stupid, as he is wont to do. The rest of the round consists of high-upside players going a bit early, but I can see taking Greg Oden here. Leandro Barbosa 84th overall is a too early, I think. Yes, he’s a good sleeper and many expect him to bounce back in a big way this year, but I’m not crazy about this pick.
Bibby is the second pick of this round (86th overall) and it feels early. Hell, Andre Miller is still sitting there if it’s dimes you’re after. Guess that owner really needed the treys. Jason Thompson goes next; guess that 20/20 game the other night sure jacked him up the sleeper list. I like Thompson, but it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t have stuck around for another round or so.
Shaquille O’Neal is the next pick, and again this feels early. But centres have been disappearing and I’m having my own issues with big men, so what the hell am I going to say? Still, I would have preferred Andrew Bogut, Chris Kaman or Spencer Hawes here. Of course, Bogut is taken with the very next pick, so there you go.
Paul Millsap, someone I’m looking at, is taken with pick 91, and I think this may turn out to be a huge selection. I’m up next, and still needs bigs, but again, I can’t resist the fact that Andre Miller is still there. I help myself in assists, steals and scoring with this pick, but he’s not a three-point shooter and I am still sadly lacking in blocks. Uh ya….I’ll deal with that later.
Joakim Noah is the next pick, and how soon he’s taken surprises me. I didn’t expect him to go for another two, maybe three rounds. Another big off the boards. Lamar Odom is the last player selected in this round (96) and that’s the kind of guy I could have used. Nice pick.
The first pick of this round raised a few eyebrows – Kevin Love? This would normally be a perfect time to take the second-year big man for the Wolves, but with news emerging a couple of days before the draft that he broke his hand and would require surgery that should sideline him for six-to-eight weeks, this is a gutsy call. I might have taken him in the last round, but there are options out there that can help you now, not two months from now.
If that pick surprised me, I was even more shocked when Anthony Morrow was the next player taken. Morrow as a top 100 pick? No. I think he’s a fringe draft worthy player, perhaps a decent gamble as a last round flier, but surely he’d still be there in the last round. You have to understand that there are still consistent big scorers like Josh Howard and Allen Iverson on the board at this time. Point guards like Conley and Chalmers are still sitting there. Potential breakout players like Michael Beasley and Thaddeus Young are still available. Quality bigs like Kaman and Hawes can still be had. This is no time to be taking Anthony freaking Morrow and all the Don Nelson-induced headaches that go along with owning him. Phew. I feel better now.
In fact, the bigs start dropping then and there when the next three picks are Hawes, Brad Miller and my pick, Kaman. I got sucked into drafting Kaman last year on an auto-pick glitch, but he was actually pretty good for me – until he got hurt, as usual. Supposedly healthy this year, I’m counting on him boosting my FG percentage, giving me some much-needed blocks and helping my rebounding. Of course, Kaman won’t be doing anything in the way of 3-pointers, steals or assists, but I think I’m covered in those areas.
Two picks later, Thad Young is taken, and I think he could provide tremendous value from this slot. Immediately following him, Iverson is grabbed – 104th overall. When was the last time you thought AI had a chance to deliver great value relative to his draft slot? It could easily happen this season.
Stephen Curry is taken next, and while I am a big fan of this kid, I don’t see it happening this year for him. I like Curry as a 13th, maybe 14th round flier based on the tremendous potential, but not in the ninth round. Chalmers is the next pick, and that could be huge. Kudos.
The first pick in this round is Roy Hibbert – great upside, but also a great risk. That’s immediately followed by Chris Andersen, also a bit early, but if you needs blocks, you’re now set. Two picks later, Marvin Williams goes at No. 112. I think this could be a wonderful value pick. Johnny Flynn is taken next – too early, but the very next pick is fantastic – although not without its own risks, as Beasley is taken 114th overall. If not for his summer of rehab, he’s got to be a top 100 pick, maybe going as early as the eighth round.
Felton goes next, and I like this one, too. I’m up next, and once again can’t resist who I feel is clearly the top available player – Josh Howard. I am finding time and time again in this draft one particular player who slips several rounds falling to me, and I’m overlooking team needs to take the best available player. JoHo gives me yet another scorer, who will also pitch in with 3-pointers and steals. This could hurt my FG percentage a bit and won’t provide any assistance with assists, but I had to do it.
Two picks later (118), Conley is finally taken. This is great, great value at this stage. Stuckey is taken next, and that’s also a very strong pick.
The first few picks of this round go more or less according to plan, and I didn’t have an issue with any of them. In fact, I like the Grant Hill (122) and Andrei Kirilenko (123) picks from a value perspective. My pick is two slots away and I desperately need a big man. I’m torn between taking a chance on the perpetually day-to-day Jermaine O’Neal and the upside of sophomore Marc Gasol. Thankfully, the decision is removed when JO is plucked with the pick before me. Gasol it is. This gives me a rebounder and shot blocker who will also provide a nice boost to my FG percentage. He’ll probably hurt my FT percentage and obviously won’t be bringing me any treys, but I needed Gasol on my team badly.
The next two picks are Channing Frye – hate it – and Brooks – love it. Frye is a deep sleeper who could surprise, but I wouldn’t have done anything but take a last round flier on him. Brooks is poised for a breakout year, and will return serious value from the 127 slot. Next up is Tyson Chandler, and I don’t like it. I just think he’s a shell of his former self now and I’m not sure he’s going to ever return to being a star.
I’m not thrilled with the next pick either – Chris Duhon at 129. There are better PG options still available. For instance, two picks later, Kirk Hinrich is taken, and I see him providing much more value than Duhon this year. Antonio McDyess rounds out what is mostly an underwhelming 11th round.
Kendrick Perkins is the second pick of this round, 134th overall, and I think that’s a solid pick as one of the few dependable big men remaining. I also like the Al Thornton selection, two picks later, even though there’s talk he’ll be coming off the bench. I’ve got pick 140, and I’m looking at a pair of Pistons – Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. I need another forward option and Prince offers a more well-rounded game – I’ve already got enough scoring power. Prince will pitch in on the boards, offer me a bit of scoring and some assists. Unfortunately, his FG percentage may bring me down a tad, but overall he does a bit of everything, so I opt for the well-rounded player here.
Two picks later, Francisco Garcia is selected. Normally, this would a tremendous steal at this stage of the draft, but I guess the owner picking him hadn’t heard that Garcia would miss several months with an injury. Anyways, he has since rectified that pick by dumping Garcia and picking up Zydrunas Ilgauskas on waivers. The next pick is D.J. Augustin, and that could be huge with the subsequent injury to Raja Bell. I liked Augustin here regardless of the fact his role was unclear, but with Bell out, this is a serious bonus.
The final pick of the round is Sessions, and despite the Gomes hype, I think Sessions is going to be an extremely valuable player before all is said and done.
As we neared the end of the draft, I expected to start seeing more fliers. And it begins right away with Joel Przybilla. If Oden keeps fouling out of every game or getting hurt, Przybilla will again be a rebound machine. Two picks later, Rip is stripped off the board. How the mighty have fallen – Hamilton as the 147th overall pick? Yes, there are concerns about how he’s going to get his touches with Gordon in town, but I think this is a super value pick this late. Kudos.
Danilo Gallinari is taken next – another fine sleeper selection. Up next, I choose to go big again, grabbing the finally healthy Brendan Haywood. I’m seeking boards, blocks and FG percentage with this pick. He’ll hurt my FT percentage, doesn’t sink 3-pointers and isn’t much of a scorer, but that’s not what I need.
Two picks later, Yi Jianlian goes with the 151st selection. Another super sleeper here – this could be massive. Next is Tracy McGrady. I know – what a headache, but if you get half a season out of him, this could be an excellent return on your investment from this late slot. Definitely worth the flier.
The next pick is the deepest sleeper of all – DeJuan Blair. Yes, there’s tremendous potential here and he could surprise many, but where does the PT come from? To me, Blair is a better waiver wire selection. This is one gutsy sleeper pick.
Next up, Hakim Warrick is taken with the 154th pick. This is another fine sleeper selection. I’m not as thrilled with Mikael Pietrus as a sleeper, however. He might be somewhat valuable while Lewis serves his suspension, but I have my doubts.
The final round opens with the selection of Randy Foye. What a great last round pick – despite the uncertainty of his role, he’s got so much untapped potential. Next up, Eddie House is taken, and I don’t see him as a draft-worthy player. Need a boost of treys? Rudy Fernandez is still available, so are Peja Stojakovic and Roger Mason Jr., and I think all three of them bring more to the table than House.
Three picks later, at 161 overall, Jamal Crawford finally goes off the board. I was wondering when this would happen and had him targeted if he was still there. What a splendid pick for the last round. Three picks after that, it’s time for my last selection. I opt for a rook, James Harden from OKC, who strikes me as an across-the-board contributor. I think he’s going to surprise some people this year. At least I freaking hope he does.
And the very final pick of the draft is another rookie, New Jersey’s Terrence Williams. This is a fine sleeper selection, as T-Will has drawn rave reviews in training camp and could also surprise people. He’ll have plenty of opportunity to do so on a weak Net squad.
Overall, I think my team is a bit guard heavy. I’m going to have to scour the wire for rebounding and blocks, but big men tend to emerge as in-season possibilities quite often. I’m confident I will rarely be outscored and I should do quite fine in assists and 3-pointers.
I think the keys for my team will be Kobe being Kobe for at least 80 games, D-Rose taking the expected leap into elite PG status, Melo producing a more well-rounded game, Gay getting enough touches to take the next step, and getting through the year without injuries to guys like Kaman, Haywood and Howard.
Let the season begin!