My annual fantasy basketball draft was held this past Tuesday, and as opposed to a free-for-all with everyone having a chance to take home a title, this is more a ceremony, almost a coronation, if you will, as I have yet again acquired a ton of basketball assets to put myself in prime position to take home another fantasy basketball championship. Since we can trade between leagues, I had an extra first and fourth round pick as well as a couple prime keepers. But, just for fun, we'll take a look at the draft, and see who has the best chance of coming in second place this year. You can find part one here and part two here. Today, we conclude the series with the final rounds and summary.
121 Mo Williams, Cle PG The Kid From Thunder Struck
122 Myles Turner, Ind PF The Outsiders
123 Harrison Barnes, GS SF Flint Tropics
124 Josh Smith, LAC SF oladipOOOOYEA YOURHOT!!!!!!
125 Avery Bradley, Bos SG Team Autoprick
126 Jared Sullinger, Bos PF For the love of the game
127 Noah Vonleh, Por PF Wilson Chandler Bing
128 Alec Burks, Uta SG Kissing Cousins
129 Louis Williams, LAL PG Butt Stuff
130 Bojan Bogdanovic, Bkn SG Duncan's Donuts
131 Marcus Smart, Bos PG Unleash the Dragic
132 Darren Collison, Sac PG Wennington Baseline
Best Pick: Louis Williams
I love Lou Williams. Now, full disclosure here: Lou and I did not get off to a good start. Somewhere between 5-7 years ago, I was playing an NBA video game against my brother, and he was the 76ers. I don’t even remember who I was at this point, but I will never forget how Lou Williams torched me, and I thought to myself, “Who the fuck is Lou Williams?” It turns out Lou Williams is a super fun basketball player who will be one of the top scoring bench players in the league. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t finish in the top-75 of ESPN’s Player Rater at the end of the year.
Worst Pick: Josh Smith
Blake Griffin and Josh Smith cannot play Center. Blake Griffin and Josh Smith should not play Small Forward. That means you really don’t want those guys out on the court at the same time. In this scenario, I am going to go out on a limb and say Blake Griffin gets the edge in minutes over Josh Smith. So you’ve got Josh Smith in limited minutes where he’s only occasionally good. That does not sound like a recipe for success.
My Pick: Myles Turner
Toot toot! That’s the sound of the Myles Turner hype train coming through. I may not be the conductor, but I do have a first class seat. All he’s got to do is beat out Jordan Hill for minutes, and he’ll be able to show what he can do. Jordan Hill is the definition of a guy you want beaten out for minutes. Also, there’s a dirty little secret that Myles Turner was about as good as Okafor and Towns, but he was coached by Rick Barnes who will always get the least out of the most talent. In the words of Mojo Rawley, “I don’t get hyped; I stay hyped.”
133 Justise Winslow, Mia SG Wennington Baseline
134 Ersan Ilyasova, Det PF Unleash the Dragic
135 Raul Neto, Uta PG Duncan's Donuts
136 Brandon Jennings*, Det PG Butt Stuff
137 Jerian Grant, NY PG Kissing Cousins
138 Doug McDermott, Chi SF Wilson Chandler Bing
139 Bismack Biyombo, Tor C For the love of the game
140 Evan Turner, Bos SG Team Autoprick
141 Luol Deng, Mia SF oladipOOOOYEA YOURHOT!!!!!!
142 Al-Farouq Aminu, Por SF Butt Stuff
143 Mario Hezonja, Orl SF The Outsiders
144 Zaza Pachulia, Dal C The Kid From Thunder Struck
Best Pick: Brandon Jennings
I thought about going Jennings with my pick before this, but if the Pistons were willing to trade for and pay Reggie Jackson, clearly, they aren’t huge Brandon Jennings fans. Still, he should get a decent amount of playing time alongside Jackson that he makes for a good addition when he gets back to 100%.
Worst Pick: Bismack Biyombo
Seriously? People are still drafting Bismack Biyombo? I know he has a fun name, but he can’t really play basketball. That’s an issue when you are competing in a fantasy basketball league. But it is the 12th round of a fantasy basketball league, why am I still writing this?
My Pick: Mario Hezonja
Oh, yeah, to get to this guy. For my last pick, I took my Croatian brother, Mario Hezonja. I could wax poetically about how awesome he is going to be, but I’ll let fellow Croatian, Zach Lowe, take the honors:
“You think he cares that he’s battling for minutes under coach Vic Mackey, who tolerates no such nonsense from uppity international rookies? Hell no. He drilled a run-up-the-score 3 during the closing seconds of a Eurobasket blowout, and dapped up the opposing coach. The best part? The coach dapped him back! He once said he has never respected any opponent. When a reporter suggested he watch Lionel Messi in person, Hezonja responded that Messi should come watch him.”
On top of all of that, I happened to be there in person for his bounce pass alley oop to Aaron Gordon. So, yeah, I’m a little excited about Mario Hezonja. So excited I’ll even review the last round despite me not having a selection in it.
145 Jordan Hill, Ind PF The Kid From Thunder Struck
146 Anthony Morrow, OKC SG oladipOOOOYEA YOURHOT!!!!!!
147 Jeff Green, Mem SF oladipOOOOYEA YOURHOT!!!!!!
148 Willie Cauley-Stein, Sac C oladipOOOOYEA YOURHOT!!!!!!
149 Kevin Martin, Min SG Team Autoprick
150 Ed Davis, Por PF Duncan's Donuts
151 Aaron Gordon, Orl PF Wilson Chandler Bing
152 Joe Johnson, Bkn SG Kissing Cousins
153 Jamal Crawford, LAC SG Butt Stuff
154 Frank Kaminsky III, Cha C Duncan's Donuts
155 David West, SA PF Unleash the Dragic
156 Gerald Henderson*, Por SG Wennington Baseline
Best Pick: Jamal Crawford
Doesn’t he win Sixth Man of the Year award like every year? That’s got to translate into decent fantasy stats. I mean, he’ll score and not much else, but that’s a pretty nice addition in the final round of the draft, so good for Jamal Crawford on being selected.
Worst Pick: Anthony Morrow
He can shoot threes pretty good. He does nothing else. He probably won’t see the ball too often. I’m trying to build up some outrage towards this pick, but it’s the final round, so it really doesn’t matter. Let’s get to the predictions.
So who's going to win this league? Well, me, obviously. But let's see who will take second place to my team of pure dominance. I'll add some insight into each team and rank accordingly. With my simple method of adding a point for bests, keepers (except Julius Randle, who, let's be honest, was no great value), and strong trades, while subtracting points for worsts, the standings should look something like this.
1. The Outsiders - ∞
It's pretty clear that this was a perfect draft. I got the guys who were 1-2 last year in fantasy value with the second and fourth picks. I'm going to dominate 3 pointers, free throw percentage, assists, and steals, while competing in field goal percentage. Oh, and points? Yeah, with Curry, Harden, Bosh, Thomas, and George, yeah, I don't see many people outscoring me. I guess if a team has a great week, they'll only lose 5-3. That's BEST case scenario for my opponents.
2. Wennington Baseline 4-1
Bill Wennington is known for his tremendous fundamentals, and this team is no different. He has a lot of guys that do many things well like Draymond Green and Nerlens Noel, but I question the depth of his team as there are a lot of very replaceable pieces.
3. The Kid From Thunderstruck 2-0
The Kid From Thunderstruck was a flash in the pan, but I think this team has staying power. It's loaded with athletes like Wiggins, Drummond, and obviously, Anthony Davis, and he's got some solid late pick point guards with Jrue Holiday and Deron Williams that could far exceed their draft status. Definitely a threat for the silver medal.
4. Kissing Cousins 2-0
Now you might be thinking that this guy got the team name Kissing Cousins from drafting DeMarcus Cousins, but I can assure you that this is not just a single year team name, this is a lifestyle. He took Derrick Rose, who I love, but who I would not trust to stay healthy in a ping pong match.
5. For the Love of the Game 4-3
Like me, they had an extra first round pick and a couple keepers, but I'm not concerned. Having Wall and Westbrook is a nice start, but his roster is fairly uninspired outside of that. That still just makes him a poor man's version of my team which probably makes him the favorite for second place, but I go by the numbers, and the numbers are unimpressed with his drafting acumen.
6. Butt Stuff 3-2
Butt Stuff had an absolutely painful performance through most of this draft. But it seems like after getting worked through the draft for a while, it finally seemed like he could loosen up and enjoy the experience. It took a while for him to lube up his drafting prowess, but he got the bests in the last three rounds. So congratulations to him on being a willful receiver (of new players) and getting comfortable with a new and challenging experience.
7. Flint Tropics 1-0
Honestly, had I had the chance to name this team, I would have called them Jail Bait, because after the fourth round, he took one guy with more than three years of experience in the NBA. He likes 'em young, but needs to realize that, "She said she was 18" is no defense in this league.
8. Wilson Chandler Bing 1-1
That Serge Ibaka pick in the first round really put him behind everybody else, but I liked a lot of what he did outside of that. Since I live in Florida and don't like the Heat, I am putting my secondary support behind the Magic, so I probably like Aaron Gordon more than most. There's a lot that is above average but little that stands out.
9. Unleash the Dragic 1-1
Outside of that Melo pick, there is just nothing that excites me about this team. He's depending on the health of Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, which doesn't seem like a great long-term plan for success.
10. Duncan's Donuts 0-0
This team managed to not have a single best or worst which is kind of amazing. The guy he has that I like more than most is D'Angelo Russell. Mudiay's getting a lot more publicity since he tore up the Summer League, but I'd rather look at what Russell did during his entire season at Ohio State than a couple weeks of exhibition games.
11. Team Autoprick 1-2
This garbage person didn't even show up for the draft. He doesn't deserve to be ranked. Hell, he barely deserves to live (I take fantasy sports VERY seriously).
12. oladipOOOOYEA YOURHOT!!!!!! 1-3
This roster actually made me laugh out loud, because it was like he intentionally took the worst shooters in the league. If you described the weakness of every player on his roster (not counting Anthony Morrow), their biggest weakness would all be shooting. It's truly amazing how bad this team shoots, so hopefully that's not important in basketball.
But let's be real here. The title is mine to lose. None of these other teams matter.