The participants: Jonathan Tom, esteemed Fantasy Basketball Cafe contributor and winner of the 2007-08 Y! Friends and Family League; a Yahoo! Sports triumvirate of Brandon Funston, Matt Buser, and Matt Romig; Justin Phan, an FBC and fantasybasketball.com contributor; and David Klyce of HoopsKlyce.com (and 2006-07 F&F league champ).For settings, assume the standard nine categories (FG%, FT%, 3PTM, PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, TO) and roto scoring format. Individual draft rounds can be found at the following links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Tracy McGrady, Houston GF - Round 8, Pick 1. This team needs a forward and is willing to take a chance on McGrady. You can bank on him playing less than 70 games but when he plays he can fill out the stat sheet, including a healthy contribution in the assist category. Outside of injuries, his percentages can also be a concern, as he has not shot over 72% FT the last two seasons and he shot 42% FG last season. Final roster: Deron, Josh Smith, Melo, Al Jefferson, Devin Harris, Jamal Crawford, Richard Jefferson, T-Mac. (Klyce)
Jamario Moon, Toronto SF - Round 8, Pick 2. This team needed a forward or center that can rebound and block some shots. Moon has that potential, averaging 6.8 boards and 1.4 blocks in just 28 minutes per game last season. He will also get some steals and occasionally hits a three, and is a young player who still has some upside. Final roster: Iverson, Dwight Howard, Kevin Martin, Kaman, Stephen Jackson, Terry, Barbosa, Moon. (Klyce)
David Lee, New York FC - Round 8, Pick 3. Rumors about David Lee being shipped out, possibly for Raymond Felton or Kirk Hinrich, appear to be dying and if the Chris Duhon signing is any indication it appears that Lee will remain with the Knicks for next season. Breaking down the Knicks under Mike D'Antoni, you've got to think David Lee will see a considerable boost in production. There is no way D'Antoni effectively employs an up-tempo style, movement offense with Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry on the floor at the same time. Lee's athleticism and quickness will fit well with D'Antoni's style and he could receive upwards of 35 minutes per game. Think along the lines of 13 points, 10 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1 steal, 0.5 blocks, 1 turnover, and great percentages (.530 FG%, .800 FT%). My final roster has shaped up with Wade/Carter/Johnson at the guard slots, Miller/Battier/Lee occupying the forward slots, and Camby/Biedrins holding down the center slots. (Phan)
Richard Hamilton, Detroit SG - Round 8, Pick 4. We'll have to wait around another month to see if Joe Dumars decides to blow up the Piston nucleus that we have become so accustomed to seeing, but one thing that seems to be agreed upon is that if it happens, Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace would be the ones to go. Even though Rip is 30 and this is not the prototypical 'upside pick', that's how I'm treating it. At the least I'm getting a top-70 player who will contribute nicely across the board much like Josh Howard. The kicker is the window of opportunity for increased production if Billups and Rasheed do get dealt. My final roster for this team consists of Billups/Williams/Hamilton at the guard slots, Butler/Gay/West at the forward slots, and Chandler/Murphy rounding out the lineup at the center slots. (Phan)
Derrick Rose, Chicago PG - Round 8, Pick 5. I need a second distributor after taking Baron Davis in the second round. Rose is off to a rough start in summer league, but it's summer league, so whatever. Seemed like the time to take a shot. (Brand, Baron, Iguodala, Odom, Brad Miller, Ray Allen, Luol Deng, Rose). (Romig)
Rajon Rondo, Boston PG - Round 8, Pick 6. Rondo adds some championship flair and contributions that cut across multiple categories, the most noteworthy a steals total that ranked 10th in the league. (Dirk, Nash, Pierce, 'Sheed, Peja, Al Harrington, Raymond Felton, Rondo). (Romig)
Kirk Hinrich, Chicago G - Round 8, Pick 7. The 2007-08 season was an unmitigated disaster for a number of Bulls, not just Hinrich. I expect something of a return to form for at least Hinrich - we're talking about a player who finished the 2006-07 season with a rank of 21st overall. Duhon's departure means that Hinrich still will play a significant role in the team's plans at PG, but don't be shocked if he's the team's starting SG when the season opens. It's worth noting that last season's down year left him with a season rank of 94, and this is pick 91. Final roster: Marion, Granger, Yao, Kidd, Artest, Josh Howard, Bogut, Hinrich. (Buser)
T.J. Ford, Indiana PG - Round 8, Pick 8. First things first - Jamaal Tinsley won't be on the Pacers' active roster for a single games this season, so there's no 'PG controversy' here. Second things second - yes, Ford is a health risk, but it's one worth taking this deep into the draft. The Pacers are going to really get out and run this season, and Ford is a very good PG to facilitate that type of offense. A pick I'm happy with here, given the team's desperation for assists. Final roster: KG, Shard Lewis, Gasol, Jamison, G-Wall, Oden, Bibby, Ford. (Buser)
Ben Gordon, Chicago G - Round 8, Pick 9. This team needs threes and, with LeBron in tow, it never hurts to pick up another charity stripe ace (.908 FT% last season). Final roster: LeBron, Bosh, Monta Ellis, Roy, Dunleavy, Aldridge, Horford, Gordon. (Funston)
Marvin Williams, Atlanta F - Round 8, Pick 10. Last season, Williams, the '05 No. 2 overall pick, improved in six of nine roto categories. Considering he just turned 22 years old in June, there's still plenty of reason to believe Williams is only going to continue to elevate his game. Final roster: Amare, Calderon, J-Rich, Beasley, Durant, Foye, Kirilenko, Williams. (Funston)
Jermaine O'Neal, Toronto FC - Round 8, Pick 11. After last years injury riddled campaign, O'Neal comes into the 08-09 season flying way under the radar. The winning culture in Toronto should provide him with more incentive to stay on the court. A potential 4th round value (No 47 in the Y! game in 06-07) from a center is well worth a gamble here. (Bryant, Arenas, Boozer, Redd, Bynum, Dalembert, A. Miller, O'Neal). (Tom)
Tony Parker, San Antonio PG - Round 8, Pick 12. Tony's percentages faltered last season as did his health (his 13 DNP's were a career high). Expect improvements in all three areas as the Spurs make one final push at an NBA championship. Tony bolsters this teams assists as well as provides a great compliment to Mehmet Okur. (Paul, Ginobili, Duncan, Turkoglu, Okur, Okafor, Maggette, Parker). (Tom)
Programming note: We're going to stop at eight rounds, with 96 players having been drafted. Look for some breakdown/analysis of the mock draft - and mock draft comments - in the not-too-distant future, including the biggest surprises (in terms of draft position) among the drafted players, who are the best players that did not get drafted, and a detailed investigation into why the phrase "where's T-Mac?!?" made an appearance as early as round 2. As always, feel free to preface the commentary with your own thoughts on these issues in the comments section.