The overwhelming success of our fantasy football mock left us little choice but to follow suit for fantasy hoops now that the NBA Draft has come and gone. And let's face it - it's never too early to mock draft. The plan is to have four rounds done by Thursday, and then we'll pick things up again after the July 4 weekend. 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, and 6.
Corey Maggette, Golden State GF - Round 7, Pick 1. Value pick extraordinaire here. Maggette's impressive offensive arsenal will be on full display and without reservation in the Golden State. He is an extremely high volume .820% free throw shooter - that means he alone can help negate much of the negative FT% impact of a guy like Okafor (who i drafted in the previous round). Expect career highs in points, threes and free throw attempts (look for 10+) en route to what should be his finest season as a pro. (Tom)
Andre Miller, Philadelphia PG - Round 7, Pick 2. Miller is going to flourish playing along side Elton Brand. Expect his value to soar as he can now focus less on scoring and more on his assists and steals. 14 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 1.5 steals .480 FG%, .790 FT% are realistic expectations for the veteran PG going into next season. Acquiring Andre with this pick is especially pleasing as he compliments the strengths and weakness's of my teams guards (Bryant, Arenas and Redd) perfectly. (Tom)
Andrei Kirilenko, Utah F - Round 7, Pick 3. Time to get defensive. Kirilenko is the type that you don't want to follow his box score line on a nightly basis, because it rarely looks good in the traditional points, rebounds, assists sense. Just sit back and let the blocks and steals roll in and know that by season's end, his roto numbers will likely net out in the top 50 – he's finished No. 50, No. 76 and No. 19 in the Y! game in the past three seasons, respectively. Current roster for Team Funston I: Amare Stoudemire, Jose Calderon, Jason Richardson, Michael Beasley, Kevin Durant, Randy Foye, and Kirilenko. (Funston)
Al Horford, Atlanta FC - Round 7, Pick 4. In his rookie campaign, Horford got stronger as the season progressed. Over his final 28 regular-season games, Horford was a top 50 fantasy contributor, posting a line of 12.1 points, 9.5 boards, 1.4 turnovers, .550 FG%, and .833 FT% (again, always looking to mitigate LBJ's negative FT% impact). He also flashed some distribution skills in the playoffs, averaging 3.6 assists in Atlanta's seven-game series with Boston. Current roster for Team Funston II: LeBron James, Chis Bosh, Monta Ellis, Brandon Roy, Mike Dunleavy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Horford. (Funston)
Mike Bibby, Atlanta PG - Round 7, Pick 5. I was really hoping to pick up Andre Miller here. He's off the board, so I pull the trigger on Bibby, who dealt with multiple injuries and a change of address in a very down 2007-08 season. His season rank in the two seasons prior was 49 and 27, however, so I'm certainly not thinking this pick is a total loss. I like Bibby's chances to return to top-50 production in his first full and healthy season with the Hawks. Bibby joins KG, Shard, Jamison, G-Wall, Oden, and Gasol. (Buser)
Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee C - Round 7, Pick 6. Time to think about someone to line up alongside Yao at C - Bogut improved his scoring (14.4) and rebounding (9.8) and took a major move forward in blocked shots (1.7) in 2007-08, and he was a monster after the All-Star break (16.3 points, 11.6 boards, 2.8 assists, 1 steal, 1.7 blocks, per-game rank of 55). He gets flack for not yet living up to his status as a No.1 overall pick, but he's a very solid big man and is still improving. This team now consists of Kidd, Josh Howard, Granger, Marion, Artest, Yao, and Bogut. (Buser)
Raymond Felton, Charlotte PG - Round 7, Pick 7. GM Rod Higgins says the drafting of D.J. Augustin does not signal a change at point for the Bobcats. Felton is his guy and Higgins has refuted trade rumors. Only seven players finished the season with more assists in 2007-08 and Felton picked up the scoring a bit after the All-Star break, averaging 15.4 points to go with 8.3 assists and 1.3 steals. Team Romig I now includes Dirk, Nash, Pierce, ‘Sheed, Peja, Al Harrington and Felton. (Romig)
Luol Deng, Chicago SF - Round 7, Pick 8. Deng was the 18th ranked player in the fantasy game in 2006-07 and while he regressed a bit last season, he’s still a solid stat stuffer all the way down to averaging a respectable 0.5 blocks per game. He joins Elton Brand, Baron Davis, Andre Iguodala, Lamar Odom, Brad Miler and Ray Allen on TR2. (Romig)
Troy Murphy, Indiana FC - Round 7, Pick 9. Now that Jermaine O'Neal has finally been traded away, Murphy is going to be Indiana's go-to big man. He will be the only sure thing in that frontcourt next season which will also feature Jeff Foster, Rasho Nesterovic, and Roy Hibbert. Murphy's FG% is going to take a bit of hit as he starts to approach 12 FGA per game (not a concern with my current roster) but he should still put up top-75 value nonetheless. He'll be a nice addition alongside Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups, Rudy Gay, David West, Tyson Chandler, and Mo Williams. (Phan)
Shane Battier, Houston SF - Round 7, Pick 10. Consistently underappreciated, Battier flies under the radar season after season yet always manages to finish in the top-50 in cumulative value. His FG% has dropped to .421 at the expense of more three-pointers made, but that negative impact on your team's FG% is considerably lessened since he only averages around 8 FGA per game. Battier joins Marcus Camby, Dwyane Wade, Vince Carter, Joe Johnson, Mike Miller, and Andris Biedrins. (Phan)
Richard Jefferson, Milwaukee SF - Round 7, Pick 11. Jefferson is coming off a bounce back year where he played in all 82 games and averaged 22.7 points per game. How adjusts to the new system in Milwaukee and not playing with a pass-first point guard in Jason Kidd does present some risk for him. His value will come primarily from his scoring - he does not do much else, particularly rebound, as Jefferson may not break top five per game. (Klyce)
Leandro Barbosa, Phoenix G - Round 7, Pick 12. Barbosa has averaged over 2 treys per game his past two seasons while shooting a high percentage, and should continue to do fine in that area playing alongside Steve Nash. He will get a couple assists and a steal here and there but it is the three point shooting that holds his value. (Klyce)