|Mock NBA Fantasy Basketball Draft||10.05.10 at 4:58 pm ET|
A breakdown of the first five rounds of a mock 10-team fantasy basketball draft, in addition to the top-10 late-round sleepers and the top-10 players to avoid. Full disclosure: I am unstoppable at fantasy basketball. I also consulted commissioner James Hough of our annual league, Mondo Rondo.
(NOTE: Your season depends solely on the health of this pick.)
1. Kevin Durant: Team USA’s best player; absolute monster; fills every stat category.
2. LeBron James: Has a legit chance to average a triple-double.
3. Kobe Bryant: Even if not 100 percent, the game’s best player can’t slip past No. 3.
4. Chris Paul: Might be the No. 2 pick if not for the whole knee surgery thing.
5. Deron Williams: Averaged at least 18 points & 10 assists per game last 3 seasons.
6. Danny Granger: Most underrated player in the NBA on a bad team translates into numbers.
7. Dwight Howard: You’re giving up FT% with this pick … but likely winning FG%, blocks & boards.
8. Dwyane Wade: Stats will suffer beside LeBron, but still warrants first-round pick.
9. Dirk Nowitzki: The first-round guy I’d least like to have on my team still fills the statsheet.
10. Pau Gasol: He may look like a llama, but he’s the best offensive center in the game.
ROUND 2(NOTE: Either diversify your roster or lock categories down in your favor.)
11. Chris Bosh: He’ll still score, grab rebounds, block shots and make free throws.
12. Steve Nash: It’s a good thing defense isn’t really a category in fantasy hoops.
13. Amar’e Stoudemire: Last season under D’Antoni: 25.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 59.0 FG%, 80.5 FT%.
14. Josh Smith: Draft him with Howard, and you win blocks & boards every week.
15. Stephen Curry: A first-round pick on most boards, I wouldn’t take him until now.
16. Brook Lopez: Never would’ve predicted he’d be a top-20 pick.
17. Carmelo Anthony: A top-10 player, but on a team he doesn’t want to play for.
18. Rajon Rondo: Points, assists, steals and FG% have gone up every year.
19. Derrick Rose: Is anybody else thinking he’s going to have a huge season?
20. David Lee: You can count the number of centers who have average 20 and 12 on one hand.
ROUND 3(NOTE: If you get a stud scorer, a point guard and a center through three rounds, you’re golden.)
21. Jason Kidd: See Steve Nash, only not as good.
22. Tim Duncan: In 13 seasons, never had fewer than 17.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.5 bpg.
23. Al Jefferson: Should thrive under Jerry Sloan and alongside Deron Williams.
24. Gerald Wallace: One of those guys I always forget about, but shouldn’t.
25. Chauncey Billups: Played at least 70 games for 10 years. Lock him in (unless you believe in jinxes).
26. Brandon Roy: Want a cliche? Roy plays the game like it’s meant to be played.
27. Joe Johnson: Worth $120 million? Nope. Worth a third-round pick? Absolutely.
28. Monta Ellis: An injury risk, for sure, but a fantasy freak when he’s healthy.
29. Andre Iguodala: Not sure why I always stay away from him in drafts. He’s really good.
30. Tyreke Evans: Even if he takes a step back from Rookie of the Year campaign, he’ll still be good.
ROUND 4(NOTE: The next few rounds are where league’s are won or lost.)
31. Marc Gasol: 75% of Pau Gasol is still some good Gasol.
32. Al Horford: Inconsistent, for sure, but overall numbers always end up good.
33. Paul Pierce: His numbers may have regressed, but he’s as efficient as ever.
34. David West: Thought he had a down season last year, but then I looked at his numbers.
35. Joakim Noah: You’ll hate him with a passion … until he’s on your fantasy team.
36. Zach Randolph: Off the court, a question mark; on the court, a double-double machine.
37. Andray Blatche: Believe it or not, over the last two months of 2009-10, a top-five fantasy guy.
38. Kevin Garnett: As healthy as he’s been since 2007-08, when he averaged 18.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.4 bpg.
39. Russell Westbrook: Another Team USA stud poised for a stellar season.
40. Darren Collison: The only true PG on the Pacers, unless you count T.J. Ford’s cadaver.
ROUND 5(NOTE: You can start thinking about taking a risk.)
41. Rudy Gay: See Joe Johnson, only not as good.
42. Kevin Love: Put up efficient double-doubles every night until an injury a year ago.
43. Baron Davis: Gives you a little bit of everything from the PG spot.
44. Kevin Martin: Expect him to settle into a groove in his first full season in Houston.
45. Stephen Jackson: His numbers got a boost after last year’s trade to the Bobcats.
46. Andrew Bogut: If he can stay healthy, he’s one of the best centers in the East.
47. Gilbert Arenas: Was averaging 22.6 ppg & 7.2 apg last year before he turned into Scarface.
48. LaMarcus Aldridge: One of those guys who’s numbers are way better than you’d think.
49. Devin Harris: Killed my fantasy team last year, but more talent around him should help.
50. Raymond Felton: Felton’s solid fantasy numbers should improve even more under D’Antoni.
10 LATE-ROUND GUYS YOU WANT ON YOUR TEAM(NOTE: Snag at least two of these guys, and I like your chances.)
Manu Ginobili: He seems like he’s 50, but he’ll play like he’s 25.
Luis Scola: Building off a dominant summer playing for Team Argentina.
Jeff Green: The third banana on any great team usually puts up numbers.
Blake Griffin: My pick for Rookie of the Year, over John Wall.
Eric Gordon: Team USA success should boost his confidence.
Tony Parker: A three-time all-star entering a contract year. Need I say more?
Aaron Brooks: Don’t think he’ll be as good as last year, but he’ll be good.
Chris Kaman: A fantasy beast, despite looking like Tom Petty.
O.J. Mayo: Consistently good over his first two seasons. Expect a third.
Danilo Gallinari: Won’t play defense, but will shoot the lights out from everywhere.
10 LATE-ROUND GUYS YOU DON’T WANT ON YOUR TEAM
(NOTE: If you like money, stay away from these guys.)
Rashard Lewis: Do you remember how bad he was in the playoffs?
Elton Brand: He’s killed even more fantasy teams than he has NBA teams.
Andrew Bynum: Already out until December, he might as well wait until the playoffs.
Andrea Bargnani: Think he’ll benefit from Bosh’s absence? Think again.
Yao Ming: When’s the last time he played a full season? 1983?
Ben Gordon: He’ll tease you with a good game, but he’ll leave you hanging.
Brandon Jennings: His second half of last season was straight-up awful.
Vince Carter: If you like guys who miss random games for no reason, you’ll love Vince.
Kenyon Martin: He just might be the most inconsistent player in the NBA.
Emeka Okafor: Can you believe Okafor vs. Dwight Howard was actually a draft-day debate?
There you have it. You’re well on your way to winning your fantasy hoops league. By the way, please send 10 percent of your winnings to the WEEI offices. Attn: Ben Rohrbach. Let the debate begin.